On Oct. 31, 2014, the Supreme People’s Court released the Provisions on Jurisdiction in Cases of the Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou Intellectual Property Courts (the Provisions) to further define the jurisdiction of intellectual property courts in accordance with the Decision on the Establishment of Intellectual Property Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou released by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Aug. 31, 2014.
Key contents of the Provisions are summarized below:
First-Trial Jurisdiction of Intellectual Property Courts
The Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou intellectual property courts (each, an IP Court) should have jurisdiction as first trial courts over the following cases within the jurisdictions in the municipalities where they are located:
- civil and administrative cases involving patents, new varieties of plants, layout designs of integrated circuits, technical secrets and computer software;
- administrative cases in which a legal action was brought in respect of administrative actions involving copyrights, trademarks, unfair competition and others rendered by a State Council department or a local people’s governments at the county level or above; and
- civil cases involving the recognition of well-known trademarks.
Unlike the Beijing and Shanghai IP Courts of which the scope of jurisdiction is only within the municipalities where they are located, the Guangzhou IP Court has cross-regional jurisdiction in the whole Guangdong Province over cases specified in items 1) and 3) above.
Jurisdiction Changes to Other Courts
The intermediate people’s courts of Beijing Municipality and Shanghai Municipality and the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court will cease to accept civil and administrative intellectual property cases. Other intermediate people’s courts in Guangdong Province and basic-level people’s courts in Beijing Municipality, Shanghai Municipality and Guangdong Province will cease to accept the intellectual property cases as specified in items 1) and 3) above.
Exclusive Jurisdiction of Beijing IP Court over Certain Administrative Cases
Beijing IP Court has the first trial jurisdiction over the following administrative cases regarding granting or confirming of intellectual property rights:
- those in which a party is dissatisfied over the ruling or decision granting or confirming an intellectual property right such as a patent, trademark, new variety of a plant or integrated circuit layout design rendered by a State Council department;
- those in which a party is dissatisfied over the decision for a compulsory license for a patent, new variety of a plant or integrated circuit layout design or a ruling on the compulsory license royalty or remuneration therefor rendered by a State Council department; and
- those in which a party is dissatisfied with another administrative act involving the granting or confirmation of an intellectual property right rendered by a State Council department.
Jurisdiction over Appeals
Where a party appeals a civil or administrative judgment or ruling at first trial involving intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, technology contracts, or unfair competition rendered by a basic-level people’s court in a municipality where an IP Court is located, such appeal should be heard by the IP Court.
Where a party appeals a judgment or ruling at first instance rendered by an IP Court, or applies in accordance with the law for reconsideration to the court at the next higher level, the intellectual property division of the higher people’s court of the place where the IP Court is located should hear the same.
The Provisions call for a change of jurisdiction over intellectual property cases.
- Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Jurisdiction in Cases of the Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou Intellectual Property Courts
- Issuing authority: Supreme People’s Court
- Date of issuance: Oct. 31, 2014 / Effective date: Nov. 3, 2014