With over 200 dedicated professionals, Beijing East IP has helped a full spectrum of clients – from startups to Fortune 500 corporations to domestic multinational companies – on their intellectual property issues in China.
Despite the slowed sells in China’s vehicle market, the innovation did not stop. The ever-challenging need to fulfill the government regulations, and customer’s appetite for customization, innovation in the automobile market has never been greater. These demand and innovations lead to automobile industry’s technology developments, which ranged from hybrid technologies, in-car wireless communication systems, built-in safety cameras, bumper radars, and touch-screen control center. These are just a few of the significant developments that we now seen as standard offerings by the automobile manufacturers. These innovations often involves various technologies such as sensors, wireless technologies, and chassis systems. To increase market share, automobile manufacturers are faced with challenges to develop new product lines, consolidate outsource resources, enhance inventory control, and improve components or parts to meet with tightening regulations. Beijing East IP has been working with one of the leaders in the automobile market for many years, we have been providing quality intellectual property services, including prosecution, enforcement, and litigations, because we understand client’s most desired needs in the industry.
We also understand that in order to best protect client’s intellectual property rights in China and around the world, strategies and diligent workmanships are the essential element to satisfy the client’s needs. Therefore, we have a diverse team to services our automobile clients in the following areas:
In 2018, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP) with Xi Jinping as the leadership’s core and guided by the underlying precepts of Chinese socialism for the new era, the People’s Courts have applied the principles and implemented instructions decided at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (“Party Congress”)，the second and third plena of the 19th CCP Central Committee and the Central Political and Legal Work Conference. They studied and applied the ideals of General-Secretary Xi Jinping’s key addresses, and fostered
the “four aspects of consciousness"—consciousness in political correctness, in serving the broader interests, in following the core leadership, and in staying aligned with the central party leadership; the “four matters of confidence"一confidence in the path of Chinese socialism, in the theoretical foundation of the path, in the system of Chinese socialism and in the Chinese culture; and the “two pillars to safeguard"—safeguarding the core status of General Secretary Xi Jinping, and the central and unified leadership of the CCP Central Committee. The People’s Courts adopted a steady and progressive approach to work, keeping in mind their earliest aspirations and the current mission, and discharging adjudicatory responsibilities as conferred by the Constitution and the law. Our judges have been our trusted achievers, as they endeavoured to deliver for the people a sense of equality and justice in every case handled by the judiciary. Reforms in intellectual property adjudication have deepened, and supervision and guidance for adjudicatory operations have increased. And as the courts strive to make the courtroom the principal forum for intellectual property protection, they are also providing effective judicial safeguards, in the process of working tenaciously toward the “two centennial goals", and toward achieving the China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
In a speech delivered at the conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, General-Secretary Xi Jinping emphasised the importance of following through the innovation-driven development strategy by creating a more enabling eco-system for innovation and accelerating proprietary innovation of key technologies to forge new socio-economic growth engines., Given China’s strategic thrust of elevating technological innovation capabilities and promoting high-quality economic development, strengthening protection of intellectual property is a natural and necessary option. Last year was marked by soaring case-load, with massive increase in new types of cases and cases of gravity and complexity. Adjudication was thus more challenging. Law enforcement and adjudication is and will always be the people’s courts’ top priority, where civil adjudication is the primary focus of the courts’ adjudication practice, followed by administrative and criminal adjudication, both of which being equally important. The fact-finding process is rigorous, law-application prudent and judicial policies elucidated to ensure lawful and efficient adjudication of intellectual property disputes.
Last year; the People’s Courts accepted a total of 334,951 intellectual property cases, including first instance and second instance cases and applications for extraordinary legal remedy to reopen cases, and concluded 319,651cases (including carried forward cases), representing a respective year-on-year increase of 41.19% and 41.64%.
Throughout the past year; the People’s Courts have directed efforts to meeting the new goals and new demands on the intellectual property judicial protection under the comprehensive deepening of reform agenda, delivered fair justice, and strengthened civil adjudication to better protect intellectual property rights and the full interests of the rights holders.
In 2018, the local people’s courts accepted 283,414 and concluded 273,945 civil intellectual property cases of first instance, and the respective year-on-year increases were 40.97% and 41.99%. Among the newly accepted cases, 21,699 were patent cases, an increase of 35.53% from last year; 51,998 trademark cases, a 37.03% increase; 195,408 copyright cases, a 42,36% increase; 2,680 technology contract-related cases, a 27.74% increase; 4,146 unfair competition cases (including 66 monopoly cases), a 63.04% increase. Other intellectual property disputes constitute 7,483 cases, 44.60% increase from last year.
The local people’s courts accepted 27,621 (26.60% year-on-year increase) and concluded 26,288 (28.08% year-on-year increase) civil intellectual property cases of second instance. For extraordinary legal remedies to reopen cases terminated by a final judgement (zaishen), the local people’s courts accepted 223 cases and concluded 221 cases, representing a increase of 189.61% and 301.82% respectively.
In the same year; the Supreme People’s Court accepted 913 new civil intellectual property dispute cases (81.51% year-on-year increase) and concluded 859 (74.24% year-on-year increase). The number of newly accepted and concluded second instance cases were 24 and 21, and the number of newly accepted and concluded reopened cases were 798 and 759, representing year-on-year increases of 76.55% and 71.72% respectively; among the certiorari (tishen) cases, 77 were newly accepted cases and 65 concluded cases.
High profile civil disputes involving intellectual property heard and concluded by the people’s courts during the year include:
Wuxi Guowei Ceramic Electrical Appliances Co., Ltd (plaintiff/ appellant/ petitioner), Jiang Guoping (plaintiff/appellant/petitioner) vs. Changshu Linzhi Electrothermal Devices Co., Ltd (defendant/ appellant/petitionee), Suning.com Co., Ltd (defendant/appellee/
petitionee) involving a dispute on utility patent infringement; Guangzhou Compass Conference and Exhibition Service Co., Ltd (plaintiff/appellant,) vs. Fast Retailing Trading Co., Ltd. (UNIQLO) (defendant/ appellant) involving trademark infringement dispute; Beijing Baidu Network Technology Co., Ltd (defendant, appellant) vs. Beijing Sogou Technology Development Co., Ltd (plaintiff, appellee) involving an invention patent dispute; Beijing Microvision Horizon Technology Co., Ltd (plaintiff) vs. Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd (defendant) et al. involving infringement of the right of dissemination via the information network; Beijing Dehong Seed Industry Co., Ltd (defendant/appellant/petitioner) and Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (defendant/appellant/petitioner) vs. Henan Goldoctor Seed Co.,Ltd (plaintiff/appellee/petitionee) involving infringement in new plant variety; Canon Inc. (plaintiff) vs. Shanghai MUMING Electronic Technology Co., Ltd (defendant) involving an invention patent dispute; 3M Company (plaintiff/ appellee) vs. Shanghai Yuanjia Plastic Co., Ltd (defendant/appellee) and Shanghai Yushuaiwei Industrial Co., Ltd (defendant/appellee) et al. involving invention patent infringement; Activision Publishing, Inc. (plaintiff/appellant) vs. Huaxia Film Distribution Co., Ltd (defendant/ appellant) involving infringements of copyright and trademark, unauthorised use of the unique names of well-known goods, and false advertising; and Crosplus Home Furnishings (Shanghai) Co., Ltd (plaintiff/appellant) vs. Beijing Zhongrong Hengsheng Wood Co., Ltd et al (defendant/appellee) involving copyright infringement.
