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.
EU SMEs can expect that this change will be beneficial to protecting their IPR in China. There will be greater resources and therefore better tools to handle and enforce IP cases, as the registration and the enforcement will be handled by one institution instead of several.
IP rights that will be now handled by SIPO include trademarks, patents, and geographical indications (GIs). Copyright will currently remain a responsibility for the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), trade secrets and Plant variety protection are absent from the proposal. Currently, trade secrets are handled by the SAIC and new plant varieties are managed by Ministry of Agriculture and State Forestry Administration.
The China IPR SME Helpdesk continues to monitor structural and legislative changes to keep you up to date with the most relevant IPR protection information for your business in China.
China IPR SME Helpdesk Team
The China IPR SME Helpdesk supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from European Union (EU) member states to protect and enforce their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in or relating to China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, through the provision of free information and services. The Helpdesk provides jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, along with training events, materials and online resources. Individual SMEs and SME intermediaries can submit their IPR queries via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and gain access to a panel of experts, in order to receive free and confidential first-line advice within 3 working days.
The China IPR SME Helpdesk is co-funded by the European Union.
To learn more about the China IPR SME Helpdesk and any aspect of intellectual property rights in China, please visit our online portal at http://www.ipr-hub.eu/.