IPR Appeals Court in the Pipeline

A national court to handle appeals in the second instance for intellectual property rights (IPR) cases is in the pipeline, a top official said yesterday.

"The current judicial procedure to safeguard IPRs is not efficient enough," Zhang Qin, vice-director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), told the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Citing patent disputes as an example, he said the judicial procedure could involve lower, intermediate and high courts; and the local IPR office and the re-examination committee of the SIPO.

"The cost of safeguarding IPRs is too high now," Zhang said, adding that the proposed national appeals court to handle such cases is part of the State IPR Program.

Litigation costs would be lower if IPR disputes are handled by the appeals court after the local court pronounces judgment in the first instance, the IPR official said.

Some 20 per cent of IPR disputes in Chinese courts are foreign-related, and in most such cases, foreign parties are plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, the first draft of the State IPR Program is likely to be ready in August, and State Council (China's cabinet) approval is expected by the year-end, he said

The SIPO put forward the idea of a national IPR program to the State Council in 2004; and the current CPPCC session has seen many proposals on the subject.

(China Daily March 10, 2006))


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