The newly amended Administrative Litigation Law and its judicial interpretations were rigorously applied during the past year. By stepping-up judicial review for cases involving the granting and validation of intellectual property rights, and exercising stronger oversight to support the administrative authorities to administer according to law, administrative law enforcement is further regulated.
In 2018, the local people’s courts accepted 13,545 administrative intellectual property cases of first instance, 53.57% more than last year. Specifically, 1,536 were patent cases (76.15% year-on-year increase), 11,992 were trademark cases (51.20% year-on-year increase) and 17 were copyright cases (no change from last year). 9,786 first instance cases were concluded, 53.15% more than last year. 3,565 administrative intellectual property cases of second instance were accepted by the local people’s courts (304.20% year- on-year increase), and the number of concluded cases totalled 3,217 (180.72% year-on-year increase), of which, the courts upheld the decisions of 2,708 cases, amended the first instance judgement for 446 cases, remanded 9 cases for retrial, dismissed 45 cases, overruled the decision in 1 case, and disposed of 8 cases through other methods.
The Supreme People’s Court accepted 642 and concluded 581 administrative intellectual property cases, representing an increase of 64.19% and 41.02% respectively. Specifically, 537 cases were reopened (55.20% year-on-year increase) and 484 concluded (32.24% year-on-year increase); 99 certiorari cases were newly accepted during the year and 89 concluded.
High profile administrative disputes involving intellectual property heard and concluded by the people’s courts during the year include:
Christian Dior Perfumes LLC (plaintiff/ appellant/ petitioner) us. Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) (defendant/ appellee/ petitionee) involving the rejection of a trademark application; Shenzhen QVOD Technology Co,, Ltd (plaintiff/ appellant) vs, Shenzhen Market Supervision Administration (defendant/ appellee) and Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co,, Ltd (third party in original instance) involving a dispute on copyright administration penalty; E Italian (Langfang) Electronic Engineering Co,, Ltd (petitioner/ third party in original instance) vs, Wang He (plaintiff/appellant/ petitionee), Yao Peng (plaintiff/ appellant/ petitionee) and Patent Re
examination Board (PRB) of the State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC (defendant/ appellee/ petitionee) involving an administrative dispute over the invalidation of an invention patent; Guangzhou Sealy Electronic Technology Co., Ltd (petitioner/ third party in original instance), Jinan Qianbei Information Technology Co, Ltd (petitioner/ third party in original instance) vs. Poker City Network Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd (plaintiff/ appellant/ petitionee) and Trademark Appeals Board of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (defendant/appellee) involving an administrative dispute on trademark opposition review; Andis Company (plaintiff/ appellant/ petitioner) vs. Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (defendant/ appellee/ petitionee) and Ningbo Brofa Hairdressing Appliance Co.,Ltd (defendant/appellee/petitionee) involving an administrative dispute on trademark opposition review; Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (defendant/ appellant) vs. Anhui Huayuan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (plaintiff/ appellee) involving a trademark administrative dispute; Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (defendant/ appellant) vs. Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd (plaintiff/ appellee) involving an administrative dispute over the review of a rejected trademark application.
The People’s Courts exercised their official powers of criminal adjudication as a powerful lever to deter criminal infringement of intellectual property rights and to maintain a positive legal environment that protects intellectual property.
In 2018, the local people’s courts accepted 4,319 intellectual property-related criminal cases of first instance, 19.28% higher than last year. Among the accepted cases, 4,117 were related to criminal infringement of registered trademarks (20.20% year-on- year increase), and 156 were criminal copyright infringement (7.69% year-on-year decrease).
The local peoples’ courts concluded 4,064 intellectual property- related criminal cases of first instance in total, 11.59% higher than last year. 1,434 cases involved manufacturing and selling counterfeit or substandard goods, 30.36% higher than last year. Of the concluded first instance cases, 1,852 cases were related to the counterfeiting of registered trademarks, 9.78% higher than last year; 1,724 cases involved selling goods bearing counterfeit registered trademarks, 15.39% higher than last year; 305 were cases of illegal manufacturing or sale of goods bearing illegally produced registered trademarks, 17.31% higher than last year; 2 cases involved counterfeiting patents;
136 cases were related to the criminal infringement of copyright, 20% lower than last year; 6 cases involved selling infringing reproductions, 50% higher than last year; and 39 cases involved
① crimes of trade secret infringement, 50% higher than last year. a
For intellectual property-related criminal cases of second instance, the local people’s courts accepted 683 cases, 28.17% higher than last year; 668 cases were concluded, representing an increase of 23.70%.
High profile criminal cases involving intellectual property heard and concluded by the people’s courts during the year include:
Li Gongzhi and Wu Qin's illegal production of registered marks; Jushi Online (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd and Huang Ming, who were involved in a copyright infringement crime.
In 2018, intellectual property protection by the judiciary exhibits five
Considerable increase in case numbers： In 2018, the number of civil, administrative and criminal intellectual property cases newly accepted by the People’s Courts was 334,951, 97,709 cases and
41.19% more than last year. First instance administrative and civil
a The above publicised figures exclude the total number of first-instance intellectual property-related criminal cases, the number of cases involving the manufacturing and sale of counterfeit and substandard goods, the number of cases relating to illegal business operations involving infringement of intellectual property rights, and the number of other intellectual property infringement cases.
disputes increased substantially, by 53.57% and 40.97% respectively. Most notably, Guangdong Province’s first instance administrative cases went up by 77.78% year-on-year; and Beijing accepted 52,463 new cases, 47.40% more than last year. Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong continued to operate under a heavy caseload, having accepted 185,337 civil cases of first instance and accounting for 65.39% of the national total for the same category, with Shanghai increasing by 49.77% and Jiangsu Province by 45.48% year-on-year. Zhejiang Province’s new first instance patent cases grew by 79.53%.
Many other provinces also witnessed an explosive year-on-year increase. For example, the case-load for Gansu Province grew by 290%, Guizhou Province by 157.22%, Qinghai Province by 155%, Shaanxi Province by 89.4%, Tianjin Municipality by 82.3%, Sichuan by 67.57%, Guangxi autonomous region by 40.05%, and Hainan Province by 156.16%. Also, Hebei Province’s newly accepted first instance cases grew by 156.44% and Heilongjiang Province’s newly accepted first instance civil cases increased by 130.71%. Shanxi Province’s newly accepted first instance cases grew by 65.6%, of which cases involving copyright disputes increased by 199%, and second instance cases increased by 155%
Significantly greater case impact: By hearing different types of cases fairly and efficiently, a digest of cases with significant impact has been created, and intellectual property adjudication by the People’s Courts have received increasing attention from home and abroad. For example, for Christian Dior Perfumes LLC vs. Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), an administrative dispute concerning the refusal of TRAB to accept a trademark application by the plaintiff, the Supreme People’s Court conducted open hearing and pronounced the verdict immediately after submissions. The outcome of the case reflects the principle of equal protection for local and foreign rightsholders, and features prominently the value orientation of complying with international conventions and strengthening international cooperation. Through the case, the court also reinforces the demand for due administrative processes and embodies the values of prompt relief and comprehensive protection. This is of exemplary significance in terms of making known China’s accomplishments in intellectual property protection, and for making Chinese courts a “preferred forum” for resolving international disputes.
