The changing face of China's Civil Procedure Law: effects of the recent amendments

China’s recently amended Civil Procedure Law (CPL) will come into force on January 1, 2013.  Below we outline some of the changes, also highlighting how some of them may impact intellectual property cases in Chinese courts.

Before the amendment, the CPL allows parties to a contract dispute to choose a forum, by written agreement, from a number of jurisdictions, such as the jurisdiction where the contract was executed. According to Article 34 of the amended CPL, it is now possible for parties in both contract and other property related disputes to agree on a jurisdiction in case of dispute. In addition, apart from listing the jurisdictions that parties may choose from as before, the wording of Article 34 also indicates that parties may choose other jurisdictions that have an actual connection with the dispute (although it does not clearly defined what “actual connection” means). All in all this means that there will be added possibilities to consider in terms of the choice of forum in property related disputes, including IP disputes…

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