Brookings Program Highlights China’s Legal and IP Reforms

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A program on January 28, 2015 at Brookings in DC, demonstrated how China indeed is “crossing the rule of law river by feeling the IP stones.” Two Chinese judges – Supreme Peoples Court Vice President Tao Kaiyuan and SPC No. Four Civil Tribunal Chief Judge Luo Dongchuan, gave an upbeat overview of China’s quickening pace of judicial legal reform which was deeply informed by their experience on IP matters. The presentation of Judge Tao is available on line.

Judge Tao is well known to many for her stewardship of the Guangdong IP Office, where she served as Director General from 2008-2013. In her current role at the SPC, she oversees the IP Division (No. 3 Civil Division).  Judge Luo now handles foreign-related commercial and maritime cases. He has been outspoken recently about improving foreign-related civil litigation. He is perhaps best known for his many years of work on the IP Division of the SPC, where I had numerous discussions with him on a range of IP issues, including patent litigation and the role of specialized IP courts.

Judges Tao and Luo, in public and in private, were both quick to point out their close relationship with the IP community. As slides 7- 8 point out, numerous reforms are underway and indeed, many of the reforms that are being contemplated nationwide are now being tried out at the specialized IP courts.

The Judges themselves appear to be part of a modest rule of law “charm offensive”, with a prior stop over in Houston.

(Photo above: Federal Circuit Bar Association President Jim Brookshire with Madame Tao Kaiyuan.)

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