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Beijing court records surge in IP cases, punitive damages

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2024-04-25 15:57
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A Beijing court said it has seen rapid growth in intellectual property cases along with demand for punitive damages over the past few years as the judiciary moves to provide stronger protection to IP rights owners.

A report issued by the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court showed on Thursday that it handled a total of 32 cases in which litigants applied for punitive damages to IP violators in recent five years, adding "the number is still going up."

More than 30 percent of the total lawsuits involved foreign IP rights owners, mainly from France, the United States, Japan and Italy, it said, adding that the punitive damages were successfully applied in half of the cases.

Punitive damages are extra payments awarded by courts when defendants act in a particular harmful way. This form of punishment has been written into China's Civil Code, a fundamental law for regulative civil activities.

"It's essential for judges to accurately apply the punishment in IP-related case handling, so that victims' legitimate rights can be strongly protected and their losses can be timely recovered," said Liu Li, vice-president of the court.

Data released by the Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, showed on Monday that Chinese courts dealt with more than 540,000 IP cases in 2023, of which, punitive damages applied in 319, an increase of 117 percent compared with 2022.

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