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The State Intellectual Property Administration of China proposes the 2020-2021 IP Protection Promotion Plans

Date: 30 April 2020

 

On April 20, 2020, the State Intellectual Property Administration of China issued the "Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights" (hereinafter as "Opinions"). The "Opinions" discussed plans on how to strengthen protection on patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and plant varieties among others.

 

Much of the content of the plan overlaps with that contained in the first-phase trade agreement between China and the United States signed in January 2020. However, this newly issued “Opinion” is more inclusive, showing China’s unswerving commitment to comprehensively reform its intellectual property system. The areas covered include patent law, copyright, trademarks, piracy and counterfeit, trade secrets and anti-unfair competition, e-commerce, digital culture, information sharing, credit mechanisms, evidence collection procedures, dispute resolution, enhanced law enforcement and more.

 

We have summarised below the plans covered in the “Opinions”. Following each plan is the date of completion:

 

Patents

 

  • To extend the patent protection period;
  • To strengthen drug patent protection and to enhance the early dispute resolution mechanism (to be completed before the end of October 2020);
  • To formulate regulations to protect traditional Chinese medicine (continue to be advanced);
  • To strike hard against counterfeit medicines and biological products (continue to be advanced);
  • To improve the application and management of new plant varieties and to strengthen the testing capacity of building of new plant varieties (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To reduce the initial review period for new plant variety rights to 4 months (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To shorten the prosecution period for patent invention to less than 20 months (December 2021).

 

Copyright

 

  • To roll out guidelines on the enforcement of copyright and neighbouring rights (to be completed before the end of October 2020);
  • To set out copyright protection measures for folklore works (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To carry out research on sport broadcasting rights protection (to be completed before the end of December 2021).

 

Trade marks

 

  • To set up trade mark infringement criteria (to be completed before the end of June 2020);
  • To revise the registration and management provisions on collective marks and certification marks;
  • To promote the protection of geographical indications and carry out legislative projects evaluation (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To formulate regulations on destruction of infringing and counterfeit goods (to be completed before the end of July 2020);
  • To shorten the average review period for trademark registration to less than 4 months (to be completed before the end of December 2021).

 

Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

 

  • To strengthen the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information by amending the provisions in trade secret law and unfair competition law;
  • To strengthen the protection of business secrets and confidential business information during the administrative licensing process (to be completed before the end of October 2020);
  • To amend regulations in unfair competition law that concern counterfeit products, packaging, and decoration of well-known brand (continue to be advanced);
  • To crack down on unfair competition in key intellectual property sectors (continue to be advanced).

 

E-Commerce 

 

  • To strengthen the responsibility of e-commerce platforms, to implement the tort liability in the Civil Code, and to strengthen the protection of intellectual property through revisions of e-commerce law;
  • To pilot intellectual property data sharing on e-commerce platforms, and to guide e-commerce platforms to quickly handle patent infringement complaints by effective use of patent right evaluation reports (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To require e-commerce websites to delete specific infringing links and close infringing accounts, to close infringing and counterfeit websites, to stop the spread of infringing information, and to limit the speculative profit-making copyright litigation (to be completed before the end of December 2021).

 

Digital Culture Industry

 

  • To revise the evidence rules for comprehensive law enforcement in the cultural market (continue to be advanced);
  • To strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the cultural market, and to conduct in-depth rectification operations to curb the IP infringement in the online performance, music, and animation (continue to be advanced).

 

Information Sharing Mechanism

 

  • To establish a special data sharing network within a defined scope between the State Intellectual Property Administration and the Supreme People's Court;
  • To build a national intellectual property data collection centre (continue to be advanced);
  • To set up unified infringement and counterfeit information platforms to rule out the information discrepancies between administrative enforcement departments and criminal judicial systems (continue to be advanced);
  • To form an integrated IPR case platform to fight against IPR infringement (continue to be advanced);
  • To build a system to publicly release information on customs IPR enforcement (to be completed before the end of April 2020).

 

Credit Mechanism

 

  • To pilot projects on IPR credit classification (to be completed by the end of December 2021 and will continue to be advanced);
  • To share the information between the national public service platform for intellectual property rights protection and the national enterprise credit publication system, and to strengthen the information sharing and publication in intellectual property rights pledge registration, administrative licensing, administrative penalties, random inspection results, etc. (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To publicize the list of nationwide major IPR infringement and piracy cases, and to annually review and publicize the data of software usage (to be completed by the end of August 2020 and will continue to be advanced).

 

Evidence Collection Procedures

 

  • To pilot intellectual property rights infringement evidence collection projects with notarized rewards, and to further promote an unified evidence collection platform with notarized rewards (to be completed before the end of December 2021);
  • To formulate evidence rules that governs certification of intellectual property related legal documents, witness and testimony (to be completed before the end of October 2020).

 

Dispute Resolution Mechanism

 

  • To improve the appraisal system for intellectual property infringement disputes, and to establish an infringement damage assessment system (continue to be advanced);
  • To establish an International Intellectual Property Arbitration Commission (to be completed before the end of December 2020);
  • To trial judicial confirmation of intellectual property dispute mediation agreement, and to support the establishment of public mediation organizations and lawyer mediation studios regarding intellectual property disputes (continue to be advanced);
  • To carry out prioritized pilot projects for intellectual property arbitration and mediation, to nurture more intellectual property arbitration, mediation organizations and notaries (to be completed before the end of December 2021).

 

Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement

 

  • To carry out special operations for intellectual property law enforcement, to organize the destruction of infringing and counterfeit goods, and to crack down on IPR infringement (continue to be advanced);
  • To take special moves to combat online IPR infringement and piracy, to effectively investigate and handle newly emerged copyright infringement types in developed regions (continue to be advanced);
  • To carry out the on-site destruction operations towards the brand infringing and counterfeit products.

 

For the full content of the “Opinion”, please follow this link: CNIPA

 

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