Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Chinese Courts Witness More IPR Protection Cases

Courts in Beijing have witnessed an increasing number of cases involving intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in recent years, as a result of the new challenges to judicial works. China will intensify its IPR provinsions to meet the requirements on judicial transparency, legal system unity and judicial independence the WTO calls for.


More cases involving IPR

Courts in Beijing have witnessed an increasing number of cases involving intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in recent years, as a result of the new challenges to judicial works posed by China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Overseas-related IPR cases that have been heard and ruled upon in Beijing are increasing, from zero in 1993 to 15 cases in the first 11 months of this year, said Zhang Lumin as saying, who is chief judge of the Intellectual Property Right Division of Beijing High People's Court.

In 1993, Beijing led the country in setting up a special IPR division in its high and intermediate courts. Since then, 59 overseas-related IPR cases have been heard, the daily quoted court statistics.

IPR provinsions required to be intensified

WTO rules call for judicial transparency, legal system unity and judicial independence, which must be intensified to meet world practices, Zhang said.

To better cooperate with the global community in IPR protection, China has joined many conventions, such as the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Berne Convention and the Madrid Agreement.

Over 32 percent of the overseas-related IPR cases handled by Beijing courts have involved trademark disputes, and more than 25 percent involved patent issues, said the China Daily report.

In a recent IPR case, Japanese electronic giant Mitsubishi asked for over 36.5 million yuan (4.4 million U.S. dollars) in compensation from a Beijing-based company that violated its trademark right.

Amended law to take effect soon

The Beijing High People's Court, in line with the newly revised Trademark Law, urged the Beijing company to pay Mitsubishi 500,000yuan (60,240 U.S. dollars), the largest IPR compensation sum ever seen in Beijing, the report quoted Cheng Yongsun, a judge, as saying.

The amended Trademark Law that took effect on December 1 will better protect the interests of the trademark owners and allow for more severe punishment of infringers, Cheng said.

Experts Press for Tightened Control of IPR Infringements

China should pile on stiffer fines to keep cases of intellectual property rights infringements under control, but the measures should run within the requirements of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Experts on intellectual property rights called on for strengthening public education campaigns and legal enforcement, which they say will help China crack down on violators.

Amendments to the laws on copyrights and trademarks are expected to come into effect in coming months.

Since 1991, courts at all levels have established special intellectual property right tribunals to handle such cases.

In 1999, Chinese courts dealt with 4,282 cases involving intellectual property rights, nearly tripling the number from 1990. The annual growth rate in the number of cases was 12.5 per cent, reflecting budding public awareness of the issue.

Many people have little idea that intellectual property rights are just like a TV, a VCD and a house, that they are owned by somebody, and if you want to use it, you should ask the owner first.

Click here for more information about Intellectual Property Right


Enforcement of IPR Laws to Improve

Public Awareness of Intellectual Property Rights Rises in HK, Survey

China Launches Agricultural IP Rights Information Center



Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved