How complete and up-to-date is the information?
While China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) requires publication of most decisions, China’s legal system is not based on case law, and in reality only a portion of decisions are publicly available. Based on the SPC’s annual statistics of IP cases, and the decisions published in the main official source, China Judgements Online (“Wenshu”), we estimate that, for patent litigation cases, around 50% of these cases have been published at all levels of courts. And how quickly are those decisions made public? While we have no clear measurement of this, it is clear from Wenshu that publication of cases trickles in over a period of months. This means that a focus on up-to-date and complete litigation data is missing the point – China does not have the equivalent of the USA’s PACER to track new decisions in real time. Instead, the value of CIELA data lies in the insights that we glean from the data on how similar cases are likely to be decided, in other words, qualitative and not quantitative value.
For more details, our latest CIELA report, co-authored with Mark Cohen of BCLT, is published in IAM magazine, here.