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China IP Today—————————————

On April 21, the Supreme People's Court opened a joint public hearing to hear two cases of administrative disputes over the invalidation of patent rights between the appellant Sichuan Neo-Green Pharmaceutical Technology Development Co., Ltd., the China National Intellectual Property Administration of the appellee, and Guangdong Yifang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., the third party in the original trial. The two cases respectively involved the CNIPA's proposal for the invention patent rights for "automatic dispensing and metering device for medicines" and the utility model patent rights for "a medicine box used in a medicine dispenser" enjoyed by Guangdong Yifang Pharmaceutical Company against the Neo-green company. In the review decision made by request for invalidation, the CNIPA considered that the two patents did not possess the inventiveness stipulated in the "Patent Law of the People's Republic of China" and declared the two patent rights invalid. Neo-Green Company refused to accept it and filed an administrative lawsuit with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, requested the cancellation of the invalidation decision and ordering the CNIPA to make a new review decision. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court rejected the Neo-green company's litigation request in its first-instance judgment.


Neo-Green Company refused to accept the first-instance judgments of the two cases and appealed to the Supreme People's Court, claimed that the patent for "automatic dispensing and metering device for medicines" realized the automatic and accurate metering and dispensing of powdered or granular Chinese medicines, mainly used in the "Automatic Chinese Medicine Dispensing Device" developed by it has played an important role during the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic. The patent of "a medicine box for a medicine dispenser" solves the inability of multiple storage units of the traditional Chinese medicine box in the prior art. The two patents are creative for the technical problems of large volume and potential contamination of residual drugs caused by disassembly.


CNIPA argued in the second instance that neither of the two patents possessed creativity. The patent for "automatic dispensing and metering device for medicines" does not limit its application to powdered or granular Chinese medicines, nor does it restrict the technical features related to automation. The above content should not be taken into consideration when evaluating creativity. The difference between the "a medicine box for a medicine dispenser" patent and the closest prior art is only that the medicine box is used for the medicine dispenser. In order to realize automatic and rapid filling of medicines, those skilled in the art can easily think of using the packaging box of prior art on the dispenser. Guangdong Yifang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. agreed with the defense opinions of CNIPA.


In this trial, the Supreme People's Court used litigation visualization methods to enable all parties to clearly and vividly display the technical solutions of the two patents in court. It comprehensively expounded their views around the focus of the disputes in the two cases.


More than 50 people, including representatives of the National People's Congress, experts in the field of medicine, heads of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and relevant local administrative departments, and teachers and students of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, attended the hearing of the two cases.


t present, the two cases are still under further trial.

Source: China IP Law Today