According to a recent shareholder letter from…
NavInfo and Baidu have reportedly filed a case against each other over claims over patent theft and unfair electronic chart competition. The breakup of the partnership was publicly declared by the former partners within the circle.
Monday, November 23, 2020, 10:47 GMT
According to current public records, business collaboration in the field of electronic map data between NavInfo and Baidu started in 2009 and the two parties further signed a ‘cooperation agreement’ in 2013.
Under the Collaboration Agreement, NavInfo allowed Beijing Baidu Netcom Technology Co., Ltd. and Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. to use the electronic map of the complainant’s works under the framework of the agreement and to pay NavInfo the related licensing fees. The deal is effective until the 31st of December 2016. The parties did not extend the deal after the contract expired.
In 2017, on the grounds of patent violation and unfair competition disputes, NavInfo filed a lawsuit over Baidu’s use of company map data and availability of on-board facilities outside the contractual arrangement. The case was accepted by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court on November 22, 2017.
On the evening of 20 November, NavInfo released a “Announcement on the Progress of the Company’s Litigation” reporting that the Beijing Intellectual Property Court rendered a judgment on the case on 19 November and that the outcome of the judgment is as follows: from the date of this judgment, the defendant Baidu immediately stopped infringing on the copyright of the plaintiff NavInfo on the online edition of ” Baidu Maps ” The other claims of the NavInfo complainant were rejected.
In the announcement, NavInfo claimed that this decision is the product of the judgment of the first instance and there is a probability that the defendant can appeal against that judgment.
Baidu replied to the media that Baidu Maps would appeal in reaction to the ruling.
On November 21, Baidu told 36Kr that recently, Beijing Siwei Zhilian Technology Co., Ltd. and Beijing Siwei Tuxin Technology Co., Ltd. were sued by Baidu Company before the court for patent infringement and unfair competition, requesting that the defendant stop the infringement immediately. The electronic map of Baidu exists under copyright and unfair competition, publishes statements in official media and compensates for economic damages of 90 million yuan.
NavInfo is not so well known on the user side as opposed to widely used maps such as Baidu Maps, Gaode Maps, and Sogou Maps, primarily because it is placed as an underlying map data provider for the B-side.
NavInfo’s main business includes navigation business, advanced assisted driving and autonomous driving business, chip business, location big data service business, car networking business, etc. Among them, navigation is the traditional core business of NavInfo, which mainly includes map data, data compilation and navigation software. At the beginning of the company’s establishment in 2002, it had obtained China’s first Class A surveying and mapping qualifications, and released China’s commercialized navigation electronic map in the same year.
However, since June 2014, Shenzhen Tencent Industrial Investment Fund Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Tencent, has transferred part of the shares of NavInfo’s original controlling shareholder, China NavInfo Surveying and Mapping Technology Co., Ltd., with a shareholding ratio of 11.28%. NavInfo has become an uncontrolled Shareholders, listed companies without actual controllers. As of now, Tencent Industry Fund holds 8.76% of NavInfo, and it is still its second largest shareholder.
According to NavInfo’s 2019 corporate financial report, the company is currently an important cooperation in the joint development and cooperation of domestic and foreign mainstream automakers, new generation vehicle companies, and domestic and foreign high-tech companies such as Tencent, Didi, Sogou, Huawei, and Microsoft in the navigation field. partner.
In addition, there is direct competition between NavInfo and Baidu Maps in the map navigation business of domestic and foreign automakers.
The most typical case is that since Tesla entered the Chinese market in 2014, NavInfo has been the exclusive navigation map supplier for Tesla China. On January 17 this year, it was reported that Tesla changed its map data service provider from NavInfo to Baidu Maps. On January 20, NavInfo released a clarification stating: “Tesla’s adjustments to the online functions of car navigation do not involve the in-car navigation electronic map data and services provided by NavInfo for Tesla. Since Tesla 2014 Since entering the Chinese market in 1999, NavInfo has been providing in-car navigation electronic map data and services for all Tesla vehicles.”
It is worth noting that the case between NavInfo and Baidu is just one corner of the copyright dispute involving the new electronic map.
In NavInfo’s financial report, “the risk of infringement of intellectual property rights” was listed as one of the four major risks of enterprises. NavInfo stated that with the rapid development of Internet technology, new electronic map copyright infringement cases have occurred from time to time, posing a huge threat to the company’s electronic map business and economic income of software products.
For example, in addition to the legal dispute with Baidu, the financial report shows that NavInfo sued Beijing Qihoo Technology Co., Ltd. (the main body of 360 company) and Leader Space Information Technology Co., Ltd. in the People’s Court of Beijing Haidian District in July 2016. He Beijing Xiuyou Technology Co., Ltd. used NavInfo’s Internet map data without permission to provide Internet map services. After losing the first instance verdict, NavInfo appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court in January 2019. The hearing of the second instance ended, but there was no effective judgment that could be enforced.