Committee Head, all Vice Committee Heads, Secretary General, all Committee Members:
On the basis of the arrangement of this Standing Committee, I represent the Supreme People’s Court in reporting the situation of intellectual property rights adjudication in People’s Courts since 2008, for your deliberation.
I, Progress and achievements in intellectual property rights adjudication work in recent years.
Intellectual property rights adjudication comprises the judicial activities of People’s Courts with patent, trademark, copyright, technology contract and other such cases as main objects of adjudication, they involve the three major adjudication areas of People’s Courts: civil, administrative and criminal. Strengthening intellectual property rights adjudication has an important significance for implementing the strategy of innovation driving development, promoting the construction of a strong Socialist culture country and guaranteeing the healthy operation of the market economy. In recent years, following our country’s economic and social development, the important function of intellectual property rights adjudication has become more prominent daily, case quantities are skyrocketing, new difficult cases are increasing in number greatly, the difficulty of dissolving contradictions is expanding. The Supreme People’s Court has, under the firm leadership of the Party Centre, under the powerful supervision of the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, and on the basis of new requirements of circumstances and tasks, taken Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” though and the scientific development view as guidance, persisted in guiding all local levels’ courts in implementing their duties according to the law, comprehensively strengthened intellectual property rights adjudication work, and given rein to its important function in promoting scientific and technological innovation, economic development, cultural flourishing, foreign relations and other such areas.
(1) Strengthening law enforcement and case handling, striving to give rein to the guiding function of the judiciary in protecting intellectual property rights
The guiding function of the judicial protection of intellectual property rights is mainly reflected in the main channelling function of the judiciary in resolving intellectual property rights disputes, the completeness and effectiveness of judicial relief, the finality of judicial decisions, the guiding nature of judicial norms and principles and other such areas. All levels’ courts have, based on their adjudication functions, strengthened intellectual property rights protection, encouraged indigenous innovation, standardized market competition, and stimulated the upgrading of intellectual property rights creation, operation and management levels. From 2008 until June 2012, courts nationwide accepted 226753 intellectual property rights cases in total, and completed 208653 cases.
Civil intellectual property rights adjudication work has been strengthened. In total, 196209 civil intellectual property rights cases have been accepted and 180213 cases completed. Patent right protection has been strengthened. 24644 patent cases and 2907 technology contract cases have been completed. The focus has been on strengthening the protection of key technology and technology in basic forward areas, expanding the protection strength for inventions and creations with a high innovative level, appropriately but strictly grasping application conditions for similar infringement, and stimulating the rise of indigenous innovation capacity. Trademark protection has been strengthened. 40370 trademark cases have been completed. Counterfeiting of trademarks, malicious registration, free-riding, imitation and other such acts infringing trademarks have been punished, the determination and protection of famous trademarks have been standardized, “imitation branding” acts have been effectively stopped, fair competition has been encouraged and economic development of brands stimulated. Copyright protection has been strengthened. 98801 copyright cases have been concluded. Copyright protection has been strengthened in publication and distribution, film and television production, performance and entertainment, advertising, design and other such areas, high regard has been given to copyright protection in cultural creation, cartoons and games, the network, software, databases and other burgeoning cultural industries and cultural business models, many kinds of legal means have been comprehensively used to vigorously promote the protection, inheriting, exploitation and use of intangible cultural heritage, protection strength for the rights and interests of cultural creators has been expanded, guaranteeing cultural creativity sources are fully gushing. Fair competition order has been safeguarded. 5224 unfair competition and monopoly cases have been concluded. With honest competition and fair competition as guidance, the focus has been on attacking false propaganda, commercial slander, infringement of commercial secrets and other unfair competition acts, a sincere, honest, fair and orderly market environment has been created. Monopoly case trial work has been vigorously launched, efforts have been made to contain monopolistic acts and strengthen market vitality. Protection according to the law is equal. 5670 foreign-related intellectual property rights cases have been concluded, and 1648 cases involving Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan have been completed. The principle of national treatment has been observed, international treaties have been respected, foreign-related intellectual property rights has been equally protected according to the law, an open and transparent trade and investment environment has been created, the rise of foreign openness levels have been stimulated. Punishment strength has been expanded, compensatory liability for counterfeiting, piracy, repeat infringement and malicious infringers has been increased according to the law, the price of infringement has risen. Pre-trial cessation of infringement measures have been adopted vigorously and cautiously, infringement acts have been timely stopped, and the broadening of the consequences of infringement has been prevented. The correct judgement in the Gree vs. Midea and other invention patent infringement case, the “Crocodile” trademark infringement case, the PKU Founder vs. Blizzard and other character library copyright infringement cases, Tencent vs. Qihoo and other unfair competition cases, and other cases that attracted broad social attention, legal standards and definition of acts have been made explicit, which has had a positive influence on promoting related industrial development.
