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IP Court Helps Solve Patent Disputes Quickly

Release time:2020-05-29 09:02:35 source:China Daily

Thanks to a national-level intellectual property court, difficult technical patent disputes have been solved more quickly and the quality of case hearings has also improved, a senior official of China's top court said.

The IP Court, which was opened in Beijing in January 2019, "has played a bigger role in protecting IP rights and given a solution with Chinese characteristics in handling complicated patent cases," Luo Dongchuan, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, told China Daily in an exclusive interview during this year's sessions of the nation's top legislature and top political advisory body.

The court, as a division of the SPC, is set to deal with civil and administrative appeals related to patents. It can also streamline the appeal process by allowing litigants to bypass provincial courts and appeal to it directly.

"In simple terms, litigants who are unhappy with rulings made by the intermediate people's court at the city or prefecture level, or by other specialized IP courts, can appeal directly to the top court instead of first appealing to provincial high people's courts," explained Luo, who is also head of the IP Court.

"Establishing the court at the national level to solve patent-related appeal cases is not only a key strategy of the central leadership in safeguarding IP rights, but also an essential reform in our IP case hearing procedures," he said.

Lauding the change to the litigation process, he added the court has contributed to helping prevent inconsistency and improved the quality and efficiency of related trials over the past year.

The annual work report of the top court made by top judge Zhou Qiang to the third session of 13th NPC on Monday showed that China has become the country tackling the most patent disputes worldwide, with the shortest trial period. Some of the cases involved global internet and technology giants, including Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei and Samsung.

In 2019, Chinese courts concluded a total of 418,000 IP-related cases, giving stronger support to IP rights holders and increasing punishments for violators, the work report showed.

Among these cases, the new IP Court received 1,684 patent-related cases in the past year, of which about 99 percent came from intermediate people's courts, mainly covering medicines, telecommunication, machinery, agriculture and forestry, Luo said.

The amount of compensation raised by litigants in three of these disputes was over 100 million yuan ($14 million), while the figure in 17 others also exceeded 10 million yuan, the statistics showed.

"Such numbers tell us that patents have been emerging in more and various aspects of people's livelihoods, and are influencing our lives and the country's development," Luo said.

While shortening the time to hear patent cases by leaping over courts at the provincial level, the new IP Court also supported judges in identifying cases with complicated technical items by establishing a talent database and sharing system with lower courts, according to Luo.

Responsible editor:IPC