source: China Trademark Association (CTA)
Recently, a Regular Policy Brief has been helden by the The State Council, at which Mr. Zhao Gang, Deputy Commissioner of the National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) introduced the latest development of fully enhancing intellectual property protection.
Mr. Zhao mentioned that, President Xi Jinping stresses that strengthening IP protection is a vital part of perfecting the IP protection system, and a motivation for enhancing the competitiveness of China’s economy. The Report on the Work of the Government 2019 put forward the clear request of strengthening IP protection in an all-round way. On July 17, 2019, PM Li Keqiang hosted the 57th Executive Meeting of the State Council, hearing the work report of comprehensively strengthening IP protection.
CNIPA earnestly implemented the decisions and plans of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, working with related departments to comprehensively enhance IP protection and achieving the positive results. Please allow me to introduce the latest development and further arrangements. Major Measures included:
Firstly, reinforcing the system construction and improving the systems of laws and regulations. The related laws and regulations such as Patent Law and Trademark Law were timely amended, and the punishment to the infringements was vigorously increased with the prominent rise of illegal cost. The amendments to the Copyright Law and the Regulation on Protection of New Varieties of Plants etc., were advanced in order.
Secondly, strengthening the protection of the sources and improving the quality and efficiency of examination. The Reform of Simplification of Administrative Procedures, Delegation of Powers, Combination of Delegation and Control, and Optimization of Services were implemented. In the first half of the year, the average period of granting the high-value patents was reduced to 20.9 months; the average period of registering trademarks was reduced to 5 months. 238,000 invention patents were granted with a year-on-year growth of 9.9%; 3.515 million trademarks were registered with a year-on-year growth of 67.8%; from January to May, 1.338 million copyrights were registered.
Thirdly, reinforcing the administrative judicial protection and strengthening the guidance for the law enforcement. The special operations of the law enforcement were consistently carried out and the infringements and the counterfeits were severely cracked down. The guidance for the law enforcement has been strengthened along with unifying the standards, specifying the procedures, and jointly supervising and handling the important cases. In the first half of the year, the local People’s Courts heard and closed 150,000 IP civil cases of first instance with a year-on-year growth of 80%, 2,000 IP infringement cases of first instance with a year-on-year growth of 23%. The procurator organs nationwide investigated 1,900 IP criminal cases and arrested over 3, 400 criminals; from January to May, the public security organs nationwide uncovered over 4,200 cases involving IP infringements, and arrested over 9,900 criminal suspects, with 4.8 billion RMB involved.
Fourthly, strengthening the construction of the protection capability and improving the protection system. The Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security promoted the reforms of the related institutions, further improving the systems of IP judicial adjudication and criminal crackdown. A batch of IP protection centers were built up. The response mechanism to overseas IP disputes and the China Instruction Center for Response to Overseas IP Dispute were established. The advancement of the IP Credit System was further accelerated.
Fifthly, improving the international cooperation. The international cooperations between China and the world organizations, such as World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV), were further improved, which solidly promoted the IP cooperations of the Belt and Road.
The IP protection achievements were recognized by the whole society of China and other countries. According to the survey, the Social Contentment on IP Protection rose to 76.88 scores in 2018 from 63.69 scores in 2012. As shown in Business Confidence Survey, released by European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC) in May of this year, 60% of the surveyed 585 EU companies in China considered that China had strengthened its IP protection efforts. The World IP Report issued by American Chamber of Commerce in March of this year pointed out that China achieved the outstanding results in improving the online sales environment, the law enforcement of pharmaceutical patents.
In the future, CNIPA will further cooperate with related departments to deeply implement the major decisions and arrangements of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, further strengthening IP protection and protecting the legal interests of various market entities, as discussed in the 57th Executive Meeting of the State Council.
Firstly, further strengthening the constructions of systems. The amendments to Patent Law, Copyright Law and Trademark Law shall be further promoted, and the Detailed Implementation Rules for the Patent Law shall be revised, increasing the cost of breaking the law greatly. Moreover, the policy documents related to IP protection shall be formulated.
Secondly, further strengthening the administrative and juridical protections. The Standard of Judging Infringement and Counterfeit shall be accelerated to be formulated. The special actions of law enforcement shall be deeply carried out. The establishments of IP courts shall be reinforced. The instructions to investigate, arrest and prosecute IP infringements shall be strengthened. The mechanism of connecting the law enforcement with rights protection and other related legal services shall be smoothly accomplished. The publicity efforts shall be increased, greatly disseminating the positive samples and exposing the negative examples.
Thirdly, further improving the quality and efficiency of IP examinations. The constructions of the intelligent systems of patent examination and trademark registration shall be accelerated, achieving the goals of reducing the period of patent examination to 17.5 months and the average period of trademark registration to less than 5 months in the end of this year. The system of registering copyright shall be improved, further promoting the quality and the facilitation.
Fourthly, greatly strengthening the international cooperation. The new pattern of international IP cooperation—“Four-Party Linkage (bilateral, circumference, mini-multilateral, multi-lateral) and Coordinated Growth” shall be constructed, developing a good ecosystem of innovation.