Napa Valley Gains GI Status in China

Napa Valley is the first wine region outside of China to be recognized with the Geographic Indication status from the State Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine. For NV, this provides a pivotal element in consumer protection against wines illegitimately labeled as being from Napa Valley in the Chinese market. Chen Xuemin at the Zhongzi law firm was local counsel. (   AQSIQ recognition is one of two procedures available for protection of geogrpahical indications in China, the other being through recognition as a certification or collective mark through the Chinese trademark office.   Kudos to the Napa Valley Vintners for its diligence over the years.  For more information, see the press release here.

David Kappos to Leave USPTO

In an email sent to colleagues today at USPTO (November 26), Director Kappos announced that he will be leaving USPTO at the end of January.    He wrote:

“It has been an immense privilege to lead the USPTO, our nation’s innovation agency, over the last three and a half years-and it is with deep gratitude for your dedication and hard work that I write to inform you that I will be leaving the Agency around the end of January 2013.”

Director Kappos has brought extraordinarty depth and intelligence to the USPTO, as well as deep experience in Asia where he worked for two years.  He will be missed.

Mark Cohen

China IP Time and The New York Minute

China’s rapidly growing economy and equally rapidly evolving IP regime shows how different concepts of “time” can be from the United States. Continue reading

Patent Law and Rule of Law: A Recent Exchange of Letters Between USPTO and SIPO

Here is a remarkable exchange of letters, the first from USPTO Director Kappos from September 7, 2012 and the second a reply from SIPO Commissioner Tian Lipu to David Kappos regarding China’s patent law amendments.   The page also has the USPTO comments on China patent law amendments: Continue reading

Two New Papers from the University of Indiana

The Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business at the University of Indiana has just published two new papers, available for download free of charge at   One is by standards and IPR “veteran” An Baisheng, the other by economist political scientists Bruce Reynolds and Susan Shirk.    Continue reading

The Brave New World of Chinese IP Legislation – Trademarks

One thing is for certain about the current crop of revised IP laws in China: they are primarily being drafted to accommodate and anticipate China’s own needs, and not in response to international pressure or WTO accession.  A second important theme is harmonization with China’s own new laws and optimization of experience already learned, such as the revised Civil Procedure Law and Tort Law, as well as emerging doctrines and experience in antitrust and standardization laws.  These motivations are quite different from the drafting efforts of a decade ago.  The shift was clearly evidenced in the 2008 Patent Law amendments. Continue reading

New Draft of Service Inventor Remuneration Regulations Open for Public Comment

On November 12, 2012,  SIPO made publicly available a  draft of the proposed Service Invention Remuneration Regulations (职务发明条例草案(征求意见稿).  Comments are due at SIPO by December 3.  An earlier draft reportedly contained numerous problematic provisions for foreign investors, including in areas regarding mandatory ownership and compensation, as well as extending reach beyond patents into software copyright and other areas.  The draft and an explanation of the draft are available at Continue reading