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IPR cases increase as technology develops

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2021-10-22 11:22
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Chinese courts will need to handle a rise in disputes involving intellectual property rights in the face of quickly developing technology, according to a report.

The report on courts' efforts in protecting IPR was submitted to the ongoing session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislature, for review on Thursday.

When introducing the report to national lawmakers, Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, pledged to improve judicial protection rules in new areas, including big data, artificial intelligence and gene technology, and to carry out more research on IPR rules for algorithms, trade secrets and products using artificial intelligence.

He said antimonopoly adjudication rules for internet platforms will be promoted, adding they will also help the judiciary advance in major fields such as technological innovation, information security and livelihood protection.

"We're determined to put more effort into studying new problems involving IPR," he said.

According to the report, the number of IPR-related cases handled by Chinese courts rose to 467,000 last year from 101,000 in 2013.

Many cases involved new areas such as core internet technology, gene technology, information communication, integrated circuits, AI and the online platform economy, the report said.

The new types of disputes have not only created difficulties for judges in ascertaining technological and legal applications, but have also given them bigger challenges in clarifying judicial responsibilities and the boundaries of IPR protection, it added.

"The difficulties and challenges exposed our insufficient studies and research involving the new IPR areas," Zhou said, urging courts across the country to devote more efforts to such matters.

He suggested the top legislature make a special procedural law for handling IPR cases and formulate an IPR code.

He said IPR-related laws should be drafted or improved in fields such as big data, AI and gene technology.

According to the report, China has seen stronger IPR protection and faster development over the past few years, and its judicial team responsible for hearing IPR cases has also become more professional.

The country has built four courts-in Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Guangdong and Hainan-that specialize in dealing with IPR-related disputes, reducing the cost of protecting rights for IPR owners or holders and giving harsher punishment to IPR violators, it said.

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