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11 October 2010
Since China's accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001, local courts have experienced an increase in IP rights civil lawsuits before the courts, in excess of 25% year on year. In 2009 local courts accepted 30,626 civil complaints of the first instance, which was an increase of 25.5% compared with 2008.
However, in the first half of 2010, local courts accepted 20,357 civil complaints of first instance, which represents an increase of over 46.12%. Among these lawsuits, there were over 11,827 copyright cases, 3,945 trademark cases and 2,582 patent cases.
The number of foreign-related IP lawsuits also increased, although these account for an ever-declining proportion of the total number of cases. In the first half of 2010, China's courts accepted 583 foreign-related IP civil lawsuits, an increase of 45% compared with the same period of 2009. However, this figure represents less than 2% of the total number of cases accepted. Over half involved parties from the European Union. Parties from Japan were involved in 19% of cases; 16.8% involved parties from the United States.
Similar overall trends apply to administrative cases - that is, appeals against decisions made by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board and the Patent Re-examination Board). In the first half of 2010, the No 1 Beijing Intermediate Court, which is the only court of first instance with competence to review such decisions, accepted 320 appeals for patent review and 1,084 appeals for trademark review - respectively, a threefold and fourfold increase compared with the same period in 2009.
For further information on this topic please contact Paul Ranjard or Zhang Shuhua at Wan Hui Da Law Firm & Intellectual Property Agency by telephone (+86 10 6892 1000), fax (+86 10 6894 8030) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
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