The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has
published a report titled Adjudicating Intellectual Property
Disputes, which provides an overview of the structures and trial
procedures of 'specialised intellectual property
jurisdictions' (SIPJs) in countries around the
The ICC's report was launched on 28 April
2016 at the International Forum on Intellectual Property -
21st Century, held in Moscow. It follows a survey of ICC
members and input from attorneys and IP practitioners with hands-on
litigation experience and expertise in intellectual property (IP),
including from the US, the UK, Germany, India, China and Japan.
From the UK, Gowling WLG's David Barron and Ailsa Carter
contributed to the ICC's analysis. Sir Robin Jacob, retired
Lord Justice of Appeal, Professor of IP Law at University College
London, is also noted as a contributor.
The ICC's stated aim is to assist countries in their
consideration of whether, and how, to establish or improve SIPJs so
as to enhance overall efficiency and expertise in IP-related
trials. The ICC explains that it considers the role of IP in
supporting innovation, cross-border trade and economic development
to be important, and that both users and holders of IP rights need
well-functioning and efficient mechanisms to protect intellectual
The report provides an overview of the structures and trial
procedures of differing SIPJs. By necessity, it is a bird's-eye
view and generalisations are made. It notes that motivations for
establishing SIPJs are broadly consistent, principally for courts
to develop experience and specialism in IP disputes, with a view to
improving the consistency and predictability of judgments, and so
to enhance the effectiveness of enforcement. How this is affected
tends to reflect the legal system of the country concerned.
For example, in common law countries, expert evidence and
cross-examination play an important role in assisting the court
with understanding the technology and issues in dispute, whereas in
countries with a civil law system the court more frequently
includes a technical judge or court appointed technical expert, or
permits IP practitioners (e.g. patent attorneys) to act as
The report notes that SIPJs may not be warranted in all
countries, for example in countries of a size which, or in which
litigation volume, does not justify such specialty. In countries
where there is a need for SIPJ, the appropriate mechanism will
depend upon the local judicial system, legal tradition, ideology
and socio-economic context. Nevertheless, the importance of any
structure enabling the court to understand the technical issues in
dispute is highlighted, and differing possibilities for achieving
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