Swiss chipmaker u-blox loses patent suit against TTT

China’s Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court in March ruled in favor of Chinese semiconductor maker Techtotop Microelectronics Technology Co., Ltd. (TTT) (泰斗微电子科技有限公司) in a lawsuit filed by it against Swiss rival u-blox AG (瑞士优北罗股份有限公司) for infringement of its patent.


Founded in 2008, Guangzhou city, Guangdong province-based TTT specializes in developing and manufacturing semiconductor chips for China’s proprietary BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). Its fourth-generation products apply to BeiDou and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs). Headquartered in Thalwil town, Zürich canton, u-blox AG was founded in 1997 and operates in about 30 locations worldwide. The global provider of wireless semiconductors for consumers as well as automotive and industrial markets became listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange in 2007. u-blox develops and sells chips and modules that support all major GNSSs, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS.


In the complaint, TTT said the fierce competition and the follow-up litigation between the parties began in 2016, when TTT launched its chip model TD1030.


In 2019, u-blox filed a lawsuit against TTT with the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court for both copyright and patent infringement. The asserted patent was u-blox’s Chinese Patent No. 201010168433.X, as u-blox noticed similarities of functionalities between TTT’s TD1030 chip and corresponding modules and u-blox’s M8 GNSS receivers. u-blox filed an application for the asserted patent covering a method of determining the position of a mobile device with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) in 2010, which was granted in 2014. The trial court in July 2021 ruled for u-blox and awarded it 10 million yuan ($1.57 million) in damages, the amount sought by the plaintiff.


TTT filed a lawsuit in March 2019 with the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court accusing u-blox of manufacturing and distributing 17 chip models and corresponding modules that infringed its Chinese Patent No. 201210182849.6. TTT filed an application for the asserted patent covering a method for accelerating time to first fix of GNSS receiver and system thereof with the CNIPA in 2012, which was granted in 2015. TTT also filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against u-blox with the Huangpu District People’s Court of Guangzhou city in 2021. In March, the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court ruled for TTT and ordered the patent infringer u-blox to pay monetary damages in an amount that was not revealed yet.


u-blox has responded to TTT’s announcement about the victory on the plaintiff’s official website by stating that it would appeal the case.


The patent case docket no. is (2019)粤73知民初206号, whose English transliteration is 206, first instance (初), civil case (民), intellectual property tribunal (知), (2019) Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court ((2019)粤73).


The copyright case docket no. is (2021)粤0112民初25909号, whose English transliteration is 25909, first instance (初), civil case (民), (2021) Huangpu District People’s Court of Guangzhou city ((2021)粤0112).