First, active legislative efforts contribute to the improvement of legal framework. Specifically, once infringement is found, the court may order the infringer to produce accounting books and financial documents, and the infringer should bear adverse consequences if it fails to comply with the court order.
The updated law is the result of a drawn out amendment process started in with the aim of strengthening the legislative tools to punish polluters. It marked significant progress in the area of public interest litigation in China.
So far lawsuits have mainly targeted polluting enterprises, but also some government departments. While Chinese Non-Governmental Organisations NGOs continue to face challenges in filing public interest lawsuits, the capacity for them to take on more major emitters is growing.
History Some public interest lawsuits took place in China prior to the reform of the Environmental Protection Law indrawing legal basis from local laws.
Some successful lawsuits were filed against local polluters with litigants including NGOs notably the All China Environment Federation as well as local public prosecutors. How that money should be used remains a challenge.
Public interest litigation has now gained stronger legal grounding. The revision of the Civil Procedure Law in and the Environmental Protection Law in granted environmental NGOs that have been registered and operating for over 5 years the ability to sue polluters in the public interest.
These include cases filed by NGOs against individual polluters e. Friends of Nature vs. Xie Zhijin and othersNGOs against local private enterprises e. Zhenhua GroupNGOs filing multiple lawsuits in response to a pollution incident e.
There have also been cases of prosecutors filing civil lawsuits against companies or individuals e. Qing County Environmental Protection Bureau. The positive impact of public interest cases in China is beginning to be felt.
Significant damages have been awarded in many cases.
For example, damages in the case of ACEF vs. Many defendants are also opting to settle public interest cases, either within court or outside of court, and anecdotal evidence suggests the risk of a public interest lawsuit has been effective in putting pressure on non-compliant companies.
Several public interest cases have now made their way into the typical cases issued by Chinese courts as references for judges.
Challenges However, challenges remain for both NGOs and prosecutors bringing environmental public interest cases. A relatively small number of the NGOs in China which are qualified to file public interest environmental lawsuits have so far brought cases to the courts — only six NGOs have brought cases in And despite clear rules about who can bring cases, last year some NGOs still faced obstacles in having their cases filed in local courts.
Also, for NGOs and prosecutors alike, establishing causation and estimating environmental damages can be difficult, particularly for air pollution cases or in cases where there are multiple polluters.
Zhenhua, for instance, the plaintiff attempted to assess air pollution damages based on operating cost, as allowed by the judicial interpretation on environmental public interest litigation. Fees for lawyers and other costs can be a major hurdle for NGOs.
For example, in ACEF vs. Courts apply certain standards for what is considered reasonable compensation for NGO lawyers. In European countries things vary wildly. Until recently in the UK, the potential costs associated with bringing a losing case were often prohibitive because defendants could claim tens of millions of pounds in legal fees if an NGO plaintiff lost a case.
Environmental law group ClientEarth brought a complaint to the EU, and in the UK was convinced to change the rules and put a limit on these liabilities. With active encouragement from the top court, it is likely that the ability for lower level courts to accept and effectively rule on environmental public interest cases will continue to improve.
Growing number of air pollution cases According to statistics collected by Friends of Nature, around one fifth of the environmental public interest litigation cases filed in involved air pollution, with most targeting fixed source pollution.
Following many successful verdicts or mediations among these cases, more air pollution cases have been filed in These include cases filed against automobile emitters e. Volkswagen, Friends of Nature vs. Hyundai as well as point-source emitters. These cases have targeted air pollutants such as SOx, NOx, and dust.
Cases against bigger polluters will have bigger impacts. We expect the impacts of environmental public interest litigation will continue to grow.Section litigation as a component of global litigation strategy China’s new IP Courts and the anticipated impact The prospects of retaliatory actions from foreign jurisdictions in response to ITC or other patent infringement actions.
Canada, Mexico, the EU, and China have already retaliated—or announced plans to retaliate—with billions of dollars in tariffs on American-made products. Millions of U.S. jobs depend on America’s ability to trade with other countries.
The recent Delaware Court of Chancery opinion in Deutsch v. ZST Digital Networks, Inc., C.A. No. VCL (Del. Ch. June 14, ), addresses the court of equity’s authority to issue arrest warrants to enforce its orders.
But because it involves facts that are so unusual, for purposes of a. A full service China intellectual property lawyer with a focus on prosecution and litigation. is known for his infringement litigation capabilities, licensing expertise, analysis and valuation of intellectual property assets, dealings with relevant government agencies, and experience in dealing with music licensing and rights management technology.
Key Notes of Patent Litigation in China. In technical patent infringement disputes, the patentee must obtain the sample from the defendant for infringement analysis. It is advisable to conduct notarized purchase from the defendant, so that the court can accept the sample as “qualified evidence” for the court’s infringement analysis.
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