04/23/2014, 00.00
CHINA
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China "soon" to set up a special court to deal with intellectual property rights

The government plans to create a new court to deal solely with copyright and patent-related disputes. In 2013, nearly 90,000 such cases were filed.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Chinese government has announced that it will "soon" set up a court to handle exclusively intellectual property (IP) disputes and resolve issues related to copyright and intellectual property. Experts and business welcomed the decision.

China has long been criticised for its poor track record on protecting such rights. The new court is meant to reassure foreign investors, wary about investing in the country, and is a sign that technological innovation is starting to be an important issue for the Chinese.

The court will likely be established in Guangdong, a bustling province that has been a trading hub to test the Communist Party's social and political changes.

Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan said the province, which has "long enjoyed the freedom to experiment", would do its best to be part of the pilot programme.

"The notion and the law of intellectual property is the key for indigenous innovation," Zhu noted. "The government needs to strengthen its management system to better serve innovative companies and protect them."

What is more, this new court "would be a major step forward for China's judicial reform," Jin Kesheng, a senior judge with the China Supreme People's Court, said.

However, "The top leadership needs to review the plan carefully to avoid any possible struggles of jurisdictions of the new type of court system," he explained, adding, "A special court dealing IP cases also needs specialised and professional judges, and we have to prepare for that."

China has a very bad reputation in the area of copyright protection, and the huge number of counterfeit goods produced in the country has led to an endless series of lawsuits with foreign companies over breaches to their patents.

According to official figures, last year the number of civil cases totalled 88,286, a 5.29 per cent year-on-year increase.

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