New Developments at Berkeley

There has been a string of exciting developments at Berkeley Law School and the Asian IP Project that I lead.

Several firms have come on board as sponsors of this project, and several more are in the offing.  Via Licensing, a subsidiary of Dolby, has been an active supporter, and released a press release on our planned collaborative projects.  Joe Siino, Via’s Vice President noted, “Our involvement with the Asia IP Project at UC Berkeley helps us fulfill our goal of elevating the level of mutual understanding and trust between leading innovators, companies and policymakers in Asia and the West.”  I look forward to working with Via in the years ahead, including during the upcoming IPBC Global conference in San Francisco in June and in planned seminars on licensing in China.

This April, I will be speaking again at the upcoming Fordham International IP Conference on trade secrets and judicial reform in China on April 5. On April 13, I will be joining the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology in its annual conference with the Berkeley Journal on law and Technology.  The theme for this year is “The Administrative Law of Intellectual Property”.  I will be offering comparative perspectives on China’s use of administrative procedures to develop a system of “IP for the Masses”, which includes low-cost rights and low-cost remedies.

In the upcoming months, Berkeley will be hosting the  IP Scholars Conference, which will have an Asian law component.  We have also proposed a program in the fall on international IP litigation, several roundtables in the US and China (including the US-China IP Cooperation Dialogue), a program on pharmaceutical patent linkage in China and start-ups, continuing discussions and projects around use of empirical data in Chinese IP, and a series of events in late May at Chinese universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan with Prof. Robert Merges.

I will also be offering my Chinese IP class for two credits at Berkeley Law in the fall, where there will be guest lecture opportunities (check out this link when the class schedules are posted).  There are also other planned programs in the works with Chinese law schools.

As we roll out a series of programs, we also continue to host and welcome visitors to the Bay Area.  On March 27, we were privileged to host former SIPO Commissioner Dr. Gao Lulin on a visit to Berkeley.  Dr. Gao’s contributions to the development of China’s IP system have been enormous.

In case you missed it, there have also been several recent programs on Chinese IP that I have been participating in.  I recently  spoke at the Sedona Conference on International Patent Litigation, the University of Texas Advanced Patent Law Institute, as well as Santa Clara’s High Tech Law Institute.

For further information on our Asian efforts at Berkeley Law, contact the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

19th Century US Patent Models On Exhibit in China

I am pleased to see that a long planned project to display US patent models held by the Hagley Museum and Library  in Delaware has now been brought to China.   The exhibit opened in Tsinghua University on March 27, and will continue on to Shenzhen, Shanghai and Wuhan, where it will close on September 24.  The “Spirit of Invention” (发明的精) exhibit is comprised of sixty U.S. patent models, dating from 1836 to 1890. According to the press release,  Hagley and Tsinghua University will complement this presentation with academic symposia, and promotional campaigns connected to each exhibition venue.  Tsinghua’s announcement, excerpted below, is found here.

美国特拉华州哈格利(Hagley)博物馆与图书馆将于2018年3月—9月在中国北京、深圳等地举办 “发明的精神——美国哈格利(Hagley)博物馆与图书馆藏美国19世纪专利模型展(巡)”。本次展览将以实物展览的方式展出美国哈格利(Hagley)博物馆与图书馆收藏的60件1830年至1890年期间的专利模型和1件由乔治·华盛顿总统及其国务卿和司法部长于1797年共同签署的专利批准文件。展品还包括清华大学美术学院的师生团队根据哈格利(Hagley)博物馆的专利模型制作的视频、VR、模型以及图片文字说明,着重讲述发明背后的故事,鲜活再现专利发明的过程以及应用情况。

As China is focusing on “mass innovation”, the announcement notes that this exhibit complements this policy  noting how the patent models for the most part were made by common people in the United States.

 

Update from April 25, 2018: Here’s the Forbes Magazine article on the exhibit.

March 19 – 26, 2018 Updates

1. China Now Number 2 PCT Filer.  China has overtaken Japan to claim second place as a source of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications  in 2017. In 2017, U.S.-based applicants numbered 56,624 PCT, followed by China (48,882) and Japan (48,208). Huawei Technologies (4,024 published PCT applications) and ZTE Corporation (2,965) – occupied the top two spots for PCT applications. They were followed by Intel (2,637), Mitsubishi Electric (2,521) and Qualcomm  (2,163).   Historically Chinese PCT applications have been concentrated in a few companies.

Chinese academic institutions are still minor users of the PCT.   Among the top 25 educational institution filers, there were only three Chinese academic institutions – Shenzhen University (no. 11), China University of Mining and Technology (no. 15) and Tsinghua (no. 19).

Computer technology (8.6% of the total) overtook digital communication (8.2%) to become the field of technology with the largest share of published PCT applications. These two fields were followed by electrical machinery (6.8%) and medical technology (6.7%)

2. China’s premier pledges market opening in bid to avert trade war On the heels of the Section 301 Report, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reiterated pledges to ease access for American businesses, at the news conference following the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Li also said at a conference that included global chief executives that China would treat foreign and domestic firms equally, would not force foreign firms to transfer technology and would strengthen intellectual property rights. Another Vice Premier, Han Zheng,  made similar remarks at the China Development Forum.  Han said that China needs to “open even wider to the outside world,” and would do so via its Belt and Road Initiative.

According to Wall Street Journal citing unidentified source, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listed steps they want China to take in a letter to Liu He, a newly appointed vice premier who oversees China’s economy. The United States asked China to cut a tariff on U.S. autos, buy more U.S.-made semiconductors and give U.S. firms greater access to the Chinese financial sector. The article also reported that China and the U.S. have quietly started negotiating to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets.