China introduced a new intellectual property court on 01.01.2019. The main aim of this new court, which is a part of the Supreme People’s Court, is to bring more quality and efficiency regarding all sorts of intellectual property desputes in the country and in that way to send a positive signal to all local and foreign market players.
The new court will be responsible for:
- Civil law cases after the first instance
That includes: Invention patent, utility model patent, layout designs for integrated circuits, technical inventions, computer software, new plant varieties
- Administrative cases at first instance concerning more technical issues, including designs and monopoly disputes
- Protest cases after first instance appeal cases which have entered into force after first instance independently of the civil cases or administrative cases mentioned above.
For more information here.
Source: Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP.
Image: David Besh/Pexels
WIPR reports about a new patent application filed by one of the biggest online retailer Alibaba in the US. This patent concerns a blockchain technology that allows government agencies or authorised parties to freeze accounts in Alibaba for which there are suspicious for an infringement of intellectual property rights.
This will facilitate the enforcement of IPRs which is a challenge in the digital era.
According to the article, Alibaba possesses more than 10% of all patents related to blockchain technology in the world for the last year. This technology is deemed as a potentially effective tool for combating against online IPRs infringements.
The European Commission initiated a legal proceeding against China before the World Trade Organisation. The reason for that move was alleged unfair practices regarding technology transfer and intellectual property set by the Chinese legislation.
The main problem here is the requirement that every European company that wants to enter the Chinese market has to share technologies and intellectual property with a domestic partner.
According to the European Commision, this practice is against the WTO’s rules and can be identified as unfair and not market-based.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “Technological innovation and know-how is the bedrock of our knowledge-based economy. It’s what keeps our companies competitive in the global market and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across Europe. We cannot let any country force our companies to surrender this hard-earned knowledge at its border. This is against international rules that we have all agreed upon in the WTO. If the main players don’t stick to the rulebook, the whole system might collapse.”
Source: European Commission.
Do you want to do business in China? Do you know what are the legal requirements and how you can protect your intellectual property there?
The European Commission and the EUIPO try to give some clarity on that matter launching a brand new website called IP KEY CHINA, where you can find a lot of information which can facilitate your efforts to enter the Chinese market. The site gives access to a variety of legal documents including such related to intellectual property.
More information can be found here.
The European Patent Office published valuable instructions how you can work with Chinese database for patents, without any knowledge of Chinese. The instructions cover:
- SIPO – Retrieving Chinese documents (PDF, 833 KB)
- PSS – Retrieving Chinese documents (English interface) (PDF, 1.6 MB)
- SIPO – Monitoring Chinese publications by IPC classes (PDF, 897 KB)
- English machine translation
- PSS – Retrieving a machine translation (English interface) (PDF, 1.5 MB)
- Legal status information
- SIPO – Legal status search in Chinese (PDF, 982 KB)
- SIPO – Retrieving information on fee payment in English (PDF, 1.5 MB)
- SIPO – Online file inspection in English (PDF, 1.7 MB)
- SIPO – Searching re-examination and invalidation decisions (PDF, 450 KB)
- SIPO – Retrieving online gazette issues (PDF, 656 KB)
- PSS – Retrieving citation information (English interface) (PDF, 1.17 MB)
- Searching trademarks and designs
- CTMO – Searching Chinese trademarks (PDF, 751 KB)
- SIPO – Searching Chinese designs using classification (PDF, 967 KB)
The EU General Court issued a decision on a case between Apple and the Chinese technology company Xiaomi which tried to register an EU trademark MI PAD.
Against this mark, an opposition was filed based on earlier Apple’s trademarks iPad.
EUIPO took a decision that there is a sufficient similarity between both signs bearing in mind the fact that the only difference is the initial letter M in the Xiaomi’s mark which, however, is not sufficient to overcome the possible consumer confusion.
The General Court upheld this conclusion and dismissed the Xiaomi’s appeal.
WIPR reports about new fees for trademark protection in China. The new fees are lower, for instance, the fee for a trademark application becomes 44$.
There were 3,7 million trademarks in China only in 2016 which makes the country’s Patent Office the biggest in the world in that regard.
The new fees will come into force on 01.04.2017.
More information here.