(Yicai Global) Oct. 24 -- China's Supreme People's Court has received approvals to form a unified national-level court of appeals covering intellectual property cases.
The court submitted a draft proposal on Oct. 24 to set up a central platform to hear cases related to trademarks, business secrets and anti-unfair competition and has received the go-ahead from the government to move forward with the plan, Legal Daily reported.
The proposal drew on experiences learned from the US, Japan, Korea and other countries, one of its promoters exclusively told Yicai Global. The new court represents the seventh circuit set up under the Supreme People's Court. The final instance of patent and technology-related cases nationwide will be dealt with by the court once it has been established.
The document obtained by Yicai Global indicates that more than ten countries globally have set up IP courts, all of which are state-level and focus on patent-related cases.
The move is unrelated to the Sino-US trade friction, the promoter said, adding that the long-term plan of the Chinese government is to make progress with trials related to IP rights.
Judging from the practice of Chinese trials, the main forms of cases related to IP rights are patents, trademarks, copyrights as well as new species of plants, layouts of integrated circuits, technical secrets and monopolistic activity.
The IP court set up by Supreme People's Court is mainly responsible for dealing with cases on appeals related to inventions, patents of utility models and other technical cases because of their higher professionality and technical requirements.
The Supreme People's Court will formulate judicial interpretations to further detail and specify the issues surrounding the jurisdiction of the new court.
Three IP courts were established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2014 and before that, there were also more than ten similar courts run by intermediate people's courts in many provinces.
The IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are independent judiciaries with self-ruling rights on staff, properties and assets while other local IP courts are special judicial administrations set up inside relevant People's Courts, Liu Yi, a lawyer in Changsha in Hunan province, said.
The difference between Beijing's intermediate court and other IP courts is that the former is exclusively responsible for the administrative cases of authorization and right identification related to patents and trademarks in China, which means that all authorization and right identification of the IP rights-related applications accepted and reviewed by China's trademark and patent administration will be exclusively under the jurisdiction of Beijing's court instead of IP courts in other places, the relevant person in charge of Beijing' s IP court explained to Yicai Global.
All patents and trademarks obtain unified authorization from the country without any mechanism of authorization from provincial governments, he said, adding that this is universal all around the country. As a result, the successive judicial review in this regard shall be proceeded by the same court. "We have more responsibilities than some provincial high courts and the Supreme People's Court will directly hear or proceed with all cases on appeals in the field of IP rights in future," he added.
China's civil procedure law stipulates a two-tiered trial system China's model means a case shall go through the first and the second instance to obtain a final judgment, said He Jing, a lawyer at legal firm AnJie. The sector had been expecting a less complex court of first instance plus a unified IP court of appeals. Setting up an independent court would require the alteration of several existing laws and conditions are not yet ready, he added.
Editors: William Clegg