CATL and Honeycomb Energy shook hands, and battery giants reached a settlement in the patent war

The dispute between the two major battery companies has finally come to an end.

Recently, under the auspices of the Intermediate People’s Court of Ningde City, Fujian Province, Ningde Times New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. and Honeycomb Energy Technology Co., Ltd. reached a settlement in the case of unfair competition dispute [(2021) Min 09 Min Chu No. 74]. CATL received a settlement of RMB 5 million from Honeycomb Energy. The two parties received the “Civil Mediation Letter” from the Ningde Intermediate People’s Court on July 18, 2022, and through full and friendly negotiation between the two parties, the lawsuit caused by unfair competition finally reached a settlement.

In this regard, Honeycomb Energy also issued a statement saying: “We believe that the way of resolving disputes between enterprises by means of reconciliation is in line with the concept of “harmony is the most important” in Chinese traditional culture. This will help enterprises focus on developing technology products and Market operation and management. The orderly flow of talents in the lithium battery industry will be conducive to the integration and innovation of the industry. Only through collaboration can we avoid industry involution, better promote the healthy development of China’s new energy industry, and help China’s lithium battery industry continue to lead the world.”

According to a previous report by the Southern Metropolis Daily, CATL filed a lawsuit against Honeycomb Energy and its two affiliated companies in February this year for unfair competition.

The judgment documents show that CATL believes that between 2018 and 2019, nine CATL employees joined Baoding Yixin Consulting Services Co., Ltd. and Wuxi Tianhong Enterprise Management Consulting Co., Ltd. The service violated the “Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreement” signed with it, and Ningde Times demanded that the nine employees each pay 1 million yuan in liquidated damages.

The court found out that although the relevant non-competition agreement of CATL did not include Honeycomb Energy in the List of Non-Competition Enterprises, the court held that the business scope of Honeycomb Energy and CATL highly overlapped, and it could be determined that the two companies are competing business relationships.

The case was originally scheduled to go to trial in February, but there has been no progress. Judging from the results, the two sides chose to shake hands and make peace.

In May, CATL responded to the lawsuit against its peers at the 2021 annual performance briefing, saying that innovation is the first driving force for development, and protecting intellectual property rights is to protect innovation. “We have had a similar lawsuit with Tafel and won. Tafel asked us to license our technology, so that we can protect intellectual property rights, protect innovation, and jointly promote the development of the industry.”

 

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Previously, CATL also filed a lawsuit against another battery company, Zhongxinhang, and took a tough stance.

On July 21, 2021, CATL formally sued China Innovation Airlines for patent infringement, involving a total of 3 inventions and 2 utility model patents. To this end, China Chuangxinhang submitted a request for invalidation of the 5 patents involved in the lawsuit to the State Intellectual Property Office.

Around the patent issue, the two sides have been fighting for a year. On May 23 this year, CATL confirmed to the public that it had applied to the court to increase the amount of compensation for patent infringement, and the amount of compensation for China Innovation Airlines would be increased from 185 million yuan to 518 million yuan.

Recently, there have been new developments in the progress of the case between the two parties. China Innovation Airlines has voluntarily withdrawn an application for invalidation of the patent involved.

Among the 5 patents currently involved in disputes, CNAC has voluntarily withdrawn 2 invalid applications for “positive pole piece and battery”, “power battery top cover structure and power battery”. CATL’s patents for “explosion-proof devices” remain fully valid, and the patents for “current collecting components and batteries” remain partially valid. The two parties have one “lithium-ion battery” patent left to be reviewed.

Industry insiders said that China Innovation Airlines may face huge infringement compensation, and China Innovation Airlines, which is on the way to IPO, may also be affected.

 

Article source: Lithium battery

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