China Adds Specialised IP Courts in Tianjin, Changsha & Zhengzhou

 
Empowered by the approval of the Supreme People's Court of China (SPC) issued in February 2018, three specialised intellectual property (IP) courts have been set up in Tianjin municipality; Changsha, capital of Hunan province in south-central China; and Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province in east-central China respectively, in the wake of the establishment of Xi'an IP Tribunal on 24 February 2018.
 
Of the three tribunals, both the Tianjin IP Tribunal and Changsha IP Tribunal came into operation on 1 March 2018. Tianjin IP Tribunal has jurisdiction over: i) first-instance IP-related civil and administrative cases involving patent, new plant variety, integrated circuit (IC) layout design, technical secret, computer software, recognition of well-known trademark or monopoly dispute occurring within the jurisdiction of Tianjin municipality; ii) first-instance IP-related civil, administrative and criminal cases involving trademark, copyright, unfair competition or technology contract dispute occurring within the jurisdiction of the Third Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin, other than the first-instance IP-related civil, administrative and criminal cases under the jurisdiction of Tianjin Binhai New District People's Court; and iii) appeal cases against first-instance adjudications of IP-related civil, administrative and criminal cases made by Tianjin Binhai New District People's Court.
 
And Changsha IP Tribunal has jurisdiction over: i) first-instance IP-related civil and administrative cases relating to patent, new plant variety, integrated circuit (IC) layout design, technical secret, computer software, recognition of well-known trademark or monopoly dispute occurring within the jurisdiction of Hunan province; ii) first-instance IP-related civil and administrative cases relating to trademark, copyright, unfair competition or technology contract dispute occurring within the jurisdiction of Changsha; and iii) appeal cases against first-instance adjudications of IP-related criminal cases made by grassroots courts of Changsha.
 
Zhengzhou IP Tribunal commenced operation on 2 March 2018. It has jurisdiction over: i) first-instance IP-related civil and administrative cases relating to patent, new plant variety, integrated circuit (IC) layout design, technical secret, computer software, recognition of well-known trademark or monopoly dispute occurring within the jurisdiction of Henan province; ii) first-instance IP-related civil and administrative cases relating to trademark, copyright, unfair competition or technology contract dispute occurring within the jurisdiction of Zhengzhou, other than those cases under the jurisdiction of the grassroots courts of Zhengzhou; and iii) appeal cases against first-instance adjudications of IP-related criminal cases made by grassroots courts of Zhengzhou. 
 
With the establishment of these new tribunals, China now has 15 specialised IP tribunals, spreading across the nation in Zhengzhou, Tianjin, Changsha, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jinan, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hefei, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu. The 15 IP tribunals in combination with the three previously established IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou form the new IP protection landscape in the country.