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IPR Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court Visits UW Law Top members of the Intellectual Property Rights

But the audience members weren’t the only ones

(IPR) Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC)

learning in the exchange. A large draw for the

of China visited the law school this summer to

justices’ visit was the opportunity to interface with

share and exchange IP research with UW schol-

UW’s top IP researchers, namely CASRIP’s direc-

ars. Hosted by CASRIP, Chief Justice Xiangjun

tor, Toshiko Takenaka. As China’s judiciary faces a

Kong and five of his associates — Judge Rong

huge influx of IP litigation and a backlog of patent

Li, Judge Yan Fang Wang, Judge Xiaobai Yu,

applications at the State Intellectual Property Office

Judge Shengzu Zhang and Judge Li Zhu (pictured

(SIPO), the IPR Tribunal is working on judicial inter-

on page 6) — attended various functions of the

pretations of patent and copyright infringement to

Summer Institute, participated in conferences and

better fulfill the population’s needs. That’s where

collected research during their three-week stay

Takenaka’s research comes in.

for China’s ongoing efforts to support IP creation and protection.

“A lot of the problems we’re encountering have already been encountered by other countries,” Kong

The SPC is the highest appellate court in China, as

explained. “Therefore when we study other countries’

well as the highest supervising body over the trial

cases — how the decision comes down, what the

practices of lesser courts. As such, the SPC divides

trends are — it will be very helpful for our country.”

its case load by delegating them to multiple, thematic tribunals: criminal, civil, administrative. The IPR Tribunal was created in 1996, five years before China became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The nation’s IP law has developed rapidly since then, largely influenced by the signing of additional international treaties. Today, Chief Justice Kong and his associates handle all of the country’s trademark, copyright and patent appeals from high courts. “The number of cases of intellectual property is probably the most in the world,” Kong said. The Chief Justice shared this insider knowledge of the SPC and its judiciary functions in a keynote address at CASRIP’s High Tech Summit, marking both the 20th anniversary of the research center

Chief Justice Xiangjun Kong

uw law

fa l l 2 012

and Kong’s first English-language speech.

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UW Law Alumni Magazine, Fall 2012