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: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/ip_overseas/china_team/.

The letters should be read for both their substance and their tone. They reflect a mutual respect and candor of the heads of the world’s two largest patent offices.

Director Kappos, in his initial letter, underscores that “China should consider concrete ways of promoting and improving the civil judicial enforcement system by providing more resources, promoting the independence of the judiciary, providing for more training of judges, particularly on technical patent matters, and in general, improvements in the civil legal environment” and praises the “laudable and transparent process” that China followed in the drafting the third amendment to the patent law (2008). He also notes his concerns in the amendments over issues such as transparency and local protectionism.

Director Tian also reveals his own preference for transparency and engagement, while noting that “it is necessary, and more importantly, useful, to consider various opinions from the general public, industries and international counterparts when making revisions to the patent law.” While recognizing that “patent infringement remains a serious problem”, he also reflects upon his “mission to strengthen patent protection” and his hopes to “further bring into play the leading role of judicial protection.”

Commissioner Tian also notes that “SIPO attaches great importance to the enhancement of the transparency of the administrative enforcement, as well as the importance of ensuring its openness, fairness and impartiality.” Both heads of offices in fact showed a remarkable commitment to transparency and engaging the general public by agreeing to publish this exchange of letters.

One thought on “Patent Law and Rule of Law: A Recent Exchange of Letters Between USPTO and SIPO

  1. April S. Blair says:

    Yes, from the correspondence, both leaders showed sincerity and openess. Thank you for sharing this with the public. That reminds me a Chinese term “He Ping Yan Bian” (peaceful transformation in English). We are peacefully transforming China’s IP legal system bases on mutual respect, understanding, sincerity and openness. Also, the new seven selected leaders will set the tone for the future. They are open-minded about economic reform and IP is part of it. Let us wait and see.

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