IPR GROUP observation of IP practice. Digest # 9, 2014

Zhang Gang

Attorney at Law


China: IP Courts to Be Established

On Aug 31st, the 10th meeting of 12th Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (SCNPC) passed “the Decision on establishment of intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou”.  Within the Decision, according to the Constitution and the Organic Law of the People’s Courts, the SCNPC decided to establish intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, motivating the National Innovation-driven Development Strategy and further strengthening the IP protection to safeguard the interest of patent owners and social public.

The Decision confirmed: The intellectual property courts are responsible for the first instance of civil and administrative cases on IP issues including professional and technical cases about patents, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout design and technical secret. IP courts could conduct cross-regional jurisdiction on IP cases. Cross-provincial practice would be conducted during the forthcoming 3 years.

The establishment of IP courts at this points of great significance for the “Made in China” and “Created in China”. The protection of IP is relatively weak in China in take-off stage of industrialization and, a variety of knock-offs appear one after another. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Historically, for France, Germany, United States and Japan, in the early stages of industrialization, there exist a quite long time counterfeiting products of advanced industrial countries while production process is improved, and also a foundation is laid for further innovation. Once advanced technology is mastered, intellectual property protection will be strictly up accordingly. China is now at a critical moment of industrial upgrading, its own technology and product standards have been established in many areas, and even some of the standards have become the international ones.

Then, why should we set up specialized IP courts, rather than strengthen the intellectual property trial power of civil court? Due to the special nature of intellectual property cases, they often combine three characteristics: the remedy and compensation of civil action; affirming rights of administrative lawsuit; responsibility and punishment of criminal action. Separate lawsuit, not only consumes public resources, but is difficult to applicate the law consistently. Therefore, many countries have set up special courts to unify the intellectual property trial: Japan established a dedicated IP High Court in 2005; Russian people established theirs in 2011. In the past few years, China has more than one hundred intellectual property right trial court pilots. Today, the establishment of intellectual property courts is just imperative.

© Zhang Gang.

Mr. Zhang Gang

Zhang Gang, Co-founder of C & H, Senior Partner, specialized in IP laws, has been working in the field of Intellectual Property for more than 10 years. Mr. Zhang has concentrated all his energy on providing efficient, first class service with legal advice for domestic and worldwide clients and enterprise these years. Under the leadership of Mr. Zhang, C&H has established offices in Hong Kong, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi in China.

C&H handles thousands of trade mark, patent and design matters from China to abroad each year. Meanwhile, C&H also assists foreign associates in dealing with thousands of cases from abroad to Hong Kong and China. C&H has got good reputation among associates on its good service with reasonable fees.