By Jiao Hongbin King & Wood’s Intellectual Property Group
In December 2011, the Deputy Director of the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. expressed that China would in the near future promote amendments to the Patent Law, the Trademark Law and the Copyright Law of the P.R.C. as well as associated regulations, increase the amount of fines, and conduct research on applying punitive damage awards to profit-generating intentional infringement and counterfeiting acts. This suggests that punitive damage awards may be adopted into China’s intellectual property (IP) protection framework.
Liability for infringement can be compensatory or punitive, depending on the purpose of the compensation to be granted. According to the current Patent Law, Trademark Law and Copyright Law of the P.R.C., the amount of compensation is determined by the basis of compensation and is calculated in accordance with the actual losses suffered by the rights owner or the benefits obtained by the infringer (and by reference to the reasonable multiples of the royalties in a patent infringement case), and while neither of the two elements could be determined, a People’s Court can award a statutory compensation amount within the scope provided by the law.