International IP/IT Review March 2024

Date and time :2024-04-19


The Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court released its 2023 annual report

According to the report, in 2023, the number of cases accepted by the court continued to increase, with 7,776 technical intellectual property and monopoly cases (including 5,062 and 2,714 old cases), and 4,562 cases with a ratio of 90.1%. Compared with 2022, the number of cases increased by 25.8% (among which, the number of new cases increasing by 14.9% and the number of cases increasing by 31.5%). At the same time, infringement cases continued to grow, with 3,222 new civil entity cases of second instance, an increase of 9.0% year on year, and infringement disputes involving invention patents, utility model patents, new plant varieties, technical secrets, and computer software all increasing year by year. The number of new cases of administrative second instance was 1,277, up by 44.0% year on year, among which the number of administrative disputes over the rejection of patent applications and administrative disputes over patent invalidation both increased year on year. 

In addition, cases involving strategic emerging industries continued to grow, with 1,582 cases involving strategic emerging industries, including information technology, biotechnology, new energy, new materials, high-end equipment, new energy vehicles, and green environmental protection, accounting for 31.3 percent of all new cases,  representing an increase of 244 cases than in 2022. Except for the number of cases accepted and the number of cases closed, the revision rate of civil second instance in the court was 25.7%. Excluding the cases changed due to the effectiveness of rights and the unified judgment standards for batch rights protection cases, the revision rate was 11.2%, up 1.7% year on year. At the same time, the retrial rate of civil substantive cases of second instance has continued to decline, down from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 0.3 percent in 2023.

ZLWD Commentary:

The 2023 Intellectual Property Court report of the Supreme People's Court reveals significant developments in the field of intellectual property protection in China. The significant increase in the number of cases underscores the improvement of intellectual property awareness and the promotion of technological innovation. The growth of cases in strategic emerging industries has particularly highlighted the core role of intellectual property in promoting scientific and technological progress and industrial development. At the same time, the data on the revision rate and the retrial rate of civil substantive cases of on appeal reflect the improvement in the quality and efficiency of judicial trials. This trend not only demonstrates the professional ability of the courts in the judicial protection of intellectual property rights but also provides a more solid legal guarantee for investors and innovators at home and abroad.

The General Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government issued the Action Plan for Shanghai Municipality to Adhere to the Standard Reform and Continuously Build a World-class Business Environment

The plan includes five parts: aligning improvement with reform and, enterprise service improvement action, enhancing supervision and law enforcement quality improvement, regional benchmark innovation action, and coordinating business environment coordination initiative. Among them, in the "reform of the promotion action", "plan" put forward to strengthen the anti-monopoly law and supporting regulations, guide, guide stable cross, promote the patent, trademark, and other areas of public service items, improve the overseas intellectual property rights protection assistance mechanism, perfect the intellectual property protection mechanism, and carry out patent using special operation, promote key industry intellectual property strong chain efficiency, comprehensive patent products for the record. 

In the section of the "Action to Supervise Law Enforcement and improve the quality", the plan proposes to strictly investigate illegal and criminal acts such as intellectual property infringement, unfair competition, job occupation and other activities that affect the healthy development of the market and the normal operation of enterprises, and formulate compliance guidelines for intellectual property, artificial intelligence and other industries. In the part of "Regional Benchmark Innovation Action", the Plan proposes to carry out the pilot construction of priority recommendation mechanism for mediation of intellectual property infringement disputes; relying on the Cross-border Data Service Center of Lin-gang Special Area, serve enterprise data compliance, and build and operate the Lin-gang Branch Center of the Municipal Intellectual Property Protection Center. In the part of the "Collaborative Business Environment Construction Action", the Plan calls for deepening cooperation on intellectual property rights and business secret protection in the Yangtze River Delta and strengthening the business environment in the Yangtze River Delta.

ZLWD Commentary:

The plan reflects the significant importance of protecting intellectual property rights and enhancing the business environment. By strengthening the publicity and implementation of anti-monopoly laws, promoting the centralized acceptance of intellectual property public services, and enhancing overseas rights protection assistance, the plan aims to promote the coordination and efficiency of the intellectual property protection mechanism, strengthen market supervision, the construction of the rule of law. In particular, concrete actions to promote patent transformation, crack down on illegal and infringing activities, regional innovation trials, and cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta will not only help stimulate innovation vitality, but also provide a fairer and more transparent business environment for domestic and foreign enterprises. This will further consolidate Shanghai's position as an international economic, financial, and trade center, attracting more global resources and innovative forces.

The State Council Information Office announced the operation of the appeal hearing mechanism for intellectual property cases at the national level

On February 22,2024, the State Council Information Office held a press conference to introduce the operation of the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court and the appeal hearing mechanism for intellectual property cases at the national level.

Since its establishment, the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court has made solid and effective progress in all its work in accordance with the requirements of "high starting point, high standard, high level and internationalization". By December 31, 2023, the court had accepted 18,924 cases and concluded 15,710 cases. The quality and efficiency of the trial were significantly better than the trial mechanism before the reform, fully reflecting the institutional advantages of the appeal hearing mechanism of intellectual property cases at the national level and effectively strengthening the legal protection of intellectual property rights.

The courts ensure the unified application of the law through the professional judge conference system and the regular release of judgments and typical cases. We will explore the coordinated trial of patent civil and administrative cases, lead the establishment of a "national court technical investigation talent pool" and a sharing mechanism, establish the country's first technical intellectual property judgment database, vigorously promote online litigation, and enhance the quality and efficiency of trials.

At present, the court pilot work has successfully passed third-party evaluation of the China Association for Science and Technology and the China Law Society. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has conducted special deliberation, and the relevant evaluation and deliberation opinions agree that the pilot has achieved the expected goal of reform.

The evaluation shows that China's intellectual property judicial credibility and international influence have been further enhanced. The court insisted on equal protection of Chinese and foreign right holders in accordance with the law, and concluded 1,198 cases involving foreign affairs. At present, China has become the country with the largest number of cases of patents and new plant varieties, and the courts have formed a number of benchmark judgments and have an important influence at home and abroad. More and more foreign enterprises are choosingto solve intellectual property disputes in Chinese courts, and China has increasingly become one of the preferred places for international intellectual property litigation.

ZLWD Commentary:

The achievements of the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court demonstrate China's firm stance and effective actions in global intellectual property protection. Through the centralized trial mechanism and the innovative judicial practice, the court has significantly improved the efficiency and quality of trials, providing a fair and efficient legal guarantee for the Chinese and foreign rights holders. This has not only enhanced the confidence of domestic and foreign enterprises in the Chinese market but also created a positive image of China in intellectual property protection on the international stage.

The Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court issued a summary of the 2023 judgment summary

In 2023, the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court concluded 4,562 cases, of which 96 cases were selected and 104 minutes were extracted. The specific minutes are as follows:

1.In a total of 29 patent authorization approval cases, involving the objects of the patent protection, patent approval procedure "further limit" modification of the review, the patent approval process responsive claims, patent approval procedure only modified subordinate claims should accept, claim the recognition of the abandoned modification, etc.

2. Patent ownership, infringement cases, a total of 29, involving the limitation of claims to quote the restriction claims of other rights protection of the scope of the induced evidence and influence, the combination of using products within the patent protection scope of the infringement of infringing products manufacturers, electric business platform to show the content and manufacturing behavior, etc.

3. There are 14 cases of new plant varieties, involve the judgment of novelty of new plant varieties, the determination of the location of DUS test in the authorization procedure of new plant varieties, the initiation and review scope of the confirmation procedure of new plant varieties, the identification criteria and proof of specificity, the subject of the adverse consequences of submitting wrong standard samples, etc.

4. Technical secret cases, a total of 12 articles, involving the infringement of creditor's rights in trade secret contracts, examination of relevant provisions of technical secrets and the constituent requirements of technical secrets, identification of confidentiality measures for company executives, presumption of infringement of all technical secrets, identification of disclosure of technical secrets, etc.

5. Monopoly cases, a total of 9 cases, involve the identification of fixed price of monopoly agreement, the identification of axis agreement, the definition of relevant technology market, the identification of market forces, the identification and regulation of unfair and high price behaviors, the exercise of intellectual property rights, and the identification of the effect of eliminating and restricting competition, etc.

6. Computer software case, a total of 4, involving "open source software" copyright infringement cases managers the plaintiff qualification, "open source software" copyright infringement cases, the basis of the "partial copy" computer software copyright infringement, network users copyright behavior as the network platform operator behavior.

7. Technical intellectual property contract cases, a total of 4, involving malicious collusion that damage the interests of the state and processing, involving fiction, fabricated invention patent agency contract validity and processing, the contract is deemed invalid treatment, to sign false computer software development contract cover the implementation of crime.

8. Procedural cases, comprising a total of 3 articles, involve the influence of the sued act in the case on the determination of the link point of the jurisdiction of the tort act, the determination of the tort place of the third party delivery online sales act, and the advance ruling of the objection to the jurisdiction.

