31 Oct 2016 in Newsletter
China IPR Judgments and Decisions
As China attaches more importance to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and IPR disputes continue to rise in frequency, the Chinese government hopes to enhance its judicial openness in the IPR respect. In order to do so, in addition to the existing website China Judgments Online (http://wenshu.court.gov.cn/), the Supreme Court later added an IPR-focused website under its governance, China IPR Judgments & Decisions (http://ipr.court.gov.cn/), with the intention to create a pool of IPR-related cases. The written documents provided by China IPR Judgments & Decisions encompass all types of documents issued by Chinese courts, such as written decisions, procedural rulings, and even conciliation statements (essentially an effort made by Chinese courts to attempt to get the sides to settle their dispute). Currently, this new website, like the old one, is presented only in the Chinese language.
Diving into the China IPR Judgments & Decisions website, one may find that this website supports viewing cases according to various classifications including copyright and neighboring right, trademark right, patent right, new varieties of plants, unfair competition, technology contract, monopoly and others. Cases can also be viewed on a basis of province with the Supreme Court singled out. In addition, one can choose to view the “Latest Decisions” and “Classic Decisions.” Among the 20 listed “Classic Decisions” is the conciliation statement made by the Zhejiang High People’s Court in the well-known Chint Group vs. Schneider Electric case pertaining to patent infringement. According to the statement, Schneider paid a settlement fee as high as 157.5 million Yuan (around 23.6 million USD) to China, one of the leading Chinese businesses in electric industry.
The website allows a comprehensive search of cases based on parameters such as key word, case number, and court. However, new decisions are yet not as timely as on China Judgments Online. In particular, only after the final instance decision has been made (if appeal occurs) will the written decisions (from first instance to final) of the whole case be published. Despite these limitations, China IPR Judgments & Decisions demonstrates China’s ongoing efforts to improve transparency on its courts and, with some further improvements, will be a convenient source of information for those interested in the judicial tendency of IPR in China.