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Increasing IPR cases 'a result of awareness'

By Zhu Zhe and Zhang Yan (China Daily)

08:35, March 12, 2012

Drive for greater innovation sees rise in disputes going to court

The push for an innovation-based economy and growing public awareness has resulted in a soaring number of lawsuits involving intellectual property rights (IPR), the top court has said.

Last year saw 66,000 IPR cases go to litigation, up 37.7 percent over 2010, Chief Justice Wang Shengjun said on Sunday while presenting a work report on the top court to the national legislature.

The litigation jump is bigger than those for lawsuits in other categories.

The number of criminal cases last year rose 7.7 percent, to about 840,000. And the number of administrative cases was up by 5.1 percent to 136,000 last year, according to the work report.

"With rapid economic and social development in China, copyright lawsuits, involving complicated technical and legal problems, are soaring" the top court said in a statement issued after Wang made the report.

"Courts across the country are faced with the arduous task of protecting technical progress and innovation," the statement said.

A majority of last year's 66,000 concluded cases were related to disputes concerning ownership and infringement or contracts, according to a document from the top court's intellectual property tribunal.

The Guangdong Provincial High People's Court is still handling a high-profile trademark dispute between a Chinese company and Apple.

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