City courts see increase in IPR disputes

By Lu Chen Source:Global Times Published: 2013-4-25 23:03:01

Shanghai courts settled 23.7 percent more intellectual property lawsuits involving at least one foreign party last year, Shanghai Higher People's Court said Thursday.

The city's courts settled 240 such civil cases in 2012, handing down verdicts in 87 of them, court officials said at a press conference marking World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on April 26. The remaining cases were settled out of court.

The increase resulted from both a crackdown on intellectual property violations of well-known foreign and domestic brands and the growing awareness of intellectual property rights, officials said.

As China becomes a more integral part of the global market, more and more foreign companies are doing business in the country, leading to an increase in the number of civil disputes over intellectual property.

"The increased number of intellectual property disputes with foreign parties shows that foreign companies have the wherewithal to use the law to protect their rights and interests," said Zhu Dan, the chief judge in charge of civil disputes.

In 80 percent of the cases involving a foreign party, the foreign party won the lawsuit. "Foreign companies have more experience dealing with intellectual property infringement," Zhu said.

In addition, famous companies with well-known brands are more likely to end up victims of copyright and trademark infringement, court officials said. The city's courts heard 443 trademark dispute cases in 2012, an increase of 48 percent from the previous year. They settled 383 of those cases, up 20 percent from 2011.

Court officials have also noticed that more and more intellectual property crimes took place on online shopping platforms last year, possibly because it is cheaper to engage in such activities on the Internet. Given the situation, Shanghai Higher People's Court had urged local courts to expand their teams of legal staff to handle the growing number of intellectual property cases.

Posted in: Society, Metro Shanghai

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