The summary of the summary of the Intellectual Property Court in 2023, showing the multi-dimensional and in-depth judicial practice and theoretical innovation of intellectual property protection. By sorting out the essentials of different types of cases, the court not only answered key legal issues in the fields of patent confirmation, technical secrets and computer software, but also provided clear guidance and benchmarks for future cases. These judgments reflect the professionalism and forward-looking nature of the court in intellectual property protection, which is of great significance in improving the level of judicial protection of intellectual property in China, promoting a healthy innovation environment, and a fair market competition environment.

ZLWD Commentary:

The Supreme People's Court's response on the disclosure of the judgment documents reflects the court's balanced consideration in protecting the public's right to know, supervision and privacy protection. Through the combination of online disclosure and offline inquiry, the public can better meet the right to consult the effective documents. It emphasizes that while protecting citizens' legal awareness, it should strengthen the supervision of document data and sanction the illegal use of document data, which will help safeguard national security, judicial authority, as well as the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and enterprises. The construction of "People's Court Case Bank" provides effective means for providing more targeted reference cases, aiming to optimize the disclosure mechanism of judgment documents, providing more efficient support for the construction of the rule of law, and reflecting the innovation and progress of the court in information disclosure.

The Guangzhou Internet Court in the first instance concluded the first case of copyright infringement by a generative artificial intelligence platform in China

In this case, the plaintiff, Xin Chuanghua Company, signed a Certificate of Authorization with the copyright owner of Altman Works, Ltd., and obtained the exclusive use right and rights of Ultraman series images. Original told that the defendant an artificial intelligence company without the authorization of the plaintiff, in the operation of Tab website, through artificial intelligence and the plaintiff enjoy copyright Ultraman image substantially similar images, infringement of the plaintiff involved Ultraman image copy, adaptation and information network transmission, request the court ordered the defendant immediately stop infringement, and compensate the plaintiff economic losses and rights reasonable costs a total of 300000 yuan.

After trial, the Guangzhou Internet Court held that the pictures of Altman involved in the case generated by Tab website partially or completely copied original expression of the artistic image of "Ultraman", and the defendant copied the works involved in the case without permission, which violated the plaintiff's right to copy the image of Altman involved in the case. In addition, the pictures generated by the involved in those case retain the original expression of the "Diga Ultraman Compound" work, and form new characteristics based. The defendant's behavior constitutes the adaptation of the work involved in the case, which infringes on the plaintiff's right to the adaptation of the work involved.

It is worth mentioning that the Guangzhou Internet court in that the defendant should bear what kind of tort liability, citing since August 15, 2023 "interim measures for generative artificial intelligence service management", that the defendant belongs to generate artificial intelligence service provider, shall take certain technical measures to avoid generation and copyright protected works constitute substantially similar images. In addition, the Guangzhou Internet Court held that the defendant failed to fulfill the reasonable duty of care, including setting up a mechanism for handling infringement complaints and reporting, indicating potential risks, and significantly marking the generated content. In the end, the Guangzhou Internet Court of the first instance ruled that the defendant should immediately take technical measures to prevent users from generating pictures infringing the copyright of the plaintiff's case when using their services, and compensate the plaintiff for the economic loss and reasonable expenses for rights protection of 10,000 yuan.

ZLWD Commentary:

The first case of copyright infringement by a generative artificial intelligence platform, concluded by Guangzhou Internet Court marks that the court has taken a positive and cautious approach to copyright disputes in the background of emerging technologies. In this case, the legal responsibility of generative artificial intelligence is clarified, reflecting the balance between the reasonable supervision of the application of innovative technology reasonably and the protection of intellectual property rights. This case provides an important legal reference for the copyright dispute of the content generated by AI in the future, helps to guide the healthy development of artificial intelligence technology, and guarantees the effective protection of the legitimate rights and interests of copyright owners are effectively protected.

The State Intellectual Property Office released the Statistical Report of the World's Top Five Major Intellectual Property Office in 2022 (Chinese Edition)

According to the statistical report, the total number of invention patent applications and grants of the fifth Bureau in 2022. Specifically, the fifth Bureau received a total of 2.93 million invention patent applications (up 1.4% year on year) and granted 1.54 million invention patents (year-on-year growth of 5%).

ZLWD Commentary:

The growth of patent applications and grants in the Statistical Report of the World's Top Five Intellectual Property Office in 2022 shows the continued global innovation activity. This growth not only reflects the rapid progress of scientific and technological development, but also reflects the strengthening of countries' awareness of intellectual property rights protection. The growth in the report shows that the global economy is recovering, and companies and research institutions are continuing to innovate. In addition, the cooperation of the five intellectual property offices in patent activities emphasizes the importance of global cooperation in intellectual property management and provides strong support for global innovation and technology transfer.

