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WT/DS611 - China – Enforcement of intellectual property rights

WTO dispute settlement case - Case launched by the EU

Country or region
China
Trade topics
Dispute settlementIntellectual property
Dispute settlement
WTO - Case launched by the EU

Summary of the case

Since August 2020, Chinese courts have been issuing decisions – known as “anti-suit injunctions” – to exert pressure on EU companies with high-tech patents and to prevent them from rightfully protecting their technologies. Chinese courts also use the threat of heavy fines to deter European companies from going to foreign courts. This has left European high-tech companies at a significant disadvantage when fighting for their rights. Chinese manufacturers request these anti-suit injunctions to benefit from cheaper or even free access to European technology.

The European Union has filed on 18 February 2022 a dispute settlement case against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for restricting EU companies from going to a foreign court to protect and use their patents.

Relevant WTO provisions

  • Article 1.1 in conjunction with Article 28.1 of the TRIPS Agreement
  • Article 1.1 in conjunction with Article 28.2 of the TRIPS Agreement
  • Article 41.1 of the TRIPS Agreement
  • Article 1.1 in conjunction with Article 44.1 of the TRIPS Agreement
  • Section 2(A)(2) of the Protocol on the Accession of the People's Republic of China, as China
  • Article 63.1 of the TRIPS Agreement
  • Article 63.3 of the TRIPS Agreement

Status

Consultations

  • Consultations requested: 22 February 2022 

Panel proceedings 

  • Panel requested:  27 December 2022 

  • Panel established: 27 January 2023

  • Panel composed: 28 March 2023.

  • First written EU submission : 8 June 2023

  • EU opening statement at hearing: 31 October 2023

  • EU closing statement at hearing: 1 November 2023

  • EU replies to questions from the panel: 20 November 2023

  • Second written EU submission: 15 January 2024

Documents

EU submissions and other related documents

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