The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks

dreamstime_m_24720610In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at copyrights and trade mark rights in China. You’ll learn how to protect these right in China and how to create a comprehensive trade mark and copyright protection strategy before entering China’s market.

China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) system has come a long way in the past 30 years, and development continues – a revision of the trade mark law came into force in May, paving the way for more thorough protection for rights holders. Although China is now coming into line with international IPR standards, there are still many ways in which the system differs from the European one. Below, the China IPR SME Helpdesk takes a look at two major types of intellectual property rights, trade marks and copyright, and considers how these differ from European standards.

Copyrights

The Chinese system for copyrights is very similar to that used in Europe. Copyrights last for 50 years from the date of creation, or the lifetime of the author plus 50 years, and it protects a range of creations, such as artistic works, books, websites, or computer software. As in Ireland, copyrights are automatically protected as long as the creator can be clearly identified; however, unlike most countries in Europe, China also offers copyright registration for owners, a process handled through the Copyright Protection Centre of China (CPCC). Continue reading “The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks” »

General Office of Communist Party of China and State Council issued Opinion regarding Reform and Innovation for Trial of Intellectual Property Cases

RegisteredToday’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our China IPR SME Helpdesk external expert Mr. Charles Feng from East & Concord Partners. In this article, Mr. Feng interprets and explains the recent “Opinion regarding Improvement of Reform and Innovation for Intellectual Property related Trials” jointly issued by the General Office of Chinese Communist Party and the State Council.

On February 6, 2018, General Office of Chinese Communist Party and State Council jointly issued the official document namely “Opinion regarding Improvement of Reform and Innovation for Intellectual Property related Trials” (the “Opinion”). Vice President of Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”), Judge Tao, made interpretation to the IP Opinion during the press conference and was interviewed following the issuance on February 27.

The IP Opinion consisting of four parts includes the General Requirement, Perfection of IP Trial System, Enhancement of IP Court System, and Improvement of Arrangement and Coordination, which were specified as follows.

I General Requirement

The Opinion positioned the IP protection issue as the basic measure for encouragement and guarantee to innovation and creation that builds the foundation to the National Strategy to establish a Nation that is strong in IP as well as science and technology.

Comments by Charles Feng

The Opinion was the first strategic document issued by CPC and State Council, the top administrative body of China, which declared the IP protection as the major approach to protect innovation and development.  Continue reading “General Office of Communist Party of China and State Council issued Opinion regarding Reform and Innovation for Trial of Intellectual Property Cases” »

Structural changes in IPR registration and Enforcement bodies in China

EU SMEs should be made aware of important changes made to the structure of Intellectual Property registration, management and enforcement governing bodies in China which were announced in the context of the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (also known as ‘Two Sessions’) which took place in early March. The restructuring of IP management and enforcement bodies is part of a wider reorganization of China’s  ministries and agencies in order to increase their efficiency. The date at which these changes will come into effect has not yet been announced.

The following existing entities are to merge together and fall under the umbrella of a newly created State Market Supervision Administration (SMSA):

  • State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO): This is the Chinese patent office and it is also in charge of the IP foreign affairs. This is the entity at which European SMEs register their patents in China.
  • State Administration of Industry and Commerce’s Function of Trademark Management: Currently Trademark registration is handled before CTMO (China Trade Mark Office), which is under SAIC (State Administration of Industry and Commerce).
  • General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine’s Function of “Place of Origin” Label Management (AQSIQ): They are currently in charge of Geographical Indications. GIs are registered here in China by the regional organisations responsible for these GIs.

Continue reading “Structural changes in IPR registration and Enforcement bodies in China” »

Chinese Court Issues First GUI Case Decision

17471462035_4b3ff87149_kToday’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by Ferrante Intellectual Property. The article discusses a recent Beijing IP Court case on the Graphical User Interface infringement. In it’s first ruling of the kind, the the IP Court has decided that the GUI cannot be protected separately from the type of the device it is applied to under the design patent protection. 

The Beijing IP Court issued a decision on the very first Graphical User Interface (GUI) infringement case in China. The lawsuit was lodged by Qihu 360 Inc. (Qihu) against Beijing Jiangmin Technology Co., Ltd (Jiangmin). Qihu claimed that the externalizing interface of Jiangmin’s software was identical to Qihu’s GUI design of “Computer with GUI” and that Jiangmin’s behaviour constituted patent infringement. In its decision, the Beijing IP Court dismisses Qihu’s claim and found that in determining the protection scope of a GUI design patent, the GUI design and that of the product using GUI shall be both considered. Hence, it held that the protection scope of Qihu’s GUI design patent shall be limited to the product of computer. Since Jiangmin’s software does not belong to the same or similar category of computer, Jiangmin’s behavior of providing the software does not constitute patent infringement. In this specific case, the users downloaded the software on their computers, which according to the Court does not constitute patent infringement. Even considering Jiangmin’s software as an “intermedium”, Jiangmin’s behavior of providing the software does not constitute indirect patent infringement. The decision gave rise to many debates, with experts arguing that existing patent law and regulations fail to properly protect GUI design. Continue reading “Chinese Court Issues First GUI Case Decision” »

Domain Name Registration and Protection in China

matrix-2502958_1920Today’s blog post on domain name registration and protection in China has been kindly shared with us by China IPR SME Helpdesk external expert Daniel Albrecht from Starke Beijing. The article first appeared on the Starke Beijing website. In this article, Mr. Albrecht gives a comprehensive overview of how and why to register and protect internet domain names in China. 

With the development and usage of World Wide Web, mobile internet and mobile phones, the Chinese E-Commerce market got an enormous growth. According to “Chinese E-Commerce Market Data Monitoring Report 2016”, the E-Commerce transaction amount reached 22.97 trillion RMB in 2016.

For both Chinese and international enterprises, to join this market is a trend but also a necessity. As one of the mainly path for entering E-Commerce market, the meaning of domain name registration is therefore getting more and more important.

Worldwide exist 330 million registered domain names currently. In China is the number in the amount of 50 million. China is becoming the second largest domain name market in the world. This market is interesting for both domain name service providers and enterprises as domain user. The foreign providers need to know the policy and rules for running a domain name business in China. And how to register and protect domain name in China is now an important issue that the enterprises should pay attention to.

Chinese government is trying to improve their laws and rules of internet administration service. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC (MIIT) released a new version of the “Measures for the Administration of Domain Names on Internet” on September 1, 2017. These new measures took effect on November 1, 2017. The rules should further promote the foreign investment to come into the Chinese registration market on one hand; on the other hand encourage the user to choose the registrar, which is a in China registered legal person. At the same time the rules accelerate also the development of domain name with Chinese characters. Continue reading “Domain Name Registration and Protection in China” »