The courts have also adjudicated disputes involving trademark disputes, where famous companies sought to protect their brand interests and market share, and copyright disputes involving the
transmission of cinematograph films and television works through the Internet. These cases involved large claims and attracted wide social attention. For example, in Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd us, WM Motor heard by the Shanghai High People’s Court, the claim was CNY 2.1 billion; in Shenzhen QVOD Technology Co,, Ltd us, Shenzhen Market Supervision Administration, the Guangdong High People’s Court ordered an “astronomical fine” of CNY 260 million, which received much public attention. Shanghai Pudong Court heard the Liu Santian v, Zhou Meisen copyright infringement case, which was also a highly publicised case involving In the Name of the People (Renmin de Mingyi) a renowned anti-corruption TV drama.
Adjudication becoming increasingly challenging: As China presses ahead with the development of a market economy and the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy, technology-based disputes involving finding of complex technology facts or other new types of disputes are increasingly emerging, and new adjudication challenges for intellectual property disputes confront the courts. For example, the Beijing courts heard and concluded the case of Xi'an Xidian Jietong Wireless Network Communication Co,, Ltd vs, Sony Mobile Communications (China) involving standard essential patents, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC vs, Jiangling Motors Group Co,, Ltd, an administrative case involving the invalidation of a design patent, and the first administrative lawsuit involving the rejected application of “DiDiDiDiDiDi” sound trademark.
The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court concluded the case of Wuhan Han yang Guangming us, Shanghai Hankook Tire Sales, where the defendant is accused of entering into vertical monopoly agreements and of abusing its market dominance. This was the first vertical monopoly dispute that the court has heard. The same court also adjudicated several cases involving genetic technology or genetic data, such as the DNA Genotek Inc, us, Chinese National Human Genome Center (Shanghai), an invention patent dispute involving the infringement of a patented genetic testing technology for human genes; Huashan Hospital (a teaching hospital affiliated to Fudan University) us, Jonathan Flint, a case of infringement of the exclusive ownership of information of human genetic resources, which involves the attribution of ownership of human genetic data. The Shanghai Pudong Court also concluded Youku Information Technology (Beijing) Co,, Ltd us, Shanghai Qianshan Network Technology Deuelopment Co,, Ltd, which involved the issuance of a cease and desist order before an unfair competition trial, targeting at the defendant’s video aggregation platform.
Adjudication quality progressively improved: First, significant increase in the number of concluded cases. On a year-on-year basis,
the percentage of cases concluded by the Hainan courts in 2018 grew by 161.76%; first instance cases concluded by the Hebei courts was 2,608, representing a 156.44% increase; in Hunan, 9,545 cases were concluded, 69.08% more than last year. In Beijing, 49,596 first instance cases were concluded, 56% more than last year; for Tianjin, the figure was 4.410, with a year-on-year increase of 68.3%; for Sichuan Province, 7,331 cases were concluded, representing an increase of 67.34%.
Second, the percentage of cases accepting the courts’ decision as final continued to be encouraging. In Shanghai, with significant increase in new acceptances and disposals, 94.13% of the cases accepted the first instance decision. In Xinjiang with zero petition and complaints through the Xinfang (“Letters and Visits”)channel.
Third, significant increase in rate of post-mediation discontinuance. Ningxia courts achieved a post-mediation discontinuance rate of 92%. In Liaoning, 74.87% of the cases were discontinued after mediation; the figure for Jiangxi was 69.81%. In Shandong, 68.7% of first instance intellectual property cases were discontinued after mediation; Heilongjiang’s figure was 66.2%. In Anhui Province, postmediation discontinuance rate was 61.86%. The high post-mediation discontinuance rate and high rate of acceptance of the courts’ decision have generated good social outcomes.
Protection continued to strengthen： The People’s Courts have continued to award damages based on market value to increase the severity of punishment for intellectual property infringement. This will also raise the cost of breaching the law and keep the damages quantum on par with the market value of intellectual property to effectively protect the interests of rightsholders. In an unfair competition case involving the “Laoban ‘老板brand of electrical appliances, the Zhejiang High People’s Court which heard the appeal referred to the sales figures submitted as evidence in another case, the selling prices showed in the infringing website and the operating profits indicated in the annual financial statements of the rightsholder’s listed company. The court determined that the gains from infringement had exceeded the rightsholder’s claim of damages, and went on to award the entire claim of CNY 10 million, which the demonstrated the value orientation of stepping up intellectual property protection. While civil adjudication is the predominant means of resolving intellectual property disputes, the People’s courts have continued to focus on using criminal sanctions as deterrence. In the case of He Wei et al. heard by the Hubei High People’s Court, where six people were involved in counterfeiting registered trademarks and selling goods with counterfeit marks and where the criminal proceeds was almost CNY 16 million, the Ministry of Public Security gave the case priority focus to supervising the
investigation phase. The case, which attracted much public attention, was difficult in the application of law. The court eventually sentenced He Wei, the principal offender, to seven years in prison on the charge of counterfeiting registered trademarks and three years in prison on the charge of selling goods with a counterfeit mark, thus, totalling 10 years, and a fine of CNY 3.71 million. The punishment meted out to the offender clearly demonstrates the capabilities and level of criminal protection for intellectual property.
2018 marks the first year when we put into action the values and precepts of the 19th Party Congress and the 40th year of China’s reform and opening-up. Increasingly, intellectual property is becoming the most important intangible asset in the world, a critical component of national interests, and an essential tool when great powers collide. The world is undergoing a period of change, with major development, major transformation and major adjustments, and the international regime governing intellectual property rights is also progressing and evolving. Determined to change and innovate, the People’s Courts are pushing ahead with reforms of the intellectual property judicial regime to recalibrate systems and mechanisms and rebuild capacities for the modern age.
Creating an intellectual property tribunal within the Supreme People’s Court is part of the efforts to developing a sound and Chinaspecific judicial protection regime for intellectual property. In February 2018, the Central Commission for Deepening Overall Reform decided that the setting up of an intellectual property tribunal would a key reform focus for 2018. The Supreme People’s Court’s Party organisation regarded the development of the intellectual property tribunal as a key priority, and Chief Justice Zhou Qing chaired a special meeting to study the feasibility of the project, demanding that the intellectual property tribunal meet the criteria being of “high starting point, high standard, high level and international in nature”. On 26 October; the Sixth Meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress approved the “Decision of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Several Issues Concerning Litigation Procedures for Patent and Other Intellectual Property Cases”. On 3 December 2018, at the 1756th meeting of the Supreme People’s Court Judicial Committee, the “Supreme People’s Court’s Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Intellectual Property Tribunal” was adopted. The provisions clarified issues such
as the scope of cases to be heard by the tribunal and the alignment of procedures. Being a permanent adjudication entity that is part of the Supreme People’s Court, the intellectual property tribunal is an appellate-level tribunal having centralise jurisdiction over appeals of patent infringement and antitrust or other technology-related intellectual property disputes. Within a short time, the tribunal has accomplished a suite of tasks, including site selection, recruitment, upgrading of case-operations system and back-end support, and officially began accepting cases on 1 January 2019.
