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80 Million RMB Awarded in China Melamine Patent Litigation

Shandong Hualu Hengsheng Chemical Co., Ltd. announced in a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange that they recently lost a patent infringement lawsuit and the Guangdong Higher People’s Court awarded 80 million RMB (~$11.4 million USD) to the plaintiff Sichuan Jinxiang Serui Chemical Co., Ltd.  An injunction was also awarded.  The patents at suit, ZL201110108644.9 and ZL201010216437.0, cover methods of manufacturing melamine and equipment in the use of manufacturing melamine.  China is the world’s largest manufacturer of melamine, which is often used in cookware, eating utensils and flooring.

The two patents are related to melamine production by pressurized gas phase quenching.  As the patents explain in the background, conventional melamine manufacturing methods suffer from low  production efficiency per unit volume; high power consumption; instability over time of a cold gas blower used in the manufacturing process; and high cost of recycling or utilizing byproducts from the manufacturing process.  These problems are overcome via the patented gas-phase quenching methods and systems.

Claim 1 of ZL201110108644.9 reads as follows:

1. A system for melamine production by gas-phase quenching method, including:
a urea scrubber, after which a fluidized bed reactor, a hot gas cooler, a hot gas filter, a crystallizer and a melamine collector are installed in series successively, where the melamine collector is connected to the urea scrubber;
wherein the fluidized bed reactor is connected to a carrier gas pre-heater that is connected to a carrier gas compressor;
wherein the system for melamine production further comprises a gas-liquid separator connected to the urea scrubber that is connected to the crystallizer, and the carrier gas compressor is connected to the gas-liquid separator; and
wherein a cold gas blower is provided between the gas-liquid separator and the crystallizer.
The plaintiff is also pursuing theft of trade secret litigation while the defendant is appealing the decision to the Supreme People’s Court and launched invalidation proceedings against the patents.
Thanks to 法律犀牛 for the link to the Shanghai Stock Exchange filing.
Principal, and Director of the China Intellectual Property Practice

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