More IP tribunals mulled to handle rise in cases
China’s top court said it is considering creating more intellectual property tribunals to handle a rapid increase in IP disputes and increase protection for trademarks as the country takes bigger steps to protect IP rights.
The Supreme People’s Court released a plan to establish more tribunals during a two-day conference on courts’ IP cases, held in Qingdao, Shandong province, early this week.
“The new IP tribunals would be set up in regions that have a big demand for innovation protection and that face a boom in related lawsuits,” said Tao Kaiyuan, vice-president of the top court.
The judiciary already has been working to increase IP protection.
Since the beginning of 2017, the highest judicial authority has approved the opening of IP tribunals in 16 large cities, including Nanjing, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Suzhou. In 2014, three courts specializing in hearing IP lawsuits, all at the intermediate level, were established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to the top court.
“The special courts and tribunals have improved the efficiency and quality of IP hearings as well as increased our country’s judicial image in protecting IP rights,” Tao said.
Courts accepted 813,000 civil and criminal IP disputes between 2013 and 2017, of which 781,000 were concluded, according to information released during the conference.
The number of IP cases heard by courts nationwide rose by 20 percent yearly in the past five years, and more of them involved new industries and dealt with highly complicated issues.
“Solving the increase in lawsuits efficiently and effectively and handling new types of disputes require us to conduct further studies,” Tao said, encouraging lower-level courts to talk and share their experience in such cases with the top court.
In addition, she called on courts at each level to fight against those producing fake trademarked goods to improve the country’s social credit system.
“We’ll also combat applicants who accumulate trademarks, and we will produce and issue a judicial interpretation on monopoly-related lawsuits in a timely manner,” she added.