Strategies, Contexts and Challenges
Edited by Ken Shao and Xiaoqing Feng
Chapter 5: Efforts and tendencies in China’s judicial practice of intellectual property
The courts in the People’s Republic of China bear the duty to protect intellectual property rights. Tribunals specializing in intellectual property cases in China have been established for some years, at both central and local levels (hereinafter IP tribunals). Their purpose is to respond to the highly specialized nature of IP laws in general and to China’s own conditions in particular. In July 1993 the High People’s Court of Beijing set up the first tribunal for hearing intellectual property cases in China, followed by the establishment of the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court in 1996. At present, tribunals specializing in hearing intellectual property cases exist in every High People’s Court, as well as in almost every Intermediate People’s Court and the Grassroots People’s Court in regions where economy, society and technology are relatively developed. One 5 June 2008, the State Council issued the National Intellectual Property Strategy Outline, which requires ‘strengthening the judicial protection system’. IP tribunals are required to ‘play a leading role in protecting intellectual property’ in China. The people’s courts at all levels in China have been playing such a role in judicial protection. By means of the establishment of judicial interpretations and judicial policies by the Supreme People’s Court, and through cases judged by the people’s courts at all levels, IP tribunals have effectively clarified the standards of the application of law for China’s intellectual property laws, and the legal rules relating to intellectual property disputes.
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