Supreme People's Court Publishes Summary of its Annual Report on IP Cases Accepted & Concluded in 2019 


On 23 April 2020, the Supreme People's Court of China (SPC) published a summary of its annual report on statistics and analysis of the intellectual property (IP) cases it accepted and concluded in 2019.
As reported, the SPC has accepted 3,845 IP cases and concluded 3,254 IP cases in 2019. And of the cases accepted, 1,931 were patent cases, 965 trademark cases, 245 copyright cases, 18 monopoly cases, 63 unfair competition cases, 34 new plant species cases, 119 IP contract cases, 169 technology contract cases, 3 integrated circuit layout-design cases, and 298 miscellaneous cases.
The report also analyses the key issues of contention in various types of IP cases heard by the SPC during the year. It mentioned, among others, that claim construction and inventive step assessment were the focuses in patent civil litigation and patent administrative litigation of the year respectively; while the major discussion of trademark civil litigation fell on the legal problems related to foreign-related original equipment manufacturing, damages for bad faith, and prior use defence; and as for trademark administrative litigation, establishment of similarities between trademarks/products remained the central issue.
The annual report also contains 60 exemplary cases selected from IP cases concluded by the court in 2019, from which 67 legal issues of high guiding value were derived. These legal issues embody the rationales and ways of adjudication adopted by the SPC in handling novel, difficult and complex IP cases.