Administrative intellectual property rights adjudication work has been strengthened. All sorts of administrative intellectual property rights adjudication cases have been tried according to the law, attention has been paid to giving rein to the function of administrative adjudication in supervising and stimulating administrative intellectual property rights law enforcement. In total, 9948 administrative intellectual property rights cases have been accepted and 8749 cases concluded, among these, a concrete administrative act was upheld in 6640 cases, and a concrete administrative act was rescinded in 1088 cases. Administrative disputes that arose due to investigation and prosecution of intellectual property rights infringement acts by administrative organs have been appropriately dealt with, guaranteeing the lawful rights and interests of the counterparts of the administration, administrative intellectual property rights law enforcement acts have been standardized, stimulating the rise of administrative intellectual property rights protection levels. Intellectual property rights licensing and ownership cases have been appropriately heard, the quality and effect of licensing and ownership has risen.
Criminal intellectual property rights adjudication work has been strengthened. Criminal intellectual property rights infringement has been punished according to the law, in total, 20596 criminal intellectual property rights cases have been accepted, 19691 cases have been concluded, 29852 criminals have been convicted. Criminal punishment strength has been expanded, at the same time as using principal penalties according to the law, the use of fines and enforcement strength have been expanded; methods such as recovering unlawful income, confiscating criminal tools and destroying infringing products have been adopted to deprive infringers of the conditions for recidivism. There has been vigorous coordination with the special campaign to attack intellectual property rights infringement and the production or sale of fake and shoddy goods, a state of high pressure of attacking criminal intellectual property rights infringement has been shaped. The judgment in the “Tomato Garden” software online piracy case and other cases has received favourable echoes at home and abroad.
(2) Persisting in judicial dynamism, reform and innovation, striving to upgrade the effectiveness of intellectual property rights adjudication in serving the larger picture
Persisting in judicial dynamism, vigorously responding to the new requirements of economic, social and cultural development. The Supreme People’s Court has revolved around the larger picture of Party and State work, adopted many judicial response measures on the basis of trends, developments and changes, guided all local levels’ courts in vigorous action and active service to the larger picture. Guiding opinions on intellectual property rights adjudication serving the larger picture providing judicial guarantees for accelerating the transformation of economic development methods, promoting the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture, providing judicial guarantees for the acceleration of the construction of a national innovation structure have provided judicial guarantees to respond to the international financial crisis, promote indigenous innovation, construct a strong cultural country, and implement the strategy of innovation driving development. Topical events on “judicial rights protection, encouraging innovation”, “optimizing the judicial environment for indigenous innovation”, “strengthening the judicial protection of intellectual property rights, stimulating the transformation of economic development methods” have been launched, forging a good judicial protection environment for intellectual property rights. Special investigation and guidance have been strengthened, to appropriately deal with intellectual property rights disputes involving the Beijing Olympics, the Shanghai World Expo and the Guangzhou Asian Games, guaranteeing the smooth organization of major national activities. Taking aim at law and policy risk that might influence the development of science, technology and industry, investigation and research has been strengthened, judicial suggestions have been put forward to relevant sides, risk forecasting has been strengthened and the completion structures has been supervised, to prevent and reduce disputes.
Persisting in reform and innovation, vigorously responding to the requirements of the National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy. The Supreme People’s Court has promulgated opinions concerning the implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy, comprehensively planning the implementation of the National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy. Trial work to concentrate civil, administrative and criminal intellectual property rights cases into one intellectual property rights adjudication trial (simply named “three courts merging into one”) has been launched, intellectual property rights licensing and ownership case handling work has been unified, to optimize the allocation of adjudication resources. In step with the needs of adjudication practice and persisting in a concentrated jurisdictional structure for patent and other technological cases, interregional jurisdictions have been vigorously launched within intermediate and basic courts, to optimize jurisdictional arrangements and make it convenient for parties to sue. Taking aim at the problem that specialist technological factual proof is difficult in intellectual property rights adjudication, judicial appraisal, expert assistance, patent consulting and other technological factual proof mechanisms have been established and perfected, a database for specially invited science and technology consulting experts has been established, and the scientific level of technological factual authentication has risen incessantly.
