ZTE Corp., the Chinese telecommunication giant locked in a multi jurisdictional patent infringement war with Vringo Inc. (VRNG) fired another shot across the bow of the patent licensing company, saying Chinese patent authorities had invalidated a thirteenth Vringo patent raising “serious concerns” about the quality of Vringo’s patents.

Shenzhen, China-based ZTE said in a statement that the Patent Re-examination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China invalidated a Vringo patent on mobile devices technology due to lack of invention.
ZTE said the board invalidated patent number 200580044792.1, which related to the transmission and rendering of information to mobile devices. The patent is equivalent to U.S. patents US20060095515A1 and US8150920B2, as well as European patents EP1810445A1 and EP1810445A4.

Since September 2014, the board has ruled 13 Vringo patents completely or partially invalid. ZTE conceded, however, that the board’s decisions were subject to appeal by Vringo.
“The high percentage of Vringo patents invalidated by the Patent Re-examination Board raises serious concerns on the quality of intellectual property assets held by Vringo,” said Shen Jianfeng, chief intellectual property officer of ZTE in a statement. “We remain committed to licensing intellectual property of proven technological merit based on FRAND principles.”
The decisions in China follow Vringo’s efforts to license a broad patent portfolio to ZTE, including patents that have since then been invalidated by the board, while at the same time relying on the threat of litigation and injunctions to bring pressure to bear on the counter-party. ZTE believes such tactics to be stifling to innovation and anti-competitive.
On June 1, the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court will hold a private hearing into ZTE’s anti-monopoly litigation case against Vringo.
ZTE has filed applications for more than 60,000 patents, with over 17,000 granted.

Andrew Perlman, the CEO of New York-based Vringo, said in an email, that “even in its home jurisdiction, ZTE has not found much success in attacking Vringo’s Chinese patents."

Out of more than 30 re-examinations of Vringo’s Chinese patents, initiated by ZTE, more than half have been maintained valid in whole or in part. For those patents which have been invalidated, Vringo retains the right to appeal such invalidation decisions. 

“Nevertheless, ZTE is quick to issue press releases regarding any Chinese reexamination that results in the invalidation of a Vringo patent.”

Shares of Vringo are currently trading at 67 cents a share and have traded between 46 cents and $3.69 over the past year.

To reach the reporter responsible for this story, please contact Dan Lonkevich at 707 318-7899 or dan@thepatentinvestor.com