Recently China has introduced some amendments to its trademark law which main aim is to fight against the widespread practice in the country trademark applications to be filed in quantity without any intention for real use.
Because of this, according to the new amendments, every applicant will have to declare intent of use otherwise the application will be refused. What’s more, this will be a ground for oppositions and invalidations against the mark. So far, if one trademark has not been used for 3 years it can be subject to invalidation. Now, this can happen even earlier.
Apart from this, damages awarded by the courts in case of trademark infringements are increased significantly. The procedure for ceasing and destruction of countrified goods becomes more efficient.
As it is well-known the Chinese tech company Huawei has serious problems recently in the light of the trade conflict between The US and China. After a decision by Donald Trump, many US companies were been pushed to limit its work with Huawei.
One of those companies is Google which has announced that the Chinese company won’t be able to use its Android OS in the future. That’s why Huawei considers launching a new replacement OS for its smartphones called HongMeng.
Because of this Huawei has filed many trademark applications for that name in different countries around the world such as The UK, Norway, Switzerland, The EU, Philippines, etc. The US, however, is not one of them so far.
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
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)
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.