The law enforcement of intellectual property rights in China has been a gray area to the enterprises and the right holders in the long run. There also has been long existing issues in the intellectual property trials, such as inconsistency of judicial opinions, prolonged decision on granting or not granting rights, and on declaratory judgment cases, as well as litigations circulated back-and-forth at different level of the courts, etc.
To streamline its intellectual property protection system, China is considering establishing an independent regulatory Intellectual Property Office in Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone. And to strengthen the judicial protection for intellectual properties, and effectively protect the legal rights and interests of rights holders, three Intellectual Property Courts were planned to establish in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
On September 26, 2014, the Intellectual Property Office of the Administrative Committee of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone was set up for operation, which was the first to incorporate the supervision of the intellectual property right of patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as their enforcement. The establishment of such Intellectual Property Office may not only avoid the separation of processes, but also facilitate the unification of the standards for law enforcement, so as to build an authoritative, efficient administrative enforcement system of intellectual properties.
In early November, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court has been established to hear the civil and administrative intellectual property cases. The timing of the establishment of the Intellectual Property Courts in Shanghai and Guangzhou are promised before the end of 2014. Based on theProvisions on the Establishment of Intellectual Property Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou issued by the PRC Supreme People's Court, the Intellectual Property Courts in Beijing and Shanghai will have jurisdiction over the cases in their respective cities, while Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court will have cross-regional jurisdiction over the entire Guangdong province.
These arrangements may show the determination of the PRC government to tackle the complexity of the law enforcement induced in the intellectual property protection system. It is hope the various pilot programs may accumulate experiences and may be extended to other areas to implement the overall streamlined intellectual property protection system across China.