Beijing boosts legal services on IP disputes

(China Daily) Updated : 2018-09-04

Businesses in Beijing's Haidian district that are involved in intellectual property disputes at home and abroad will benefit from improved legal services, according to a statement released by the district government.

To help companies efficiently handle IP disputes overseas, especially those regarding the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Haidian authorities have established IP services or aid sites overseas, according to a government statement.

By the end of last year, the district had established seven sites in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom and France, and the program will be expanded, the statement said.

While providing more assistance to help businesses resolve IP disputes overseas, the district has also paid greater attention to IP case hearings at home, especially those between Chinese and foreign litigants.

Last year, the district court heard 11,650 IP cases, a rise of 75 percent year-on-year, and about 80 percent of them focused on online copyright, according to Cao Liping, deputy chief judge at the court's IP tribunal. She added that the number of IP hearings at the court had risen by 30 percent in each of the past five years.

Cao said the court hears about 100 IP cases involving foreigners or foreign enterprises every year, many of them related to trademarks, domain squatting and online games. "Our attitude in these hearings has never changed. That is, to abide by the law and provide equal legal protection, no matter where the litigants come from," she said.

Given the district's rapid development of businesses in the technology and internet sectors, the court often holds seminars with the local internet association, IP-related authorities and business representatives to study current or new IP issues, according to Cao. "We conducted research in accordance with IP demand from businesses, as well as visiting companies to popularize IP knowledge and answer related questions," she said.

Cao said the big challenge now is learning how to balance the interests of different business operators when handling disputes related to unfair competition "because there are very few laws governing the new issue to follow".