Persisting in “prioritizing mediation, integrating mediation and adjudication”, vigorously responding to new requirements for the construction of a harmonious society. Intellectual property rights mediation work strength has expanded, efforts have been made to dissolve contradictions and disputes, safeguarding social harmony and stability. The rate of case withdrawal after mediation for first instance cases in all local levels’ courts has reached 66.7%. The link-up and coordination if intellectual property rights adjudication with people’s mediation and administrative mediation has been strengthened, linkup mechanisms for mediation and adjudication have been perfected, giving rein to the function of coordination in resolving intellectual property rights disputes. Mediation methods have been innovated, giving rein to the specialist superiority of sector associations and science and technology experts, entrusted mediation, sector mediation and expert mediation have been explored and implemented, connections between courts at higher and lower levels and between courts and administrative organs and sector associations have been strengthened, the mediation work for connected cases has been done well, raising the quality and effect of mediation, and guiding parties to transform infringement disputes into cooperation and win-win. The successful mediation in the “iPad” trademark dispute between Weiguan and Apple, the patent infringement dispute between Zhejiang Chint Group and Schneider, the copyright infringement dispute between Universal and Baidu and other such major disputes has received broad favourable comments at home and abroad.
Persisting in a sunshine judiciary, vigorously responding to new requirements concerning judicial openness of the popular masses. The principle of open adjudication has been persisted in, touring trials, live court hearing broadcasting have been launched, People’s Congress representatives and Political Consultative Committee Members have been invited to visit court hearing work, judgment document online publication structures have been established, giving rein to the function of the “China Intellectual Property Right Judgement Decision Net”, the breadth and depth of judicial openness have been incessantly expanded. Up to June 2012, 43499 effective judgment documents have been published online. White papers and yearbooks on the situation of intellectual property rights protection in Chinese courts are compiled and published regularly, and intellectual property rights adjudication information is completely made public, in order to effectively guarantee the public masses’ right to know and right of supervision.
(3) Strengthening judicial supervision and professional guidance, realistically raising intellectual property rights adjudication levels
Perfecting judicial policies, strengthening judicial interpretation, guaranteeing the unification of judicial standards. The intellectual property rights judicial protection policy of “strengthening protection, classify into different categories, appropriateness in severity and lenience” has been clearly put forward, ensuring that judicial intellectual property rights protection conforms to our country’s innovation and development reality, and stimulates our country’s economic, social and scientific development to the broadest extent. Judicial protection policies for different intellectual property rights categories have been made more detailed, sixteen judicial policy guidance documents have been promulgated and appropriate legal ways of thinking have been made explicit, guaranteeing the realization of the spirit of laws related to intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights judicial interpretation work has been strengthened, seven judicial interpretations, on intellectual property rights conflict resolution, famous trademark protection, etc., have been formulated, guaranteeing the correct application of intellectual property rights law.
Broadening supervision and guidance channels, ensuring the effect of judicial supervision. The civil procedure law has been earnestly implemented, appals channels have been unblocked, investigation procedures have been effected and standardized, intellectual property rights case retrial and re-examination duties have been realistically implemented. Rein has been given to the trial supervisory function of higher-level courts, jurisdiction assignment and raising jurisdiction levels and other methods have been adopted to ensure the unification of legal application. Major intellectual property rights case information reporting systems have been established; guidance and coordination of major cases and linked cases have been strengthened. The exercise of discretionary powers has been standardized, burden of proof duty allocations and statutory compensation quotas have been determined and other major judicial discretion matters made clear, guaranteeing the fairness and reasonableness of results of discretion. Attention has been paid to the guiding function if model intellectual property rights cases, through publishing model cases and making judicial intellectual property rights principles and standards clear, the focus of professional guidance has been strengthened. Starting from the year 2008, the Supreme People’s Court has annually published 10 major Chinese judicial intellectual property rights protection cases, 50 model cases, and an annual report.
Strengthening investigation, research and theoretical innovation, timely resolve newly emerging difficult issues of legal application. Attention has been paid to trial theoretical innovation on the basis of judicial practice, guiding and resolving difficult questions of legal applications. The Supreme People’s Court has organized the establishment of intellectual property rights trial theory research conferences, judicial intellectual property rights protection theory research bases have been established in six higher education institutes, including Peking University, research bases have been established in nine Intermediate People’s Courts, including Suzhou, to promote the joint development of judicial theory and practice.
(4) Persisting in a fair and clean judiciary, striving to strengthen intellectual property rights team construction
Strengthening ideological, political, anti-corruption and pro-honesty construction. It has been organized that intellectual property rights judges launched “carrying forward tradition, firm convictions, law enforcement for the people”, “People’s judges for the people” and other topical education and practice activities, education on the Socialist rule of law concept has been forcefully strengthened, intellectual property rights judges have been guided to firmly establish a judicial core value system of “fairness, cleanliness and serving the people”, a consciousness of the larger picture, a sense of serving the people and a sense of responsibility have been strengthened, judicial work style and clean government construction have been realistically strengthened, a batch of excellent intellectual property rights judges with Song Yushui as model representative have emerged, intellectual property rights adjudication team construction quality has seen new rises.
