Author Archives

Mark Cohen (柯恒)

Mark Allen Cohen (柯恒} is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a Guest Professor at Renmin University, China. He has served as the Senior Counsel, China for the USPTO. Formerly, he was Director of International Intellectual Property Policy at Microsoft Corporation. Prior to that time he was Of Counsel to Jones Day's Beijing office. Before then, he served as Senior Intellectual Property Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and as Attorney-Advisor in the Office of International Relations at USPTO. In total, he has nearly 30 private, public sector, in house and academic experience on IPR issues in China. This is his private blog. This blog represents the opinions of the author(s) only, and should not be construed as the position of any employer, client, or other party, including (and especially) the US government.

China Responds to EU Article 63 Request

On September 7, 2020, China responded to the EU Article 63 request. The one-page Chinese response repeats the position taken by China in 2006, that Article 63 only affords an opportunity for a member to make a transparency request of another member.  As China notes in its response, “there is no such obligation under the TRIPS Agreement for China to respond.” This position repeats the position taken by China that “the TRIPS Agreement only refers to a Member’s right to request information, but there is no mention of a corresponding obligation of the requested Member to actually follow the request.” (Para. 8, P/C/W/465, Jan. 23, 2006). As this prior Article 63 response appears to be the template for some elements of the current response, I have inserted it below. The Chinese responses might be understood as rejecting a teleological interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement to effectuate its purposes, or one based on the good faith of the parties, as it is difficult to conceive of the reason for a treaty provision that offers an opportunity to make an inquiry of another country, but does not require that country to respond. The response also ignores the significant developments in case law in China in recent years.

Reviewing Recent Literature on the WTO and Antitrust in IP

Two books, China and the WTO: Why Multilateralism Still Matter (Mavroidis and Sapir), and Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism (Zhang) consider trade and competition law aspects of the U.S.-China trade dispute.  They discuss the treatment of state-owned enterprises under international trade and domestic competition law rules.  They also discuss IP-specific issues, particularly forced technology transfer by or for the state and the control of abusive technology licensing practices, including the licensing of standards essential patents and China’s discriminatory Administration of Technology Import/Export Regulations (“TIER”), which has since been amended.  The books and article are part of several academic and popular discourses on the disruptive and unpredictable policy agenda of the Trump administration, which also provide cautionary roadmaps for future engagement – or confrontation – with China.