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21 Jan 2016

Defense of Hanon System in a Patent Infringement Dispute Brought by Toyota

Yulchon successfully defended Hanon System in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Toyota. Toyota and Hanon System are the world"s no. 1 and no. 2 automotive air conditioning components manufacturers. Central to this lawsuit was Toyota"s assertion that Hanon System had committed patent infringement in connection to the latter"s key product line of automotive air conditioning compressors. The entirety of Toyota"s claims was acknowledged at the court of first instance which threatened to put a halt in the sales of all Hanon System air conditioning compressors.

 

If this judgement was sustained at the court of appeals, Hanon system stood to be liable for hundreds of billions of Korean Won in compensatory damages. Further, there was a high possibility that such a scenario would push a separate but similar ongoing patent infringement lawsuit in Japan towards a defeat. Under such adverse circumstances, Hanon System sought the counsel of Yulchon in the court of appeals proceeding.

 

A key factor that further complicated matters in this case was that the patent in contention had already been confirmed by the Supreme Court as valid and that Hanon System"s plea for invalidation would realistically be impossible to establish. At the court of appeals, Yulchon reviewed and analyzed the ruling from the court of first instance and was able to glean key information and proof within the parameters of the original patent claim. This led to the development of new non-infringement contentions that ultimately proved effective and the case was subsequently overturned in favor of Hanon System.

 

Antitrust Group attorney Hae Sik Park and Intellectual Property Group attorneys Jeong Yeol Choe, Dong Soo Han carried out this case.

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