SPC requires the courts at various levels to make their calculation of compensation of damages more scientific and logical, offer substantive solution to disputes, and adopt preservation measures to provide right owners timely protection and prevent the abuse of litigation rights.
The 3rd National Work Conference on IPR-related Judicial Trial was held from 21st to 22nd March, 2013 in Xi’an. XI Xiaoming, Vice President of the China Supreme Court asserted that the nation’s judicial protection of intellectual property rights is and will still be focusing on highlighting the protection-oriented approach, strengthening the judicial protection and playing a leading role in IPR protection in China.
Courts at various levels are required to:
- enhance the protection of patent by focusing on the protection of the technical achievements in respect of fundamental and cutting-edge research, emerging industries of strategic significance, the modern information technology industry, etc.;
- enhance the protection of trademark by purifying the market environment and encourage fair competition through reinforcing the protection of WKTMs and curbing the infringement action on commercial marks like trademark counterfeiting, pre-emptive trademark registration, as well as free-riding and copycat of famous brands;
- enhance the protection of copyright by focusing on the copyright protection in respect of emerging cultural industry and hi-tech field like comic game, network, software, database, etc. and balancing the interests of right owners, the network service provider and the public; and
- enhance the protection of competition by attacking the unfair competition action like copycat, false advertising, discrediting, commercial secret violation, etc and curbing all variety of monopoly action.
XI Xiaoming also noted particularly that courts at all levels should:
- make its calculation of compensation of damages more scientific and logical by adopting the approach of economic analysis and professional assessment, as well as the principle of obstruction of evidence. In case there is circumstance that the defendant is engaged in the act of obstruction of evidence, Court may base its assessment of the merits of the plaintiff’s claim on the amount of compensation of damages on an analysis of the circumstances of the case.
- offer substantive solution to disputes: the court shall make ruling in administrative disputes with respect to whether certain IPR shall be annulled, granted registration or revoked so that it will serve as a clear guidance for the administrative organs involved in reassessing the situation.
- adopt preservation measures where applicable to provide right owners timely protection and prevent the abuse of litigation rights. The court shall strengthen the evidence preservation and ex officio evidence collection and take such measures where applicable.
The China Supreme Court shows an inspiring attitude in protecting intellectual property rights, which is very promising and welcome.
The adoption of the principle of “obstruction of evidence” will help alleviate the right owner’s burden of proof, speed up the trial process and give the right owner a better chance of having the court uphold its claim for compensation of damages.
By “offering substantive solutions” to the disputes on issues such as whether a certain IPR shall be annulled, granted registration or revoked, the Courts, instead of simply revoking the administrative decision and order the administrative organ to re-make its decision, may make a clear statement indicating precisely what the revised administrative decision must be. The courts will definitely have a bigger influence on the administrative decisions.