Sunday, December 9, 2007

China IP Litigation Data: What Does it Mean?

I was given a slew of data on IP litigation between domestic parties and between a domestic party and a foreign party in Beijing, Guangzhou, Jiangsu and Zhejiang courts. The idea was to write a sort of companion piece to Mei Gechlik's paper on decisions by China's Patent Review Board (PRB), covered in an earlier post. My faculty advisor for my comment wisely expressed concerns over citing this data. Thus, I'm writing my comment on torts by Chinese workers in US courts. But, I might as well share the data with the rest of the world. Today, I'm just going to post the data and let readers interpret it for themselves. Later in the week, I'll post my interpretation to the data along with other's interpretations. Feel free to post in the comments, to my email, or on your own blog.

Beijing Cases
The following two tables summarize decisions collected from all 85 IP cases involving at least one foreign party published by the Beijing courts (Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, Beijing No. 2 People's Court, and Beijing High People's Court) between November 2005 and January 2007 at their website. The Administrative Cases are court reviews of PRB decisions.

Case Type
Type of CasePatentTrademark
Civil Cases

Final Judgment25 (33%)2 (22%)
No Final Judgment16 (21%)3 (33%)



Administrative Cases

Final Judgment34 (45%)4 (44%)
No Final Judgment1 (1%)0



Total769


Case Outcomes
Civil Cases


Patent Holder Won16 (67%)

Patent Holder Lost8 (33%)

Subtotal24






Trademark Holder Won2 (100%)

Trademark Holder Lost0

Subtotal2





Settled/Withdrawn10

Ownership/Jurisdiction Disputes10





Subtotal46





Administrative Cases
Courts upheld PRB decisionsCourts dismissed PRB decisions
Patent Valid9 (27%)81
Patent Invalid17 (52%)161
Patent Partially Valid2 (6%)20
Remanded5 (15%)05
Subtotal33 (100%)26 (79%)7 (21%)




Patent Application Rejected1

Withdrawn1

Trademark Registration Case4

Subtotal39





Total85



In the 15 patent cases that damages are reported, the average damage award was RMB 158,457 plus injunctions. The largest damage award was RMB500,000 for infringement of an invention patent. The company who won this award claimed RMB37,500,000 in damages.

The one trademark case with reported damages resulted in damages of RMB500,000 plus an injunction for infringement of the Honda trademark on a claim of RMB12,509,555.01.


Guangzhou Cases
The following two tables summarize decisions in 105 cases published by the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court in October, November and December of 2006 at the court's website. 21 of the cases involve at least one foreign party, and the rest involve only domestic parties. Guangzhou is similar to Shenzhen in business environment and IPR protection.

Case Type
Type of DisputePatentTrademarkCopyrightTrade SecretTech Transfer
W/Domestic Parties Only




Final Judgment14 (35%)6 (43%)11 (42%)01 (50%)
No Final Judgment26 (65%)8 (57%)15 (58%)2 (100%)1 (50%)
Subtotal40142622






W/Foreign Party




Final Judgment3 (20%)2 (67%)2 (67%)

No Final Judgment12 (80%)1 (33%)1 (33%)

Subtotal1533







Total55172922


Case Outcomes

W/Domestic Parties OnlyW/Foreign Party
Patent Holder Won10 (71%)3 (100%)
Patent Holder Lost4 (29%)0
Subtotal143



TM Holder Won3 (50%)1 (50%)
TM Holder Lost3 (50%)1 (50%)
Subtotal62



Copyright Holder Won10 (100%)2 (100%)
Copyright Holder Lost00
Subtotal102



Others - Final Judgment20



Case Settled/Withdrawn5113
Others - Non-Judgment11



Total8421


Of the 3 patent case involving at least one foreign party, the average damage award was RMB56,666 plus an injunction.

The one TM award to a foriegn party went to Puma for RMB80,000 on a claim of RMB200,000.

The average of the 3 copyright damage awards to foreing parties was 25,500 plus an injunction.


Jiangsu Courts
The following two tables summarize decisions in 382 cases published by the Jiangsu People's Courts, including Jiangsu High People's Court, Nanjing Intermediate People's Court and other intermediate people's courts in January 2005 through December 2006 at the court's website. The 333 domestic cases involving only domestic parties are all published IP cases in this time period that reached a final judgment by the courts. The 49 cases involving a foreign party include all IP cases published regardless of whether the courts issued a final judgment.

Case Type
Type of DisputePatentTrademarkCopyrightTrade SecretOtherTotal
Domestic Cases





Final Judgment84 (25%)61 (18%)101 (30%)17 (5%)70 (21%)333







Foreign Cases





Final Judgment3 (15%)11 (55%)4 (20%)2 (10%)020
No Final Judgment12 (41%)5 (17%)7 (24%)1 (3%)4 (14%)29
Subtotal15 (31%)16 (33%)11 (22%)3 (6%)4 (8%)49







Total99771122074382


Case Outcomes

Domestic CasesForeign Cases
Patent Holder Won60 (71%)3 (100%)
Patent Holder Lost24 (29%)0
Subtotal843



TM Holder Won49 (80%)8 (73%)
TM Holder Lost12 (20%)3 (27%)
Subtotal6111



Copyright Holder Won87 (86%)4 (100%)
Copyright Holder Lost14 (14%)0
Subtotal1014



Trade Secret Holder Won6 (35%)0
Trade Secret Holder Lost11 (65%)2 (100%)
Subtotal172



Others - Final Judgment700



Case Settled/WithdrawnN/A29



Total33349


Injunctions were issued in all three of the decisions for foreign patent holders, but the damages award was reverd on appeal for one of the cases. The average damages award for other two cases was RMB275,000.

Injunctions were issued in six of the eight cases where the foreign trademark holder won, and the damages in seven of the cases averaged out to RMB74,000.

Injunctions and an average damage award of RMB88,581 was awarded in all four cases where the foreign copyright holder won.


Zhejiang Courts
The following two tables summarize decisions decisions in all 272 cases published by the Zhejiang People's Courts, including Zhejiang High People's Court, Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court and other intermediate people's courts through December 2006 at the court's website. The 213 domestic cases involving only domestic parties are all published IP cases in this time period that reached a final judgment by the courts. The 59 cases involving a foreign party include all IP cases published regardless of whether the courts issued a final judgment.

Case Type
Type of CasePatentTrademarkCopyrightTrade SecretOthersTotal
Domestic Cases





Final Judgment107 (51%)37 (17%)43 (20%)6 (3%)20 (9%)213







Foreign Cases





Final Judgment2 (11%)12 (67%)4 (22%)0018
No Final Judgment21 (51%)13 (32%)5 (12%)02 (5%)41







Total1306252622272


Case Outcomes

Domestic CasesForeign Cases
Patent Holder Won92 (86%)1 (50%)
Patent Holder Lost15 (14%)1 (50%)
Subtotal1072



TM Holder Won32 (86%)12 (100%)
TM Holder Lost5 (14%)0
Subtotal3712



Copyright Holder Won38 (88%)4 (100%)
Copyright Holder Lost5 (12%)0
Subtotal434



Trade Secret Holder Won1 (17%)0
Trade Secret Holder Lost5 (83%)0
Subtotal60



Others - Final Judgment200



Case Settled/WithdrawnN/A41



Total21359

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