By King & Wood’s Trademark  Practice

The Tort Law of People’s Republic of China was adopted on December 26, 2009, under which the IP rights, including copyrights, patent rights, and exclusive rights to use trademarks, are protected as individual rights and interests. Wang Shengming, vice-chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission under NPC, commented, "Tort Law provides supplementary reference to the protection of IP rights."

The principal remedies that a plaintiff can seek against a tortfeasor are clearly prescribed in the Tort Law, namely: cessation of infringement, removal of obstacles, elimination of danger, returning property, restoration to the original state, compensation for losses, making an apology, elimination of adverse impacts and restoration of injured party’s reputation.

Article 36 of the Tort Law deserves special attention because of the rapidly increasing IPR infringement cases related to the internet. According to article 36, internet users and internet service providers bear tortious liability if they conduct infringement through the internet. Where an internet user engages in tortious conduct through internet services, the injured party has the right to inform the internet service provider and the latter must take necessary action against such tortious conduct. The internet service provider failing to do so shall be jointly and severally liable with the internet user with regard to the additional injury or damage suffered. Where an internet service provider knows an internet user is infringing other people’s individual rights and interests through its internet service but fails to take necessary action, it shall be jointly and severally liable with the internet user.