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News & Cases from China: April 2023

Published on 31 May 2023 | 7 minute read

The Supreme People's Court Issues Report - Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Chinese Courts (2022)

Date: 20 April 2023

On 20 April 2023, the Supreme People’s Court issued its report ‘Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Chinese Courts (2022)’, which reflects recent developments in the judicial protection of intellectual property rights in China throughout the country’s court system, and provides information relating to both the number and type of IP cases brought in the various courts in 2022.

Details in the Report include the following:

  • The courts nationwide accepted 526,165 IP cases, including first instance, second instance and retrial cases, and concluded 543,379 cases (including carried over cases), a year-on-year decrease of 18.17% and 9.67%, respectively.
  • The number of technology-related IP cases accepted by the people’s courts continued to increase. The Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court continued to accept a significant number of technical intellectual property civil second instance substantive cases. The number of new first instance cases involving patents and technology contracts accepted by local people's courts at all levels increased significantly. For example, Courts in Jiangsu Province accepted 1,817 new cases relating to disputes over ownership and infringement of IP rights, a 17.61% increase from the previous year. The number of new IPR cases accepted by the courts in Shanxi Province and Hainan Province increased by 22.21% and 72.58%, respectively. In Hebei province, the number of IP cases accepted and concluded increased by 45.94% and 106.01%, respectively. The number of new civil IPR cases accepted in courts in Liaoning Province increased by 61%. The number of new civil IPR cases of first instance accepted in courts in Jiangxi Province increased by 22%. In addition, the number of cases accepted by the courts in Hunan Province, Heilongjiang Province, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps also continued to grow steadily.

Source: The Supreme People’s Court of the People’s republic of China





2022年,全国法院新收一审、二审、申请再审等各类知识产权案件526165件,审结543379件(含旧存)比 2021 年分别下降 18.17% 和 9.67%。2022年人民法院受理的知识产权技术类案件数量持续上升,具体来看,2022年,最高人民法院知识产权法庭新收技术类知识产权民事二审实体案件数量保持较高增长。地方各级人民法院新收涉专利、技术合同一审案件数量增幅明显。江苏法院新收技术性较强的知识产权权属、侵权纠纷案件1817件,同比增长17.61%。山西、海南法院新收知识产权案件数量同比增长达22.21%和72.58%。河北法院知识产权案件收结案数同比增长45.94%和106.01%。辽宁法院新收知识产权民事案件数同比增长61%。江西法院新收知识产权民事一审案件数同比增长22%。湖南、黑龙江、新疆生产建设兵团等地法院收案量也延续了稳定增长的态势。

资料来源:最高法  2023-04-20



The Supreme People's Procuratorate Reported on National IPR Prosecution Work in 2022 and Issued Guidelines for People’s Procuratorates on Handling IPR Cases

Date: 26 April 2023

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate reported that from January 2022 to March 2023, the procuratorates nationwide prosecuted more than 7,300 cases and 15,000 persons for crimes of infringement of intellectual property rights, advised administrative authorities to transfer more than 550 suspected criminals in total to public security authorities, supervised the filing of more than 520 cases and the dismissal of more than 410 cases by the public security authorities, corrected the omission of more than 150 suspects from the public security authorities for arrest, corrected the omission of more than 980 co-defendants referred for review and prosecution, and handled more than 1,100 cases of civil and administrative litigation supervision of intellectual property rights.

In order to enhance the capacity and level of judicial protection of intellectual property rights nationwide, the Supreme People's Procuratorate issued Guidelines for People’s Procuratorates on Handling IPR Cases on 26 April. The Guidelines consist of 45 articles, divided into five areas, including general principles; handling of criminal intellectual property cases; handling of civil and administrative litigation supervision cases; and handling of public interest litigation cases. The Guidelines clarify the scope of cases and the manner in which IPR procuratorates should perform their duties; specify that IPR cases mainly include criminal, civil, administrative and public interest litigation cases; and provide for procuratorates to give exercise fully their criminal and litigation prosecutorial and supervisory functions.  The Guidelines also make it clear that the procuratorates should strengthen communication with public security authorities, people's courts and administrative departments in relation to intellectual property rights, promptly transfer evidence of criminal activity and inform relevant organs of the acceptance of criminal cases, promote the sharing of information on law enforcement and judicial case handling, and ensure uniformity in the application of judicial standards.

