Judicial Local Protectionism In China: An Empirical Study Of IP Cases
Cheryl Xiaoning Long, Jun Wang
International Review of Law and Economics 42 (2015) 48–59
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Based on an empirical study of intellectual property cases published in the Bulletin of the People’s SupremeCourt of China (the PSC) since 1985 as well as a large sample of intellectual property cases collected fromfive Chinese provinces filed during 1994–2009, this study finds that in first instance cases whether theplaintiff’s residence coincides with the court’s location has a positive and significant impact on whetherthe plaintiff gets a favorable ruling, after controlling for various plaintiff and defendant characteristics.As the findings are robust to various tests, they provide consistent evidence for the existence of judiciallocal protectionism in China.On the other hand, no significant impact of plaintiff location on trial outcome is found in appeals rulingsfor the IP cases. Instead, the appellate courts are found to redress the local protectionism problem in thefirst instance rulings in the PSC cases, thus offering support for the argument that the case law developedby the People’s Supreme Court aims at providing correctional mechanisms at the higher level to remedythe wrongs perpetrated at the lower level judiciary. The empirical results using the larger five-provincesample, however, fail to find the rectifying effect of the appellate courts, suggesting that the goal of the PSChas yet to be achieved in many Chinese regions. These findings provide new insights for the relationshipbetween law and development.
Keywords: Judicial local protectionismIntellectual propertyChinese case law

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