Establishing the intellectual property tribunal is an important decision and resource deployment that stems from the strategic thinking of the CCP Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core leader, which is to develop China into a global powerhouse in intellectual property and in science and technology. It is also an important reform measure for our comprehensive deepening of judicial reform and promoting fair justice, an important symbol of the intensification of reform and opening-up in the new era, an important outcome of 40 years of continued reform and opening- up, and an important institutional innovation that provides rigorous protection for intellectual property, that serves the innovation-driven development strategy, and that helps cultivate a world-class business environment. Thus, the intellectual property tribunal is of enormous significance to China’s rule-of-law development and its history of advancing the cause of people’s justice.
The intellectual property courts have followed through the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s deliberations and opinions on Chief Justice Zhou Qiang’s report on the work of the intellectual property courts. Increased guidance was provided for the Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou intellectual property courts to elevate the standard of their operations. The three courts have made solid and smooth progress, and have achieved significant outcomes. By hearing high profile cases that draw considerable public attention, the courts establish the rules for deciding cases and promote unification of adjudication criteria, providing essential guidance for development of the adjudication sector. The courts’ efforts at significantly increasing compensation awards and encouraging litigation integrity have won them worthy praises from the society at large.
Having implemented a host of measures, the intellectual property courts are also the ground-breakers and trail-blazers of judicial reform: in terms of human resource management, they put in place the judicial accountability system, the professional judges headcount system, and a flat management structure; in terms of mode of adjudication, they developed a collaborative judge-led model with
categorised personnel, and clear accountability and responsibilities; in terms of de-bureaucratisation, they attempted hearing conducted directly by the adjudication committee, and having presidents and chief judges hear cases on a regular basis; in terms of case operations, they explored the case diversion system to separate simple cases from complex ones, and reform of written judgements, and established the technical investigation system to accumulate replicable and scalable experiences. The intellectual property courts also organised symposiums focusing on the development of a system for intellectual property courts, reviewed the lessons and experiences of the intellectual property courts and tribunals, and studied the ways to improve on the system.
To carry out the national intellectual property strategy, optimise intellectual property case management, and integrate intellectual property adjudication resources, the Supreme People’s Court approved in 2017 the setting up specialised intellectual property adjudication institutions with cross-regional jurisdiction in 11 cities, including Nanjing and Suzhou. In 2018, it approved the establishment of intellectual property tribunals in another 8 cities, namely Tianjin,
Zhengzhou, Changsha, Xi’an, Nanchang, Changchun, Lanzhou and Urumqi. Except for Lanzhou and Urumqi, which will commence operations in 2019, the other 6 intellectual property tribunals have commenced operations. Establishing these tribunals are important for unifying the yardsticks for decision-making, improve adjudication quality, and maintaining market order. They are also instrumental in terms of protecting the lawful interests of market players and in implementing China’s innovation-driven development strategy. More effort will be committed to provide professional guidance for cases handled by the specialised intellectual property adjudication entities with cross-regional jurisdiction, and the resource allocation for intellectual property adjudication will be continually optimised to improve on the overall jurisdiction structure.
In 2018, the Supreme People’s Court buttressed the results of the “three-in-one” reform by performing field studies in multiple provinces and cities. It also convened in Zhengzhou and Chongqing national symposiums for selected courts on topics relating to advancing the “three-in-one” initiative and investigative studies of intellectual property criminal adjudication. Participants at the symposiums carried out in-depth study of the problems in intellectual property criminal adjudication, and completed the “Research Report on Promoting Nation-wide ‘Three-in-One’ Adjudication of Intellectual Property Cases” and “Nation-wide Research Report on Criminal Adjudication in Chinese Courts”.
The above reports emphasised the need for the intellectual property tribunals of the different levels of courts to fully comprehend the inherent nature of the “three-in-one” mechanism for intellectual property adjudication, that the scope of intellectual property protection stems from a single intellectual property right, and that civil adjudication constitutes the core of the “three-in-one” model and the basis of administrative and criminal adjudication. In intellectual property disputes, civil adjudication determines the jurisdiction structure of “three-in-one” adjudication, in that the jurisdiction of civil cases must be the focal point, around which jurisdiction for administrative and criminal disputes aggregate. The reform of the “three-in-one” mechanism is the chokepoint but also the opening for the People’s Courts to become the main channel for protecting intellectual property in the new era. Therefore, full effort should be devoted to the implementing the “three-in-one” model, as decided by the Central Committee and as arranged by the Supreme People’s Court.
Currently, 17 high courts, 113 intermediate courts and 129 basic- level courts have implemented the “three-in-one” model. At the same
time, the Supreme People’s Court continues to give important priority to fighting infringement and counterfeiting to protect intellectual properties, and has been diligent and committed to this priority, having collaborated with the various authorities to follow through the decisions and arrangement of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council. Led by the office of the National Leading Group on the Fight against IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting, the Supreme People’s Court has participated in the drafting of various documents, compiling materials, jointly endorsing documents, supervising case operations and on-site appraisal. Its excellent performance of the various tasks has won it the accolade of “Outstanding Group Award for Combating Infringement and Counterfeiting”.
The Hunan courts developed comprehensive intellectual property protection regime comprising civil protection, administrative oversight on law enforcement and criminal sanctions. In the appeal by the Tianyuan People’s Procuratorate of Zhuzhou City, where defendants Xiang Fangxiang and Shangguan Zongshang were accused of illegally manufacturing and selling illegally produced registered trademarks and marks, the Hunan Zhuzhou Intermediate People’s Court amended the principal penalty from suspended prison sentence to prison sentence to effectively deter intellectual property crimes.
At the national symposium on fighting infringement and counterfeiting, the Shanghai Pudong Court shared its progress in driving the “three-in-one” adjudication model and was duly recognised. In the “three-in-one” reform initiative for intellectual property adjudication which all Chinese courts are pushing ahead, it is the “replicable and scalable” “Pudong experience” for general emulation.
Having unified adjudication criteria and ensuring a uniform approach to law-application for consistency and predictability is necessary for developing the intellectual property legal regime. In 2018, the People’s Courts have devoted much effort to unifying adjudication criteria and supervision of adjudicatory operations, and were able to correctly discern and manage the peculiarities and nature of intellectual property adjudication and align adjudication operations between the different levels of courts to improve adjudication quality and efficiency.
In July 2018, the Supreme People’s Court convened in Qingdao its 4th National Work Meeting on Intellectual Property Adjudication, for which Chief Justice Zhou Qiang gave important instructions. At the meeting, groups and individuals with outstanding performance were recognised and commended. Ten representatives from different courts shared their experiences. Vice President Tao Kaiyuan reviewed in depth the courts’ work for the past five years and the current situation and tasks, and organised intellectual property adjudication work for the near future. The meeting established the “three-step” development goal for intellectual property adjudication and specified the direction for the next five years. It also set forth nine major areas of increased emphasis, which are: establishing the courts as the key dispute resolution channel for intellectual property disputes to elevate the courts’ authority in the intellectual property legal regime; strict protection to increase the intellectual property rightsholders’ sense of gain; encouraging innovation to cultivate an innovative legal environment; maintaining competition to preserve an effective and healthy competition mechanism; values-driven to promote the core values of socialism; international perspective to continue elevating the international impact of judicial protection of intellectual property; reform and innovation to continue to modernise the intellectual
property adjudication system and adjudication capabilities; supervision and guidance to improve the quality and efficiency of intellectual property adjudication; capacity-building to develop a team of world-class judges. The principles established at the meeting were pertinently instructive for intellectual property adjudication in China for the near future.
