From what Gu Ke-Wu and Gu Ke-Wen saw, Shentu Tian-Yin would not be able to fully support Xia Lei with Liang Si-Yao in the middle. Liang Si-Yao would not let her help even if she wanted to. Shentu Tian-Yin would look down on Xia Lei when he couldn’t handle things on his own anymore and went to her for help. Furthermore, if both sides were to fight in court and the media get hyped over it, it would serve as free advertisement for Nice Moves Sports’ automatic surfboard. Once Xia Lei lost the case, Nice Moves could then get the patent for the automatic skateboard and produce it exclusively - how could Gu Ke-Wen and Gu-Ke-Wu let such a great opportunity go?
Hu Hou couldn’t help saying a word in defence of Xia Lei when he saw Gu Ke-Wen take her phone out. “Miss Gu, how about this… Both parties sit down and talk things through after the Expo is over.”
“No way.” Gu Ke-Wen didn’t even take his suggestion into account.
It was normal for Gu Ke-Wen to not show respect to the small rank of mayor since the Gu clan was so powerful.
Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao were still taking matters lightly and they were talking about things which were completely unrelated to what was happening at hand.
“You’re… not happy?” Liang Si-Yao looked a little guilty. She could see that Xia Lei was a little upset and she also knew why.
Xia Lei gave her a smile. “It’s all right. How can I be angry with you?”
Liang Si-Yao let out a breath and held onto Xia Lei’s arm intimately. “You’re the best.”
Gu Ke-Wu, who had been overlooked, sneered, ”You two sure are lovey-dovey. Let’s see if you can still be in such a good mood in half an hour.”
Xia Lei spoke laughingly, “Know why I’m not taking you seriously? You want to go to court? What a coincidence - I want to meet you in court too. I’ll sue you for infringement.”
“What nonsense are you spouting? We? Copy you? You must have gone mad with greed!” said Gu Ke-Wen angrily.
Xia Lei took the patent certificate from Liang Si-Yao, pointed at the date in the bottom right corner and said, “Open your eyes wide and look at this. Look closely. Our company had our patent approved this year in March. When did yours get approved? July? You got your patent in July and you actually want to sue me, who got my patent approved in March? Is your head working properly?”
Everyone had overlooked this small detail - the date of the patent approval.
Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu’s gazes went to the patent certificate in Xia Lei’s hand and they saw the date clearly. Both looked like they had swallowed a fly.
Would a patent approved in March be infringing on a patent that was approved in July? The former had already been ‘born’ while the latter was still goodness-knows-where, so how could this be infringing? A specialised lawyer? With a case like this, just getting a random cleaning lady to argue the case in court would leave the opposition with no rebuttal.
“How is this possible!” said Gu Ke-Wen angrily, “March? Your Thunder Horse Manufacturing didn’t even exist in March! How can you have this patent?”
“You could go snatch one so why couldn’t I? I took this, so?”
“You…” Gu Ke-Wen was too angry for words.
Patents and products were two different things. One dealt with intellectual property and the other, a product, was only derivative. This meant that Xia Lei’s patent could have a myriad of explanations. He could have researched it in high school or it could have been researched by someone else and sold to him. These were not important, however. What was important was that the patent had been approved in March and Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu had no way of making a fuss out of it nor have leverage to threaten Xia Lei.
“You see it? See it clearly? See it and get lost,” said Xia Lei, “Don’t piss me off or I’ll sue you for infringement and make it so that you have no way of manufacturing automatic surfboards.”
Gu Ke-Wu raised a finger to point at Xia Lei but he said nothing. He turned and left.
Gu Ke-Wen glared hatefully at Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao and went off with her brother.
A small company like Nice Moves and the profit the automatic surfboard brought were not actually much to Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu. The siblings were only bothered by Xia Lei - if they could make Xia Lei suffer and disappear from the face of this Earth, they would be willing to pay any price! However, it was just too much trouble to make trouble with him.
Liang Si-Yao watched Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu stalk off in a huff and smiled as she said, “I thought it was weird why you specified that the patent date had to be in March. So you’ve already seen that this would happen.”
Xia Lei laughed. “There’s no pulling punches when dealing with opponents like Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu. Okay, it’s all good now. Let’s go to the booth.”
“Nn, I think we’ll have many orders today.” Liang Si-Yao looked very happy.
It was as Liang Si-Yao had guessed. Many merchants and businesses from other regions came asking questions about the automatic skateboard after Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu’s departure. Some of these merchants even tested the skateboard and were full of praise for its functionalities.
An automatic skateboard like this was indeed based on the automatic surfboard. Some parts of its design was easily copied but Xia Lei’s specialty was mechanical modification and he had added several things to the base design of the automatic surfboard, improving its and perfecting its performance. How could his personally-modified automatic skateboard be worse? Six out of ten of the merchants who saw it were excited by the product and at least two or three of these six placed orders. And this was just the first day of the Expo too; orders from all regions and even from overseas would come flying in later!
