Please note a few upcoming events, listed mostly in chronological order:
On February 28, 2012, Paul Jones and Xu Jing will be speaking in the Strafford live phone/web seminar entitled “IP Litigation in China“. The panel will address challenges for IP protection in the Chinese court system.
On March 15, 2012, AmCham China, the United States Information Technology Office (USITO), Fordham University School of Law and the European Chamber of Commerce will host a conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights. The Conference will take place in Beijing. Second Circuit Judge Denny Chin, who is returning to China for the first time since he left as a child, will open the event as the keynote speaker, along with the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, Robert Wang. Chief Judge Kong Xiangjun of the IPR Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court is expected to moderate for Judge Chin. A panel discussion of leading experts, including current and former government officials, academics and corporate IPR leaders will follow. More information here. Continue reading →
I was surprised to read in today’s press that Kevin Kozak, a Deputy Special Agent in Charge of the LA office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was shot by a co-worker. Kevin is known to many of us who did training with the Chinese on Customs and criminal IP enforcement from about 2003-2006. He traveled to China and hosted Chinese delegations in Southern California. Kevin has unique qualifications as both a law enforcement office and an attorney who has actually prosecuted IP criminal cases. He was able to contribute a wealth of experience to those discussions. All of us who worked with Kevin wish him a speedy recovery.
Interest in and discussion about innovation practices in China continues. Here’s another upcoming conference, which sounds like it could elicit controversy, from ITIF (the Information Technology and Innovation Forum): “Confronting Chinese Innovation Mercantilism“. According to the press release “China is unabashedly seeking to favor Chinese-owned firms in order to dominate practically all sectors, especially the higher value-added, innovation-based sectors. Yet, the Washington consensus response can be summed up in one word: patience.”.
A separate stream of discussion in Washington has been on Chinese state-owned enterprises, which ITIF alludes to, including hearings yesterday on Capitol Hill on the role of SOE’s [State Owned Enterprises]. Prof. Curtis Milhaupt from Columbia has also written an excellent paper on this topic describing the organization of SOE’s, but without any strong proscriptive language. Prof. Milhaupt also lectured at Fordham on Feb. 16.
In the long run, there is only way forward on all these issues: informed, principled, and respectful engagement. It isn’t a simple matter of patience as the ITIF study suggests. Hopefully serious programs and reports will help us all pursue a reasonable way of engaging China.
The President mentioned China four times in his State of the Union address on January 24, 2012. Although it’s a bit unclear what his game plan is, it seems that he is looking closely at IP-related claims. “It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated,” Obama said: “Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. “
What will be the nature of this Trade Enforcement Unit? During the Bush administration, a “top to bottom” review at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office resulted in the creation of a China trade enforcement unit within USTR that took the lead on China trade cases at the WTO. Claire Reade, the current Assistant USTR for China was the head of that unit. Continue reading →
Following our year end review of individuals’ transitions in China’s growing IP field, here is a Q&A with Tom Duke, a new IP officer at the UK Mission:
Why did the UK decided to send you to Beijing? Is it part of a broader plan?
My role in Beijing is the first part of a planned international IP attaché network for the UK IPO. As it’s a new post, one of the priorities is to establish the most effective way that I can deliver added value to the networks already on the ground in China (for example in UK Trade & Investment, the FCO and UK/EU projects and industry associations). From reading a couple of your articles about your time in the US embassy, I know you have spoken about providing colleagues with the right tools – based on accurate information of the Chinese IP landscape – and amplifying messages that can benefit all stakeholders. Continue reading →
The newly revised “Regulation of Annual Report for the Growth Enterprises Market (GEM) Board” has now reached the committee stage. Disclosure of IP information will be, for the first time, a point of focus in the Regulation.
Article 22, section 4 of the draft for solicitation of opinions requires companies to disclose if, during the reporting period, there have been significant changes to their intangible property, which includes patents, trademarks or other non-patents. The section also requires the disclosure of the causes for those changes. The new revision would require the listed companies to analyze the risks and consequences of the changes in their core competitiveness, which is also defined as patent, non-patent and franchise rights. The companies are also required to explain the conditions and solutions to those risks and consequences to those who will be seriously affected by the changes.
 The revisions are now at the stage of solicitation for opinions; a draft is available for review here.