American and Chinese judges discussed IP issues in Beijing

2012/9/6By Monica Zhang, China IP,[Patent]

From May 28th to May 30th, the United States-China IP Adjudication Conference (Conference) was held in Bejing by the China Law Society. Randall Rader, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and six his colleagues, together with over a hundred IP professionals from all over the world came to China to communicate with Chinese judges over IP Adjudication issues. Representatives from all levels of China’s courts, including Kong Xiangjun, Chief Judge of the IP Tribunal of China’s Supreme People’s Court, attended the Conference. The judges from the two countries reviewed and discussed many high profile topics concerning the application of IP laws in court adjudications, such as judicature, litigation and innovation, etc.

The Conference was unveiled by a series of keynote speeches outlining “the micro problems concerning IP adjudications.” Officials from the General Administration of Press and Publication of the People’s Republic of China (GAPP) and the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), Principle of the Intellectual Property School of Renmin University of China, as well as officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) delivered speeches over the development of an IP system from different perspectives. Topics involved including the prospect of the amendment of China’s Copyright Law, the developing trends in China’s Patent Law, and the revision of the American Invents Act, etc. Tian Lipu, Commissioner of SIPO, pointed out that cooperation between China and the U.S. is critical to the IP industry of both countries. According to the Commissioner, in 2011, the patent applications and examinations handled by SIPO and USPTO accounted for half of the world’s total.

In the following section of “Conversations,” 14 judges from China and the U.S. exchanged ideas face to face on issues that were of the most concern to the world’s IP industry as well as in their own personal works. The Chinese delegates addressed concerns about perceived problems within in the U.S. legal system, such as the high cost of litigation and time consuming court procedures, while the U.S. judges answered their questions in detail.

On May 29th, the conference held four breakout sessions in addition to the main conference to discuss issues related to copyright, trademark, patent and pharmaceuticals. Speakers conducted inclusive in-depth discussions on issues which had long been the focus of attention in the IP industry. Their topics included “written description, utility model, validity and proof of infringement in IP adjudication,” “obviousness, trade secret protection, damages and injunctive relief in IP adjudication,” “trademark right issues and design patent protection in IP adjudication,” “hot and difficult issues concerning the revision of the Copyright Law,” “trademark registration, trademark use and trademark confusion,” “most common issues in pharmaceutical patent prosecution proceedings,” etc.

The Conference ended with “mock court trials” on May 30th. Judges from the IP Tribunal of Beijing Higher People’s Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit formed collegiate benches successively. Lawyers from China and the U.S. were invited to act as representitives of the plaintiff and defendant. The mock courts then heard the elaborated cases and discussed the reasoning behind the court’s decision after trial.

According to the introductions of the Conference organizer, the Conference was the first of its kind in China’s IP industry for its largescale, rich content, and wide influence. The participants said that the Conference offered a perfect platform for IP practitioners to meet, learn more about the China and U.S. IP judicial systems and to exchange professional experiences. Chong Quan, Deputy Representative of China International Trade of Ministry of Commerce, said that the Chinese government had always been positive and open-minded in exchanging and cooperating with other countries on IP issues. On Sino-US intellectual property rights issues, China had always stood for dialogue and cooperation to achieve mutual benefits on the basis of equality, respect, rationality and openness. Practice had proven that the concept and mode of such cooperation could benefit both countries in developing a healthy long-term sustainable bilateral relationship.

 

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