New Arrangement signed on Reciprocal Enforcement of Civil Judgments between Mainland China and Hong Kong

A new Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (the new Arrangement) was signed between Hong Kong and Mainland China on 18 January 2019 in Beijing.

The new Arrangement establishes a comprehensive mechanism for reciprocal recognition and enforcement of civil judgments in the two jurisdictions.

The new Arrangement covers monetary relief and certain types of non-monetary relief. “Judgments” are broadly defined as any judgment, order or ruling (except interim relief). For Mainland China, judgments of the second instance or judgments of the first instance where no appeal shall lie are enforceable. For Hong Kong, judgments given by various designated courts and tribunals are enforceable.

The new Arrangement deals with judgments involving IP rights (including copyright, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, topographies of integrated circuits, undisclosed information and plant variety rights).

The new Arrangement covers judgments on contractual disputes involving IP rights and tort claims for infringement of IP rights (except patent infringement). Judgments ruling on licence fee rate of patents are also excluded. Rulings on the validity or subsistence of IP rights are not recognized, but judgments on liability based on IP rights are recognised.

The new Arrangement will be implemented after enactment of local legislation in Hong Kong and judicial interpretation by the Supreme People’s Court in Mainland China.

Timothy Cheung, Fred Kan & Co