Return to Civil Procedure Law: re-reforming the courts’ power of investigation and evidence collection
Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 1
In the protection of intellectual property rights, China is an importer of international norms. On the basis of the international intellectual property norms, China enacted its modern Trademark Law, Patent Law, Copyright Law, and Unfair Competition Law, and amended the laws thereafter. However, China is not a rigid importer of international norms, and has always tried to accommodate the norms into its special political, economic, and social structures. Due to this accommodation, some of the international norms have been transformed, misunderstood, and not functioned well in China. China is currently undergoing its third round revision of its intellectual property laws. This revision is an opportunity for China to reinterpret some of these intellectual property norms on the basis of its current social and economic development. It is also an opportunity to correct some of the misunderstandings that have arisen; such as removing the protection for video recordings, emphasizing the use of registered trademarks, and to provide the ‘likelihood of confusion doctrine’ as an objective standard for trademark infringement. The development of the Chinese intellectual property system is modelled primarily on continental European systems. However, it is not so difficult for China to accept intellectual property norms from the Anglo-American system either. In this respect, it is even possible for China to conceive some new norms, if necessary, for the country's social and economic development. In turn, it is possible that these new Chinese norms may contribute to international intellectual property rights standards
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.
The economic system clauses in the Chinese Constitution have been criticized for frequent changes, and their contents are quite exceptional and lack normative power. However, a new view shows that more than half of the Constitutions in the world provide for economic systems, and the economic system clauses in the Chinese Constitution have made a historical contribution; although, it is too general to say that the clauses were changed too often in the past, and the viewpoint that many of them are just policy is also inaccurate. The clauses will tend to be fixed by Constitutional Interpretation, increasingly combined with ideas like Constitutionalism and Liberalism and become more and more normative. Therefore, the economic system clauses in the Constitution should be viewed more objectively, because the shortcomings of frequent changing and non-normativeness will be overcome gradually, and the exceptionality will be fairly evaluated.
Housing continues to be one of the three most pressing concerns among all social policy areas, inciting strong public outcry. High housing prices are considered to be an important cause of the low life satisfaction among urban residents, in particular among new university graduates and migrant workers. The strong discontent over housing affordability, to a great extent, reflects the inability of the Chinese housing policy to address pressing urban housing needs. Using secondary sources and primary research carried out by the author, this chapter provides an historical review tracing the different stages of China’s housing reform. It argues that despite the radical changes in the housing market, the logic behind Chinese housing policies at different stages of the reform is in essence similar to that during the Central Planning period (1953–1977), even in the context of recent reforms, which claim to be people oriented. The seemingly improved inclusiveness of the new housing welfare system in China is a response to labour market changes rather than an effort to satisfy the housing needs of urban citizens.