Text: | Print|

Laying down law on copyrights, and wrongs

2014-06-23 12:23 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Yao Lan
Ding Wenlian

Ding Wenlian

Protecting copyrights and brand names in China is a tall assignment, but it doesn't daunt Ding Wenlian.

Ding is an intellectual property judge with the Shanghai Higher People's Court. His job is to see that both foreign and domestic companies can operate in China without fear of someone else pinching their ideas.

The task is made more compelling by Shanghai's driving ambition to transform itself into a world-class finance and business center. To compete with cities like New York and London, Shanghai needs to demonstrate its commitment to international commercial law.

"Intellectual property is a field I was interested in," said Ding, who graduated from East China University of Political Science and Law with a master's degree.

"When a former presiding judge, a man for whom I had great respect, invited me to work with him, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to improve myself, challenge my conventional wisdom and enlarge my view."

The caseload of intellectual property disputes is growing and spreading into realms that challenge the knowledge of jurists.

"The growth of intellectual property cases is spilling over into new industries such as information technology, telecommunications and the Internet," Ding said, "But only a minority of us judges were science and engineering majors at university, so we have to work even harder to understand the legal issues."

Last year, the court received 6,682 intellectual property cases, a 25 percent increase from 2012. It agreed to hear 6,331 of those cases.

No wonder there were beads of sweat on his brow as Ding emerged from what appeared to be a weighty discussion with colleagues and walked into a room for an interview with Shanghai Daily. Instead of formal legal garb, he was wearing a casual blue-striped shirt. Whatever the problems of the meeting he had just attended, the judge smiled in an engaging, almost shy, fashion as he sat down to discuss his work.

One of his most high-profile cases to date was a bit afield from intellectual property. He was chief presiding judge in the anti-monopoly case against US healthcare products giant Johnson & Johnson.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.