China IPR

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!

  1. True.  In 1908, Dr. Jin Fuey Moy was the first Chinese national (“subject of the Emperor of China”) to file a patent on an enhanced nutcracker for chestnuts (“attachment for nutcrackers”, USPN 883, 558).
  2. False, the first agreement was in 1903 between the United States and China.
  3. True, exports of American ginseng in the 1700s began to flood the Chinese markets and put an end to the centuries old Korean monopoly of ginseng in China, beginning  a “trade war” in the 1730s.   One of the first exports of the newly independent United States to China was aboard the Empress of China and consisted of 30 tons of wild North American ginseng.  As with Chinese people, North American ginseng had been used by Native Americans for its healing properties.
  4. True, a Philadelphia merchant ordered 99 copies of a portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart to be made onto glass in China, in the port of Canton where reverse glass paintings were imported in the US in the 18th and 19th centuries. Gilbert Stuart later sued Sword in the early 1800s for copyright infringement.
  5. True.
  6. True.
  7. False, foreign litigants only file 2.2% of civil IP cases in China (2011).
  8. False, the Property Law of the People’s Republic of China was adopted by the National People’s Congress in 2007, decades after the Patent Law was enacted (1984).
  9. False, as a rights granting agency, China’s SIPO only grants patents, which include utility model patents, design patents and invention patents, as well as semiconductor layout design rights.  Trademark registrations are administered by the CTMO (the China Trademark Office) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
  10. False.  The TRIPS Agreement only specifically requires border measures on imported counterfeit and pirated imports.  China has provisions in its Customs regime to seize infringing goods of various types (including patents) on exports.  (See TRIPS Articles 51, 60).    See also the video with Jackie Chan which explains most of this.

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