Principles for Determining Damages Compensation in Intellectual Property Cases
On 27 February 2018, the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the General Office of the State Council issued the Opinions on Several Issues Concerning Heightening Reform and Innovation in Intellectual Property Right Trial Field. The second part of Article 2 specifically stresses two points: “First, adhering to the value orientation that intellectual property rights create value, and right holders deserve interests in return. A judicial determination mechanism for damages, with compensation as the principal means and punishment as the supporting means, shall be established, and the problem of “low-value compensation” in action against infringements on intellectual property rights shall be resolved first. Second, tightening punishment for infringements on intellectual property rights and reducing enforcement costs. For repetitive infringements, infringements in bad faith, or other serious infringements, more compensation shall be awarded according to the law, and the amount of compensation shall be raised.” Chinese judicial policy documents have kept raising the amount of compensation over the past few years. The article selected 15 Chinese cases with the highest compensation and figured out the way courts awarded damages and the principles for determining damages. This article expects to, accordingly, provide some guidelines for legislation strategies and evidence collection in future intellectual property infringement cases.