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EU Challenges China at WTO for its Anti-Suit Injunctions

Wed, 30 Mar 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 18 Feb. 2022, the European Union (EU) filed a case against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the grounds of China restricting EU companies from going to a foreign court to protect and use their patents.

The EU believes that Chinese courts put pressure on EU companies with high-tech patents like standard-essential patents (SEPs) in 3G, 4G, and 5G through anti-suit injunctions and impose heavy fines to deter European companies from filing a lawsuit in foreign courts. On the one hand, this has left European high-tech companies at a significant disadvantage when defending their rights. On the other hand, Chinese manufacturers have benefited from cheaper or even free access to European technology due to these anti-suit injunctions. On this ground, the EU considers China to be in violation of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and filed a dispute settlement consultation on 18 Feb. 2022.

The dispute settlement consultations are the first step in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. If they don’t reach a satisfactory solution within 60 days, the EU has the right to request the WTO to set up a panel to rule on the matter.

Between 2018 and 2020, China issued preservation orders as equivalent to “anti-suit injunctions” in the cases of ZTE v Conversant, Xiaomi v InterDigital, Oppo v Sharp, and Samsung v Ericsson.

See our articles for more information on China’s anti-suit injunctions.



Cover Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash


Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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