China Promotes Blockchain for Evidence Preservation

In August 2020, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court published the Opinions on Enhancing Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (Draft for Comments).To improve the evidences rules in intellectual property litigation and help the IP right holders to get more comprehensive protection, especially to solve the difficulty of preserving evidence, this draft encourages the IP right holders to preserve and secure evidence through blockchain, time stamp notarization, etc.

Although this draft is mainly about copyright and copyright-related rights, actually China has published many official documents and opinions to help all IP right holders (not only copyright) to solve the difficulty in producing evidence. Already in December 2019, the Chinese General Office of the State Council issued the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and clarified that judicial interpretations for the rules of evidence in civil procedures shall be provided.

Together with this opinion, the governments in different provinces have taken many measures to encourage the use of new technology during IP litigation. For example, the government in Jiangsu province promotes to use AI, Big Data and Blockchain and other Internet related high technology and supports IP right holders to use time stamp notarization, blockchain and other methods to preserve evidence. 

To further facilitate the evidence collection for IP right holders a system called Notarized rewards for collection of evidence (公证悬赏取证) is mentioned in the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. There has been no further official explanation on this system so far. But experts think that it is a cooperation with a notary office which will help to look for third parties who can provide evidence in exchange for a reward.

For more details on use of Blockchain for preserving evidence in China, please join our webinar on September 16, 2020 at 10:00 am CEST. To register, please click here: https://bit.ly/3kEWKse.

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