More foreign enterprises have chosen Chinese courts to settle their patent and technology-related disputes, due to the equal protection offered to them in the handling of such cases, said an official with the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

In 2023, the Intellectual Property Court of the SPC filed 421 cases involving foreign litigants — 267 more than in 2019, the year it was established, said He Zhonglin, first deputy chief judge of the IP Court, in an exclusive interview with China Daily. "The growth means market players have attached great importance to technology and IP rights as part of their core competitiveness, with foreign investors optimistic about the dynamic Chinese market," he said. "It also indicates that Chinese courts are becoming one of the preferred venue for resolving international IP litigation."

The IP Court, which opened in January 2019, was established mainly to handle civil and administrative appeals related to invention patents, new varieties of plants, integrated circuits, technical secrets, computer software and monopolies. Since the court's establishment, litigants dissatisfied with rulings made by intermediate courts at the city or prefecture level, or by other specialized IP courts, have been allowed to appeal directly to the national-level IP Court instead of first appealing to provincial high courts.

The streamlined appeal process has helped prevent inconsistencies and improved the efficiency and quality of difficult technical and patent hearings. Although the number of cases has soared, the court continues to provide equal protection to all litigants, regardless of whether they are domestic or foreign, State-owned or private, inventors or scientific research institutions.

He pledged to strengthen efforts to solve foreign-related IP disputes, saying that better handling is a foundation for encouraging innovators and helping to build a sound business environment. "It will also be a robust and long-term guarantee to serve China's high-quality development and attract more foreign investment," he said.

Source: (English)