The Supreme People’s Court issued the “Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Intellectual Property Tribunal” to expound details such as the nature of the organisation, scope of case acceptance, litigation procedures, working mechanism of adjudicatory powers and linking of procedures. Another judicial interpretation issued was the “Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Examining Cases Involving Taking Preservation Measures against Infringing Acts in Intellectual Property Disputes'： which provided clarity on matters such as the applicants of preservation cases, review procedure, necessity of preservation, jurisdiction relating to the determination of erroneous applications and initiation of compensation action to redress an erroneous application, removal of preservation measures, application charges. It also drafted a judicial interpretation concerning the participation of technical investigators
in litigation, which was submitted to the adjudication committee for deliberation. Judicial interpretations concerning adjudication of administrative cases relating to the granting and validation of patent rights are continuously studied, and new problems that emerged are widely discussed.
By working on and publishing the above judicial interpretations, the Supreme People’s Court has put into effect the “Opinions on Several Issues concerning Strengthening Reform and Innovation in Intellectual Property Adjudication" issued by the CPC Central Committee, to ensure that the “Pilot Programme on Establishing Intellectual Property Tribunal" approved by the Central Committee and the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s “Decision on Several Issues Concerning the Litigation Procedures in Patent and Other Intellectual Property Cases" are implemented and the desired results achieved, thereby helping to enrich and further develop the China-specific intellectual property litigation system. These efforts are critical for increasing the robustness of a specialised intellectual property adjudication system, elevating the quality and efficiency of adjudication, unifying adjudication criteria, and serving China’s innovation-driven development strategy and intellectual property strategy. The Supreme Court has also worked on the drafting of judicial interpretations concerning the application of the unfair competition law and protection of trade secrets to address
international concerns. Two legal seminars on the judicial protection of trade secrets were convened separately in Nanjing and Shanghai to clarify the legal thinking with regard to adjudicating trade secrets disputes, so as to prepare for the eventual promulgation of the judicial interpretation on trade secrets.
The Supreme People’s Court issued the “Notice on Strengthening Judicial Protection of ‘Red Classics’ and the Lawful Rights of Heroes and Martyrs to Promote the Core Values of Socialism”； drafted the “Letter from the Supreme Court’s General Office on Incorporating Content Relating to ‘Strengthening Judicial Protection of Red Classics and the Lawful Rights of Heroes and Martyrs to Promote the Core Values of Socialism* upon the Amendment of the Copyright Law” and the “Report on Matters Relating to the Strengthening Judicial Protection of Red Classics” to underline the importance of protecting the legacy of red classics and the lawful rights of heroes and martyrs according to law. The above documents also advocate the importance of paying attention to taste, style and responsibility, with the aim of educating and guiding the general public, especially the youth, to consciously resist being “lowly, crude and tawdry”； warn against historical nihilism, and regulate broadcasting activities to protect
social and public interests.
The Supreme People’s Court also submitted the “Report on the Study and Implementation of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s Report on the Audit of Copyright Law Enforcement and its Deliberations and Opinions” as assigned by the National People’s Congress’ law enforcement audit. Based on the problems as identified from the law enforcement audit and the judicial practice, the report proposed practical corrective measures and opinions pertaining to matters such as substantive reduction of the cost of defending rights, reducing the long litigation period, increasing the amount of infringement damages.
The courts have been active participants of in revision of laws and regulations, such as the Civil Code, Patent Law, Copyright Law, Law Against Unfair Competition, Trademark Law, and the Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law and Regulations on the Protection of New Plants Varieties. Judicial policies developed and experiences accumulated from adjudication practice were promptly and specifically studied and assessed, and recommendations for amendments proposed.
A national symposium for selected courts was convened in Beijing
to discuss the amendment of the Copyright Law. Extensive and indepth discussion were carried out, focusing on the classification of works, the rights included in copyright, copyright agreements, collective management, provisions on related rights, legal liability and coordination and alignment with international treaties and other laws. After thorough discussion, the “Supreme People’s Court’s Opinions on the Amendments to the Copyright Law” was submitted to the Ministry of Justice, and the document was highly commended, and the opinions contained within were well-received.
Thematic forums on current and hot intellectual property issues. In November 2018, the Supreme People’s Court convened in Hangzhou, a symposium to solicit opinions and recommendations for the “Several Provisions on Evidence for Civil Procedure for Intellectual Property Disputes (Draft)”. The meeting participants conducted an investigative study on judicial interpretation of evidence in intellectual property civil litigation and studied the use of special procedure in intellectual property litigation.
Several other research studies were also initiated. The research study on malicious trademark registration was a response to the problem that has attracted international attention and serious social displeasure. Another research was conducted jointly with the State
Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) Trademark Office to provide recommendations on the possible measures to deal with trademark squatting. To develop a better civil justice system to deal with monopoly matters, a research study on civil procedural issues relating to anti-monopoly disputes was initiated, so that the Anti-Monopoly Law could be better leveraged to curb monopolistic behaviour expeditiously. To commemorate the 10th year of promulgation of the Anti-Monopoly Law, the Supreme People’s Court organised a symposium to review the experiences relating to the adjudication of civil cases involving monopoly disputes, so as to pave the way for the revision of the Anti-Monopoly Law and the drafting of judicial interpretations, and that a fair and effective mechanism that conduces to market competition can be maintained.
Other areas of research include the study of the conflicts between industrial design and copyright, for which seminars were held in Beijing and Kunming, and the “Study Report on the Conflicts between Industrial Design and Copyright” was drafted to elucidate the similarities and differences and the conflict of rights, and from which practical adjudication guiding opinions could be generated. The study on the judicial protection of outcomes from innovative business models was another interesting attempt. On April 2018, the Supreme People’s Court’s Intellectual Property Judicial Protection Research Centre convened an assessment conference to deliberate and evaluate
the outcomes of the “Study on the Judicial Protection of the Outcomes of Innovative Business Models”. Leaders from the relevant agencies and experts and academics attended the conference to deliberate and assess the research project’s outcomes, and provided feedback, adjustments and revisions for the report.
The local courts also actively carried out research studies in different areas. On 20 April 2018, the Beijing High People’s Court issued the “Beijing High People’s Court Bench Book on Adjudicating Copyright Infringement Cases'： which specifically sets forth that when adjudicating copyright cases, judges should adhere to the basic adjudication principles of providing greater protection, of encouraging creation, of promoting dissemination and of balancing interests. By summing up the thinking behind the hearing of cases involving copyright infringement, the bench book provides useful guidance for the hearing of internet-related copyright disputes by the Beijing Internet Court and the adjudication of copyright disputes by other Beijing courts. The bench book is a valuable contribution to advancing development and innovation in Beijing’s cultural sector. Again, on 20 September 2018, the court published the “Opinions on Providing Judicial Protection for Strengthening the Development of a National Technological Innovation Centre in Beijing”： which sets forth adjudication rules and requirements for disputes involving innovation-based technologies and relevant cases, and lays out specific measures for overcoming obstacles stemming from institutions and mechanisms that hamper development of intellectual property adjudication.
In April 2018, the Guangdong High People’s Court published the “Operational Guidelines on Adjudicating Standard Essential Patent Disputes'； which looked in to the adjudication thinking and methodology behind disputes involving standard essential patents. “China Intellectual Property (English Edition)' and world-renowned specialised intellectual property media reported on the publication in great detail, providing penetrating interpretations of the Guidelines. It was encouraging to see Qualcomm Technologies and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd selecting Guangdong Province as the choice jurisdiction for standard essential patent disputes.
