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More IPR tribunals to be set up as lawsuits rise
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08:40, December 11, 2008

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China will set up more tribunals designated to deal with intellectual property rights (IPR) cases, judicial officials said yesterday.

Saying a pilot project is testament to the efficiency of such tribunals, Kong Xiangjun, deputy chief of the Supreme People's Court's (SPC) IPR Tribunal, said the authorities will expand the scheme nationwide.

But he did not reveal any more details.

"In recognition of the specialized nature from both the legal and technological perspective, the establishment of unified tribunals will help optimize the allocation of judicial resources and simplify remedial procedures," Kong said.

"It will also help unify trial standards, so that penalties and compensation are fair and equitable," he added.

In the pilot scheme, nine intermediate people's courts and 14 courts at district- and county-level set up such tribunals.

They are mostly in areas with large numbers of IPR cases such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Fujian.

Before that, an IPR case could only be handled by one tribunal at a time - civil, administrative or criminal. That prolonged and complicated the process if the case needed to be heard at more than one court.

A designated IPR tribunal comprises judges from civil, administrative and criminal tribunals and drafts experts with strong technical background as jury members, Jiang Honglu, president of Changzhou Intermediate People's Court, said. The court in Jiangsu province set up a designated IPR tribunal in June.

The number of IPR lawsuits has been on the rise since China joined the World Trade Organization in late 2001. Courts admitted more than 77,000 civil IPR lawsuits from 2001 to 2007, with an annual increase of 22.6 percent, the SPC said.

Source: China Daily

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