Supreme People’s Court Provisional Regulations on Several Issues Regarding Technical Investigation Officers of Intellectual Property Courts Participating in Litigation

(Adopted on 30 December 2014 at the 1639th Meeting of the Adjudication Committee, Supreme People’s Court, Fa (2014) No. 360)


These Regulations are enacted according to the Civil Procedural Law of the People’s Republic of China, Administrative Litigation Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the Establishment of Intellectual Property Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and the Framework Opinions on Several Issues on Pilots for Reform of the Judicial System, and in consideration of the practicalities of adjudication, to regulate participation in litigation activities by technical investigators of intellectual property courts.

1.Intellectual property courts shall be provided with technical investigators. Technical investigators are judicial support personnel.

Intellectual property courts shall have technical investigation offices responsible for the daily management of technical investigators.

2.When adjudicating civil and administrative cases involving specialised and technical matters such as patent, new plant variety, integrated circuit layout design, technology secret and computer software, intellectual property courts may designate technical investigators to participate in litigation activities.

3.Depending on necessity when adjudicating a case, judges may give written notification to the technical investigation office to designate technical investigation offers to participate in litigation activities.

Where a technical investigator participates in litigation activities, his or her identity and name shall be indicated on the case origination section at the top of the written judgement.

4.Upon deciding that a technical investigator will participate in litigation activities, the intellectual property court shall notify the parties within three days upon such decision.

5.A party may request recusal of a technical investigator. The recusal shall be governed by provisions of adjudication officers under the Civil Procedural Law and Administrative Litigation Law etc..

6.Based on judges’ request, technical investigators shall discharge the following duties:

(1)Determining the disputed issues in the technical facts by reviewing litigation documents and evidential materials;

(2)Giving recommendations on the scope, sequence and method of investigation pertaining to technical facts;

(3)Participating in investigation, collecting evidence, inspection and preservation, and giving recommendation on method, procedure etc.

(4)Participating in questioning, hearing and trial activities;

(5)Providing technical review opinions and observing the judicial panel’s deliberation;

(6)Where necessary, assisting the judges in organising forensic examiner or professionals of the relevant technical sector to give their assessment or advisory opinion;

(7)Fulfilling other job responsibilities as designated by the judge.

7.With the judge’s permission, a technical investigator participating in questioning, hearing and trial activity may question the party, agent ad litem, witness, forensic examiner, inspector and persons with expertise on technical matters.

A technical investigator shall be seated to the left of the assistant-to-judge, and the clerk shall be seated to the right of the assistant-to-judge.

8.Technical investigators observing case deliberations should provide opinions pertaining to technical issues and accept questioning by the judge on technical issues.

Technical investigators do not have voting right in the judgement of a case.

The opinions of technical investigators should be documented in the deliberation transcript and signed by the technical investigators.

9.The technical examination opinions of technical investigators may be used by judges as reference for determining technical facts.

10.Other people’s courts adjudicating cases under Article 2 hereof may refer to and apply these Regulations.

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