Dec 9, 2015

Specialist IP Courts in China Celebrate a Successful First Year

In September 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress gave its approval to the Supreme People's Court (SPC's) plan for an IP-specialised bench, leading to the establishment of pilot courts in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. At the first anniversary of the pilot courts, trends are beginning to emerge and demand for them is high.

According to Cao Yin at the China Daily as of August 30 2015 the three IP courts have heard 10,795 cases of which 39% have already been disposed of. This second statistic is very encouraging.

Below is a review of all three courts and their progress over their one year existence as taken from China Daily in October 2015.

Beijing

The court commenced operations in November 2014 and it has exclusive jurisdiction over challenges to Patent Review and Trademark Review and Adjudication Board decisions. There were 5,622 first-instance and 973 second-instance cases heard (as of September 2015; reportedly almost 8000 first instance by November 2015). 75% of cases concern administrative matters and 39% involve a foreign party. 36% of total cases which were filed have now been closed.

Shanghai

The court commenced operations in January 2015 and has so far heard 612 first-instance and 440 second-instance cases. Over 50% of these cases relate to copyright and infringement of those rights. Within two months of the launch, around 40% of total cases had been filed by foreign parties. In this court, 39% of cases filed have been concluded.

Guangzhou

The court was established in December 2014 and has so far heard 1,842 first-instance and 1,306 second-instance cases. 53% of total cases related to patents and infringement of those rights. 91% of cases heard at first-instance related to patents and in total 45% of the cases filed in this court have now been concluded.

What's encouraging is that the courts are taking proactive steps to address the expected knowledge gaps relating to IP cases.

For example, the Beijing IP Court is establishing an internal database of University IP experts to advise the court whilst the Shanghai IP Court established an English website to improve transparency and disseminate information to foreign establishments; reporting, for example, that the court has accepted the first suit (by Apple) requesting a declaration of non-infringement. The English website also provides a "Litigation Guide", although the website has not been fully adapted yet.

Posted by: in: Civil Procedure, Legal News, News

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