Hearings of IP Disputes Exceed Expectations
Three Chinese intellectual property courts have heard more than 10,000 lawsuits in the first eight months of this year, greatly exceeding expectations, the Supreme People's Court of China said.
By Aug 20, the IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province had heard 10,795 cases, of which 4,160 had been concluded, according to statistics released by the top court.
The courts, established at the end of last year, are the enforcement arm of judicial reform put forward by China's top leaders in 2013, aiming to improve the professionalism of case hearings and boost the quality of trials, the top court said.
Wang Chuang, deputy director of the IP department under the supreme court, said during a press conference on Sept 9 that the number of IP lawsuits had an average annual growth of 37.6 percent from 2008 to 2012, 5.5 times faster than other types of civil lawsuits.
The figures were "much more than expected", Wang said, adding that IP rights protection has been highlighted in the public eye.
To handle the rapidly increasing number of cases, the three IP courts are also taking action to alleviate problems as soon as possible, he said.
For example, the Beijing IP court is setting up a database of technological experts who can act as a think tank for judges, said Su Chi, the Beijing court's president.
"We also ask for advice from IP scholars in universities and colleges, in a bid to know and master the very advanced technologies that show up in our cases," Su said.
The IP court in Shanghai has also launched a website in English to publish IP verdicts for foreigners.
"IP disputes often involve foreigners and foreign enterprises," said Wu Xielin, president of the Shanghai IP court. "The English website can help them track their lawsuits and understand how Chinese judges make judgments, which is good for boosting our judicial credibility and providing convenience to litigants.
"We also have asked our judges to operate and update the website, hoping to improve their English in this way," Wu said, suggesting the model be extended to the other two courts.
Tao Kaiyuan, vice-president of the supreme court, praised the achievements of the three courts, encouraging them to explore more judicial reform and be legal pioneers for China.