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Erick Robinson

is Director of Patent Litigation at a top Chinese firm, Beijing East IP Ltd. Before his current role, he served as Chief Patent Counsel in Beijing for an international law and consulting firm. Previously he was Director for Patents for Qualcomm in Asia, as well as a trial lawyer for top US law firms Weil Gotshal and McKool Smith. Based in Beijing he manages patent litigation, licensing, and prosecution for Chinese and foreign companies. He also has experience in antitrust, unfair competition, and governmental affairs issues in China. As a US patent attorney and trial lawyer working in China, Erick provides insight and strategy for companies to achieve success in China and the US. He is also the author of the ChinaPatentBlog.com, a resource on Chinese patent litigation. He can be contacted at Erick.Robinson@BeijingEastIP.com.

Recent Articles by Erick Robinson

Why the Unified Patents Model Would Not Work in China

Unified Patents is a relatively new form of patent troll that works as a “Troll of Trolls” or “ToT.” They file IPRs (inter-partes reexamination requests) to kill patents. While they purport to only attack “bad patents,” their definition of a “bad patent” is simply any patent asserted against their clients. So who are their clients? Good question – that is a large part of the problem. They keep most of their clients’ identities secret. Unified does identify a handful of their members on their website such as Adobe, Google, NetApp, Roku, and Salesforce… But China is different. Here, a mercenary third party attacking innovation via patents is problematic. China, unlike America, has made innovation a top priority. China’s government has also, over the last few years, created the best patent enforcement environment in the world.

Why NPEs are necessary for China to dominate its domestic chip industry

NPEs are uniquely positioned to help China by attacking foreign entities to clear the way for Chinese companies by exerting pressure in ways that only NPEs can. Even if Chinese semiconductor companies had the necessary patents and experience to engage their foreign competitors, they would risk retaliation from these foreign parties. NPEs, on the other hand, can unilaterally attack foreigners without fear of retaliatory patent suits. Although there are a few of antitrust issues, I do not believe that NPEs that act in the best interest of China should, or will, be attacked by the NDRC or any other antitrust agency in China.