China is one of the most dynamic patent markets in the world and records the largest number of patent filings of any country. It is also an increasingly popular venue for patent litigation and, in a telling sign of how far the market has come, foreign entities are now selecting it as their forum of choice when fighting against other overseas competitors. The establishment of specialised IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2014 was a particular milestone in terms of strengthening the enforcement infrastructure in China; these courts have been handing down ever-higher damages awards to patent holders, which also benefit from easier access to provisional measures such as preliminary injunctions. Discussions surrounding the creation of further specialised courts in other parts of the country and the establishment of a dedicated IP appellate court are gathering pace, so further improvements to the system aren’t too far away.
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