Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court heard more than 1,680 intellectual property infringement cases involving overseas parties last year, according to a white paper on the city’s protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) released by the court yesterday, ahead of World Intellectual Property Day that falls on April 26.
Among them, 845 lawsuits involved foreign companies and 837 involved Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan firms, Hu Zhiguang, vice president of the court, told reporters at a press conference yesterday.
In a typical case with all litigants being outside China, the court handled a lawsuit filed by Finnish gaming firm Supercell against the American studio Tales of Phantasia in San Francisco and Japanese studio Gree.
In 2020, the court accepted a record high of 69,661 intellectual property cases and concluded a new record of 69,602 cases, a year-on-year increase of 63.3 percent and 69.7 percent, respectively, Hu said.
Hu said Shenzhen has taken a leading role in IPR judicial protection and the creation of a world-class business environment.
The city has promulgated China’s first guidelines for applying punitive damages in civil patent infringement lawsuits. In another case filed by the Dongguan-headquartered Vivo Mobile Communication Co. Ltd. against Shenzhen Youpintong Electronic Co. Ltd., the Shenzhen firm was fined three times the amount of its profits it gained through trademark infringement.
An amendment passed by Shenzhen legislature in June last year has clarified six categories of serious intentional intellectual property infringement cases and said that heavier punishments related to the cases shall be given within the range of punitive damages stipulated by the law.
The six categories include infringements of patents, copyrights, trademarks, new plant varieties, know-how and geographical indications.
The amendment specifies the intermediate people’s court may be staffed with technical investigators to provide professional support during the trial of intellectual property cases.
Shenzhen has been encouraged by the Supreme People’s Court with a set of new judicial measures to protect new-type intellectual property rights in an innovative manner.
According to a guideline issued by the Supreme People’s Court in November last year, Shenzhen is allowed to explore ways to safeguard IPRs in some new sectors, including AI, life sciences and Internet information, to further serve the city’s innovation-driven development. The guideline shows the country’s determination to create a sound and international business environment in Shenzhen by strengthening IPR protection.