New National Standards Proposed for IP Management by Higher Ed and Research Institutions

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On June 30, the State Intellectual Property Office posted a draft for comment of proposed national recommended standards for  Intellectual Property Management for Research and Development Organizations and  Intellectual Property Management for Higher Education.  Comments should be submitted before July 28, 2015.  The final recommended standards are to be adopted by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).  The drafts were prepared by SIPO, the Research Institute of SAC and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (for R&D), and the Ministry of Education (for higher education).

The R&D provisions are intended to govern national and local R&D institutions, as well as organizations which they have invested in and established (Art.1) and can be used for reference by other R&D institutions.

R&D organizations should have internal materials on their operations, including such matters as protecting trade secrets (Art. 6.4 of the R&D Standard), requiring staff working on core technologies to sign post departure IP agreements or non-compete agreements, rules for disclosure of IP-related information in scholarly materials including theses and dissertations, and procedures for IP-related contracts.  Relatively simple rules for licensing (8.2.1) are set forth, which include: due diligence before licensing, confirming the effectiveness of the IP, and drafting of a written contract.  Strategies for joining IP “alliances” are also mandated (8.3)

The Higher Education standard encompasses all types of higher educational institutions, including those who recruit students from the national entrance exams.  It also covers all types of faculty, including full-time faculty and visiting faculty.  It sets up an organizational structure for managing intellectual property within a university.   Rewards are mandated for those who make a significant contribution, although specific amounts are not set forth (6.1.2).

Specific provisions are also made for creation of copyrighted works in the humanities and social sciences when works are made for hire (7.2)

Although these standards are general in nature, foreign entities may wish to become familiar with these standards when they enter collaborative research projects with Chinese institutions.  In addition, the standards can help to inform visiting foreign faculty and students of their host institution’s expectations regarding IP.  These procedures. once final, can also serve as useful reference materials for privately funded R&D efforts.

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