Trademark Law Revision in China: analysis of the new provisions

On 23 April 2019 the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress issued the fourth revision of the Trademark Law, which came into force on November 1st. This has attracted much attention from the international IP community as it addresses the issue of bad-faith registrations – one of the most significant challenges to protecting international brands in China.

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The new law provides that bad-faith applications made with no intent to use will be rejected. In addition, the absence of requisite intent to use is now included as grounds for opposition and invalidation proceedings.

Moreover, the law allows for a higher amount of damages that can be claimed for trademark infringement; likewise, the highest amount of statutory damages was increased from RMB 3 million to RMB 5 million in an attempt to deter infringements.

The revision also establishes new guidelines for the Trial of Cases on Trademark Authorisation and Affirmation, as well as new articles on the legal liability of applicants of bad-faith application without intent to use.

For the full analysis on the recent revision, read the full article by Charles Feng at Lexology.

IP Enforcement Litigation in Taiwan: Some Basics

courtToday’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our external experts Mr. John Eastwood and Ms. Eve Chen from Eiger. In this article, Mr. Eastwood and Ms. Chen give a basic overview of IP enforcement litigation in Taiwan. You will learn more about the options you have in Taiwan to take action against the infringements of your IP rights and how to prepare to defend your rights. The article first appeared on Eiger website.  

INTRODUCTION

Rights holders looking at Asia-Pacific enforcement budgets often have to make hard decisions about where to take action. Although Taiwan’s population is small (about 22 million), it has a big role in financing massive overseas infringement in China and Southeast Asia and it is still a major manufacturer of fake optical-media products (CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs), auto parts, and high-tech products involving infringements of patents and misappropriation of trade secrets. Fortunately, the Taiwan court system offers some solid options to rights holders who want to take action.

PREPARING FOR ACTION

Rights holders need to prepare evidence and documents establishing their rights and the facts of infringement before they take action, as the Taiwan police, prosecutors and judges involved with authorizing raid actions are sticklers for details. As a preliminary matter in trademark and copyright cases, it is important to assemble copies of the Taiwan trademark certificates (front and back sides) and any supporting documentation needed to establish copyright protection. Continue reading “IP Enforcement Litigation in Taiwan: Some Basics” »

Writing a Good Manufacturing Non-disclosure Agreement in China

MP900438585In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect IP when seeking Chinese manufacturers and will address what it takes to design an NNN (non-use, non-disclosure, and non-circumvention agreements) which can pose enough of a credible threat to dissuade contract violations.

Defining protected information: keeping everyone on the same page

NNN agreements should clearly define which rights are being disclosed or licensed, their nature, and their scope. Clear mechanisms for identifying and marking, accounting for, and maintaining secrecy for this information (or indications of who will bear these responsibilities, what general types of information should be considered confidential, or processes for retroactively marking material as confidential) should be present. If desired, additional clauses can also outline what types of information will not be considered confidential. Naturally, before these types of information can be identified, an SME should first understand just what its trade secrets are. Conducting an IP assessment and audit can identify key IP which was otherwise taken for granted or not fully appreciated by the SME and can assign a value to the IP which will make calculating contract damages much easier.

While the contract is in force, these rules should be strictly followed. Over the course of the contract, additional IP may be generated as a result of the work of employees or independent innovations on the part of the manufacturer. NNN agreements can also include clauses which dictate that all such IP belongs to the SME and can thereby avoid future disputes. Note, however, that China places restrictions on the export of some technology—meaning that agreements automatically granting new IP to the SME could be struck down in court. Continue reading “Writing a Good Manufacturing Non-disclosure Agreement in China” »

Intellectuele eigendom toetsing bij buitenlandse overnames in China

denver-business-law-firm-intellectual-propertyIn onze meest recente blog-post, vertelt externe China IPR SME Helpdesk expert Reinout van Malenstein, als Senior Counsel werkend bij HFG Law & Intellectual Property, u meer over intellectuele eigendom toetsing bij buitenlands overnames in China. Voor bedrijven die geïnteresseerd zijn in dit onderwerp zal deze blog u meer vertellen hoe de huidige beleiedsstrategie CM2025 intellectueel eigendom in China zal beïnvloeden, en hoe u daar als Nederlands bedrijf in China het best mee om kunt gaan. Deze blog is geschreven in het Nederlands en is eerder gepubliceerd op China2025.nl, het China crowdblog.

Behoud de Nederlandse innovatieve eredivisie op het wereldtoneel

Zoals de European Union Chamber of Commerce in China de laatste jaren meerdere malen heeft aangegeven, is het zeer lastig voor Europese bedrijven om Chinese bedrijven over te nemen, terwijl dit omgekeerd relatief gemakkelijk is. De regelgeving in Nederland en Europa is gemaakt als fair level playing field voor binnenlandse en buitenlandse bedrijven. Dat is natuurlijk heel fair en ideaal, maar het is belangrijk dat Nederland en Europa zich realiseren dat China een andere agenda heeft, en dat Chinese ondernemingen in bepaalde sectoren worden beschermd ten opzichte van buitenlandse ondernemingen op de Chinese markt.

China Manufacturing 2025

De bescherming van bepaalde markten en het doel om in bepaalde sectoren controle te verkrijgen over intellectuele eigendom blijkt duidelijk uit China Manufacturing 2025 (CM2025). CM2025 is door de Chinese overheid in 2015 ingevoerd als lange termijn strategie om China op het internationale toneel tot innovatieve speler te maken. In dit beleid verandert China van goedkoop land met betrekking tot het produceren van goederen in een innovatief land. Een strategie à la Apple: “made in China, designed in California“, maar dan in die zin dat de grote winsten van de intellectuele eigendom naar China gaan en niet naar buitenlandse bedrijven. Fijn voor China in dit beleid, is dat veel grote Chinese spelers op de markt staatsbedrijven zijn, en dus makkelijk kunnen inspelen op voorgeschoteld beleid van de overheid. Continue reading “Intellectuele eigendom toetsing bij buitenlandse overnames in China” »

Trade Fairs in China: Steps to Protect You IPR

Page 1. 1.Protecting your IP at Trade FairsIn today’s blog post we are taking a closer look on how European SMEs can protect their intellectual property when they attend trade fairs in China. You’ll learn how to prepare for a trade fair, what to do and pay attention to during the trade fair and, of course, what to do in a case that someone is violating your IPR rights.

Trade fairs are an excellent opportunity for a business to showcase their new products and scout out business partners for manufacturing, promotion, and distribution. Unfortunately, in China these exhibitions are a common prowling ground for infringers, so it is of utmost importance to ensure all intellectual property precautions are undertaken. It is not sufficient to merely gain intellectual property rights for a company’s assets – steps should be taken before, during and after a trade fair to ensure maximum protection. This article takes a look at some of the steps foreign businesses should take.

Before the trade fair: fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Determine your strategy in advance of the trade fair. Do you want to take enforcement action at the fair, or only use the fair as an opportunity to gather evidence? If you are not certain about securing all necessary evidence and paperwork to carry out an action at the fair, gathering evidence there first may be a better strategy.

Prepare the required documents – some may need to be notarised and legalised which can take up to two months. The required documents include: Continue reading “Trade Fairs in China: Steps to Protect You IPR” »