A national intellectual property rights (IPR) trial system model should be established to unify judicial standards and avoid judicial conflicts for cases of intellectual property infringements, says Zhou Qiang 周强 Supreme People’s Court (SPC) chief justice in his work report for the National People’s Congress Standing Committee 29th meeting.

Up to now, criminal, civil and administrative IPR cases have been heard by the criminal, civil and administrative divisions of the courts, says Caixin. With each division applying their own criteria to the same case, the system has led to judicial confusion, it says. Further, the number of IPR lawsuits has boomed in recent years, with a particularly fast increase of foreign-IPR related civil cases, it says, straining the current system.

Such realities call for the establishment of a national IPR tribunal in conformity with the criminal, civil and administrative judicial characteristics and patterns of IPR, says Caixin. While these courts were set up in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2014, the cases were still passed onto Higher People’s Court in each city for the second trial in the case of appeal, explains Caixin.

A national IPR tribunal would help maximise allocation of trial resources and increase judicial efficiency through measures such as allowing chief justices to handle relatively straightforward civil and administrative cases, argues the Supreme People’s Court.