The State Council in China has issued the Working Measures for Outbound Transfers of Intellectual Property Rights (for Trial Implementation) (the "Measures"), which came into effect on 29 March 2018. According to the Measures, the outbound transfer of certain kinds of intellectual property rights (“IPRs”) will be subject to a specific examination regime.

The examination will apply to the transfer of IPRs that happen in the context of exporting technologies, or in foreign investors’ acquisitions of domestic enterprises. Such IPRs can include: patent rights and patent applications, the layout-designs of integrated circuits, copyright of computer software, new plant varieties, etc. Transfers include a change of owner, a change of the actual controller, and an exclusive licence of the IPRs. The examination will focus on the transfer’s impact on China’s national safety and capacity for the creation and development of key technologies in important industries.

When exporting technology, if the exported technology is prohibited or restricted from being transferred abroad, a competent governing IP authority will be involved in the examination. When IPR are transferred in acquisition activities that fall within the scope of a security examination, a competent IPR authority’s comments will be sought for the examination, by the foreign investment security examination authority.

Please click here to read the full text (Chinese only) of the Measures.