Chinese Lithium Battery Startup Carku Secures Three Consecutive Wins in Section 337 Cases


Photo: Carku

Chinese lithium battery startup Carku has secured its third win against its US rival NOCO in a recent ITC Section 337 case, as announced on Monday.

An ITC judge issued an initial decision last Friday, ruling that Carku didn’t violate Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

“Carku expresses gratitude to the ITC for making another fair ruling. We will firmly resist any abuse of patent litigation rights and counterattack through legal means to protect the interests of our company and our customers,” Carku announced in a statement.

Founded in 2011, Shenzhen-based Carku specializes in the R&D, production, and sales of lithium battery technology application products. The company revealed in a recent statement that it has filed 947 patent applications globally, with 657 granted.

NOCO, an American multinational corporation founded in 1914, designs and creates consumer battery chargers, jump starters, and batteries, as well as a wide range of accessories.

Disputes between the two sides date back to January 2021, when NOCO first accused Carku and several other companies of patent infringement with the US ITC.

On April 29, 2022, an ITC judge issued a preliminary ruling that NOCO's 10,604,024 patent did not meet domestic technical industry requirements and that Carku did not infringe on the patent.

In August 2022, the ITC made a final ruling, determining that Carku did not infringe NOCO's patent.

NOCO didn’t appeal this decision. However, the company filed another 337 investigation with the ITC on February 13, 2023, claiming that Carku and several other companies' portable jump starters imported and sold in the US infringed its intellectual property.

The ITC split this investigation into two cases: 337-TA-1360, which focuses on NOCO’s claims of trade dress infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition, and 337-TA-1359, which addresses NOCO’s claims of patent infringement.

On May 17, 2024, case number 337-TA-1360 resulted in a preliminary ruling in favor of Carku.

On July 6, 2024, case number 337-TA-1359 received another favourable ruling that Carku did not violate Section 337 of the 1930 Tariff Act, confirming that Carku's products did not infringe on NOCO's six patents.

Reports indicate ongoing disputes between Carku and NOCO in multiple jurisdictions including Germany, the UK, Canada, and China, amidst intensifying competition between the two rivals.