News | China and Cross-Strait

P.R.C. Supreme People's Court Publishes
the 2015 IP Cases Annual Report

[Data Source: the People's Court Daily]

The 2015 IP Cases Annual Report was published to summarize selected IP and competition law cases and extract legal issues of significant value. In 2015, the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court received 759 new IP cases, and concluded 754 cases in total wherein 7 of them were second instance cases, 39 of them were taken over from lower courts, and 682 of them were retrials. Basic rules and features presented in the cases are as follows:

  1. Patents and trademarks continue to occupy the biggest share in the entire caseload, whereas administrative invalidation has been obviously increasing;
  2. PATENT: administrative cases mostly involved issues such as identification and interpretation of technical features, the determination of the prior arts, sufficiency of the disclosure of specifications, etc. In civil cases, infringement under doctrine of equivalent takes a significant percentage among all legal issues whereas prior art defense and prior user right defense were frequently used;
  3. PLANT VARIETY: species identity assay using DNA technology has been developing;
  4. TRADEMARK: number of case as a whole has increased where legal issues such as determination of similarity of trademarks and goods, the protection of prior user rights dominated, and the principle of good faith has served the value of guidance during trials;
  5. COPYRIGHT: caseload growth remains steady as Internet infringement under new business models is prominent; and
  6. TRADE SECRET: protection scope is often difficult to be resolved due to plaintiff’s compromised ability in evidence collection.

In addition,
for the first time the Court concluded a case related to integrated circuit layout and brought about precedential significance in determining layouts protection scope.


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