Saturday, April 02, 2005

New IP court in Japan

from Asahi Shinbun:

The nation's first court dedicated to cases concerning patents and other intellectual property rights was established Friday, April 1, 2005, in Tokyo's Kasumigaseki district.

The Intellectual Property High Court is a special branch of the Tokyo High Court that replaces the former Intellectual Property Division.

One of the court's aims is to make and coordinate rulings quickly as the number of disputes over intellectual property rights grows.

Many recent cases have become quite heated, and lawsuits involving non-Japanese parties are on the rise.

The midsize high court has four divisions and 18 judges.

Katsumi Shinohara, 61, who headed the Tokyo High Court's Intellectual Property Division, is the new court's chief judge.

Rulings on cases concerning intellectual property rights often lead to new business rules.

The business community expects the high court to establish reliable rules without waiting for a Supreme Court decision, as companies are anxious to know as quickly as possible what constitutes a patent violation and what doesn't.

Corporate Japan will pay special attention to the Grand Panel system, set up to handle particularly important or controversial cases.

The panel consists of five judges, including the heads of the four divisions.

As the court of second instance, the court handles appeals originating from district courts on intellectual property-related civil cases.


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