The Shanghai High People’s Court issued the “Several Opinions on Strengthening Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property' to implement measures that make production of evidence convenient for the parties, that increase the amount of compensation, and that shorten the adjudication cycle, which was highly regarded by the society at large.
The Sichuan High People’s Court published the “Guidelines on Adjudicating Disputes Relating to the Infringement of the Right of Information Transmission in Networks' and the “Bench Book on Adjudicating Trademark Infringement Disputes” unify the adjudication criteria for all courts in the province.
To address the inconsistent standards used in determining electronic evidence submitted during intellectual property litigation, the Zhejiang courts developed a manual entitled “Examination and Determination of Electronic Evidence Relating to Intellectual Property Rights”.
The Shandong High People’s Court was highly productive, having completed the Supreme People’s Court’s major research project entitled “Research on the Intellectual Property Protection of New Forms of Innovation”，the “Research on Strengthening Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property。the “Research Report on the AntiMonopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China’” and the research study on “Standard of Proof for Trademark Infringement Cases”
The Tianjin High People’s Court completed the Supreme People’s Court’s major research project entitled “Research on the Judicial Protection Strategy of Intellectual Property in China” and the judicial practice-based thematic research project entitled “Case Study on the Legal Regulation of New Types of Unfair Competition on the Internet”.
Leveraging the role of research bases and bolstering case guidance and case studies: After years of searching and learning, the People’s Courts have developed a unique “four-in-one” intellectual property case guidance system underpinned by typical cases, guiding cases, annual case reports and case-guidance research bases.
In April 2018, Tao Kaiyuan, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court convened and chaired the Work Symposium of the Supreme People’s Court’s Intellectual Property Judicial Protection Research Centre cum Seminar on Theories of Intellectual Property Judicial Protection. In his speech, Justice Tao stressed the need to unify thinking and forge synergies in promoting the continued innovation and practical application of intellectual property theories and research methods, research perspectives and outcomes. Representatives from different theoretical study bases and research bases spoke at the symposium. This enabled the research centre to contribute to theoretical research in the judicial protection of intellectual property in the new era, and to leverage its theoretical research capabilities to contribute advice and suggestions.
The Supreme People’s Court reviewed the classic cases relating to the judicial protection of intellectual property, and compiled and published the Chinese and English versions of the “Collection of Classic Cases on the Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property in China” to make known the court’s achievements. The work has attracted broad interest. Also publishing soon is the “Supreme People’s Court Guiding Cases for Intellectual Property Adjudication
(Volume 10)”. Other publications include the "Analysis of New Challenges in Intellectual Property Judicial Practice: Hot Issues on Patents, Trademarks and Copyright。"Analysis of New Challenges in Intellectual Property Judicial Practice: Intellectual Property Judicial Protection and Industrial Development, "Interpretations and Applications of Intellectual Property Judicial Interpretations (Updated Edition)”. Through its monthly publication "Trends in Intellectual Property Adjudication” and work reporting, the Supreme People’s Court has developed a regular guidance and communication mechanism with lower level courts.
In December 2018, the Chongqing High People’s Court edited and published the 7 th edition of its "Research on Intellectual Property Adjudication in China'； comprising 52 articles and totalling 650,000 words. As a continuous publication by the Judicial Theory Committee and an important series under the Chinese Judicial Theory series, this is a highly influential publication. The Chongqing High People’s Court also jointly organised with the Southwest University of Political Science & Law the "China Intellectual Property Judges’ Forum”. Four forums were held in 2018.
In March 2018, the Guangxi High People’s Court published the "Collection of Written Judgments on Typical Intellectual Property Cases by Guangxi High Court (2011 to 2016)” targeting at intellectual property judges, and developed the “Guidelines on Adjudicating Design Patent Infringement Disputes” to provide standard yardsticks for deciding disputes involving the infringement of design patents.
In 2018, intellectual property adjudication for the People’s Courts implemented the CCP Central Committee’s decisions and plans to deepen reforms comprehensively and to govern according to law comprehensively, and to fulfil the important tasks of promoting open justice and developing an open, dynamic, transparent and convenient sunshine justice mechanism. The courts’ efforts produced positive results.
In conjunction with the World Intellectual Property Day’s theme of “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity” to celebrate the brilliance of the women who are shaping the world’s intellectual property landscape, the Supreme People’s Court organised the “Symposium on Intellectual Property for Women” on 27 April, which aimed to reflect on how women in the intellectual property sector of the new era could transform their intelligence and
sense of responsibility into the power of innovation. Discussions at the symposium revolved around Xi Jinping’s thoughts on Chinese socialism for the new era and the tenets of the Party’s 19th Congress, where NPC deputies, representatives from the All China’s Women’s Federation and Women’s Judges Association, women in technological innovation within intellectual property sector, women academics, female journalists and women judges from different courts gathered at the symposium to share insights and their aspirations and missions for their intellectual property careers of the new era. Vice President Tao Kaiyuan gave a key note speech entitled “Inner and Outer Cultivation, with gentle justice and judicial wisdom, give every passion and affection to the great journey of reform and innovation”. An MV of the “Intellectual Property Song" was played at the symposium. Written by Vice President Tao, the lyrics express the voice, mission and noble sentiments of the intellectual property fraternity and are deeply moving.
The Jiangsu courts continued to maintain and operate their WeChat official account, the “Jiangsu Intellectual Property Perspective (Jiangsu Zhichan Shiyef)ff to increase their influence within and outside the intellectual property adjudication sector. Special columns in professional intellectual property media, such as the Jiangsu High People’s Court’s Sina Weibo and WeChat official accounts were run, publishing regularly information on complex and difficult cases
heard and concluded by the different courts within the province for prompt dissemination of the latest news on intellectual property judicial protection and increase the courts’ impact in intellectual property adjudication within and outside the Jiangsu Province. Since establishing the “Jiangsu IP Vision (Jiangsu Zhichan Shiye)” on WeChat, more than 170 typical cases and nearly 10 articles were published in 182 editions, and the results were encouraging.
During the period of the “two conferences'； to respond to the people’s interest and concern in intellectual property adjudication, the Supreme People’s Court participated in an interview which were telecasted live on all media on 16 March 2018, focusing on the key points noted in the “Supreme People’s Court Work Report''. The invited guests were chief judge Song Xiaoming and deputy chief judges Wang Chuang and Lin Guanghai, who spoke about issues relating to “leveraging the courts as the main channel for protecting intellectual property". Another invited guest was Justice Song Yushui, Vice President of the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, who was interviewed via online video-conferencing.
The interview focused on Chief Justice Zhou Qiang’s work report, revolving around five main points: the People’s Courts leveraging their intellectual property adjudicatory functions to serve and secure the national strategy of innovation-driven development; increasing oversight and guidance and ensuring consistency in law-application; deepening judicial reform of the intellectual property regime to build a more robust system of adjudication; increase judicial transparency and exchange to elevate China’s international influence in the judicial arena; strengthening development of the intellectual property adjudication team to raise their adjudication capabilities and standard. Detailed figures were quoted, and the observations of the guest commenters were enlightening. The comprehensive sharing of the progress of intellectual adjudication during the past five years and the extensive, multi-dimensional and thorough elaboration of what “leveraging the courts as the main channel for protecting intellectual property” indicated in the “Supreme People’s Court Work Report” means was telecasted live by more than 30 media, and generated positive and enthusiastic public response and social effect.
