Beijing has seen an increase in the number and variety of intellectual property disputes over the past five years after the city strengthened efforts to protect IP rights.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court reported in early November that it had filed 72,681 IP cases covering patents, copyright, trademarks and unfair competition, since its establishment on Nov 6, 2014. Over that period, there has been a 26 percent average annual increase in IP cases.

Of the total, 21 percent involved foreign litigants from 90 countries and regions across the world. Of those, 30 percent related to litigants from the United States and 15 percent related to nations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the court's statistics.

The number of foreign-related disputes is still on the rise "which shows Beijing and our country has had a deep integration with the world's economy," said Wang Jinshan, President of the court.

"Not only Chinese enterprises but also some transnational corporations came to us to solve problems when finding their IP rights were harmed," he said. "It means foreign companies have attached importance to the Chinese market and more have trusted Chinese justice to protect their IP rights. It reflects that Chinese enterprises' awareness of IP protection has been enhanced."

As China's first court specializing in handling IP disputes, the court has taken measures to improve the quality of hearings, such as inviting 75 specialists to investigate technical issues in 1,953 cases, he added.

In 2014, IP courts at the intermediate level were also established in Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province. In January this year, the Supreme People's Court opened a national-level IP court in Beijing.

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