Home > Chief Lawyer Xu Xinming > Media Interviews

China preps IP court launch

Post Time:2014-11-19 Source:Global Times Author: Hu Qingyun Views:

China's top court Monday released a document defining the jurisdiction of intellectual property (IP) courts in anticipation of the establishment of the country's first IP court in Beijing early in November.

IP courts will handle civil and administrative cases related to patents, computer software, technology secrets, trademarks and copyrights, according to the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

IP courts will also be established in Shanghai and Guangzhou, as both areas are hotspots for IP disputes, Wang Chuang, deputy presiding judge of the intellectual property tribunal of the SPC told a media briefing on Friday.

"Setting up a special court is a huge improvement in how the country handles IP cases and protects IP rights. It will also benefit [China's] emerging high-tech industries," Wang said.

The country first announced a plan to set up a special court for intellectual property protection disputes in a landmark policy document released during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC in Beijing November 2013. The plan was then adopted by China's top legislature in August 2014.

"Courts in Guangdong Province handle some 3,400 intellectual property cases a year. The amount is more than some countries," Wang said.

The recently released document stipulates that grass-roots and intermediate courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong will not handle IP cases, except in criminal cases, instead passing such cases to the IP courts.

The document also noted that the Beijing IP court will handle the first trial of IP administrative cases against departments under the State Council.

"To set up a special IP court demonstrates China's determination to improve IP rights protection by improving litigation efficiency," Xu Xinming, an associate research fellow at the IP research center of the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.

Xu said that different courts handling similar cases differently is a common phenomenon in China, due to a lack of the specialized knowledge and experience required.

"The new courts are also expected to standardize the guidelines for court rulings," Wang said.

The SPC will also launch an intellectual property protection research center and introduce technical investigators to help judges to deal with cases that need professional expertise, Wang said. "It will help to improve China's global reputation in IP case judgments."

The IP courts will act as a pilot for judicial reforms in areas such as the appointment and promotion of judges, judicial investigation and court procedures, he added.