China Issues New Intellectual Property Rights Guidelines

    Aug 10, 2016

    Seeking to accelerate a more aggressive intellectual property (IP) rights enforcement environment, China’s State Council on July 18 released guidelines on improving the country’s standards with respect to invention patent filings, trademarks, utility models and design patents, IP litigation, criminal IP litigation, and administrative litigation.

    The guidance, which is drawn from existing initiatives, including a 2015 document on enhancing intellectual property creation, use, protection, management, and service capabilities, as well as the National IPR Strategy Action Plan, instructs government agencies to accelerate movement in a number of key areas. It calls for:

    • Establishing stronger IP protection and enforcement of intellectual property laws, including greater punitive and compensatory damages for violators
    • Improving service invention regulations to ease the process of gaining and maintaining the protection of business patents, trademarks, and trade secrets
    • Reforming tax and financial policies to promote IP creation
    • Establishing appraisal and valuation systems to help drive innovation
    • Reforming the patent licensing system
    • Encouraging the development of IP-dependent industries

    “The plan does not focus enough on a China where there is greater scientific collaboration with foreign scientists and engineers, which also result in an increasingly large number of co-invented patents,” wrote an unnamed blogger on the website China IPR. “Similarly, increasing Chinese investment in IP-intensive industries in the United States means that many Chinese companies will own substantial IP interests and may be less inclined to view IP issues as ‘us’ vs ‘them.’ The relative under-emphasis on civil remedies for IP issues in this plan is also troubling, as the availability of adequate civil remedies is what drives IP commercialization.”

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