Know why it is important to consult with an experienced China business lawyer at the time of suing a Chinese company.

Drafting a solid contract with a Chinese company is the first step to successfully suing it. When suing a Chinese company, the first thing you should do is to carefully draft the suit papers with an experienced China business lawyer.

Angry businessman talking to his crying female assistant

Business disputes between a Chinese company and a foreign firm are quite common. Knowing the process of how to sue a Chinese company should be your first priority. If you don’t have the knowledge, it is a good idea to hire a China business lawyer with extensive knowledge of dealing with China litigation cases.


When it comes to suing a Chinese company in Mainland China, the US and the European firms face no jurisdictional restriction. Articles 3 and 237 of the PRC’s Civil Procedure Law grant the Chinese court’s jurisdiction over international cases involving foreign plaintiffs against Chinese companies.


There 3 things you must know about suing a Chinese company


1- Where to sue?

Jurisdiction will usually be the first issue you will need to resolve in figuring out your litigation strategy against a Chinese company. Before attempting to sue a Chinese company, make sure that you qualify to use the Chinese court system. Review your case and compare it to the guidelines that a local Chinese court offers. If you are unsure, consult with an attorney.


2- Sue in what language?

Your English document must be translated into Chinese first by the authorized party. Some Chinese courts don’t enforce English language contracts at all. It is extremely important that you preserve all records that have any relationship to the case.


3- Determine the claims

Determine what claims you have and what type of damages you are interested in. Damages can take many forms, such as monetary compensation or a replacement product. This may seem obvious, but you need to have a genuine legal claim or “cause of action” in order to have a court support your position.


Drafting a solid contract with a Chinese company is the first step to successfully suing it. It is essential to set what will happen under which conditions. The US and the European firms will often have a standard contract, which is unlikely to be optimal when engaging in business with Chinese companies. Make sure your China attorneys really understand the case. And they need to work closely with you to ensure you understand the Chinese legal system and its nuances and processes.


You need to draft your suit papers in the right way. If the information in suit papers is incorrect in any way, China company may move to dismiss the action in its entirety. When suing a Chinese company, the first thing you should do is to carefully draft the suit papers with an experienced China business lawyer.


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A Complete Guideline on China’s Patent Prosecution Highway Agreement

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Foreign investors can register IP in China for trademarks, patents, designs, and copyright. However, each of these is administered by a different government body. The primary law in China pertains to copyright. This protects copyrighted works of foreigners that are either first published in China or in countries that are signatories to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright protection treaty. The patent office that made the preliminary examination conclusion shall have a PPH agreement with SIPO, which is to say that an applicant could only file a PPH request based on the above bi-lateral or multi-lateral agreement.


Patent Prosecution Highway

The PPH allows for expedited examination of a Chinese application when a corresponding application in a participating patent office has at least one allowable/patentable claim. China has several signed agreements with various patent offices and one needs not to be a resident of the country of the corresponding patent office. For example, an American applicant with an allowed Norwegian patent application can request to participate in the PPH in China based on the Norwegian patent application.


The Filing Process of PPH

China currently has 20 PPH programs with almost all the major patent offices in the world, including the most often used IP5 PPH program among China, the United States, Europe, Japan, and Korea. It also accepts a PPH request based on the positive Written Opinion or International Preliminary Examination Report made by an International Search Authority or Preliminary Examination Authority. Applicants can file a request under the SIPO-Office of First Filing (“OFF”) PPH agreement based on an OFF application if the SIPO application is (a) a direct entry under the Paris Convention or a PCT national phase application, and also (b) has at least one or more claims found to be allowable by the OFF. The SIPO application must have been published, the request for examination must have been made and the SIPO must not yet have begun examination at the time of the PPH request.

PPH offers a lot of benefits to patent applicants such as

  • Accelerated Examination
  • Enhanced Certainty
  • Reduced Prosecution Cost
  • Higher Granting Rates


The PPH will potentially reduce costs by minimizing applicants’ attorneys’ fees by reducing the number of office actions and the associated cost to translate and respond to the same. Moreover, speaking of the overall benefit to society, PPH provides an opportunity for participating offices to mutually leverage the examining and searching resources of each other, increase efficiency, reduce repetitive works, improve the patent quality, and realize the effective and sufficient utilization of global examination resources.

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