A Chinese farmer, turning the usual run of copyright lawsuits on its head, is suing Volkswagen AG for its use of what he says is his patented anti-theft device, state media reported, according to Reuters.

Guo Jingkun, 54, from northern Hebei province, reportedly climed Volkswagen, two joint venture companies and a car dealer had violated his intellectual property rights by using the system.

"The technology Volkswagen used for the system is the mixture of my patent and other technology ... so it violates my patent and technology rights," Xinhua news agency quoted Guo as saying in court, referring to VW's Audi A6 and A8, Reuters said. VW had dismissed Guo's claim as lacking "evidence and verity", Xinhua said.

According to Reuters, Xinhua said Guo demanded that VW stop using the locking device he invented in 1996 and patented in 2002 and pay compensation. It did not give details about how it worked.

"Guo is full of confidence," Xinhua reportedly said, despite the fact that he could not afford a lawyer.

Reuters noted that the case marks a sharp turnaround from the practice of overseas firms suing Chinese companies for breach of copyright.