The case database of the people's court was officially launched, including 3,711 cases

On February 27,2024, the Supreme People's Court held a press conference to announce that the case database of the People's Court was officially launched and open to the public. It is available at, the public can also click directly from the "People's Court Case Library" icon on the homepage of the official website of the Supreme People's Court.

Yang Wanming, vice president of the Supreme People's Court, said that in order to broaden the sources of reference cases and enrich the case database resources as soon as possible, the Supreme People's Court will collect reference cases from the public in December 2023. With the joint efforts of courts and all sectors of society across the country, the number of casesin the people's courts reached 3,711.

According to the introduction, the first batch of warehousing cases has essentially achieved the "full coverage" of common charges and multiple cases. A large number of common crimes, such as the crime of theft, helping letter, fraud, intentional injury, and drug crimes, privatelending disputes, marriage and family disputes, and motor vehicle traffic accident liability disputes, all include a number of warehousing cases. At present, although the total number of warehousing cases is limited, it can basically meet the needs of judicial practice in guiding the handling of common cases and handling common legal application problems.

Yang Wanming said that although the current warehousing cases have achieved the full coverage of common charges and multiple causes, there is still a big gap between the construction goal of "covering all kinds ofcharges and causes, and the application of different laws under the same case will also have corresponding cases". In addition, with the continuous development of the economy and society and the continuous introduction of new legal and judicial interpretations, there will be many new legal issues that need to clarify the applicable rules, new cases need to be timely supplemented, and cleaned up and outdated cases are replaced. The construction of the case bank will be a long-term dynamic process, "only in progress, not completed", the Supreme Court will continue to do a good job in thismajor project of fundamental significance.

Yang Wanming said, welcome the society from all walks of life to actively recommend excellent cases. The case database of the People's Court has opened a "case recommendation" channel on the homepage of the platform, and there is a user evaluation and feedback module at the bottom of each case case. We hope that the public can actively participate and work with the people's court to build the People's Court case database into an authoritative case platform of "joint construction, sharing, and sharing".

ZLWD Commentary:

The launch and opening of the People's Court case database launched by the Supreme People's Court is a milestone event, signifying an enhancement in judicial transparency and public participation. This platform not only provides valuable reference resources for legal professionals, but also enables the general public to more intuitively understand the application of law and judgment standards. The construction and continuous updating of the case base will help to unify the standards of law application and improve the judicial efficiency and impartiality. In addition, by engaging and receiving feedback from all sectors of society, the case library can be continuously optimized to better serve the needs of the public and legal practice.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released its global PCT international patent application rankings for the year of  2023

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released its global PCT international patent application rankings for the year of 2023. China continues to be the world's largest PCT applicant, with HUAWEI at the top of the list. The total number of PCT filings amounted to 272,600 in 2023, a 1.8% decline from the year before. In 2023, China continued to be the top origin of PCT applications filed with 69,610 - a small decrease of 0.6% from the previous year. This is the first year-on-year decrease from China since 2002. The US came in second with 55,678 applications, which represents a 5.3% drop from 2022. Japan followed with 48,879 applications (–2.9%). The Republic of Korea and Germany rounded out the top five, with 22,288 applications and 16,916 applications respectively. The Republic of Korea saw 1.2% growth in 2023, while Germany experienced a 3.2% decline.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies remained by far the top filer with 6,494 published PCT applications in 2023. Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea came in second with 3,924 applications,, followed by Qualcomm of the US with 3,410 applications, Mitsubishi Electric of Japan with 2,152 applications and BOE Technology of China with 1,988 applications. Contemporary Amperex Technology of China marked the fastest growth among the top 10 applicants, with an additional 1,533 published applications in 2023, moving up 84 positions to eighth place. In contrast, the top applicant, Huawei Technologies, had 1,195 fewer published applications in 2023 compared to the previous year.


ZLWD Commentary:

The number of PCT patent applications is of great significance in measuring a country's innovation capacity, promoting enterprise competition, fostering international cooperation, as well as facilitating the protection and application of intellectual property rights, etc. This ranking reflects China's continuous efforts and remarkable achievements in the creation and protection of intellectual property rights.

The National Intellectual Property System Intellectual Property Protection Conference was held in Tianjin.

On 14 March, the national intellectual property system intellectual property protection work conference was held in Tianjin. Hu Wenhui, a member of the party group and deputy director of the  China National Intellectual Property Administration, attended the meeting and delivered a speech.

