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Chinese court increasingly favored for IP disputes

Post Time:2024-07-02 Source:China Daily Author:Cao Yin Views:

China is becoming a preferred destination for resolving international intellectual property disputes as a result of its commitment to granting equal protection in case handling, an official from the country's top court said.

Since January 2019, the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court has handled 20,338 cases, of which about 10 percent involved foreign parties, with the number of foreign-related cases growing 28.6 percent year-on-year, according to He Zhonglin, first deputy chief judge of the IP Court.

Foreign-related cases accounted for as much as 30 percent of disputes over authorized and confirmed invention patents, He said, adding that the number of cases in which all parties are foreign entities is rapidly increasing.

"China is the country hearing the most patent lawsuits in the world, becoming one of the preferred venues for resolving international IP litigation," He said at a seminar in Beijing on Thursday.

"We've always upheld the principle of providing equal protection to every litigant, regardless of whether they are domestic or foreign, aiming to help advance cooperation and mutual benefit in science and technology."

In one case given as an example, the IP Court supported a litigant from California, in the United States, in recognizing the inventiveness of its patent regarding enzalutamide, a prescription medicine for castration-resistant prostate cancer.

The dispute arose after a Shanghai-based pharmaceutical technology company filed a request with the China National Intellectual Property Administration to declare the patent, owned by a university board in California, invalid on the grounds that it lacked creativity. The request was approved by the administration.

Dissatisfied with that decision, the US university board initiated a lawsuit against the administration at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, while also submitting additional experimental data to prove the patent's inventiveness.

The Beijing court urged the administration to revoke its decision and make a new one. Both the Chinese and US sides were unhappy with the result, so they appealed to a higher court.

After investigation and research, the IP Court ultimately accepted the data provided by the US litigant, maintaining the validity of its pharmaceutical patent.

Describing it as a landmark case showing the equal protection offered to both domestic and foreign parties, He said that the ruling, which received a great deal of attention at home and abroad, had also provided a strong boost to the research and development efforts of pharmaceutical companies, as well as the introduction of new and effective drugs to the Chinese market.

The IP Court, which commenced operation in January 2019, mainly handles civil and administrative appeals related to invention patents, new varieties of plants, technical secrets, computer software and monopolies.

Its establishment enabled litigants dissatisfied with rulings by intermediate courts at the city or prefecture level, or by other specialized IP courts, to appeal directly to the national-level IP Court instead of first appealing to provincial high courts.

Tao Kaiyuan, vice-president of the top court, called on the IP Court to strengthen IP protection involving high-tech achievements and emerging businesses to promote technological breakthroughs and industrial transformation and upgrading.

She said efforts should also be made in protecting the legitimate interests of researchers, so that their innovations can be further stimulated.