On 4 September 2019 the Beijing Internet Court in the Fengtai District published an official report concerned with online internet disputes violating IP rights. According to the Beijing Internet Court report, it investigated more than 34,000 cases, in spite of the fact that the Court was founded only in 2018. Among the above-mentioned number of online IP disputes, 80% of these disputes dealt with online copyright issues.
The President of the Beijing Internet China, Mrs. Zhang said that copyright infringements comprised different online audiovisual materials (music, literature, movies) and other aspects of the Internet.
In 2018, the Beijing Internet Court examined a high-profile case, involving the well-known Chinese company “Douyin”. “Douyin” is a famous application supporting short videos for smart phones. This company claimed that one of their videos was downloaded and streamed it online on another video platform. In Douyin’s representative’s opinion, it strictly violated online copyright of their company. Mrs. Zhu, the Beijing Internet Court judge, responsible for this case said that at first that case was considered to be easy as ABC, but as it turned out, that case was not similar to those cases that the Beijing Internet Court had examined before, the concerned IP rights of pictures and movies for the reason of short videos were a new piece of art in cyberspace at that time. Finally, the Beijing Internet Court made a decision that short videos like any feature length film should receive identical protection rights, as short videos and feature length films both had an original quality.
Except for the Beijing Internet Court, there are two other courts in China dealing with online internet disputes in IP rights – in Hangzhou (Zhejiang province) and Guangzhou (Guangdong province). The first court was established in Hangzhou (August 2017), the second and third – in Beijing and Guangzhou (September 2018).
The Supreme People’s Court, the highest court in China, made some clarifications about internet court work. The Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou Internet Courts have a right to handle 11 various kinds of cases, also including online loans and shopping contracts disputes. As for litigants, they have rights to submit materials to the court, attend case hearings and receive judicial decisions online.
It is worth while noting that the Beijing Internet Court solved 99% of all IP cases online and the average time length of a case hearing was not much more than 37 minutes. Lu Ning, a judge assistant in the Beijing Internet Court, expressed her opinion on this issue. In her opinion, to hear such cases online would be more suitable and convenient for both parties and the court, and it would be easier to receive all the necessary documents from the parties via the Internet.