A short time ago, I wrote about an article by Ma Si in the China Daily concerning the likelihood of an increase in patent suits filed in China. On November 7, 2016, the Wall Street Journal has published an article by Juro Osawa, titled "China's Patent Lawsuit Profile Grows," about a Canadian non-practicing entity's (NPE) suit against Sony in Nanjing, China. The article notes that China's IP enforcement system has changed substantially in the last few years and is less expensive than other systems making it an attractive place for NPE litigation for licensing leverage. For one, according to the article, enforcement of the NPE's patents could result in stopping Sony from exporting infringing parts manufactured in China. Notably, China's government has made clear its intention to move to an innovation and services based economy for continued economic growth and intellectual property protection will play an important part in that move. The focus is usually on developing Chinese companies and protecting their technology, but there are obvious opportunities for other companies as well. Indeed, I was in Beijing recently at a conference and there was talk concerning making patent enforcement in China even stronger than in the United States.
China currently has three specialized IP courts: Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. It will be interesting to see if there is soon an expansion into other cities with intellectual property courts. [hat tip to Professor Ed Lee of Chicago-Kent College of Law for the lead to the Wall Street Journal article]
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