2. Q: Through what channels can patent rights be enforced?

Faced with an act of patent infringement, the patentee or any interested party may institute legal proceedings before the people's courts, or request the administrative authority for patent affairs to handle the matter.

The administrative authority for patent affairs is not a judicial body, but a functional department of the government. The authority, working in a flexible manner, can investigate and handle various cases of patent disputes, including cases of infringement. When the administrative authority for patent affairs considers that an infringement is established, it may order the infringer to stop the infringing act; and may, upon the request of the parties, mediate the amount of compensation for the damages caused by the infringement.

Generally, the administrative proceedings are less time-consuming and less costly than the judicial proceedings. If a party is not satisfied with the results of the administrative proceedings or the order of the administrative authority is not complied with or the amount of damages cannot be agreed upon, judicial proceedings may serve as a relief. Hence, in practice, it is still recommended to choose judicial proceedings if the case is complex and/or damages are claimed.

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