Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Services Shanghai Co., Ltd. (Veolia Shanghai) filed proceedings to invalidate two utility model patents of Beijing Hanqi Environmental Technology Co., Ltd. (Hanqi), one relating to the Hanqi Turbomix and one relating to the Hanqi Actiflo. Both patents were invalidated and the invalidation decisions have now taken effect.
Veolia developed and patented the Actiflo® high-performance water clarifier for municipal and industrial water treatment almost 30 years ago. Since then, the process has been successfully implemented at over a thousand sites all around the world and has proven to be a reliable and efficient solution for a wide range of water and wastewater treatment applications.
In November 2019, Veolia Shanghai applied to the Patent Reexamination and Invalidation Department of CNIPA to revoke Hanqi’s Turbomix patent (ZL201721814292.8) on the grounds that the utility model patent does not meet the inventiveness requirements as stipulated in Section 3, Article 22 of the PRC Patent Law. After the trial, the collegial panel for invalidation supported the reasons and evidence submitted by Veolia Shanghai and issued an Invalidation Decision (No. 44751) on May 28, 2020 to announce that the utility model patent was invalid. The aforementioned invalidation decision has become final and cannot be appealed.
At the same time, Veolia Shanghai applied to the Patent Reexamination and Invalidation Department to revoke Hanqi’s Actiflo patent (ZL 201520012755.3) on the grounds that the utility model patent does not meet the inventiveness requirements as stipulated in Section 3, Article 22 of the PRC Patent Law. After the trial, the collegial panel for invalidation supported the reasons and evidence submitted by Veolia Shanghai, and issued an Invalidation Decision (No. 45145) on June 22, 2020 to announce that the utility model patent was invalid. On September 15, 2020, Hanqi filed an administrative litigation with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court against the Invalidation Decision and on March 16, 2021, Veolia Shanghai participated in the court hearing convened by Beijing Intellectual Property Court. The Court supported the Invalidation Decision and issued the judgment (2020) Jing 73 Xing Chu No. 12432 to reject Hanqi’s claims on November 17, 2021. Hanqi did not appeal within the period allowed by the PRC law, therefore, the above-mentioned judgment and the Invalidation Decision have become final.
Daniel Nogueira, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies China, said: “In recent years, in order to optimize the business environment and maintain a fair market, the Chinese government has increasingly strengthened the protection of intellectual property rights in legislation and law enforcement. We are determined to protect our intellectual property, and we encourage any potential buyers to conduct verification carefully to avoid any legal and economic risks that may arise in the procurement process in the future. We sincerely thank every customer for their trust and support.”
Veolia Water Technologies provides the complete range of services required to design, deliver, maintain, upgrade and manage sustainable water and wastewater treatment facilities and systems for industrial clients and public authorities. The company's extensive portfolio of technologies features everything from online diagnostic solutions to evaporation and crystallization, energy-producing wastewater treatment, state-of-the-art desalination, laboratory-grade water and mobile water services. By optimizing both processes and monitoring, Veolia Water Technologies helps clients reduce their water footprint while generating considerable savings in energy and chemical consumption.