As you may have known, the first Intellectual Property Court in
China - the Beijing Intellectual Property Court (BIPC) - was
founded in November 2014. The first court hearing of the BIPC was
conducted on November 16, presided by the Chief Judge Su Chi. On
the same day, the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court was
established. Meanwhile, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court was
also founded at the end of last year.
To keep you informed on these significant developments, the
Beijing Sinda Law Offices have prepared the following analysis of
the likely effects these Intellectual Property Courts will have in
China, taking the innovative measures adopted by the BIPC as an
Before the founding of the BIPC, all civil and administrative
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cases were adjudicated by
Beijing's three Intermediate People's Courts as well as
China's local courts. To address the issues in jurisdiction,
allocation of judicial resources, judges' expertise as well as
other related concerns, the Intellectual Property Courts have been
set up in China, and have exclusive jurisdiction over all IPR
The BIPC has jurisdiction over all administrative IP cases filed
against administrative decisions, particularly those by the Patent
Re-examination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office, and
the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board. Further, the BIPC has
jurisdiction over the most significant civil cases in relation to
patents, new varieties of plants, layout designs of integrated
circuit, know-how, computer software and well-known trademarks.
Accordingly, Beijing's three intermediate courts no longer
handle the above cases. Meanwhile, local courts still have
jurisdiction over civil IPR cases of first instance.
Technical Investigation Officers
As IPR cases sometimes involve specialized technical issues,
besides selecting veteran IPR judges, the BIPC has created a series
of new positions previously unseen in China, titled Technical
Investigation Officers. These officers are responsible for
researching specialized technical problems and assisting the judges
in fact finding.
Strengthening judicial protection of IPR
Procedurally speaking, the BIPC will more actively and
legitimately utilize legal procedures such as preliminary
injunctions, evidence preservation, and property preservation.
Substantively, the BIPC will reasonably increase the claimable
damages for intellectual property infringements, and will order the
losing party to pay reasonable attorney's fees of the
Distinguishing written judgments
For simple matters with clear facts, the BIPC will adopt a Form
Verdict to improve the efficiency of adjudication. As for major and
complex cases such as those involving "social influence",
the BIPC will bolster the legal analysis of its written judgments,
which may have guiding and instructive effects in future cases.
Although it is too early for any conclusive summary, we believe
that these innovative measures adopted by the BIPC, including the
establishment of the BIPC and two other IP courts, are a positive
sign of China's determination to strengthen its IPR protection.
Further, these measures will no doubt have the ancillary benefit of
improving the public's awareness in respecting and protecting
Intellectual Property Rights. Moreover, we believe that the
establishment of these IPR courts will make the judicial protection
of IPR in China more transparent, effective and predictable.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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