IP Developments in Beijing

The newsletter of the Beijing Intellectual Property Institute (www.bipi.org) reports the following related developments in Beijing in its January 2014 edition:

First, due to the rapid increase in IP cases in the Beijing Number 1 Intermediate Court, particularly IP cases involving patent and trademark validity, the Beijing Intermediate Court will split its Intellectual Property Tribunal in two.  The number one IP Tribunal will primarily hear trademarks and unfair competition cases, while the slightly smaller number two IP tribunal will primarily hear patent and copyright cases.

Second, it is also reported that the Beijing courts have been hearing more IP cases, and that their share of the national docket is about 10%.  First instance cases increased from 4,748 cases in 2008 to 11,305 in 2012, and increase of nearly 150%.  Copyright cases represented about half the total.  

It is my hope that this division of the courts will increase expertise and efficiency, as this court likely hears the most foreign IP cases of any court in China.  The reason: foreigners are a small percentage of the total civil IP docket, but a large share of the administrative docket involving appeals from the patent and trademark offices.  

Although Beijing represents “only” 10% of China’s IP docket, it has an outsized influence on foreigners, with the Beijing Intermediate Court likely hearing well over 50% of foreign-related IP cases. 

 Here is a chart of the Beijing IP court system, from the BIPI newsletter:

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Litigation Meets Innovation: A Glimpse at China’s Continuing Litigation Explosions

In recent lectures I have been fond of asking: if China were to have as meteoric a pace of growth in intellectual property acquisition and enforcement as it has had in gross domestic product, what would be the impact on foreign IP-intensive industries?   Will China’s growing role in IP lead to the same kind of economic dislocations that was involved in the shift to manufacturing in China? A first glimpse at 2012 enforcement data shows some important trends which foreign companies may wish to consider in this very rapidly growing IP market.     Continue reading