|The AmeriKat ready to go for|
the final round of comments on the
|After five years of trade secret litigation,|
and millions in billings, has Lawyer
Barbie made partner yet?
|China waving the flag for specialists IP courts|
"The announcement indicated that the Government will set up 3 Special IP Courts in Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai, where a majority of Chinese IP cases are filed. This is ostensibly to handle the growing backlog of cases in these jurisdictions and to address the special technical requirements and intricacies of IP cases. While the announcement does not require Judges to have technical backgrounds, the IP court judiciary should be selected from judiciary who have excellent performance in IP or related judicial works, or professionals who have equivalent qualifications and conditions in IP legal practice, legal research and teaching law. Thus, these judges will be required to have some type of legal background, as compared to the regular court system where some judges, especially some senior judges appointed 20+ years ago, have no legal background. Furthermore, last week the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has issued some “suggestions”: specifically the Beijing Court should be set up this month with the Shanghai and Guangzhou courts to be completed by the end of 2014. The new IP courts should be trial as well as appeal courts. The trials should cover:
(1) Civil and administrative cases in technical fields such as patents, plant species, layout-designs of integrated circuits, technological secrets, computer software, etc.;
(2) Administrative cases for legal action related to administration actions of copyrights, trademarks, anti/unfair competition, etc. against or by State Council Departments (i.e., “Federal-level” cases) or the people's governments at or above the county level (i.e. “Province/County-level” cases); and
(3) Civil cases related to the recognition of well-known trademarks. Accordingly, IP courts will handle both civil and administrative cases.
However, the Beijing IP court may focus more on administrative cases while the other two focus more on civil infringement cases. The courts will also have regional jurisdiction, likely meaning that Cases in North-Eastern China can be brought in Beijing, even if they are based in cities such as Tianjin, which is close-by. Similarly, Shanghai would cover the East Coast, while Guangzhou would cover the south (Shenzhen, Dongguan, etc.). And finally, the Beijing IP Court (BIPC) has itself actually started operations as of 6 November, 2014! We congratulate the Chinese Government on moving so quickly, and look forward to seeing how these courts actually work in practice. Hopefully this will cut into the backlog of IP cases and strengthen IP enforcement (and the image of IP enforcement) in China! "