LONDON—VMI Holland B.V. claims to have won a "significant lawsuit" in its ongoing intellectual property dispute with Safe-Run Intelligent Equipment Shares Ltd. Co., VMI said in a press release issued Feb. 12.
In April, 2019, Epe, Netherlands-based VMI filed a lawsuit claiming that Safe-Run had abused the IP and the legal system in China at the Suzhou Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu Province. In its latest release, VMI said the court ruled that "Safe-Run knowingly filed and obtained patents on technology which was already developed by VMI and others, and then maliciously used these patents in the legal fight against VMI."
According to information supplied by VMI, the Chinese court ruling—issued on Dec. 22, 2020, referenced (2019) Su 05 Zhichu No.251—included a compensation award of $155 million to the Dutch machinery maker.
"This verdict reinforces our faith in the Chinese legal system," VMI President and CEO Harm Voortman said in the release. "We await the outcome of the other ongoing lawsuits with great confidence."
In a statement issued in response to VMI's latest release, Safe-Run said there had been more than 30 IP infringement lawsuits between the parties in China since 2016.
"Most of the lawsuits are currently undergoing second instance proceedings," Safe-Run said, adding that it had obtained "favorable first instance judgments or rulings in most of the lawsuits."
The Chinese company added the "significant lawsuit" cited by VMI referred to the first instance judgment of a malicious IP lawsuit dispute between the parties.
Safe-Run said it had lodged an appeal against this first instance judgment so that the court decision had not become effective and could not be used to determine malicious intent.
VMI, it alleged, "intentionally choose one favorable non-effective judgment among a number of pending lawsuits between the parties to conduct propaganda, which has seriously damaged Safe-Run's commercial reputation."