The Supreme People’s Court of China (SPC) recently published the annual report on intellectual property rights protection by Chinese courts in 2012. The report gives an overall review of the judicial operations in China and updates on the adjudication of IP-related civil, administrative, and criminal cases by the Chinese courts at various levels over the year. 

According to the report, adjudication of IP-related disputes has taken to new heights, with substantial growth in newly accepted first instance IP-related civil cases, criminal cases, and administrative cases, which saw a rise of 45.99%, 129.61%, and 20.35% over year 2011 respectively. 

The report also mentions the broadened use of mediation for resolving IP-related disputes in 2012, with 70.26% of first instance IP-related civil cases withdrawn after diverting the disputes to mediation. A case in point is the highly publicised dispute between Apple Inc. and Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd involving the “IPAD” mark.

Concurrently, SPC has released the lists of 10 major cases, 10 innovative cases, and 50 exemplary cases of year 2012. The cases, selected for their significance to application of law and social influence, serve as guiding cases in the area of IPR protection in China.