Position Vacancy: USPTO Attaché at US Consulate in Shanghai

A vacancy announcement for the Attorney-Adviser (Intellectual Property Rights) position at the US Consulate in Shanghai, China opened today (10/30/2013) and will close on 11/12/2013.  The job can be viewed on https://www.usajobs.gov  job announcement number:  ITA-FSHR-2014-0001.  The announcement can also be viewed by clicking this link:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/354252100. Continue reading

Huawei/InterDigital Appeal Affirms Shenzhen Lower Court on Standards Essential Patent

One of the hot on-going disputes on IP in China and the world is the relationship between standardization and intellectual property, particularly the role of standards essential patents (SEP’s) when a licensor has undertaken an obligation to license its patents on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis.  Chinese courts have played an important part in this debate.  The most recent skirmish in this area is the case between Huawei and InterDigital Corporation (IDC), which was the subject of a decision of the Shenzhen Intermediate Court and has just now been decided on appeal by the Guangdong High Court.  Continue reading

Design Patent Protection Becomes Available for GUI’s

After several years of discussion, China has decided to provide design patent protection for graphical user interfaces.  Proposed revisions to the patent examination guidelines of SIPO have been placed on the State Council website for public comments, which are due November 22.   SIPO and the State Council Legislative Affairs Office have simultaneously released this draft, which includes an explanation of the reasons for the changes and a redlined copy of the proposed changes to the examination guidelines. Continue reading

China IP Diplomatic Comings and Goings

It has been about one year since I last reported on the foreign IP diplomatic community in China – those individuals who are posted by their respective patent, trademark or copyright offices to China.   This year, I would like once again to introduce some of the changes in that specialized community in China. Continue reading

Software Piracy by the Government: A Tempest in the Tomato Garden?

The Chinese media, including China Radio International, broke the news on October 8 that the website of China’s State Intellectual Property Office (www.sipo.gov.cn) was hosting training materials which appeared to have been prepared with pirated software that was acquired through the notorious “Tomato Garden”  website.  Information on the presentation is available here  – under “author” are the Chinese words “番茄花园” (tomato garden).  The facts were uncovered by a microblogger, and picked up by mainstream publications such as Xinhua.  The “Tomato Garden” website was the subject of a well publicized and successful criminal case which resulted in jail time and fines for illegally distributing software online. Continue reading

US-China Business Council Recommendations for Trade Secret Protection

Trade secrets as defined by the TRIPS Agreement is secret information that has commercial value and is the subject of reasonable steps to protect it (TRIPS Art. 39). Inadequate protection of technical trade secrets, including technologies that may benefit from not being disclosed as a patent, can be a hindrance to the development of innovative companies.  In addition, business  confidential trade secret information, such as client lists, can be immensely valuable to any company. IPR stakeholders not only have to worry about trade secret theft from their activities in China, but the theft of trade secret information from the US for delivery to China also remains a concern. Continue reading