Several sources in China have told me that Yin Xintian 尹新天 , the former Director General of the Law and Treaty Department of the State Intellectual Property Office, passed away this week.
I have known DG Yin for approximately 20 years. We worked closely when I was IP Attaché at the US Embassy in Beijing (2004-2008), and later when I was in private practice and teaching. He was most recently associated with the IP policy consulting arm of the Wanhuida law firm.
There were several matters that we worked on together. DG Yin was the first Chinese official to talk to me about proposals for a national IP strategy, which I believe was an idea that he actively promoted and perhaps first proposed. We talked at length at a conference in Kunming on IP and development, about the national IP strategies of various nations, and how much he believed that a National IP Strategy would help China’s development. This was about 15 years ago. He later invited me to speak twice before the National Strategy Office (NIPSO): once as a foreign diplomat, and a second time as an IP expert.
I also vividly recall a dinner with Judge Rader during those years at SIPO, at which time DG Yin spoke at length with Judge Rader about the significance of recent CAFC opinions, including dissenting opinions and even footnotes.
When I discussed foreign concerns in the proposed 2008 patent law, DG Yin was also quick to suggest that his office, the US Embassy and the Quality Brands Protection Committee host a joint discussion around the various issues of concern. The subsequent meeting was highly successful. His guide to the earlier revisions to the patent law, 新专利法详解, was an important resource on this topic.
Although I disagreed with DG Yin from time to time, he never took ill-informed or indefensible positions. It was for this reason that I also thoroughly supported the choice of DG Yin as the first patent expert on the Chinese side of the US-China IP Cooperation Dialogue, which was proposed by me and continues to be run by the US Chamber of Commerce. He was succeeded by his former colleague, former SIPO Commissioner Gao Lulin, who still serves in that role.
My condolences to his family, his colleagues at Wanhuida, his former colleagues at SIPO, and the many friends and students he has left behind. May his memory be a blessing.