Top Court: Strides Made in IPR Judicial Protection of China in 2021
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) held a press conference on China’s protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on April 21, marking the official kickoff of the 14th IPR Publicity Week. A white paper on Chinese courts' IPR-related judicial protection in 2021 and the provisions on the jurisdiction of first instance trials on IPR-related civil and administrative cases were also released.
In 2021, courts across the nation accepted 642,968 IPR cases and concluded 601,544 cases, witnessing year-on-year increases of 22.33 percent and 14.71 percent respectively. A number of typical cases with a significant social impact have been trialed. Efforts were made to ease the burden of rights holders, increase the compensation amount and streamline the trial process. Punitive compensation was given as part of the sentence in 895 cases throughout the year.
More guidance was given for IPR-related criminal cases and the reform of integrating trials of civil, administrative and criminal IPR cases into the jurisdiction of intellectual property (IP) courts has seen steady progress.
In 2021, a series of judicial interpretations concerning IPR cases were released in response to new judicial needs arising from the emergence of new technologies, industries and business models. A major plan on IPR protection (2021-25) and a directive on improving the work of IP courts in the new era were also released, specifying the goals, tasks and measures of IPR protection in China.
At the conference, the provisions on the jurisdiction of first instance IPR-related civil and administrative cases and the matching circular to grassroots courts were released. Both will take effect on May 1 and further improve the litigation jurisdiction system of IPR cases.
Since its establishment three years ago, the Intellectual Property Court of the SPC has made remarkable progress, and the mechanism for hearing IPR appeals at the national level has been well played. The technical fact-checking mechanism has been improved, and the national court technical investigation talent pool now includes 450 technical experts and covers over 30 technical fields.
Efforts were also made to effectively link administrative law enforcement and judicial trials. The number of pre-litigation mediation cases involving IPR disputes exceeded 20,000 in 2021.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new information technologies such as the internet, big data, artificial intelligence and the blockchain were fully applied to achieve smooth case filing, hearing and execution.
More efforts were made to strengthen protection of original innovative achievements, crack down on trademark infringement and intensify international judicial exchanges and cooperation.