IPR Protection in China
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China Issues White Paper on Intellectual Property Protection


Posted on April 29, 2013 by China Briefing


Apr. 29 – China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) released the “White Paper on Intellectual Property Rights Protection (2012)” (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Paper’) on April 22, which summarizes the progress China has made in promoting and implementing the national intellectual property strategy in 2012. Detailed information can be found below.


Overall Situation


In 2012, courts in China strengthened the judicial protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). As a result, the number of intellectual property-related cases has increased substantially. Specifically:


The number of civil cases received over IPR issues amounted to 87,419 in 2012, up 46 percent year-on-year.


Among which, there have been

53,848 copyright cases

19,815 trademark cases

9,680 patent cases

46 cases involving technology agreements

1,123 cases involving unfair competition

2,207 cases involving other intellectual property disputes


Moreover, courts have concluded 1,429 foreign-related IPR civil cases and 613 cases involving parties from Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macao.


The number of administrative cases received over IPR issues amounted to 2,928 in 2012, up 20.35 percent year-on year.


Among the administrative cases, the ones involving foreign parties or parties from Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan took up a large proportion. The number of such cases reached 1,349 in 2012, representing 46.53 percent of the total concluded IPR-related administrative cases.


The number of criminal cases received over IPR issues amounted to 13,104 in 2012, up 130 percent year-on-year


In order to prevent infringement on intellectual property, courts in the country have stepped up criminal enforcement regarding intellectual property cases. Last year, local courts all over China handled 13,104 IPR-related criminal cases. Furthermore, more than 60,000 suspects were detained in the 43,000 concluded cases relating to IPR infringement and the production and selling of substandard commodities, involving a total value of RMB11.3 billion.


According to the Paper, great progress has been made in the following three aspects:


Implementing national intellectual property strategy


Promoting the pilot project of centralized adjudication of intellectual property cases


At the end of 2012, there were 5 high people’s courts, 59 intermediate people’s courts and 69 grass-root courts that initiated the centralized adjudication pilot project.


Optimizing the jurisdiction structure regarding intellectual property cases


At the end of 2012, the SPC had appointed 83 intermediate people’s courts to handle patent dispute cases, with 141 grass-root courts given the jurisdiction for general intellectual property cases.


In addition, great efforts have been made in strengthening international and regional exchanges. The China-United States Intellectual Property Adjudication Conference held in Beijing last year has been deemed as a milestone in intellectual property relations between China and the U.S. Moreover, the SPC has actively participated in various international meetings to bolster China’s global impact in IPR protection.


Ensuring consistency in the application of law


China has always attached great importance to the typical cases in intellectual property adjudication. In April last year, the SPC selected 34 typical cases from the concluded cases in 2011, and at the same time, extracted and summarized 44 issues regarding the application of law in IPR protection.


Moreover, the country has amended six major laws regarding intellectual property protection in 2012, including the Patent Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law, Civil Procedural Law, Regulations on Patent Commissioning, and Measures on Service Invention.


Building up a professional team for intellectual property protection


Intellectual property judges for all levels of courts have been selected from candidates who are highly-educated and have extensive experience in handling IPR-related cases. As of the end of 2012, there have been 420 intellectual property tribunals across the country, with 2,759 judges engaged in intellectual property trials.


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