The Supreme People’s Court has celebrated the "26 April” World
Intellectual Property Day since 2009. Its focus has always been on the theme of open justice, as it continues to draw attention to the latest topics and highlights of judicial protection of intellectual property. This is also an excellent opportunity to review and improve on the means and methods of doing publicity on the judicial protection of intellectual property. During the past nine years, our courts have learned and evolved in the way they organise intellectual property outreach programmes, which are now increasingly systematic and up-scaled, creating an excellent brand effect.
Vice President Tao Kaiyuan shared at the press conference of the 2018 Intellectual Property Outreach Week, the overall results achieved by the People’s Courts in 2017 in terms of intellectual property protection and the highlights of their innovative outcomes. Several publications were also released during this time, including the “Intellectual Property Protection by Chinese Courts in 2016” (Chinese and English versions), “Ten Major Intellectual Property Cases and Fifty Typical Cases Adjudicated by China’s Courts in 2016。and the “Supreme People’s Court Annual Report of Intellectual Property Cases (2017)” More than 20 media attended and reported the press conference, and enthusiastic responses and comments generated. The local courts also organised various “26 April” outreach activities based on local circumstances and needs.
The courts have made significant efforts to publish written judgements, where they actively explored new avenues on the mobile internet environment to promote open justice, and have used extensively platforms such as China Judgements Online (wenshu. court.gov.cn), China Judicial Process Information Online (https:// splcgk.court.gov.cn/gzfwww/) and China Court Hearing Online (tingshen.court.gov.cn/) to build an information-based, data-driven and detail-oriented intellectual property open justice system and to increase the transparency of adjudication. Written judgements appropriate for public access are uploaded on the websites promptly and fully, and updates on their online availability announced regularly. Over time, the scope of such public access will increase and the efficiency of providing accessibility will improve. The written judgements of the Supreme People’s Court Intellectual Property Division are 100% available online.
Advancing public access of the hearing process and online case operations is another area of focus. The courts have improved their management of the adjudication process for intellectual property cases and furthered the development of technology courts to promote adoption of contemporaneous audio- and video-recording and live streaming of the hearing process. New and innovative ways
of open hearing are created, and the scope of open hearing expanded to ensure that the parties can exercise their right to know and right to supervise. Promoting greater use of smart technology has empowered open justice and improved adjudication and efficiency.
The Anhui courts have leveraged the three major open justice platforms to enable online access of written judgements and live streaming of court hearings as much as possible, where appropriate. The Haozhou Intermediate People’s Court have organised open hearings for ten thousand citizens, where people from different sectors were invited to observe the court proceedings when intellectual property cases were heard. For cases suitable for circuit court hearing, the Tongling Intermediate People’s Court would deploy judges to the location of the defendant’s principal establishment, shopping mall or places as such to conduct hearings and face-to-face legal outreach and education.
The intellectual property legal regime draws strength from international commonalities and responses to interactive effects from different regimes. The People’s Courts must actively engage in
international and regional intellectual exchanges and cooperation, and must establish and improve its communication and exchange mechanisms for sharing information on judicial protection of intellectual property to facilitate deeper and objective understanding of the complete set-up of China’s intellectual property judicial protection regime by the different countries. China works to elevate its participation, discourse power and the flexibility to respond to its advantage to changes and challenges, and gives priority to building an environment conducive to trade and investment and creating the image of a responsible power.
Strengthening international judicial cooperation and exchange: The People’s Courts attaches great importance to strengthening exchanges with international organisations and countries around the world, and to showcasing the results of judicial protection of intellectual property in China and the abilities and accomplishments of Chinese intellectual property judges.
In November 2018, at the invitation of WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry, Vice President Tao Kaiyuan led a delegation for WIPO’s inaugural Intellectual Property Judges Forum in Geneva and her first meeting of with the WIPO Advisory Board of Judges. Delivering the
only key note address at the forum, Justice Tao spoke on the topic “Steadfast in providing judicial protection of intellectual property; working together to create a great future for intellectual property”. Her inspiring address received a positive and enthusiastic response from the audience, and key excerpts of her speech is quoted on WIPO’s website. WIPO and Director-General Gurry expressed their strong support and great recognition for China’s work on intellectual property. The visit provided opportunity for China to share its historical achievements in the judicial protection of intellectual property and to respond to respond to issues of concern, and in doing so, garner maximum understanding and receptiveness of China’s specificities in intellectual property protection from the international community. It was also an excellent platform which China used to make itself heard, contribute the Chinese wisdom and Chinese formula.
The EU-China Anti-Monopoly Judicial Seminar convened in Beijing. Co-organised by the Supreme People’s Court and European antimonopoly agencies, the seminar was attended by President of the General Court (EGC) of the Court of Justice of the European Union Marc Jaeger, Judge Schwarcz, European anti-monopoly agencies, and China representatives from the EU Commission. During this period, Vice President Tao Kaiyuan and Chief Judge Song Xiaoming met with EGC President Jaeger and his delegation. In addition, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China today released its “European Business in China-Position Paper”； which highly commended China for establishing intellectual property courts.
The Supreme People’s Court also send representatives to participate in the Inaugural U.S.-China Digital Economy Forum, 140th Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association, Symposium on Intellectual Property Advanced Seminar for ASEAN+3 2018, the 8th OECD/KPC Competition Workshop for Asia-Pacific Judges, 8th OECD/KPC Competition Workshop for Asia-Pacific Judges and the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property (Fall Conference). It also continued to participate in the negotiations of the Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, and was involved in the 4th Special Commission meeting.
Cooperation with Europe continued to be very close, as the court also sent representatives to participate in the 21th meeting of the EU- China IP Working Group. Both China and Europe agreed to strengthen their intellectual property dialogue and to deepen cooperation in intellectual property protection. In November, under the China-EU IP Cooperation Project “IP Key China””, a delegation of intellectual property judges from China went on study visits to Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. This was a programme aimed at fostering
exchanges with the intellectual property-related policy-makers and judiciaries of European authorities to help them understand the level of judicial protection given to intellectual property in China and China’s position of giving equal protection to local and foreign rightsholders, which will give China greater international influence. It will also help us learn and adapt advanced legislative and judicial experiences to further strengthen our intellectual property adjudication system and develop more robust intellectual property protection systems and mechanisms, which will elevate our professional competence in intellectual property adjudication.
