At an IP symposium held this Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Chengdu, it was revealed by a senior Chinese academic (Prof. Wu Handong) in response to a question raised by former Chief Judge Randall Rader, than the Supreme People’s Court has decided to recommend to the National People’s Congress that China should establish a national appellate IP court, similar to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Prof. Wu also noted that this court would be in addition to new intermediate level IP courts being established in Chengdu, Nanjing, Suzhou and Wuhan and would be part of the recommendations regarding continuation and expansion of the existing (and successful, in my opinion) IP court experiments in China (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou). The new Court’s jurisdiction, if approved by the NPC, would be similar to that of the existing specialized IP courts, and would focus on technology-related IP issues. Prof. Wu noted that the court would likely be a circuit court that would be based in Beijing. He also said that he would present Judge Rader’s views supporting a national appellate IP court to the SPC for inclusion in its recommendations to the NPC. Prof. Wu’s comments drew applause from the audience.
In separate developments, Chengdu officials noted that it had received approval from the State Council to conduct a trial experiment in combined local administration of IP issues, where patent, trademark, copyright and other IP-related agencies would be combined. This effort is intended to extend beyond the long standing “Market Supervision Administration” experiment in Shenzhen, which combines some IP administration enforcement agencies. Chengdu would thus be conducting two significant experiments in IP protection next year – one on IP administration and another in establishing an intermediate-level IP court.
The discussions occurred at the 2017 Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair.