5 January 2021Rory O'Neill

China establishes new specialist IP court

China has approved the creation of the country’s fourth specialist IP court in the new Hainan Free Trade Port.

The establishment of IP courts in China has come as part of a drive to upgrade the country’s legal infrastructure around IP and improve its reputation on IP protection.

The first three courts were established in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Hainan, the venue of the newest court, is also the site of a new free trade port (FTP), established last year.

Chinese authorities published the Hainan FTP Masterplan last year, aiming to have a fully operational FTP system in place by 2035.

The Masterplan also identified the need to improve the laws and regulations to allow the new port to function effectively.

The new court will have jurisdiction over Hainan Province’s first-instance IP cases and certain appeals from the Hainan Provincial Basic People's Court.

The establishment of the new court was approved at a meeting of the National People's Congress, the country’s top legislative authority, on December 26.

The NPC also enacted new criminal penalties for IP infringement across the country, including greater maximum prison sentences for trademark and copyright infringement.

A jail term of greater than three years would be reserved for convicted criminals who knowingly sell counterfeits “if the amount of sale is huge or if the circumstances are especially serious,” state media outlet Xinhua reported.

This week has also seen calls in China for the establishment of an official Anti-Plagiarism Day, after a controversy involving a popular author as well as a TV screenwriter.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox

Today’s top stories

Record labels defeat ISP’s ‘false piracy notices’ countersuit

Hermès bags Birkin TM win in Japan

IP services: success lies in empowerment, efficiency, and value creation

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

23 December 2020   China is set to impose heftier criminal penalties for IP infringement, according to draft reforms submitted to legislators this week.
12 November 2020   The Chinese government has approved a legal amendment to shore up copyright protection within the country, raising the level of statutory damages for infringement from 500,000 Yuan to 5 million Yuan.