Strengthening adjudication group construction. In intermediate and higher courts, special intellectual property rights trial chambers have been universally established, the quantity of basic courts having intellectual property rights case jurisdiction has been appropriately increased. At the end of June of this year, 420 intellectual property rights trial chambers existed nationwide, and there were 129 basic courts having intellectual property rights case jurisdiction. Attention has been paid to fostering and selecting intellectual property rights judges, trial strength has been strengthened and personnel structuring optimized. At present, 2731 judges in total engage in intellectual property rights adjudication, of which 56.4% have an undergraduate degree and 41.1% have a graduate or higher degree. 10 intellectual property rights adjudication demonstration basic courts have been established, to stimulate the rise of comprehensive intellectual property rights adjudication levels in basic courts.
Strengthening professional capacity construction. Revolving around intellectual property rights adjudication hotspots, difficult points and issues, intellectual property rights specialist knowledge and adjudication capacity training has been strengthened, judges’ capacity to correctly apply the law, appropriately resolve contradictions and coordinate relationships of interests has incessantly risen. Efforts have been made to foster expert judges through adjudication professional expert selection, excellent judgement document assessment and other methods. Training strength for courts in central and western regions and basic courts has been expanded. International exchange and cooperation has been strengthened, foreign advanced experiences have been learned from, international horizons have been fostered among intellectual property rights judges.
The development and progress of intellectual property rights adjudication work in People’s Courts is the result of the correct leadership of Party Committees at all levels, the forceful supervision of People’s Congresses, and the powerful support of governments, consultative committees, relevant departments and all walks of society. Using this opportunity, I represent the Supreme People’s Court in expressing sincere gratitude to the National People’s Congresses and all levels’ People’s Congresses, their Standing Committees, and People’s Representatives at all levels.
II, Circumstances faced in intellectual property rights adjudication work at present.
At the same time as considering achievements, we must also soberly understand that intellectual property rights adjudication work faces complex circumstances and grave challenges. First, the task of serving the larger picture is ever heavier. Our country’s has already entered the decisive stage of comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous society, implementing the intellectual property rights strategy and strengthening intellectual property rights protection has become a necessary path to strengthen new drivers for innovation driving development. Intellectual property rights adjudication must search for points of integration and efforts that permit serving of the larger picture, promote science and technology innovation, knowledge innovation and culture innovation even better. Second, the pressure on intellectual property rights adjudication is ever greater. Both internationally ant domestically, the appeal for equal protection of intellectual property rights is ever stronger, at the same time, the tendency that cases continue to increase becomes ever clearer. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of first instance intellectual property rights cases grew by 33.1%, exceeding the total number of first instance civil cases by 26.3 percentage points, increasing the pressure on intellectual property rights adjudication. Third, the difficulty of dissolving contradictions and disputes grows ever greater Increasingly many cases involve complex technological matter, increasingly many difficult cases require clear and concrete legal definitions, increasingly many judgment verdicts are major cases involving a company’s existence. Intellectual property rights adjudication must storm fortifications and overcome difficulties, and fund new ways of thinking and new methods to effectively dissolve contradictions and disputes.
At the same time, the following problems and difficulties still exist in intellectual property rights adjudication: first, the guiding function of judicial intellectual property rights protection needs further rein. The State Council “National Intellectual Property Strategy Outline” put forward “strengthening judicial protection system construction” and “give rein to the guiding function of judicial intellectual property rights protection”. This strategic position of judicial intellectual property rights protection still needs to be continuously promoted and implemented; double-track protection mechanisms with judicial intellectual property rights protection and administrative law enforcement need to be further optimized. The trial work on “three courts merging into one” in intellectual property rights cases needs to be further moved forward, the establishment of special intellectual property rights courts needs deep research and exploration. Second, intellectual property rights protection mechanisms remain to be further perfected. Civil, administrative and criminal intellectual property rights communication and coordination mechanisms are not yet complete, restricting the development of the joint forces of three kinds of judicial protection. Patent and trademark licensing and ownership procedures are overly complex, litigation cycles are hard to avoid, influencing the final decision in disputes. Intellectual property rights infringement compensation calculation mechanisms as well as punishment mechanisms for repeat infringement, malicious infringements and other such acts remains to be deeply perfected. Although technological factual investigation mechanisms have been preliminarily established, they need to be further perfected at the operational level. The application of pre-trial measures to cease infringement needs to be further standardized. Third, the construction of intellectual property rights judge teams needs to be further strengthened. Intellectual property rights judges’ judicial capacity cannot be completely adapt to the needs of the rapidly growing intellectual property rights judiciary. It is especially the case that the understanding of some judges concerning judicial dynamism needs to be deepened; the focus and effectiveness of serving the larger picture, as well as specialist judicial capacities need to be further raised.
