Autumnal hook 2012 update

A guest post from Zhen Lei of Penn State

Mark highlighted the phenomenon of the Autumnal Patent “Hook” at the SIPO in his blog posted early last year. The data on 2012 patent filings at SIPO again shows the same pattern (see the graph below). My colleagues at UC Berkeley and I conducted a study on the seasonality of patent filings at the SIPO, which confirms Mark’s insightful observation. Our study involves monthly patent filings at the SIPO from 1986 through 2007, and we compare domestic filings with foreign filings. We find a much stronger surge in December for domestic filings after 2001, when China started to encourage innovation and patenting. Based on the grant rate and first year renewal rate, domestic firm filings made in December after 2001 seem to be of lower validity and lower value. We posit that one plausible explanation of the surge in domestic patenting in December is that domestic firms were under political pressure to meet yearly quotas set by the local governments.

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More on the developing trends in China related to Intellectual Property from the prepared remarks of Teresa Rea, the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for IP, delivered at Fordham Law School on January 28, 2013.

Pop Quiz on Chinese IP

Winter semester is back in session.  How would you fare on this pop quiz on Chinese IP?

True or false:

1.  The first patent filed in the United States by someone from China was by a “subject of the Emperor China,” prior to 1911. (Hint: the answer can be found on this blog)

2. The first bilateral agreement between the United States and China on IP matters was the Treaty of Friendship Commerce and Navigation in 1979.

3.  One of the principal exports of the United States to China was a traditional Chinese medicinal product, and was the subject of an early trade war.

4.  The first case involving imports of infringing copyrighted works into the United States from China occurred in the early 1800’s. (Hint: the answer can be found on this blog)

5.  The Chinese trademark office has been the largest office in the world for over 10 years (in terms of applications).

6.  China has more per capita civil copyright litigation than the United States, and more patents and TM litigation than the US too.

7.  A large share of the IP litigation in China is filed by foreigners. (Hint: the answer can be found on this blog)

8.  China’s property law was enacted years before its intellectual property laws, helping to pave the way for market reform.

9.  China’s State Intellectual Property Office is like the USPTO and grants trademarks too.

10.  China does not have any legal provisions on exports of counterfeit goods that are beyond the bare minima required by the WTO.

Click through for the answers!

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Proposed revisions to SIPO’s examination guidelines published for public comments

SIPO has published proposed revisions to its examination guidelines for public comments.  The proposed revisions address optional substantive examination by examiners of utility model and design patents.  Many industry groups and governments have expressed concern over the rapid growth in UMP’s, and these changes are presumably intended to address this.  Comments are due by March 18.

Privacy and data collection in the PRC

by Paul Jones

China has been working on a form of privacy legislation since 2003, generally based on the European model. Drafts were produced in 2005, but the drafting has not moved forward very quickly. Continue reading