Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14608723
Project Title(English) : Reformulating Intellectual Property Damages in China 
Project Title(Chinese) : 中國知識產權損害賠償制度之研究 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof LEE, Jyh An 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : 李治安 
Department : Faculty of Law
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2023 / 24
Fund Approved : 688,000
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2025
Abstract as per original application
Multinational enterprises and China’s trading partners have long criticized the unreasonably low damages for intellectual property (IP) infringement granted by Chinese courts. It is also quite common that courts grant only a small percentage of the amount claimed by plaintiffs who successfully prove the IP infringement. The United State Trade Representative therefore has explicitly indicated in its Special 301 Reports multiple times that IP is not well protected in China because its courts have failed to provide sufficient compensation for IP owners whose rights are infringed. The Chinese government has also viewed the low damages as a major flaw of its IP system. Both President Xi Jinping and the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) have declared the determination to raise damages for IP infringement. China’s resolve of raising damages was finally legislated into three major intellectual property (IP) laws in 2019 and 2020, which later came into effect in 2019 and 2021. There are five notable changes of damages rules in this wave of IP reform. First, right holders and courts have more flexibilities in choosing different method to calculate damages. Second, statutory damages are substantially raised. Third, punitive damages are introduced to all three major IP laws, namely Trademark Law, Patent Law, and Copyright Law. Fourth, the burden-shifting evidence rule concerning damages, which only existed in Trademark Law, are introduced to Patent Law and Copyright Law as well. Fifth, damages rules in different IP laws have substantively converged. This project aims to study the impact of recent reform on damages in China. We propose to compare and analyse damages awarded by the SPC and the three IP Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou three years before and three years after the IP reform. The PI will also explore how the new punitive damages rules for IP infringement are implemented. The aim of these inquiries is to understand the impact of the IP damages reform based on empirical evidence. We will examine whether the policy goal is achieved after the reform. Moreover, under the new IP laws, China plans to apply a unified standard for damages determination in different categories of IP. We will examine whether this one-size-fits-all approach can appropriately address damages issues in different types of IP, or under identical or similar damages rules, whether courts will still develop dissimilar methods to evaluate damages across three major categories of IP.
在中國投資的外國企業與中國的貿易對手國常批評中國法院對於知識產權侵害案件的損害賠償認定過低,即使原告勝訴,法院常常僅同意其主張損害賠償額的一小部分。美國貿易代表因此數次於其特別301報告中指出,法院判決過低的損害賠償額,是中國保護知產不足的原因之一。中國政府也認為,過低的損害賠償額是其知識產權制度的缺漏之一,因此國家主席習近平及最高人民法院都曾表示要提升知產侵害案件損害賠償額的決心。 近年來,中國知識產權改革反映了提升損害賠償的共識,2019年到2020年修正的三種主要知識產權法律(商標法、專利法與著作權法),分別在2019年到2021年生效,在這一波改革中,主要有五項重點。第一,權利人和法院有更多的彈性選擇不同的損害賠償計算方式;第二,法定賠償額實質提升;第三,導入懲罰性賠償制度;第四,舉證責任的變更;第五;商標、專利和著作權等不同類型知識產權損害賠償制度的整合。 本研究以中國知識產權損害賠償制度的改革為對象,比較並分析北京、上海和廣州知識產權法院在前述改革開始施行前、後三年的判決,並觀察中國法院如何適用新的懲罰性賠償規範。本研究將以實證數據為基礎,分析改革是否有具體成效,本研究也將探討不同類型的知識產權損害賠償在實踐上有何差異。
Research Outcome
Layman's Summary of
Completion Report:
Not yet submitted