Source: The Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China








Report on Chinas Combating of IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting 2022 was Issued

Date: 26 April 2023

A report on combating IPR infringement and counterfeiting in 2022 has been issued by the Office of the National Leading Group on Coordinated Implementation of Building a Quality-powered Nation. The Report elaborates on the effectiveness of China's efforts to combat infringement and counterfeiting in 2022, focusing on top-level design, laws and regulations, administrative law enforcement, judicial protection, diversified governance, publicity and guidance, international cooperation.

In terms of administrative law enforcement, China has achieved outstanding results in the following key areas: Firstly, rectification on the Internet:  a total of 840,000 links of IPR infringing and pirating content were taken down, 15,400 IPR infringing accounts were disposed of, and 1,180 online IPR infringement cases were investigated and dealt with. Secondly, rectification in key livelihood areas: 44,000 illegal cases relating to trademark infringement, patent counterfeiting was investigated and dealt with, involving a total amount of RMB 1.62 billion (approx. $US 229 million). Thirdly, rectification on import and export: in 2022, the General Administration of Customs detained 61,000 batches of suspected infringing goods, involving 77,939,000 pieces of goods; postal administration departments at all levels conducted a total of 31,000 inspections for the purpose of administrative law enforcement and handled 6,077 administrative penalty cases.

In terms of judicial protection of intellectual property rights, China has increased its criminal crackdown on intellectual property crimes. In 2022, a total of 27,000 criminal cases of intellectual property infringement and the production and sale of counterfeit goods were cracked; the procuratorial organs approved the arrest of more than 3,600 suspects and prosecuted 13,000 persons; courts at all levels concluded 2.194 million first instance IPR cases, a year-on-year increase of 221.1%, and the compensation amount increased by 153% compared to 2018.

Source: The State Council of the People’s Republic of China





在行政执法方面,中国在以下重点领域取得突出成效:其一,深化互联网领域整治,删除侵权盗版链接 84 万条,处置侵权账号 1.54 万个,查处网络侵权案件 1180 件。其二,推进重点民生领域整治,查处商标侵权、 假冒专利等违法案件 4.4 万件,涉案金额 16.2 亿元。其三,加强对进出口等重点环节的整治。2022年,海关总署扣留侵权嫌疑货物 6.1 万批, 涉及货物数量 7793.9 万件;各级邮政部门开展行政执法检查 3.1 万人次,办理行政处罚案件 6077 件。

在知识产权司法保护方面, 中国对知识产权犯罪的刑事打击力度加强。2022年全年共破获侵犯知识产权和制售伪劣商品犯罪案件 2.7 万起;检察机关共批准逮捕涉嫌侵犯知识产权犯罪嫌疑人 3600 余人, 提起公诉 1.3 万人;各级法院审结一审知识产权案件 219.4 万件,同比增长 221.1%,判赔额较2018 年增长 153%。

资料来源:中央人民政府  2023-04-26



China’s First Case Involving Virtual Digital Human - Defendant Liable for Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition

Date: 26 April 2023

The Plaintiff, Xmov Technology Ltd. (Xmov Company), used artificial intelligence technology to create Ada, a virtual digital human.  The Defendant, a network company in Hangzhou, released two videos through its Douyin account. The videos used the content related to Ada that had been released by Xmov Company, replaced the logo of Xmov Company in the opening and closing credits, and inserted marketing information about the Defendant’s virtual digital human course.  In one of the videos the Defendant's registered trademark was included.

The Hangzhou Internet Court held that the representation of the virtual digital human, Ada, constituted an artwork for the purposes of the Copyright Law and the related videos using Ada's image constituted audiovisual works and a video production. Xmov Company enjoyed intellectual property rights in the work. Xu, an employee of Xmov Company had performed the live-action drive on the virtual digital human Ada in the course of his employment, and Xmov Company was the owner of rights in the performance. The Defendant's release of the video infringed Xmov Company's right of information network dissemination. Further, the Defendant had used Ada to attract traffic for marketing purposes, which directly harmed Xmov Company’s commercial interests and constituted an act of unfair competition.

The Court found in favour of Xmov Company and ordered the Defendant to pay RMB 120,000 (approx. $US 17,000) in compensation for economic loss and legal costs.

Source: The Hangzhou Internet Court








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