Judicial bodies from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have agreed to enhance cooperation on intellectual property rights to promote international IP protection.
They have also called for extensive exchanges of information and work experience in fighting IP infringement by holding meetings or organizing training programs to improve judges' abilities to handle IP disputes and promote the professionalism of case hearings.
Their remarks were made at the Third China-ASEAN Justice Forum, which was held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, as well as via video link on Wednesday.
He Rong, executive vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, said that Chinese courts have always attached great importance to protecting IP rights, "and we're willing to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with courts of ASEAN members in building IP-related international rules that are open, inclusive, balanced and effective".
According to her, courts across China firmly stick to the philosophy that protecting IP rights means protecting innovation, with more efforts in improving the professionalism of IP-related case hearings by setting up specialized courts and optimizing adjudication rules.
Statistics provided by He showed that Chinese courts concluded 541,000 IP-related disputes in 2021－more than five times the number in 2013－of which 10,167 involved foreign parties.
Chinese courts provide equal protection for litigants from home and abroad, she said, adding that China is becoming a reliable and preferred place for international IP-related litigation.
Bounkhouang Thavisack, vice-president of Laos' People's Supreme Court, said that it has become more frequent to see various IP infringements in his country with the rise of trade and investment. "For example, it's often seen that some restaurants play music without paying fees to the music copyright owners, and a few vendors are also found to sell cosmetics that infringe others' trademarks," he added.
He emphasized that fighting IP infringement is not a job of one country, as problematic goods may also be circulated in other national markets.
"ASEAN members should share more judicial experience in the fight, trying to seek solutions on how to jointly combat such infringement in border areas and how to help judges improve the ability to handle relevant cases or use technologies to strengthen IP protection," he suggested.
Rahmi Mulyati, a justice of Indonesia's Supreme Court, expressed the willingness to build cooperation with other countries to increase knowledge, and exchange information and experiences in IP-related cases, either by conducting domestic training or sending judges to attend seminars abroad.
Moe Thuzar Oo, from Myanmar's Supreme Court, also said that Myanmar judges will take part in international engagements on IP-related matters through training, meetings and forums with ASEAN and neighboring countries to share best practices in international IP protection.