Strengthening inter-judicial cooperation and exchange: First, mutual visits and exchange with Hong Kong and Macao. In October 2018, Vice President Tao Kaiyuan led a delegation of eight to visit the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and the Court of Final Appeal of Macau at their invitation. This was the first time that mainland and Hong Kong judges held a seminar on the topic of adjudication in Hong Kong. The discussions have enabled the judges from both sides to resonate in many areas as men of the law. The delegation also visited judiciaries in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR to confirm the mutual visit mechanism for their judges, as well as participated in intellectual property adjudication seminars in Hong Kong and Macao. The "Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters by the Courts of the
Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” signed with Hong Kong’s Legislative Council provides for the recognition and enforcement of intellectual property-related civil judgements and serves the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
Second, mutual visits and exchange with Taiwan. Between 15 and 21 May, Chief Judge Song Xiaoming visited Taiwan in the capacity of executive director of the China Association of Judges under the invitation of the Taiwan Law Society. The 12-person delegation visited the Taiwan Intellectual Property Court to study the set-up and operations of the specialised court, and other systems relating to the judicial protection of intellectual property, such as “three-in-one” adjudication and technology investigators. With the joint efforts of all members of the delegation, the study visits and exchanges yielded positive results and met the objectives of the trip. On 13 December; Justice Song met with Justice Sung-Mei Hsiung from the Taiwan Intellectual Property Court, who was invited to visit by the China Association of Judges. Both sides discussed intensively on issues such as punitive damages, patent litigation agent, and the source and makeup of technology investigators.
Organised as a collaborative effort between the Supreme People’s Court and WIPO, the inaugural “Master Class on IP Adjudication" was held on 21-23 August 2018 at the National Judges College in Beijing. This judicial training was the most important and the highest level, and where the discussion topics of which were the most in-depth. Chief Justice and President of the Supreme People’s Court Zhou Qiang specially met with Deputy Director-General of WIPO Wang Binying, Legal Counsel and head of the WIPO legal team Frits Bontekoe, and representative of the students and instructors of the master class. The class consisted of 7 lectures, 24 formal students and 15 observers from China, the United States, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Moldova, Brazil, Latvia, Malaysia and South Africa. More than 40 judges from 15 countries gathered here to learn and share, using English as the only language of communication.
Chief Justice Zhou noted that China’s courts engage closely with WIPO and collaboration between them has been fruitful. The success of this master class is a major outcome of this collaboration, and is instrumental in encouraging the judges from different countries to engage with each other more, and in facilitating judicial protection
of intellectual property in different countries. This success also marks the advancement of the cooperation between the Supreme People’s Court and WIPO to new heights, and opens up avenues for making known to the world China’s achievements in the judicial protection of intellectual property, and with widened international exposure, China’s intellectual property judges will truly become more international in their legal knowledge and perspectives.
Solid and sound training has always been the cornerstone of intellectual property adjudication for the People’s Court. The intellectual adjudication team of the courts of every level must have the initiative to adopt a higher political stance and to elevate their professional qualities and competence. The courts must also apply themselves to building an intellectual property adjudication team that is steadfast in political belief, that has the sense of totality, that is well-versed with the law and technically-skilled, and that possess an international perspective, so as to provide strong organisational underpinnings for the adjudication of intellectual property in the new era.
(1) Intensifying development of ideological and political thoughts to elevate the level of thinking and political calibre
The Party’s political development is a fundamental development. Intellectual property judges must appreciate the full importance of the Party’s political development to the People’s Courts’ development, uphold the absolute leadership of the party, and stay determined and unwavering in their political belief. They must develop greater political awareness, improve on their political qualities and capabilities, and strengthen their political conviction, and they must adhere strictly to political discipline and political rules.
In early 2018, a talkfest whose theme was “Glory and Dream, Mission and Responsibility" was held at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. Vice President Tao Kaiyuan shared her emotion affinity, ideal and pursuit with regard to intellectual property rights, and elicited strong resonance among the cadre police officers.
In June 2018, a Party Day activity under the theme “In pursuit of Yan’an’s footprint, uphold the Yan’an Spirit" was held in the old revolutionary base of Yan’an. The party members felt deeply enlightened. Between October and December, the “Photography Exhibition Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening- up" was held, where brilliant photo images gave vivid expression to the work of intellectual property judicial protection, the devotion of the adjudication team, and the inspiring ethos and energy.
(2) Strengthening training on adjudication operations to improve on the judicial capabilities of in adjudication
The “Opinions on Several Issues concerning Strengthening Reform and Innovation in Intellectual Property Adjudication" specifies the need to devote great effort to develop the intellectual property adjudication team into a “formalised, specialised, professionalised and internationally savvy" team. A high-calibre team of judges is essential for sustaining the development of intellectual property judicial operations. In 2018, the Supreme People’s Court organised more than thirty sessions of intellectual property training at the National Judges* College and the local courts. The court also organised three sessions of the “Expert Lecture Series for the Party Branch of the Intellectual Property Divisions'； focusing on topics such as the application of law in patent examination, criminal adjudication of intellectual property infringement, trademark protection in a digital environment, legal liability of network service operators, which was very well-received by the participants.
The local courts also conducted training. To improve the professional capabilities of intellectual property judges, for example, the Fujian High People’s Court, organised a training on adjudication skills for sixty trainees between 14 to 23 August 2018 at the East China University of Political Science and Law.
In 2018, the intellectual property divisions of all the courts have followed through with the requirement to enforce strict governance on the party, the court, the division and in management, and has dedicated much effort to developing good conduct and discipline within the intellectual property adjudication teams, focusing on correcting the “four problematic habits (sifeng),f: formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance, and on striking problems that elicit strong public reaction. Checks and corrective actions are taken promptly, regularly and persistently.
The different levels of adjudication divisions are also committed to educating and guiding cadre police officers on judicial conscience and to enforcing rigorous discipline on judicial behaviour as part of a continuous process to improve judicial conduct. Greater prevention and control measures have also been instituted to guard against the risks of judicial dishonesty. Another area that has been given urgent attention is the development and improvement of management and supervision mechanisms that accommodate the new mechanism for exercising adjudication powers, and that support the judicial accountability system. Finally, the courts also take rigorous action in investigating and punishing fraudulent and adjudication-for-gain behaviour. Strict and determined measures are imposed to eradicate rotten apples to ensure that the action and stringency are indeed genuine, undeterred and sustained.
In 2019, we celebrate the 70th year of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. But 2019 is also the critical year for achieving the building of a “complete xiaokang” society and the first Centenary Goal, and the first year of the People’s courts’ fifth Five-Year Reform Programme. As we usher in a new chapter in history, the People’s Courts face an exciting future with higher demands and a people with higher expectations. Enabling the courts to serve the larger good, and enabling justice to be done for the people and done impartially are tasks that are increasingly laborious and onerous.
The new era is for go-getters. And the answers are for us to give. Judicial protection of intellectual property by the People’s Courts will adhere to the path of Chinese socialism for the new era as propounded by President Xi Jinping. The courts will discern and manage the key social contradictions and changes in the new era,
and concentrate efforts on enhancing the judicial abilities and performance in intellectual property. They will reinforce the sense of crisis and of responsibility, and take effective precautions against risks and challenges. All are determined to transform and innovate, and to fulfil their undertakings to scale greater heights in the building of a law-based China, and to give rightsholders a greater sense of gain, of happiness and of security. These efforts will contribute to making China a global powerhouse in intellectual property and in science and technology, to providing effective judicial safeguards for the continued robust development of the economy, and to achieving notable results for the celebration of the 70th year of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that innovation is the primary force propelling development, that protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) protects innovation, and that the rule of law for intellectual property (IP) protection should be strengthened. In September 2021, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council released The Outline for Building an Intellectual Property Powerhouse (2021-2035) for the purposes of advancing the building of an IP powerhouse in an overall manner, comprehensively improving IP creation, use, protection, management and services, and maximizing the critical role of the IP system in the socialist modernization.
In 2021, people’s courts adhered to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and thoroughly implemented Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law. The courts earnestly