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.
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
"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
"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)