According to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, procuratorates have intensified comprehensive judicial protection of intellectual property rights by specializing in case handling. Last year, approximately 13,000 people were prosecuted for IP infringements. They have also increased supervision of civil administration litigation, which involves a citizen or organization initiating a lawsuit against administration departments for violations. Procuratorates handled 937 cases of IP civil administration litigation last year, a 72.2 percent increase from the previous year.
Director of the SPP’s IPR Procuratorial Office, Liu Taizong, stated that IPR cases often involve cutting-edge and professional issues, particularly technical cases involving patents and trade secrets, which require a team of prosecutors with professional knowledge and skills. To address this, the SPP established the IPR Procuratorial Office in November 2020 to coordinate resources from the criminal, civil, administrative, and public interest litigation departments to carry out IP protection.
By the end of last year, 29 provincial-level procuratorates had established IPR procuratorial departments with professional personnel. In 2022, the SPP issued a guideline to clarify the principles, tasks, specific measures, and case-handling procedures for IPR procuratorial work.
Liu emphasized that the IPR protection system plays an irreplaceable role in promoting scientific and technological progress and high-quality economic and social development. He also stated that the protection of IPR is a systematic project, and procuratorial organs are not limited to handling cases, but actively integrate into the national IPR protection system to put forward timely suggestions on social governance problems found and make up for governance loopholes.
Procuratorates have focused on key national innovation sectors and emphasized protection in emerging technologies and areas such as information technology, artificial intelligence, and biomedicine. Measures have been taken to prevent secondary secret leaks during prosecution, and about 220 people have been prosecuted for infringing on trade secrets in the past two years.
IPR procuratorial departments are actively carrying out legal supervision over big data and expanding data sources for IPR protection. The SPP is encouraging procuratorial organs to establish IPR departments or specialized case-handling organizations in light of local conditions and promote the system of assisting case handling by technical investigators and expert approval to ensure the quality of case handling.
Procuratorial organs will also pay close attention to frontier IP issues in the fields of metaverse, non-fungible tokens, databases, and short videos and strengthen in-depth research on different types of IPR, protection methods, and legal risks.