China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG XIN and WANG ZHENGHUA

It re­mains un­clear what ac­tion the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court will take to re­form how China han­dles in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights cases, yet au­thor­i­ties in coastal ar­eas have al­ready set the wheels in mo­tion.

Jiangsu prov­ince and Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince, have shown in­ter­est in cre­at­ing a ded­i­cated IPR court.

Xu Qian­fei, pres­i­dent of the Jiangsu High Peo­ple’s Court, said at an in­ter­na­tional fo­rum in De­cem­ber that the prov­ince is gear­ing up for such a move.

How­ever, Bei­jing stands higher chance of be­ing se­lected to open such a court, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

The cap­i­tal’s courts han­dle the high­est num­ber of IPR cases, while the Bei­jing High Peo­ple’s Court is among the first to ex­plore IPR tri­bunals.

As the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion for In­dus­try and Com­merce’s Trade­mark Ap­praisal Com­mit­tee and the State In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Of­fice’s Patent Re-Ex­am­i­na­tion Board are both in Bei­jing, the cap­i­tal has the most in­ten­sive ex­po­sure to such cases.

Zhang Xuesong, deputy chief judge of the IPR di­vi­sion at the Bei­jing high court, said that more than 1,370 out of some 1,500 IPR ap­peals he and his col­leagues han­dled in 2012 were re­lated to the two gov­ern­ment de­part­ments for patent and trade­mark re­view.

Un­like their coun­ter­parts in the United States, Chi­nese high court judges need to re­view both the facts sur­round­ing the case in ad­di­tion to how the law ap­plies.

Each 15-judge team at the Bei­jing IPR tri­bunal han­dles about 100 ap­peal cases a year, Zhang said.

The high court has launched a fea­si­bil­ity study on build­ing an IPR court, al­though Zhang said it would be bet­ter if the supreme court rolled out an over­all plan to give lo­cal au­thor­i­ties clear in­struc­tions on fur­ther moves.

Chen Xin­guang, a re­searcher at the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Center at­tached to the Shang­hai gov­ern­ment, said the city is also con­sid­er­ing an IPR court, a move ex­pected to ad­vance its plan to turn Shang­hai into an Asia-Pa­cific re­gional IPR hub.

As the pi­lot free trade zone in the city was un­veiled in Septem­ber, Shang­hai au­thor­i­ties are gear­ing up to build pro­ce­dures for IPR dis­pute set­tle­ment, Chen added.

Fol­low­ing the in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion court that has moved into the zone, there are plans to set up a com­pre­hen­sive en­force­ment agency early next month to deal with patents, trade­marks and copy­right, as well as food safety and qual­ity su­per­vi­sion, he said.

Form­ing an IPR tri­bunal is part of the ef­forts, though whether it will be sep­a­rate or a di­vi­sion of the ex­ist­ing court re­mains un­de­cided, he said. Con­tact the writ­ers at wangxin@chi­ and wangzhenghua@chi­

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