Protection of technical innovation will be improved
China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) will set up a national appeals court for civil and administrative intellectual property rights (IPR) cases in Beijing on January 1, 2019, a move that Chinese experts said is based on China's own long-term plan and practice, and has nothing to do with the China-US trade friction.
The decision was announced by Tong Weidong, deputy director of the state law office of legislative affairs commission of the National People's Congress (NPC), at a press conference on Friday, after China's top legislature approved the draft in its five-day bimonthly session, according to a report from the Beijing News.
"The court will preliminarily focus on patent and technical cases that require more expertise in the next three years," Tong said.
"The court will unify the judging standards for IPR cases, strengthen legal protection of IPR, optimize a scientific technological innovation environment, and accelerate the implementation of innovation-driven development strategies," Wang Zhengzhi, senior partner at Globe-Law, told the Global Times on Sunday.
China previously set up three IPR appeals courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2014. The new move of setting up a national IPR court is also part of the reform process in the industry.
"This is the latest development regarding the country's IPR protection, which is based on its own long-term plan and practice, and has nothing to do with China-US trade friction," Wang said.
China has been making marked progress in IPR protection. Considering the country's developmental stage and current needs, the latest move is in compatible with its development in its own pace, Wang added.
Tong said that if the operation of the new court goes well, the court will accept more cases, start trial cases involving trademarks, business secrets, and fight against unfair competition.
Chinese courts heard a total of 213,480 IPR cases in 2017, 40.4 percent more than that of 2016, and double the number from 2013, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.
IPR cases refer to a broad range of lawsuits such as patents, copyright, trademarks, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout designs and monopolies, whose second appeal was originally contested at the provincial high courts, but will now be directly transferred to the SPC.
"IPR cases are complex. It requires more technological expertise, and this move will help prevent inconsistency of legal applications and improve the quality and efficiency of trials," Wang said.