More IP tri­bunals mulled to han­dle rise in cases

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By CAO YIN in Bei­jing and XIE CHUANJIAO in Qing­dao, Shan­dong Con­tact the writ­ers at caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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