DS: China — Enforcement of intellectual property rights

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at


Complaint by the European Union

On 18 February 2022, the European Union requested consultations with China with regard to measures that allegedly adversely affect the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
The European Union claimed that the measures at issue appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles 1.1, 28.1, 28.2, 41.1, and 44.1 of the TRIPS Agreement; and
  • Section 2(A)(2) of China's Accession Protocol.

The European Union also claimed that:

  • by failing to publish certain judicial decisions regarding the measures at issue, China appears to have acted in a manner inconsistent with its obligations in Article 63.1 of the TRIPS Agreement; and
  • by failing to supply to the European Union information about three judicial decisions related to the measures at issue that the European Union had requested, China appears to have acted in a manner inconsistent with its obligations under Article 63.3 of the TRIPS Agreement.

On 4 March 2022, Canada, Japan and the United States requested to join the consultations.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 7 December 2022, the European Union requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 20 December 2022, the DSB deferred the establishment of the panel.

At its meeting on 27 January 2023, the DSB established a panel. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Norway, Peru, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Viet Nam reserved their third-party rights.

Following the agreement of the parties, the panel was composed on 28 March 2023.

On 4 July 2023, the European Union and China informed the DSB that they had agreed to Procedures for Arbitration under Article 25 of the DSU in this dispute. Such procedures were entered into by the European Union and China to give effect to the communication JOB/DSB/1/Add.12 (“Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement Pursuant to Article 25 of the DSU (MPIA)”) and with the objective of setting a framework for an Arbitrator to decide on any appeal from any final panel report issued in this dispute, if the Appellate Body is not able to hear such an appeal under Articles 16.4 and 17 of the DSU.


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