China's courts have seen a near 50 percent annual increase in the number of cases concerning Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations involving foreign firms since the country joined the World Trade Organization.
From 2002 to 2006, China's courts settled 931 civil cases of IPR violation at first instance trials with an annual increase of 48.3 percent. In 2006, China's courts settled 353 civil cases of IPR violation at first instance trials, up 52.16 percent on the previous year, according the Supreme People's Court.
"As China opens further to the outside world, it's inevitable we will handle more IPR disputes and complicated IPR cases," said Cao Jianming, vice president of the Supreme People's Cour.
"China will continue to strictly abide by domestic and international laws to treat both domestic and foreign parties concerned in cases of IPR violation equally," he said.
"No privileges will be given to foreigners and no regional or industrial protectionism will be allowed for domestic parties under the guise of protecting national interests," Cao stressed.
He also said China would continue its public trial system to ensure the public, including foreigners, could attend trials.
He added that for some key cases, China would invite representatives from foreign governments and international organizations to attend the trials.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2007)