IP Developments in Beijing

The newsletter of the Beijing Intellectual Property Institute (www.bipi.org) reports the following related developments in Beijing in its January 2014 edition:

First, due to the rapid increase in IP cases in the Beijing Number 1 Intermediate Court, particularly IP cases involving patent and trademark validity, the Beijing Intermediate Court will split its Intellectual Property Tribunal in two.  The number one IP Tribunal will primarily hear trademarks and unfair competition cases, while the slightly smaller number two IP tribunal will primarily hear patent and copyright cases.

Second, it is also reported that the Beijing courts have been hearing more IP cases, and that their share of the national docket is about 10%.  First instance cases increased from 4,748 cases in 2008 to 11,305 in 2012, and increase of nearly 150%.  Copyright cases represented about half the total.  

It is my hope that this division of the courts will increase expertise and efficiency, as this court likely hears the most foreign IP cases of any court in China.  The reason: foreigners are a small percentage of the total civil IP docket, but a large share of the administrative docket involving appeals from the patent and trademark offices.  

Although Beijing represents “only” 10% of China’s IP docket, it has an outsized influence on foreigners, with the Beijing Intermediate Court likely hearing well over 50% of foreign-related IP cases. 

 Here is a chart of the Beijing IP court system, from the BIPI newsletter:



USPTO China Position Open for Applications

The US Patent and Trademark Office has posted an Attorney Adviser position on Chinese IP matters.  The position is open for applicants now and closes January 30, 2014. 

The position is open to US citizens.  It involves assisting the the Senior Counsel for Policy-China in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA), and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the USPTO.

More specifically, the successful applicant will manages a collection of resources related to intellectual property and innovation issues in China, and will also monitor new developments and conduct on-line research using Chinese and foreign sources.  The position also involves researching, coordinating and supporting analyses of Chinese intellectual property issues by analyzing existing data, developing an effective platform for aggregating IP-related data, and determining where additional data may be needed.

Requirements also include a law degree, a minimum of one year relevant legal experience, the ability to conduct research in Chinese, and experience in conducting data-driven analysis of IP trends in China by analyzing current patent, trademark, and copyright trends in China, Chinese IP trends in the U.S. market, IP acquisitions, and other statistical data.

The specific requirements for the position are found at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/359405600.

Here is a recent speech on USPTO’s activities in China, which mentions its efforts to collect statistical data: http://www.uspto.gov/news/speeches/2013/rea_fordham_china.jsp.



Trademark Law Implementing Regulations Open for Public Comment by SCLAO

Since the Trademark Law was passed last year, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce had solicited comments from trademark agents, experts and other third parties in August and September 2013, and more recently from the full range of affected Chinese government agencies and local governments.  

SAIC has now delivered a draft of the revised Trademark Law Implementing Regulations to the State Council Legislative Affairs Office, which has made a  draft and comments on the draft  available on line in Chinese.   According to the proposed calendar, the final Implementing Regulations will go into effect the same date as the revised Trademark Law (May 1, 2014).   

There is much in the draft that merits further study, including provisions dealing with sound marks, trademark examination, regulation of trademark agents, and third party liability for trademark infringement.   Comments are due by February 10, 2014.