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The Chinese internet company Sogou has sued its rival Baidu for patent infringement after accusing the latter of lifting elements from its input method editor (IME) without permission.
The IME allows users to type in Latin characters and have these transcribed into Mandarin Chinese characters.
If the court case against Baidu is successful, the search giant will be ordered to pay Sogou 80 million Yuan, equivalent to just over 12.5 million US dollars.
Commentators have noted the fact that Sogou’s press release detailing the case is written in English, implying that the move is as much a warning to foreign competitors thinking of entering the Chinese market not to lift elements of its software as it is about getting compensation from Baidu.