Public opinions sought for Anti-Unfair Competition Law (revised draft for review)

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce has recently released the revised draft of Anti-Unfair Competition Law asking for public opinions by 25 March 2016. Compared to the existing version, the amendment is more specific and strict on the unfair trading practices conducted by companies. The draft specifies that a business operator shall not leverage its comparatively dominant position to conduct any of the following unfair trading practices: (i) limit the person with whom the other side of the transaction establishes a transactional relationship, without good reason; (ii) limit the other side of the transaction to purchase the designated commodities, without good reason; (iii) limit the transaction conditions relevant to the other side of the transaction, without good reason; (iv) overcharge or make unreasonable requests to the other side of the transaction to provide additional economic benefits; and (v) attach other unreasonable conditions.

Public opinions sought for Guidelines for Application of Lenient Treatment Rules in Horizontal Monopoly Agreement Cases (“Guidelines 1”) and Guidelines for Operator Commitment in Anti-Monopoly Cases (“Guidelines 2”)

Under Guidelines 1, an operator involved in a monopoly agreement may apply to the competent anti-monopoly law enforcement agency under the State Council for lenient treatment before any measure specified under Article 39 of the Anti-Monopoly Law is taken by the agency. Under Guidelines 2, once a law enforcement agency holds that a suspected monopoly constitutes a monopoly after investigation, the agency shall make a legitimated decision on punishment and will no longer accept any commitment made by the operator.

Public opinions sought for three patent related documents

The State Intellectual Property Office has issued the Guidelines for the Determination of Patent Infringements (draft for review), the Guidelines for the Rules of Evidence on Patent-related Administrative Law Enforcement (draft for review) and the Guidelines for Administrative Mediation of Other Patent Disputes (draft for review) asking for public opinions by 5 April 2016. The Guidelines for the Determination of Patent Infringements expressly identify actions that will not infringe patent rights and actions that would be defined as joint infringement. The Guidelines also provide several examples to help with understanding the provisions. It is likely that these guidelines will come into force in 2016.

Measure for the Supervision and Administration of the Quality of Fiber Products coming into force on 31 March 2016

On 3 February 2016, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine promulgated the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Quality of Fiber Products, which will become effective on 31 March 2016, replacing Administrative Measure for the Quality Supervision of Wadding Fiber Products promulgated in 2006. It is important for companies to ensure that the quality of their fiber products meets the requirements.  One of the requirements is that the manufacturer of fiber products should keep records on raw materials and the records should be maintained for at least two years.

Public opinions sought for Guidelines on Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcement against IPR Abuse

In February, The State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued the Guidelines on the Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcement in the Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights (7th draft of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce) asking for public opinions. The guidelines aim to further clarify the distinction between abuse of intellectual property rights affecting regular competition and proper use of IPR, in response to the Qualcomm case in 2015. The completed version will come out in early 2016.

Ministry of Environmental Protection is working on implementing rules for the Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention

Water pollution, like air pollution, has been recognised as an important issue in China. Last year the State Council issued the Action Plan for Water Pollution Prevention and now the Ministry of Environmental Protection is drafting the implementing rules of the Plan, which are expected to come out in early 2016. One of the objectives for the Action Plan is to close all the manufacturing projects that are in conflict with the requirements for environmental protection and Ministry of Environment Protection is in charge of this objective.