Category Archives: Intellectual Property

November-December 2012 China Bulletin

In November, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released the Draft Service Invention Regulations for a comment period, which ended on December 3rd.  The draft regulations have attracted considerable attention and comment because of their potential to impose an unreasonable cost burden on R&D in China.  The burden arises less from compensation awarded to inventors than from the notice, accounting and administrative burdens the draft regulations would impose on companies that employ inventors, and related exposure to penalties and liabilities. Continue reading

November-December 2012 China Bulletin

On December 28, the National People’s Congress issued the latest revised draft of the Trademark Law.  Key provisions include expressly requiring that applications conform to principles of honesty and credibility, broadening the right to block bad faith applications by business associates, narrowing the definition of use to marks that distinguish the origin of the goods or services, limiting the right of the trademark owner to prohibit continuation of prior use, and limiting protection for well-known marks to ”copies, imitations or translations”.  For a detailed legal review of the draft from the industry perspective by Joe Simone of SIPS, click here. Continue reading

November-December 2012 China Bulletin

According to a report by the U.S.-China Business Council, 95% of the companies in a recent survey are somewhat or very concerned about the enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.  One challenge faced by foreign trademark and service mark owners comes from “squatters” who register in bad faith to occupy a mark while knowing another party already has or is likely to have an existing legitimate interest in it.  Squatters’ goals range from profiting by selling the registration to the legitimate owner to facilitating sales of fakes or outright identity theft. Continue reading

April-May 2012 China Bulletin

After pending in draft form for 16 years, the Shanghai Municipal Measures for the Recognition and Protection of Famous Trademarks were released in February, 2012.  They offer protection to Shanghai to local enterprises and individuals for marks that qualify for “famous” trademark status.  Although not yet open to foreign trademark owners, foreign nationals with a residence permit in Shanghai and foreign invested companies (including wholly foreign-owned companies) in Shanghai can apply to qualify marks they own as famous trademarks.  This local protection is not the same as well-known trademark status under the Trademark Law of the PRC at the national level. Continue reading