South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have won a lawsuit they filed against Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) over a shipbuilding technology patent dispute.
HHI and SHI applied with the Patent Court of Korea to nullify DSME’s patent on partial re-liquefaction technology that has helped DSME to win LNG carrier orders.
The partial re-liquefaction technology is a technology that re-liquefies boil-off gas to reuse it as fuels on LNG carriers. The nation’s three largest shipbuilders all claim that they have the technology, however, DSME registered the technology as patent in January 2014, which triggered a patent dispute between the three shipbuilders.
By promoting the technology as its own proprietary technology, DSME had secures orders to build 47 LNG vessels between 2014 and 2016, while HHI and SHI only received 12 and 9 orders respectively.
Hyundai filed a lawsuit against DSME in December 2014 and Samsung in March 2015 at the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal, which dismissed the lawsuits in May 2015.
On January 13, The Patent Court of Korea ruled in favor of the plaintiff and overturned the ruling of the tribunal, saying that DSME’s technology is no different from that of HHI and SHI.
DSME said it would immediately appeal to the Supreme Court.