China’s Growing Focus on Intellectual Property:
The Beijing IP Court Steps Up Protections

Trade secrets have become increasingly important in today’s globalized business environment, serving as vital intangible assets for many companies. Recognizing this growing importance,  the Beijing Intellectual Property (IP) Court has implemented measures to strengthen the protection of trade secrets within its jurisdiction.

Efforts have been made to not only protect trade secrets, but also to improve the quality of hearings and provide a conducive business environment for domestic and foreign enterprises. Let’s take a closer look at how the trade secret protection landscape in China has transformed.

China - Beijing Intellectual Property Court Trade Secret Protections

Table of Contents

  • Infringement Cases in the Beijing IP Court
  • New Guidelines and Exemplary Cases of Proof
  • Enforcement of Trade Secret Protection
  • Emphasis on IP Protection: Policy Changes and Regulatory Efforts
  • Future Directions and Conclusion


In 2019, China instituted modifications in trade secret protection, driven largely by the amendments to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL), which broadened the definition of trade secrets, clarified infringement types, and amplified protection measures. This enhanced framework was affirmed by landmark cases in 2020 that resulted in substantial damages awarded to plaintiffs, signaling stringent enforcement of new laws.

The Beijing IP Court heard a significant number of trade secret infringement cases in recent years. In 2022 alone, the court held hearings for 182 such cases, with litigants spanning across various countries such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, India, and Germany. 

In the course of litigation, several plaintiffs found their cases unsuccessful due to challenges in furnishing adequate evidence, particularly in establishing the existence of confidentiality agreements and demonstrating the value of the revealed trade secrets.

New Guidelines and Exemplary Cases of Proof

To address these challenges, the Beijing IP Court issued the Exemplary Cases of Proof in Trade Secrets Infringement and a complementary guideline in October 2022.

These documents aim to provide clarity on what constitutes trade secrets, examples of infringement activities, and guidance on gathering robust evidence for such cases. By offering a clearer understanding of these areas, the Beijing IP Court aims to assist plaintiffs and defendants alike in presenting their cases more effectively.

Emphasis on IP Protection: Policy Changes and Regulatory Efforts

China’s commitment to the legal protection of trade secrets is also reflected in its policy changes and regulatory efforts, underscoring their dedication to Intellectual Property rights protection.

Trade secrets protection has been integrated into several key legal documents, including China’s Civil Code, the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, Criminal Law, numerous judicial interpretations, and local regulations. This has been further bolstered by the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Development Plan (2021-35) launched by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

Administrative Enforcement of Trade Secret Protection

In 2023, China’s administrative enforcement of trade secret protection saw considerable improvements. The Beijing IP Court has been vigilant in enforcing trade secret protection, as evident in its stringent rulings.

Decisions in cases like Beijing Wangyuan v Liu and Shenzhen Huihua Exploit v Peng clarified that unauthorized access to trade secrets constituted infringement, even if acquisition or use was not evidenced. Furthermore, these cases underlined the expanded role of local administrative authorities in enforcing trade secrets protections proactively.

Future Directions and Conclusion

Looking ahead, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court established a team specializing in trade secret disputes. This team, tasked with improving the quality and professionalism of case hearings, undertakes exchanges with other countries to keep abreast of the latest developments in global trade secret protection practices.

China’s initiative to intensify its protection of trade secrets aligns with its broader Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Development Plan. The heightened commitment to safeguard trade secrets acknowledges their growing significance in the marketplace, promising to enhance the rule of law and promote fair competition within China’s rapidly evolving business environment. The Beijing IP Court’s efforts in releasing guidelines and exemplary proofs mark a significant step forward in this journey.


At Founders Legal, we are passionate about helping our clients protect their intellectual property. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the nuances of intellectual property law, including trade secrets, patents, and trademarks. We can offer comprehensive protection for your business, regardless of where it is located. If you have any questions or would like a consultation, please contact us