Thunder Horse Manufacturing’s booth became the most popular and lively booth in the whole place while Nice Moves Sports Equipment’s booth was quiet with few coming to inquire. This was to be expected since an automatic skateboard could be used on land but an automatic surfboard could only be used on water; there was no comparing the market prospects of these two. Gu Ke-Wen would have regretted it terribly if she’d seen it because she could have changed a few things about the automatic surfboard to make an automatic skateboard if she’d only thought more deeply about it and not let Xia Lei take advantage like this.
Unfortunately, there was no medicine for regret in this world and there was no turning back time for things which had already happened.
There were many inquiries from visiting merchants and the employees of Thunder Horse Manufacturing were very busy. Liang Si-Yao was also up to her neck in work - she was like an interpreter machine, explaining the performance and prospects of the automatic skateboard and so on. Xia Lei took care of entertaining the visiting merchants and talking with them about purchase orders. He was busy too but still in a less hectic state than Liang Si-Yao and the employees.
Xia Lei had a bit of respite after sending off a customer who’d just placed an order. He walked to the side of the booth and gave Shentu Tian-Yin a call.
“Tian-Yin, just now…” Xia Lei hesitated, then said, “I apologise on Si-Yao’s behalf. She’s very straightforward and says whatever’s on her mind. Please don’t take it to heart.”
Shentu Tian-Yin’s voice came from the phone, “What are you apologising for? I’m not more petty than you are. It’s fine, I understand. She’s actually been quite big-hearted. Other women would have definitely started an argument with me on the spot.”
Women were all selfish in love and what she said made sense because she herself was a woman and understood how Liang Si-Yao felt.
Xia Lei let out a sigh of relief and said with a smile, “It’s good that you think that way. I was afraid that you’d be angry, so… Heh heh, it’s all good. I’ve also settled the issue with the patents so there won’t be trouble. You won’t have to worry for me.”
Shentu Tian-Yin laughed. “I have employees at the Expo too. I told them to report the situation to me. My people would definitely call me to tell me that you solved the problem with the date of the patent approval.”
“I see.” Xia Lei felt a wave of gratitude. Shentu Tian-Yin had walked off because she did not want to hang around with Liang Si-Yao and make her misunderstand and have bad feelings but she still thought about him at the Expo and kept an eye on the situation, prepared to help him out if the need arose.
“You sure are sly. I can imagine the looks on Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu’s faces. It must’ve been spectacular, huh?” said Shentu Tian-Yin with a laugh.
Xia Lei laughed too. “It was spectacular indeed - like they’d swallowed a fly.”
“Too bad I missed it. Oh, right, you should have some time after the Expo is over. Come with me to see my father. He wants to see you because you’re the person who cured him. If possible, I’d like you to check on his condition and treat him if you detect any illnesses. Is that all right?” Shentu Tian-Yin’s voice was thick with expectation.
“Sure, I’ll accompany you to visit Uncle when the Expo’s over.” Xia Lei agreed without further thought.
“Nn, that’s a promise, then. Goodbye.” Shentu Tian-Yin said goodbye but she did not hang up.
Xia Lei’s voice stuck a little in his throat. “Nn… Bye.”
Shentu Tian-Yin then hung up.
Xia Lei let out an internal sigh and thought, ‘She… didn’t think our act was real, did she? I wouldn’t have agreed to put on that act with her if I’d known. But who would help her if I didn’t?’
Some questions would never have answers.
Shentu Tian-Yin wouldn’t even bother giving him a glance in the past and he could only dream of being with her. The two of them lived in different worlds, like two parallel lines which never intersected. But now, she was actually willing to go to war with the Gu clan for him! Him and Shentu Tian-Yin would have been a match made in heaven if it weren’t for Liang Si-Yao. However, he was in love with Liang Si-Yao now and she loved him too. Who can say for sure in this mess of possibilities and relationships?
At that moment, a group of blonde-haired, blue-eyed foreign businessmen came to Hall One with Hu Hou.
A faint smile appeared on Xia Lei’s face. ‘This Mayor Hu sure is a big help. He’s brought quite a few local businessmen and is even bringing foreign businessmen here. The foreign merchants will surely like my automatic skateboard too. It’ll be great if I can sell my product in the American and European markets too.’
Hu Hou spotted Xia Lei and waved at him, asking him to come over.
Xia Lei walked forward with a welcoming smile but a beautiful face suddenly entered his field of vision before he got to the foreign businessmen. His feet stopped moving, as if he’d run out of batteries. The smile froze on his face and his expression turned very odd indeed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter