Int'l laws applied in local IPR cases

By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-19 07:28

WUXI, Jiangsu Province: International intellectual property rights (IPR) laws will take precedence whenever they are applied in domestic trials even if they differ from domestic laws, a senior judicial figure told a national conference on IPR-related trials.

Chinese IPR laws are typically in tune with international IPR laws, so equal protection is accorded to both overseas and domestic IPR owners, Cao Jianming, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), said yesterday.

But when they are not, China will give priority to international conventions that are directly applicable to domestic IPR case trials, said Cao.

Related readings:
Court weighs in on IPR violations
IPR violators face tougher sentences
Stricter penalties for IPR violations
Beijing outlines new IPR plan
China, U.S. launch film contest to promote IPR protection
IPR Special
IPR business still slow
As for regulations among documents that China signed on accession to the World Trade Organization, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the endeavor is to transform them into domestic laws.

"And for those that have already been enshrined in domestic laws, their execution is bound by international treaties," he said.

To further allay foreign concerns on IPR protection, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, recently approved China's entry into the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

"IPR protection has become a constant strategic topic in China's external affairs," Cao 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."

He reiterated China's stand in adhering to "national treatment" principles according to TRIPS agreements.

"Favorable treatment will neither be offered to foreign parties because of their foreign sensitiveness, nor protectionism given to any local or industrial parties in the name of protecting national interests," Cao said.

IPR-related court cases have been on a rapid rise in recent years. From 2002 to 2006, Chinese courts dealt with 931 IPR cases involving overseas parties, or a rise of 50 percent each year, according to Jiang Zhipei, chief justice of the SPC IPR Tribunal.

During that period, the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court alone ruled in favor of overseas parties in 60 percent of the 670 IPR cases.

(China Daily 01/19/2007 page1)

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours