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Courts Implement the Adjusted Criterion of Grade Jurisdiction on IPR Civil Cases

According to the Supreme People’s Court’s “Announcement on Adjusting Jurisdiction of Basic People’s Courts at all Levels Concerning the First Instance of IPR Civil Cases”, courts across the country have implemented the adjusted criterion of grade jurisdiction on IPR civil cases since February 1, 2010.


Any first instance of IPR civil cases, whose object of action values above 200 million Yuan, or whose object of action values above 100 million Yuan with one party is non-resident of the courts’ jurisdiction area, or of foreign, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan related, shall be ruled by the Higher People’s Court.


Any IPR civil case excluded from the above-mentioned criterion, while with the exception of cases ruled by local people’s courts designated by the Supreme People’s Court and empowered with jurisdiction on general IPR civil cases, shall be ruled by the Intermediate People’s Court.


Local people’s courts which have jurisdiction over general IPR civil cases are allowed to rule the first instance of general IPR civil cases whose object of action values under 500 million Yuan; or whose object of action values from 5 million to 10 million yet with all parties residing in the jurisdiction area of the Higher or Intermediate People’s Courts they belong to.


So far, the Supreme People’s Court has designated 92 Basic People’s Courts which have jurisdiction over general IPR civil cases.


As the protection for Intellectual Property Right has risen into the Chinese national strategy, the innovation of civil trial system, especially the reconfiguration of civil jurisdiction, becomes an important issue. The Supreme People’s Court has adjusted Criterion of Grade Jurisdiction on IPR Civil Cases this year, which perfectly illustrates “two conveniences” principle in the civil trials of Chinese courts: convenient for people to litigate and convenient for courts to handle. It also demonstrates the purpose of Chinese civil trials as “serve the people whole-heartedly”.


Of course, while focusing on “providing convenience to the people to litigate”, enough attention should also be paid on “helpful for the people’s courts to exercise their judicial power independently and impartially”. For those nearly 100 local courts empowered with jurisdiction over IPR cases, especially for their newly-arrived judges, it would be a crucial and urgent issue for them to receive professional training, to get familiar with the theoretic system of IPR Law, to unify standards for enforcement and to guarantee the consistency and coordination of the ruling of local courts across the whole country.