On October 22, 2015, an "Inaugural Meeting of the Technical Investigation Office" was held by the mainland China Beijing Intellectual Property Court, in which, a name list of 37 technical investigators and 27 technical experts who were appointed for the first batch was also announced. In the past, there was no such post of "Technical Investigators" installed in mainland China. Instead, assistant experts were hired by both parties to a suit to assist their litigation attorneys to present related opinions. But some high-tech troublesome issues were still unable to be solved, and there was the problem of low efficiency. Therefore, a "Technical Investigation Office" filled with "Technical Investigators" who would participate the litigation proceedings as "Judicial Assistants" was established in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court (BIPC) in reference to the system of "Technical Examiners" set up in the Intellectual Property Courts of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
On August 31, 2014, a decision to be taken into force as of November 3, 2014 was voted through on the 10th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress of P.R.C. to set up intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (Judicial Interpretation  No. 12). As the first intellectual property court, BIPC was inaugurated on November 6, 2014 and will carry out centralized jurisdiction over civil and administrative cases originally governed by various Intermediate People's Courts of Beijing Municipality, mainly hearing cases related to intellectual property rights, and including some civil cases involving intellectual properties. As both a first instance court and a second instance one, i.e., and both a court for preliminary trials and a court of appeals, BIPC is confronted with both heavy workload and tough cases.
According to the Regulations Governing Case jurisdiction of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou Intellectual Property Courts Issued by the Supreme People's Court, BIPC will be in charge with the first instance trial of the following cases within their own municipal jurisdictions:
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.
BIPC also has the first trial jurisdiction over the following administrative cases:
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 therefore 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.
Where a party appeals against a civil or administrative judgment or ruling at the 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 shall be heard by the IP Court.
Faced with various specialized technical issues during the trial of cases related to intellectual properties, IP judges often have no relevant expertise background. But these technical issues are not only key to the trial, but also tough challenges to finding out the technical facts. In order to solve this problem, "Technical Examiners" were introduced in Taiwan to help IP judges clearly understand technical issues. Now a similar system was also established in BIPC by introducing "Technical Investigators" into the litigation proceedings, so as to improve the efficiency of trial by accurately summarizing technical issues in dispute and assisting the judges to guide the parties involved to clearly express their opinions.
Initially, it was the Taiwan IP Court's practice to borrow senior patent examiners from the TIPO as Technical Examiners (the "TE"), together with a roster of IP consulting experts, for the reference of judges. The TEs participated the litigation proceedings by the order of the judge and asked questions, the parties concerned presented the explanations made by the TEs to the court, and then the judge conducted the trial independently based on his/her legal convictions. Even so, TEs still aroused doubts from the outside due to non-disclosure of the technical reports, and the likelihood of damaging the benefits of elevated judicial ranks to the parties when a patent examiner was transferred to the IP court as a TE after having participated the examination of the same case during the IPO stage. However, Taiwan then released a Regulations on Selection and Employment of Technical Examiners, effective as of 2008. In addition to Patent Examiners, professors and researchers at various levels with a certain years of experiences or those with special skill or scientific research expertise which is rare in home and abroad, or patent attorneys having practiced for over 3 years and filed more than 20 invention applications, can also apply to be employed as TEs after producing certificates. This made the source of TEs diversified.
The first batch of Technical Investigators at BIPC are professional technologists from the Patent Examination Cooperation Center of the Patent Office, SIPO, Beijing, associations of various industries, universities and colleges, scientific research institutes, and businesses and organizations, functioning as a "Technical Adviser" to the IP judge. This is almost the same as the scheme adopted in Taiwan. Technical Examiners can be classified into four types, including: enlisted, employed, exchanged, and part-time. To enhance the specification, the Measures for Administration of Technical Investigators at Beijing Intellectual Property Court (Pilot) and the Working Rules for Technical Investigators at Beijing Intellectual Property Court (Pilot) have been promulgated. In Taiwan, no exchanged or part-time TE was employed to avoid conflicts of interests.
Besides Technical Investigators, both the Taiwan IPC and BIPC also leveraged other accessory mechanisms such as expert assistance, judicial appraisal, expert consulting, etc. to aid the judges to solve technical issues. Additionally, both sides emphasized that TEs/Technical Investigators are just technical assistants to the judge who will help the judge to learn about the specialized technical terms and the whole picture of the trial in a case involving complicate technologies to improve efficiency of trials, but the final decision still has to be made by the judge.