The meeting pointed out that over the past year, the national intellectual property system has remained consistent, riding on the momentum, to promote the spirit of the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the CPC Central Committee and State Council decision-making and deployment of the State Council.. The meeting stressed that we should deeply understand the new requirements of the central government on intellectual property protection, make full use of the new opportunities brought by the reform of intellectual property system and mechanisms. Furthermore, it urged the resolute execution of political task of strengthening intellectual property protection.At the meeting, the national demonstration zones that were approved to protect geographical indication products. 

The Central Propaganda Department, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the General Administration of Market Supervision, the State Intellectual Property Office of the relevant departments and bureaus responsible for the intellectual property rights management departments of the provinces (autonomous regions, and municipalities) to participate in the meeting. Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hebei, Liaoning, Shaanxi, and other provinces (cities) made  speeches.

ZLWD Commentary:

The conference summarized the effectiveness of intellectual property protection in 2023, deployed key tasks for 2024, emphasized the importance of intellectual property protection and application, and put forward a series of specific policy measures and development goals. The convening of this conference is of great significance in promoting the development of the career of intellectual property career, improving the system of intellectual property protection system, and enhancing the effectiveness of protection.

Google fined 250 million euros for illegally collecting training data

The French market regulator announced on the 20th, has issued a new fine of 250 million euros (approximately 272 million U.S. dollars) to the U.S. Google Inc. for Google without consent to use the content of French publishers and news agencies to train the chatbot "Bard" (an upgraded version of which is called "Gemini ") without consent, thereby violating European Union regulations on intellectual property rights.

According to AFP, the decision to impose the penalty stems from a complaint filed in 2019 by AFP and other French media outlets with the French Competition Authority against Google for the unauthorized use of their copyrighted online content. The Competition Authority then launched an investigation into Google and in 2020 asked Google to negotiate with publishers on content payments within three months, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement, and the authority then issued a 500 million euro fine to Google in 2021. Google tried to overturn the ruling at one point, but dropped its appeal in 2022 and reached a settlement agreement with media publishers.

However, according to a statement by the French Competition Authority on 2020, the French side believes that Google violated four out of the seven terms of the agreement reached with the media publishers, including good faith negotiations with the publishers involved, providing transparent information. In particular, the Competition Authority mentioned that chatbot "Bard," scheduled for launch in 2023, was trained using data from media platforms and news organizations, but that Google had not informed these organizations or the Competition Authority about this.

 "As a result, Google has linked the use of content related to its artificial intelligence services to the display of protected content, " thereby undermining the ability of the publishers and news organizations concerned to obtain a fair price in negotiations.

ZLWD Commentary:

Google has been fined for violating European Union intellectual property regulations by using content from French publishers and news organizations to train its chatbot without permission. This incident highlights the importance of complying with copyright and intellectual property rights when utilizing other people's data or content. AI technology must be developed and applied based on legal and compliant data. The development and application of AI technologies must be based on legitimate and compliant data.

Implementation of Local Standards for Guidelines for Comprehensive Evaluation of Patent Agency Credit

The Shanghai Municipal Market Supervision Administration has approved a number of local standards, including the "Guidelines for Comprehensive Evaluation of Patent Agency Credit", which will officially implemented starting from 1 March 2024 onwards. The main technical contents of the Guide to Comprehensive Evaluation of Credit for Patent Agencies include the scope of application, classification of credit information, evaluation methods, and processes.

According to the system design of the construction of intellectual property credit system at credit supervision mechanism explored and tried in other fields can be learn and expanded from the successful model of credit grading supervision, applied to the field of patent agency, and standardized through standards, to further establish and improve the intellectual property credit system, and to support various scenarios, such as governmental supervision, project selection, and financial assistance. 

ZLWD Commentary:

"Guidelines for Comprehensive Evaluation of Patent Agency Credit" will help to improve the service quality and level of patent agencies and promote the healthy development of the intellectual property service industry.

Starting from March 1, 2024, the Hong Kong Designs Registry has reduced its fees

The Designs Registry of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department has reduced the fees for design registration and post-registration services from 1 March 2024 by 10% to 70%.

The Hong Kong Government has been adopting a multi-pronged strategy to promote trade in intellectual property, including strengthening intellectual property protection. The fee reduction is one of the policy initiatives in the Chief Executive's Policy Address 2023 to promote the development of IP trade.

ZLWD Commentary:

The initiative aims to encourage the industry to register designs through electronic means as early as possible, so as to obtain legal protection for innovative product designs, which is conducive to the commercialization of intellectual property rights and the development of creative industries.