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2008 a landmark year for IPR in China

Updated: 2009-05-11 08:02
(China Daily)

2008 a landmark year for IPR in China

Editor's note: The year 2008 carried great weight for the IPR system in China. In addition to marking the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, it was also the inaugural year for the implementation of the national intellectual property (IP) strategy. The Chinese IPR system saw 828,328 patent applications and 698,000 applications for trademark registration last year.

After China launched its Compendium of the National Intellectual Property Strategy, the State Intellectual Property Office recently released the white paper for China's intellectual property protection in 2008.

The white paper is a summarization of last year's IPR protection in China and includes eight parts detailing various aspects of intellectual property, including revision and amendment of legislation, enforcement of IPR, judicial protection, Olympic IPR protection and international IPR cooperation.

China Business Weekly will publish the full text of the white paper in a series during the following weeks. Below is the first part of the text:

I. IPR legislation advances and construction of policy and framework refines

In 2008, IPR legislation advanced with new developments. Legal and policy frameworks made new achievements.

On Dec 27, the Sixth Session of the 11th National People's Congress Standing Committee approved the Decision Regarding the Amendment of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China. The amended Patent Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Patent Law) will be in force from Oct 1, 2009. The smooth completion of the third amendment of the Patent Law was another milestone in the development of the Chinese patent system.

In an effort to ensure the simultaneous implementation of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law and the Patent Law, SIPO finished the draft amendment of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law in early March. In early September, after holding conferences to invite comments from its various departments, SIPO forwarded the Draft Amendment of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China (Comment Soliciting Version), inviting comments and suggestions from the general public.

With a view to supporting the amendment of the Patent Law and its Implementing Regulations, improving the work of patent examination and approval, SIPO started the amendment of Examination Guidelines, Measures on Depositing Patent Licensing Agreement, and Measures on Registration of Patent Pledging Agreement.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) contacted more frequently with the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council in 2008 to accelerate the amendment of the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Trademark Law). Through holding special topic conferences, SAIC studied conscientiously the guiding concepts and contents of the third amendment and made clear the principles and directions. This facilitated the legislative process of the Trademark Representation Regulations, accelerated the Amendment of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law which further strengthened trade secret protection.

With emphasis on raising the quality of identification and fending off the risks of supervision and corruption, Rules on Well-known Trademark Determination were drafted. SAIC also drafted and implemented the Standards for Trademark Examination and Adjudication, Instructions of Trademark Substantive Examination, Provisional Measures on Trademark Examination Quality, Evaluation Standards of Trademark Examination Quality. Scope of Trademark Cases for Earlier Adjudication and Working Mechanism for Trademark Case Adjudication were also refined.

The National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) completed its research and study of the second amendment of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Copyright Law) in 2008, shaping an 800,000-word report in this regard. It organized experts and scholars to take a close look at the priority issues concerning the Rules on the Copyright Protection of Folklore Works (Comment-Soliciting Draft) and relevant legislation. The comments from them led to amendment of the draft and accelerated the drafting process.

In addition, after amendment, relevant copyright laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are compliant with the World Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). Per the request of the SAR government, NCAC on Sept 23 submitted to WIPO the declaration on the application of the two treaties in Hong Kong SAR. From Oct 1, 2008, the two Internet treaties became applicable in Hong Kong.

In May 2008, the Ministry of Culture issued the Provisional Measures on Certifying and Administering Representative Inheritors of State Intangible Cultural Heritage, providing specific rules on the standard of certifying representative inheritors and support measures.

In 2008, in a bid to solve practical problems when handling cases and to make more uniform decisions, Ministry of Public Security (MPS) set up a task force to formulate the Police Standard for Registering Cases of Economic Crimes, with a view to setting up concrete standards of amount of money and quantity of goods relating to the 84 economic crimes (including the IPR crimes) under the administration of the Economic Crimes Investigation Department of MPS for Investigation and prosecution cause of action of crimes was also specified. A draft was made to invite comments from relevant agencies and experts.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) released the Seventh Group of Agricultural New Varieties of Plants, Measures on Regulating Symbols of Agricultural Products, Registration Procedure of Agricultural Geographical Indications and Regulations on Use of Agricultural Geographical Indications. Ministry of Agriculture also amended the Examination Guidelines of Agricultural Plant Variety Applications, Manual on Test of Agricultural Plant Varieties and Manual on Deposit of Agricultural Plant Varieties. Rules on Naming Agricultural Plant Varieties (for Review Version) were drafted and the research and study for amendment of the Regulations on Protection of New Varieties of Plants had been conducted.

In 2008, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) began drafting the Judicial Interpretation on Application of Laws in the Trial of Trade Secret Criminal Cases. The Judicial Interpretation on the Application of Laws for Protection of Well-Known Marks in the Trial of Trademark Infringement Civil Cases drafted by the IPR Tribunal is currently under revision. SPC's draft Provisions on Issues Concerned in the Trial of IPR Administrative Cases was finished. In particular, on Feb 18, 2008, SPC announced the Provisions on Issues Concerned in the Trial of Cases of Civil Disputes over the Conflict between Registered Trademark or Enterprise Name with Prior Right, offering definitive principles and standard for handling such disputes and regulating market competition and promoting fair competition more effectively.

Editor's note: The IPR Special is sponsored by the State Intellectual Property Office and published by China Business Weekly. To contact the Intellectual Property Office, the IPR Special hotlines are 8610-64995422 or 8610-64995826, and the e-mail address is

(China Daily 05/11/2009 page11)

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