To protect technological innovation, the Supreme Court of Intellectual Property Rights is "very hard"

  Author: reporter Jin Hao

"Guangming Daily" (March 4, 2021 03 edition)

[Opening a new era of comprehensive rule of law]

  Compensation of 159 million yuan for technical secret right holders!

On the morning of February 26, with the sound of a clear gavel, the case of infringement of trade secrets with the highest compensation in the history of the People's Court came to an end.

The appeal case of Zhejiang Jiaxing Zhonghua Chemical Co., Ltd. and Wanglong Group Co., Ltd. on the infringement of technical secrets was pronounced in the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court. Wanglong Group and others paid a high price for the misappropriation of "vanillin" technical secrets.

The verdict of this case quickly became a hot search on the Internet and was well received by people inside and outside the industry.

  Not long ago, the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court (hereinafter referred to as the "Intellectual Property Court") ushered in its two birthday.

Although the court establishment time is short, this "national team" of intellectual property trials has handed in a heavy answer.

According to the vice president of the court, Xi Zhonglin, in the past two years, the court has accepted a total of 5,121 cases, with a case-closing rate exceeding 80%.

Among them, 2,787 cases were approved in 2020, a year-on-year increase of nearly 95%.

In 2020, per capita court judges closed 82.5 cases, an increase of 110% year-on-year; the average trial period of second-instance entities was 123 days, compared to the previous local high courts taking about one year.

  “As the national unified final adjudication agency for hearing technology-related intellectual property cases, the court’s adjudication rules and trial quality directly affect the implementation of the national innovation-driven development strategy and intellectual property strategy.” Zhonglin said, the strategy involved in the court’s acceptance in 2020 Sexual emerging industry cases accounted for more than 1/8 of all cases.

The court heard a large number of influential cases and made many benchmark judgments.

  For example, in the standard-essential patent case of Huawei v. Convenson, the court made the first act preservation ruling in the field of intellectual property in my country with an “anti-suit” nature, and for the first time explored the application of daily fines, which directly facilitated the parties to reach a global scope "Package" settlement agreement.

This groundbreaking judgment has received widespread attention at home and abroad.

  Zhang Guangliang, director of the International Intellectual Property Research Center of Renmin University of China, believes: “As the role of intellectual property in the international economy and trade is prominent, parallel litigation is increasing, how to protect the legitimate rights and interests of litigants in our country and maintain a fair and just international litigation order? The ruling in this case has made a positive response and is a milestone in the historical process of my country’s intellectual property trials."

  Judge Zhu Li, 47, serves as the deputy chief of the Intellectual Property Court. He is also the chief judge in the case of the misappropriation of "vanillin" technology secrets.

Walking into his somewhat cramped office, I saw the desk, balcony and bookcases were full of books.

Intellectual property cases are very professional. Zhu Li believes that a case requires the judge to understand technical facts, followed by legal issues, and the final damage compensation also needs to understand economic issues.

  According to reports, there are 39 judges in the intellectual property court, all of whom have a master’s degree or above, of which 43% are PhDs, 36% have a combined academic background in science and engineering and law, and 25% have overseas study experience. ".

In 2020, the number of new cases received by courts has increased significantly and the challenge of the epidemic can still be completed. Chen Zhonglin said frankly that "it is not easy."

  For a long time, there has been a problem of "low infringement costs and high rights maintenance costs" in the field of intellectual property rights in my country.

Xu Chunming, a professor at the Shanghai International Intellectual Property Institute of Tongji University, pointed out that my country has fully implemented punitive damages for intellectual property rights at the legislative level, but due to the new system of punitive damages, there are not many such cases in judicial practice.

  In the case of infringement of "Kabo" technical secrets, the Intellectual Property Court made the first punitive damages judgment of intellectual property in the Supreme Law, clarified the conditions for the application of punitive damages, applied the top five times the compensation, and awarded more than 30 million yuan in compensation.

Xu Chunming believes that this case "shows that the punitive damages provisions are definitely not only a'declaration' for my country to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, but also an'action' for my country to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights."

  On February 26, the Intellectual Property Court also issued 10 typical cases, including patents, computer software, technical secrets, integrated circuit layout design cases, and monopoly cases; covering both traditional technical fields such as machinery and chemical engineering, but also Involving high-tech materials, chip technology, wireless communications and other emerging technology fields.

All the above 3 cases were selected.

  "The small room is filled with all kinds of files and evidence. A dozen clerks and assistant judges are busy in it. On every brightly lit night, every weekend when people come and go, they are diligent and diligent. The prosperous and impetuous world is only working silently for the justice and intellectual property in the heart." Zhang Ling, a student of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, who ended his internship in the court not long ago, wrote such a sentimental statement.

Indeed, in order to adhere to the original mission of protecting innovation through judicial trials, everyone in the court has worked hard to make every document and every referee a benchmark.

  Intellectual property courts have also attracted a lot of attention internationally.

Renata Lehti, president of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, believes that the intellectual property court "can unify judicial standards and improve the predictability of trials by concentrating local intellectual property cases to the Supreme People's Court."

The United States "Columbia Science and Technology Law Review" commented: "The establishment of the Intellectual Property Court is a milestone in China's efforts to systematically unify the jurisdiction and judicial guidance of intellectual property cases."

(Reporter Jin Hao)