A court specializing in the handling of intellectual property rights disputes is expected to be established in the Hainan Free Trade Port to strengthen IP protection in China's southern island province, according to a draft decision submitted to the country's top legislature. The draft decision on setting up the IP court was submitted to the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress for review on Tuesday. Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, the nation's top court, told the session that the IP court will cover IP-related civil, administrative and criminal cases. The plan is for the specialized court to be an intermediate court, he said, adding that appeals against its rulings will be able to be made to the Hainan High People's Court. Pointing out that building the IP court is one move to implement the central leadership's requirement that a high-quality port be established and its innovative development is supported, Zhou also said it will improve the quality of IP case hearings and create a better business environment at the port. "Meanwhile, the specialized court will further increase the port's international popularity and help it play a bigger role in global economic cooperation and competition," he said. Hainan has seen IP disputes grow rapidly this year following the establishment and development of the port, Zhou said. From January to June, courts in Hainan heard 989 IP cases, he said, adding that an estimated 4,000 such cases will be heard next year. The country already has three IP courts－in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province－to guarantee IP rights and study new problems. A report issued by the top court in April said the three IP courts had solved about 100,000 disputes since the end of 2014, contributing to the promotion of innovation.