Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Canadian Company Wilan Sues Sony in China for Patent Violation

The injunction will bar Sony from selling LTE-enabled phones in China.

(Photo : DavidRamos/GettyImages) WiLan has filed a case against Sony in a Chinese court.

Ontario-based Wilan is suing Sony Mobile Communications for an alleged violation of its patent. The company has filed a case in a Chinese court in the eastern city of Nanjing.

According to court documents, the case was filed by a subsidiary of Wilan Inc., a non-practicing entity (NPE).

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The case is important for various reasons. Apart from its implications for the defendant and persecutor, the case could also establish China as an important player in the international intellectual property right field.

Erick Robinson, a lawyer with Rouse, advisor to Wilan, told the Financial Times, "It's the first time a foreign NPE has sued a foreign tech company in China." He also said that the case was filed after two years of negotiations with Sony.

Wilan may obtain an injunction against Sony if the case is determined in its favor. The injunction will bar Sony from selling LTE-enabled phones in China. The country is the largest market for mobile communication gadgets. Sony may also be barred from exporting such smartphones from China. While Sony does not have a considerable market share in China, the country is an important manufacturing base for the company.

Wilan had earlier filed the case against Sony in Germany. Robinson stated that the company expects to obtain an injunction in Germany. He added that the inability to sell in China is going to hurt Sony more than its inability to sell in Germany. Robinson also said that any export ban from China would effectively cutoff the company from the global market.  

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