China International Marine Containers (CIMC), the world’s largest container manufacturer, has launched lawsuits at a court in Qingdao against Singamas Container Holdings and China Cosco Shipping alleging patent infringement.
The lawsuit comes shortly after Singamas entered into an agreement with Cosco to sell a large part of its container manufacturing operations in China to Cosco.
Cosco is currently the second largest shareholder of CIMC, holding an equity interest of around 22%.
CIMC claims that Singamas has manufactured and sold CIMC’s patented 53 foot containers without approval while Cosco has been illegally using the infringing products.
CIMC has demanded Singamas and Cosco pay compensation of RMB100m ($14.7m) and RMB3m ($443,000) respectively and stop the infringement activities immediately.
In the past decade, CIMC has been involved in multiple lawsuits against Singamas over patent disputes.
Cosco sold its container manufacturing assets to CIMC and quit the business back in 1999 and re-entered in 2008 through subsidiary Shanghai Universal Logistics Equipment, which is now the fourth largest container manufacturer in the world after CIMC, Singamas and CXIC Group.
Officials from both Cosco and CIMC declined to comment when contacted by Splash.