Courts Crack Down On Infringement Related IP Cases

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The SPC issued a report on Monday to introduce achievements made by courts nationwide in IP protection.
China Intellectual Property
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Chinese courts have focused more on handling intellectual property cases involving new technologies last year, with harsher punishment against those infringing upon IP rights, China's top court said.

The SPC issued a report on Monday to introduce achievements made by courts nationwide in IP protection.

According to data released in the report, Chinese courts heard more than 540,000 IP cases in 2023, up 3.41 percent year-on-year.

Punitive damages were applied in 319 of the cases, up 117 percent year-on-year, with a total awarded amount reaching 1.16 billion yuan ($160 million), increased by 3.5 times from the previous year, the data said.

Punitive damage means that defendants should face heavier punishment, such as larger amounts of fines, due to their malicious or severe IP infringements.

"The move is to provide stronger legal protection for IP rights owners by strengthening greater efforts to fight IP rights violators," said Lin Guanghai, chief judge of the top court's No 3 Civil Adjudication Tribunal, a division that specializes in tackling IP cases.

He told a news conference that the punitive damage is also conducive to stimulating innovation and serving high-quality development.

Following rapid growth of new technologies and emerging businesses, Chinese courts attached more importance to dealing with IP cases in the fields of 5G telecommunication, artificial intelligence, biomedical, seed and high-end equipment manufacturing last year, the report said.

In 2023, Beijing Intellectual Property Court concluded 140 lawsuits involving hi-tech, up 35.2 percent year-on-year, it said.

IP tribunals in Hangzhou; Ningbo; and Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, also solved some 2,000 technology-related cases, contributing a lot to promoting local innovation, it added.

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