1. For the first time, SIPO released statistics on patents, trademarks and geographical indications all together

2. Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of the Statutes of Limitation (with full text attached) 3. Beijing plans to establish an Internet court 4. China significantly shortens the trademark territorial extension examination period

For the first time, SIPO released statistics on patents, trademarks and geographical indications all together

On July 10, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) held a regular press conference for the third quarter of 2018 in Beijing. This is the third press conference held by the SIPO this year. It also marks the first time that SIPO releases statistics on patents, trademarks and geographical indications all at once since its reorganizing. In the first half of 2018, China's major intellectual property indicators saw rapid growth and exhibited a good momentum. Among them, the number of Chinese invention patent applications and grants reached 751,000 and 217,000 respectively, the number of trademark registration applications was 3.586 million, and 10 new applications for protection of geographical indication products were accepted. According to the data released this time, in the first half of this year, the number of invention patent applications in China was 751,000; the number of invention patents was 217,000, of which 171,000 were domestic invention patents. In terms of domestic invention patent grants, there were 159,000 service inventions, accounting for 93.2% of the total; non-service inventions stood at 12,000, accounting for 6.8% of the total. By the end of June 2018, China's domestic (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) invention patents totaled 1.475 million, and the number of invention patents per 10,000 population reached 10.6. In addition, in the first half of this year, the State Intellectual Property Office accepted a total of 23,000 international patent applications submitted through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an increase of 6.3% year-on-year, of which 21,600 were from China, an increase of 7.6%. In the first half of 2018, the number of applications for trademark registration in China was 3.586 million; and 3.065 million applications were examined. By the end of June 2018, the total number of trademark applications in China reached 31.428 million, with the total registration number as 19.395 million and the total number of valid trademark registration as 16.807 million. On average, every 6.1 market entities had a valid trademark. The approved geographical indication collective mark and certification mark reached 4395, of which 171 were foreign ones. The trademark registration examination period has been shortened from 8 months to 7 months. In the first half of 2018, 10 applications for the protection of geographical indication products were accepted, 46 GI products were newly approved, and 135 enterprises using GI products were newly approved. By the end of June 2018, 2,359 geographical indication products got protected, including 2,298 domestic ones and 61 foreign ones. 24 national GI product protection demonstration zones have been built, and 8091 enterprises have been approved to use special marks, with the relevant output value exceeding RMB 1 trillion. The statistics of patents, trademarks and geographical indications in the first half of 2018 mainly showed four features. First, China's IPR innovation and utilization is stable with slight increase. The number of domestic invention patent grants and ownership increased by 6.5% and 19.5% respectively over the same period of the previous year. The number of invention patents per 10,000 population increased by 0.8 compared with that of the end of 2017. The level of trademark registration facilitation continued to increase, and the number of trademark registration applications increased by 57.5%. . Second, domestic enterprises’ dominance in innovation continued. In terms of the domestic invention patent grants and ownership, enterprises accounted for 63.8% and 67.2% of the proportion respectively.  The domestic enterprise effective invention patents maintained at 71.2% for more than 5 years. Third, the number of overseas intellectual property applications from Chinese companies has steadily increased. In the first six months of this year, the number of domestic enterprises that submitted more than 100 PCT international patent applications reached 17; in the first five months of this year, Madrid international trademark applications increased to 2,228, up by 80.69% on a year-on-year basis, ranking third in the Madrid Union. Fourth, China's intellectual property protection environment was further optimized. In the first half of the year, the total number of patent administrative law enforcement cases increased by 29.5% year-on-year, of which patent disputes increased by 41.0% year-on-year; 13,600 trademark violation cases were investigated and handled, with the amount money involved exceeding RMB 210 million. China has made further progress in nurturing a good business and innovative environment.

Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of the Statutes of Limitation (with full text attached)

Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of the Statutes of Limitation under the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China (Interpretations) is adopted at the 1744th meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court on July 2, 2018, and will be effective as of July 23, 2018 The core content of the Interpretations lies in the application of the one-year statute of limitation in the General Provisions on the Civil Law. The General Provisions on the Civil Law stipulates the statute of limitations for one-year short-term lawsuits, whereas the General Principles of the Civil Law does not. Thus, in practice, there is different understanding on whether the one-year statute of limitation still applies after the implementation of the General Principles of Civil Law. The General Principles of Civil Law stipulates that the statute of limitation shall be three years, which is conducive to building a credible society and better protecting the legitimate rights and interests of creditors.

Supreme People's Court Announcement

Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of the Statutes of Limitation under the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China (Interpretations is adopted at the 1744th meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court on July 2, 2018, and will be effective as of July 23, 2018)

Supreme People's Court

07/18/2018

Fa Shi [2018] No. 12

Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of the Statutes of Limitation under the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China(adopted at the 1744th meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court on July 2, 2018, and effective as of July 23, 2018 With a view to correctly applying the provisions on the statutes of limitations under the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China, and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the parties concerned, these Interpretations are hereby formulated in light of adjudication practices. Article 1 Where the period of limitation commences after the implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law, the provisions of Article 188 therein on a three-year statute of limitation shall apply. The competent people's court shall not uphold the claim, if any, by a party concerned that the two-year or one-year statute of limitation under the General Provisions on the Civil Law shall be applicable. Article 2 Where the period of limitation has not reached the two-year or one-year period under the General Provisions on the Civil Law upon the effective date of the General Principles of the Civil Law, the competent people's court shall uphold the claim, if any, by a party concerned that the three-year statute of limitation under the General Principles of the Civil Law shall be applicable. Article 3 Where the two-year or one-year statute of limitation under the General Provisions on the Civil Law has expired before the effective date of the General Principles of the Civil Law, the competent people's court shall not uphold the claim, if any, by a party concerned that the three-year statute of limitation under the General Principles of the Civil Law shall be applicable. Article 4 Where the cause for suspending the statute of limitation has not been eliminated by the effective date of the General Principles of the Civil Law, the provisions therein on the suspension of the statute of limitation shall be applicable. Article 5 These Interpretations shall come into effect on July 23, 2018. These Interpretations shall apply to cases that are still in the first-instance or second-instance stage upon the effective date hereof. These Interpretations shall not apply to cases that have been closed upon final instance prior to the effective date hereof but for which re-adjudication is decided upon application by the parties concerned or according to trial supervision procedures.

Beijing plans to establish an Internet court

The Beijing Internet Court is in the process of hatching. To implement the "Proposal on Establish Beijing Internet Court and Guangzhou Internet Court" reviewed and approved by the Central Comprehensive Reform Committee, and to fully tap Beijing’s performance in promoting innovation and development of the network economy, ensuring network security, and building an Internet governance system, the Beijing Internet Court will, in accordance with the principle of online handling and online litigations for disputes on the Internet, promote the rule of law in cyberspace governance through online trials, innovation of internet trial mechanism based on in-depth use of Internet information technology, and establishment of a new set of Internet case procedure and judicial rules under the guidance of the Supreme People's Court.  It is reported that the Beijing Internet Court will take over special types of Internet-related first-instance cases within the municipal jurisdiction, explore the establishment of a trial mode adapting to the Internet age, and network the entire process of litigation, including prosecution, mediation, case filing, trial, judgment, and execution. It will also create procedural rules that match Internet trials, and establish a standardized and intelligent trial mode for all types of cases. To swim with the demands of the information age, cross-regional trials will be adopted to ensure easy participation for all parties involved in litigation.

China significantly shortens the trademark territorial extension examination period

To effectively improve the quality and efficiency of the substantive examination of the territorial extension of the international registration of trademarks, the Trademark Office under SIPO has significantly shortened the period of examination provided in international treaty provisions. The current territorial extension examination period has been shortened from 12 months, as stipulated in international treaty, to 7 months. And the 18-month examination period in international treaties was shortened to 10 months. It is expected that by the end of July this year, the 12 months examination period in international treaties can be further shortened to 6 months; and by the end of this November, the 18 months examination period can be shortened to 6 months.