Legislative Roundup, and a Roundtable on the New Civil Procedure Law

Here are some recent legislative developments:

On January 24, 2023, the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology will be hosting a roundtable discussion on a draft of proposed amendments to China’s Civil Procedure Law (Dec. 27, 2022).   Registration is here.  Speakers include me, Wei Changhao (Yale Law School),  Prof. Susan Finder (Peking University), Vivienne Bath (University of Sydney), and others.  The proposed draft contains numerous provisions that will affect cross-border litigation, including service of process, recognition of foreign judgments, forum non-conveniens, and the handling of jurisdictional conflicts.

On January 18, 2023, The Supreme People’s Court released a new Judicial Interpretation on criminal intellectual property matters for public comment. Comments are due March 5, 2023.

On January 13, 2023, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) began soliciting public opinions regarding the draft revision to the China Trademark Law. Comments are due at CNIPA by February 27, 2023. The proposed draft contains numerous provisions addressing bad-faith trademark prosecution.

On December 21, 2022, AIPLA commented on the SAMR draft of proposed revisions to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (Nov. 22, 2022). 

On December 19, 2022, AIPLA commented on proposed revisions to CNIPA’s patent examination guidelines (Oct. 31, 2022). IPO also submitted comments.

On December 24, 2021, China also enacted amendments to its Seeds Law to enhance the protection of plant varieties.  The NPC Observer has a brief description of those amendments here. The implementing regulations for plant variety protection are now under review for amendment (Nov. 21, 2022).

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act of 2022. was signed into law by President Biden on January 6, 2022. The law authorizes the President to impose sanctions against foreign persons found to have stolen US trade secrets.

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission also proposed banning non-compete agreements, with public comments due March 10, 2023.  If adopted in its current form for highly skilled employees that have access to employer confidential information, the rule could have serious adverse consequences by banning all non-compete agreements, anywhere in the world. Where legal, non-competes are particularly useful in foreign countries that do not permit discovery in civil proceedings and thereby significantly inhibit the likelihood of success in a trade secret case.

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