Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Edited by Nari Lee, Niklas Bruun and Mingde Li
Chapter 16: Special intellectual property courts in China
China’s modern intellectual property system has been developing since 1978, and has followed a trend that incorporates special trials for cases involving intellectual property. In this respect, China established special intellectual property tribunals initially in the Beijing intermediate court and high court in 1993, and then in all levels of the judicial system; including the Supreme Court, the high courts, the intermediate courts, and the basic courts. Following this trend, China even adopted another practice, where cases concerning patents, plant varieties, and layout-designs of integrated circuits could be heard by courts of first instance with special IP tribunals at the level of intermediate or basic courts. On the basis of the special trial of intellectual property cases, particularly the special trail of cases concerning patents, plant varieties, and layout-designs, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed a decision in August 2014, to establish three intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The intellectual property courts are intermediate courts and have trans-regional jurisdiction on first instance cases concerning patents, plant varieties, layout-designs, technical secrets, and computer programs. In light of this decision, it is an experiment to establish the three intellectual property courts, and it is planned that more intellectual property courts will be set up in the near future. It is apparent that the purpose of the establishment of special intellectual property courts is to promote the judicial protection of intellectual property rights, encourage innovation and creation, and promote China’s social and economic development.
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