Chinese courts adhere to national treatment principles and abide
by international conventions to protect the rights of foreign
holders of intellectual property rights, a senior judge told a
national conference on IPR-related trials yesterday.
"In IPR cases involving foreign parties, we insist on fair
trials and equal protection for all involved, ensure trials'
independence and neutrality, and maintain a sound judicial image,"
Cao Jianming, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC),
He called on courts to be balanced in their approach to the
interests of domestic and foreign parties.
"Courts should neither exaggerate national interests, nor fail
to achieve just trials and equal protection because of pressure
from foreign parties," Cao said.
Courts should handle all cases strictly according to the law,
regardless of whether they are straightforward ones involving
foreign parties, or highly sensitive ones that could attract global
attention, he said.
"Courts must not sacrifice justice to blindly cater to
unilateral foreign public opinions."
China's IPR laws are mostly in line with international
legislation, but when they are not, we will give priority to
international conventions that are directly applicable to domestic
trials, Cao said.
"IPR protection has become a constant strategic topic in China's
external affairs," he said.
"On the one hand, China has made remarkable progress, while on
the other, some developed countries keep applying pressure as
global IPR competition intensifies.
"It is impossible to solve in a short time contradictions
between China's economic and technical shortcomings as a developing
country and the high IPR protection standards proposed by developed
countries," Cao said.
"The disputes will last for a long time."
The number of IPR cases involving foreign parties has risen
significantly over the past seven years, according to Jiang Zhipei,
chief justice of the SPC IPR Tribunal.
Between 2001 and last year, Chinese courts concluded more than
1,600 IPR cases involving overseas parties. Last year alone, they
handled 668 cases, up 89 percent on 2006, 164 of which were dealt
with by courts in Shanghai.
Ying Xinlong, vice-president of the Shanghai High People's
Court, said that as well as the number of cases rising, their value
is also going up.
Last year, China Cyber Port, an online game provider based in
Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, filed a 100-million-yuan ($14
million) suit with the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court
against Shanghai Holdfast Online Information Technology Co Ltd over
The case was eventually dismissed in June for insufficient
(China Daily February 20, 2008)