III, Measures and suggestions to further strengthen intellectual property rights adjudication work
The 18th Party Congress pointed out that we must implement the strategy of innovation driving development and the intellectual property rights strategy, and strengthen intellectual property rights protection. All levels’ People’s Courts must, under the guidance of the spirit of the 18th Party Congress, use this special deliberation as a juncture to further give rein to the function of judicial intellectual property rights protection, relentlessly grasp law enforcement and handle cases, perfect judicial mechanisms, strengthen team construction and incessantly raise judicial intellectual property rights protection levels.
First, realistically expand protection strength and further give rein to the guiding function of judicial intellectual property rights protection. Explore and perfect concrete implementation methods to expand compensation strength, raise the scientific level and reasonability of compensation. Clarify applicable conditions and procedures for pre-trial measures to cease infringement, guarantee the timeliness and correctness of temporary protection measures. Formulate patent and trademark authorization and ownership case procedures and substantive examination standards, further strengthen judicial review work. Make criminal infringement conviction standards more detailed, realize the standardization of convictions and penalties.
Second, deeply move intellectual property rights adjudication reform forward, further perfect intellectual property rights adjudication structures and work mechanisms. Complete linkage and coordination mechanisms for civil, administrative and criminal intellectual property rights adjudication, strengthen linkage and cooperation, and shape joint protection force pools. Summarize trial experiences of “three courts merging into one” in intellectual property rights cases, and move trial work forward. Further perfect technological factual investigation mechanisms, make operational procedures and norms more detailed. Strengthen intellectual property rights adjudication management, strive to raise the quality and effect of intellectual property rights adjudication.
III, Incessantly strengthen team construction, further raise the quality of intellectual property rights adjudication judge teams. Deepen education on the Socialist concept of law and education on the judicial core value system, strengthen and improve judicial work styles. Deepen understanding of the rules of intellectual property rights adjudication and characteristics of talent fostering, strengthen specialist construction, expand education, training and talent reserve strength, raise judicial levels and judicial credibility. Strengthen anti-corruption and pro-honesty construction, guarantee the fairness and cleanliness of intellectual property rights judge teams, and establish a good image of intellectual property rights judges.
With regard to the real difficulties faced in intellectual property rights adjudication work, three points of suggestion are put forward: first, take the spirit of the 18th Party Congress as guidance, further deepen the implementation of the National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy, optimize intellectual property rights protection systems; appropriately coordinate the relationship between judicial protection and administrative law enforcement, give rein to the guiding function of judicial intellectual property rights protection, on the basis of the requirements of the National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy, vigorously explore and research the establishment of special intellectual property rights courts. Second, further perfect legislation related to intellectual property rights, clearly provide for the judicial right of modification of People’s Courts in patent and trademark licensing and ownership cases, stimulate the substantive resolution of disputes, prevent litigation cycles; add structures to order the production of documents, strengthen the duty of infringers to produce documents, realistically reduce the evidentiary burden of intellectual property rights holders; establish punitive compensation mechanisms, strengthen the effect of punishment of repeat infringers and malicious acts of infringement. Third, further strengthen commercial honesty, social honesty and judicial credit construction, accelerate the construction of an intellectual property rights rule of law culture, create a favourable environment of valuing and supporting intellectual property rights adjudication in the entire society.
Committee Head, all Vice Committee Heads, Secretary General, all Committee Members:
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee has especially heard and deliberated the special intellectual property rights adjudication work report, which fully reflected the high importance attached to intellectual property rights adjudication, the courts nationwide and the broad intellectual property rights judges feel deeply inspired. We will, under the firm leadership of the Party Centre with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, and under the powerful supervision of the National People’s Congress and its standing committee, deeply study and implement the spirit of the 18th Party Congress, earnestly implement the opinions of this National People’s Congress Standing Committee opinions, make persistent efforts, pioneer and forge ahead, strive to build a new picture of the intellectual property rights adjudication undertaking in People’s Courts, and make even greater contributions to implement, innovate and drive development strategies, establish and innovate a new type of country and comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous of society!