Chinese IP Court Hands Down Record Damages Award

The Beijing IP Court found in December 2016 a patent infringement case in favour of plaintiff patentee Watchdata System Company Ltd.. The court ordered defendant Hengbao Company, Ltd. to pay an unprecedented amount of approximately 7 million EUR in damages for infringing Watchdata’s single patent on data encryption technologies.

The court also awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of about 140,000 EUR to Watchdata. The Beijing IP Court’s decision is a landmark decision as Chinese courts have often been reluctant to award high damages and attorneys’ fees. Hitherto awards of total damages and costs in patent cases have been much lower, on average around 10,000 EUR and usually awarded attorneys’ fees are in the range of a couple of thousand Euros. The present decision marks the highest damages ever awarded by the Beijing IP Court since its inception in 2014. Beijing IP Court’s decision clearly shows the increased willingness of the Chinese court system to enforce IP rights in China through assessing relatively high penalties on patent infringers.