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Top Court Releases Data on IP Cases

Release time:2023-08-09 11:15:01

Chinese courts have intensified punitive measures for intellectual property violators to protect technological innovation and maintain fair competition, China's top court said on Monday.

Data released by the Supreme People's Court showed courts nationwide heard 12,000 IP cases involving technologies in the first six months of this year, up 33.4 percent year-on-year.

Of the total, courts across the country used punitive damages in 139 lawsuits to protect IP owners and raise the cost of breaking the law.

The highest amount of punitive damages handed down to a violator reached 20 million yuan ($2.78 million).

In a February case disclosed by a court in Qufu, Shandong province, a karaoke company was ordered to pay 37,080 yuan in compensation as it infringed upon the copyright of works owned by a music association.

In addition, the court also gave an additional 37,080 yuan as punitive damages because it did not stop the infringement after the association initiated the lawsuit.

Regarding punitive damages as a major measure to curb IPR infringement, the court said it plays a bigger role in protecting innovation and helping create a sound business environment.

It was also the first IP case in which the court applied punitive damages.

Punitive damages have been written into the Civil Code, China's fundamental law to regulate civil behaviors and activities, which came into effect on Jan 1, 2021. Two months later, the top court issued a judicial interpretation on how to apply the measures in IP civil lawsuits.

According to the data, from January to June Chinese courts heard 16.96 million cases, up 11.01 percent year-on-year. Of the total, more than 15.26 million have been concluded, a rise of 9.65 percent year-on-year.

In the first half of this year, courts across the country strengthened the handling of domestic cases by conducting surveys and providing psychological aid, concluding 1.08 million disputes concerning marriage, family and inheritance, an increase of 23.19 percent compared with the same period of last year.

In addition, Chinese courts also saw growth in contract cases involving cargo agents and goods transportation due to the recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responsible editor:IPC