Bringing you regular news of key developments in the area of Intellectual Property in China.

Patents

Draft Guidelines for Patent Examination for comments, 28 October 2016

The State Intellectual Property Office issued the Guideline for Patent Examination (Draft for Comments). The Draft clarified that business models which covers business rules, methods and technical characteristics may be granted as patents. The Draft also amended certain rules regarding the examination process for patent applications and the rules regarding amendments to claims of the patent under invalidation.

For the full text of the Draft, please click here (Chinese only).

The State Council to strengthen IPRs protection, 18 July 2016

The State Council issued the Key Assignment of Several Opinions of the State Council on Accelerating the Construction of Great Power in Intellectual Property Rights Industry under the New Situation (“Assignment”), which clarifies that China will increase the upper limitation of the statutory compensation of intellectual property right infringement cases, implement a stricter compensation regime for malicious and serious infringement behaviours and require the infringers to bear actual reasonable expenditures incurred by the injured party. China will also strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights in the areas of international exhibitions and e-commerce, and launch a joint law-enforcement regime with relevant international organisations and overseas authorities to promote cooperation on the juridical protection of intellectual property rights.

For the full text of the Assignment, please click here (Chinese only).

PPH Pilot Programs between China and UK, Sweden, Iceland have been extended to 2019, 27 June 2016

The Pilot Program of the Patent Prosecution Highway between China, the UK, Sweden, and Iceland was established on 1 July 2014 and expired on 30 June 2016. According to the Notice on the Extension of the PPH Programs between China, the UK, and Sweden, the State Intellectual Property Office and corresponding IP authorities in the three countries had agreed to extend the Pilot Programs from 1 July 2016 without changing any requirement or process. The Notice also clarifies that the Pilot Programs with UK and Sweden would be extended without deadline, while the Pilot Program with Iceland would be extended for three years, and will expire on 30 June 2019.

For the full text of the Notice, please click here (Chinese only).

Tencent and China-Britain Business Council jointly protect IPRs in China, 23 August 2016

Tencent, the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and the International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China (IPCC) jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) on protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on the Weixin platform. In accordance with the MOU,  Tencent will provide the Rules on the Wechat IPR Protection Platform, the process for filing a complaint against infringements and a specific “Green Channel” for the members of CBBC and IPCC.

Trademarks

State Administration for Industry and Commerce aims to facilitate the process of trademark registration, 14 July 2016

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued the Opinion on Vigorously Promoting the Reform of Facilitating Trademark Registration (“Opinion”). The Opinion emphasises that the SAIC will extend trademark application channels to facilitate applicants, which includes entrusting the local competent departments with the task of accepting trademark applications, establishing trademark examination cooperative centers outside Beijing, establishing local trademark pledge registration application acceptance centers, and extending online applications to all trademark applicants. The SAIC will also optimise trademark registration processes, shorten the time limit of issuing a trademark registration application acceptance notice and optimise the trademark examination mechanism.

For the full text of the Opinion, please click here (Chinese only).

The local AICs and market regulatory authorities will accept trademark applications, 31 August 2016

The SAIC issued the Interim Provisions for Entrusting Local Administration for Industry and Commerce and Market Regulatory Departments with the Task of Accepting Trademark Applications (“Interim Provisions”). The Interim Provisions aims to optimise the trademark registration process. Entrusted by the Trademark Office of SAIC, the local AICs and market regulatory authorities above the county level can establish trademark registration acceptance offices to accept trademark registration applications and provide other services on behalf of the Trademark Office. 

For the full text of the Interim Provisions, please click here (Chinese only).

Acceptance Notice of Trademark Applications would be issued within three months, 30 October 2016

The SAIC issued the Notice on Ensuring the Acceptance Notice to be issued within three months.  In accordance with the Notice, the SAIC will reform the current examination process to shorten the period of issuing the Acceptance Notice of Trademark Applications from six months to three months.

For the full text of the Notice, please click here (Chinese only).

Copyright

Four authorities jointly implement specific actions against the infringements of copyright, July-November, 2016

The National Copyright Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the Cyberspace Administration of China jointly issued the Notice on Implementing Specific Actions against Online Infringement and Pirate (“Notice”).  The authorities also named the specific action as “Sword Online Action”. Such Action has been implemented annually and will be implemented from July to November in 2016. In accordance with the Notice, the Action will mainly focus on the infringement and pirate behaviours on the platforms of APP, E-commerce, online advertisement union and private theatre and strengthen the protection for the copyrights of literature, news, movies, music and other kinds of works.

For the full text of the Notice, please click here (Chinese only).

Shanghai IP Court’s Judgment went beyond the statutory compensation limitation, July 2016

In the Judgment of the case that Langze Enterprise Consultancy (Shanghai) Co., Ltd  (“Langze”) infringed the copyright of SAP Holding which came out on 25 May 2016, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court ordered Langze pay 1.18 million RMB in compensation to SAP for damage and reasonable expenditures. Under the current law, the statutory compensation value for such a case is limited to 0.5 million RMB. Based on the evidence provided, the Shanghai IP Court considered that the damage suffered by SAP went far beyond such limitation, and the court therefore enhanced the value of compensation for SAP.

For the full text of the Judgment, please click here (Chinese only).