Chinese court enforces mandatory licensing for "essential facility" patents in antitrust case

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A ruling in the China’s Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court marks the first time that a Chinese court has applied the essential facility doctrine, a controversial mandatory access remedy imposed on dominant companies, to non-standard-essential patent licensing. The court ruled that Hitachi Metals ("Hitachi") abused its dominance by refusing to license patents necessary for the production of sintered neodymium-iron-boron ("sintered NdFeB"). The case has dragged on for seven years and Hitachi has reportedly appealed the ruling to the Supreme People’s Court.