China / Society

Shanghai anticipates surge in IP cases

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-07 07:52

Shanghai courts are vowing to upgrade their efforts on cases related to intellectual property rights, which may come up more frequently as Shanghai's quest to become a global science and technology center builds momentum.

The judicial power to standardize, guide and protect progress in science and technology fields must be brought into full play, because it represents a significant means of attracting domestic and international talent. That talent, in turn, spearheads more scientific and technological advancement, Mao Ronghua, vice-president of Shanghai High People's Court, said on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping put forward this growth strategy in May for Shanghai, China's largest and most cosmopolitan city.

With upgrades of the city's economic structure and the elevated awareness of IP rights protection in recent years, the number of IP-related cases received and processed by the city's courts has seen a sharp rise.

A total of 7,619 such cases were processed last year, an increase of more than 20 percent over 2013, said the court.

"Such amplification reveals a demand that's greater than ever for the judicial protection of IP rights," Mao said.

"Disputes in patents, copyrights, trademarks and unfair competition may become more frequent as the city aims to become a magnet for domestic and international talent," Mao said.

In one case last year, an employee of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corp of China, known as 3M China, sued the company for a share of the financial rewards of an invention.

The plaintiff, Zhang Weifeng, was part of transnational research and development on an LCD TV project. A patent was sought in China by the 3M Innovation Center.

The court ruled that the company granted a patent should pay reasonable remuneration to its inventor, under China's Patent Law. In this case, because 3M China transferred the patent application to 3M Innovation Center, 3M China should reward the inventor, it said.

Zhang should get 200,000 yuan ($32,000) in compensation for the invention, the court ruled.

"We'll keep our attitude of protecting the legitimate rights and interests of inventors complying with the laws, and encourage innovation," Mao said.

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