Online IP Disputes Monopolise Internet Court Cases
China established the Beijing Internet Court in September 2018 to handle the growing number of disputes involving Internet-related legal cases. This is the third internet court in China following the openings of similar courts in Hangzhou in August 2017 and Guangzhou in August 2018.
Growth of cases
The president of the court, Zhang Wen, told the press that the court has handled over 34,000 cases since it opened. Approximately 80% of the cases revolved around intellectual property (IP) related cases. This figure demonstrates that Chinese companies recognise the importance of protecting online IP.
The protection of intellectual property rights is critical to the long-term success of companies, even if it is digital assets being protected because they are legitimate revenue streams and may be part of a company’s branding or marketing strategy. Infringements on these will not only impact revenues, but they could also affect the online recognition or reputation of companies.
The Beijing Internet Court, situated in Zhongguancun Fengtai Science Park, will be supervised by 38 senior judges who are granted jurisdiction to preside over 11 types of cases such as intellectual property, personal information and protection of digital assets (including domain names). Rulings made by the Beijing Internet Court, which is classified as a district-level court, can be appealed at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.
Evidentiary materials for cases can be submitted online. A growing number of case hearings are also held online; even judges are now delivering verdicts online.
In June 2019, the court also introduced the world’s first-ever online litigation centre which will be presided by an A.I. judge! The A.I. judge will use a dynamic female face and voice and react in real-time to complainants.