22 April 2019
China says the protection of intellectual property is a "basic national policy". Photo: Reuters
China says the protection of intellectual property is a "basic national policy". Photo: Reuters

China’s Supreme Court to take on intellectual property cases

Intellectual property rights cases can from next month be taken to China’s Supreme Court as the country seeks to strengthen protections in the face of complaints from the United States about the issue, Reuters reports.

China and the United States are currently in talks to resolve a trade dispute, in which both countries have put tariffs on imports of each other’s products.

The US and the European Union have long complained about poor enforcement of intellectual property rights in China, and this has been a key complaint of the Trump administration, along with forced technology transfers and a yawning trade gap.

Beijing in response has been seeking to show that it is serious about addressing US concerns.

Deputy Chief Justice Luo Dongchuan told a news conference over the weekend that from Jan. 1 the Supreme Court would begin handling appeals on intellectual property rights cases, whereas previously only provincial-level high courts would handle them.

“Setting up a Supreme Court intellectual property rights court is an important decision by the Communist Party, is a major step to strengthen the legal protection of intellectual property rights and will have a major impact at home and abroad.”

Luo did not directly answer a question about how the US should view the move and what it said about China’s efforts to protect intellectual property, saying that such protection was a “basic national policy”.

“China is already the world’s second largest economy, and in the future China’s development will rely on innovation. The protection of innovation needs there to be legal protection for intellectual property rights.”

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