Online IP Infringement Cases Gumming Up the Works in China’s Courts?

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Minor story, but if you’re wondering about recent trends in the intellectual property scene over here, keep your attention on the Internet. According to China Daily, the Supreme People’s Court is planning a judicial interpretation sometime next year to deal with this issue. The SPC issued a statement that included the following stats:

. . . disputes in online copyright infringement have taken up half of copyright cases this year, due to a boost in information exchanges on the Internet.

Copyright infringement took up 60 percent of total IPR cases in the first 10 months of this year. The total number of IPR cases surged to more than 52,000 by the end of October, a 42 percent rise and the first time it went over the record of 50,000.

Most of these cases involve very low damages, but they take up the same judicial resources as any other civil suit. More on this in 2012 . . .

2 responses on “Online IP Infringement Cases Gumming Up the Works in China’s Courts?

  1. S.K. Cheung

    This story is ironic. With something less than air-tight laws, and something less than studious enforcement, the system is already overrun with cases (presumably civil cases mostly). So in fact, one theoretical solution would be to defang regulations further and codify even less IP protection than exists now, so there is even less basis for defending IP and thus fewer grounds for legal action. Over time, that would likely result in fewer lawsuits…even if it throws IP under the bus.

    On the other hand, perhaps what they need to do is to codify a more compelling deterrent. Reduce IP cases by really making it not worth peoples’ while to infringe upon someone else’s. That might result in fewer lawsuits in a way that actually improves China’s reputation for IP protection, even if it throws IP thieves under the bus. If given the choice, I’d rather see thieves than IP as road-kill.

    1. Stan Post author

      Deterrence is key. There are only so many resources that can be thrown at this from an enforcement point of view. Also, don’t forget that some administrative solutions might be possible as well. Think about all those trademark cases that don’t go to court because they are handled via AIC raid (not to say that that system is perfect, but at least it presents an alternative, a quicker and cheaper one, to judicial action).