China: Brief Analysis On The Judicial Data (Trademark Section) Of Beijing IP Court In 2016

Last Updated: 12 January 2018
Article by Gang Hu

As one of the three IP courts first established in China, Beijing IP Court has always played the role of pioneer in the reform of judicial judgment of intellectual property in China. The analysis on the judicial data of Beijing IP Court is significant since it is not only aiming at the objective evaluation of a court but also disclosing the current situation in the judicial protection of the most advanced and top-level intellectual property in China. The following is a brief analysis to the important figures of the judicial protection data (trademark section) of the Beijing IP Court in 2016.

In 2016, the Beijing IP Court totally accepted 4840 administrative cases regarding authorization and affirmation affairs, among them 88.31% administrative cases (4274 in total) relating trademark affairs.

The average duration of trial in 2016 for Beijing IP Court acting as court of first instance, to conclude trademark civil cases is 331 days. Whereas, the average duration of trial of trademark administrative Cases is only 158 days. However, the average duration of trial for different nature of trademark administrative cases has significant difference. The specific details are as follows.

Brief of Case Average Duration of Trial in 2016 (Days)
Review on Official Refusal 109
Review on Opposition 393
Review on Non-registration 125
Invalidation 273
Review on Non-use Cancellation 283

Brief of Case

In the cases with administrative ruling cancelled according to the judgment by Beijing IP Court in 2016, the substantial and procedural issues are as follows:

Issues Involved Number
Same or Similar Trademarks and Goods 417
Cancellation on Non-use 164
Unhealthy Influence 143
Priority Rights / Preemption in bad faith 122
Distinctiveness 74

Beijing IP Court newly accepted 5,936 trademark-related administrative cases of first instance in total and concluded 4,356 cases in 2016, 34.9% higher than those in 2015. Among them, there are 964 cases with administrative ruling overruled, making the rate of overruling 24.0%. In other words, about one fourth trademark-related administrative cases were reversed by Beijing IP Court. Then, it is worthwhile to stick to your own opinions through judicial procedure.

In the recent years, "preemption in bad faith" has become a hot topic in the protection of trademark rights. In the trademark-related administrative cases concluded by Beijing IP Court in 2016, there are 284 cases involving preemption in bad faith in total, representing 7.1% of the total cases judged; among them, there are 129 cases with preemption in bad faith affirmed by the court, representing 45.4% of the total cases involving such issue. In addition, it is worth mentioning that there are 383 cases involving well-known trademarks judged in the trademark-related administrative cases. The judicial authority strictly and prudently affirms the well-known trademarks on the principle of judgment on individual cases. The proportion of cases with trademarks affirmed by judicial authority as well-known trademarks in 2016 is 11.7%.

In the trademark-related civil cases, in 2016, Beijing IP Court concluded 108 trademark-related civil cases in total. Among them, there are 26 civil cases of first instance, among which 14 cases are concluded through judgment, and the plaintiff's winning rate is 92.9%.

In the civil judgment of first instance, there are 11 cases with well-known trademarks affirmed, and there are 10 cases in which the plaintiff wins the litigation, realizing a winning rate of 90.9%.

It is particularly important to point out that, in the trademark-related civil litigations, there are 12 cases with plaintiff involving foreign parties in total, which are concluded through judgment and in which the foreign parties (plaintiff) win the litigation. Among them, there are three trademark civil litigation cases involving affirmation of well-known trademark. The average value judged in all three cases is around 2. 26 million RMB (0.29 million Euros) higher than the average valued judged in 2015, which explains the compensation judged in the cases involving affirmation of well-known trademarks in 2016 is overall higher than that in the previous year. Therefore, it is indeed positive news to encourage the foreigners to defend their legitimate and crucial part of their IP assets, the well known trademark, from any dilution and infringement in the Chinese market.

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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