On September 9, the Supreme People's Court held a press
conference regarding the latest updates of the Intellectual
Property (IP) Courts in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The three
IP Courts were established at the end of last year. As of August 20
of this year, they have received a total of 10,795 cases and
Due to their regional and jurisdictional differences, the three
IP Courts have differed on the types of cases they received and
decided. The Beijing IP Court received 6,595 cases (5,622
first-instance cases, 973 second-instance cases), characterized in:
first, a high proportion of administrative suits, with over
three-quarters of all cases involving the patent office or the
trademark office; and second, a high proportion of cases involving
foreign parties, 39.4% of total. The Shanghai IP Court received
1,052 cases (612 first-instance cases, 440 second-instance cases)
with over half being copyright cases. The Guangzhou IP Court
received 3,148 cases (1,842 first-instance cases, 1,306
second-instance cases) with a high proportion being patent cases:
90.99% of first-instance cases and 53.24% of total cases.
As of August 20, the three IP Courts decided a total of 4,160
cases. The Beijing IP Court decided 2,348, the Shanghai IP Court
decided 409, and the Guangzhou IP Court decided 1,403. It is
noteworthy that in just nine months, the judges of the Beijing and
Guangzhou IP Courts have each decided an average of over 100 cases.
This shows a significant increase in the efficiency of the IP
The Beijing IP Court currently has 22 judges (not including 1
Chief Judge and 2 Deputy Chief Judges), while the Shanghai IP Court
has 10 (not including 1 Chief Judge, 1 Deputy Chief Judge, and 2
tribunal leaders) and the Guangzhou IP Court has 10 (not including
1 Chief Judge and 2 Deputy Chief Judges). Compared to traditional
courts, IP Courts have a much more streamlined and efficient
personnel structure for judges. However, the considerable backlog
and continual emergence of new cases are putting more pressure on
To address the hand shortage problem, the Supreme People's
Court is in talks with relevant departments of the central
government to establish a mechanism for dynamically adjusting the
number of judges in IP courts. A second group of judges for the
Beijing and Guangzhou IP Courts is either currently being or has
already been chosen. In addition, the Supreme People's Court
will initiate a pilot program in the three IP Courts, launching a
Technical Investigator mechanism to improve the efficiency and
professionalism in IP lawsuits.
Originally published 30th September 2015
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