Action Plan for Further Implementation of the National IP Strategy (2014-2020) Approved

According to a Chinese Government website, on  December 29, the State Council reviewed and approved the Action Plan for Further Implementation of the National IP Strategy (2014-2020) (Action Plan). The Outline of the National IP Strategy (NIPS) had been implemented for 6 years.  Premier Li Keqiang, and SIPO Commissioner Shen are quoted in the this brief summary.

Chinese authorities have pointed to three key aspects of the NIPS Action Plan:

A.  First, to “Strive to Build A Strong IPR Country”  (努力建设知识产权强国).

B.  To improve IP utilization and protection (知识产权运用和保护).

C.  Practical new steps are to be announced, including plans to promote the development of IP intensive industries (知识产权密集型产业发展).  This  includes greater coordination amongst various branches of national and local government.  Interestingly, and perhaps of greater concern, it also includes “strengthening patent pilot projects,  joint utilization of patents and collective management of patents… to strengthen the competitive advantages of industries.” (强化专利导航、专利协同运用、专利集群管理等工作…增强产业竞争优势).

Here is how I read the tea leaves on this announcement:

First, the references to China becoming an IP “strong country” , and not merely an IP “big country” is a new concept in the NIPS, and likely reflects the observations and approaches of former Commissioner Tian Lipu.  In fact, many observers believe that too much patenting, particularly patenting of a low quality, can be harmful to innovation. I have often noted in this blog that patent quality is a continuing negative side effect of China’s metric-driven approaches to innovation.  In addition, innovation is largely a local phenomenon – China’s efforts to become a strong innovative country this time will also include programs to make strong IP provinces and cities in China.

Second, the reference to IP utilization directly quotes the negotiated language of the Third Plenum and its commitment to “Strengthen the Utilization and Protection of IP” (加 强知识产权的运用和保护).  This was also something that former Commissioner Tian discussed as a positive outcome of that meeting.

Third, the reference to IP intensive industries is new to China’s strategic planning, and, as noted by Commissioner Shen, reflects the influence of the influential US government  2012 report on Intellectual Property and the US Economy.   Reference is also made by Commissioner Shen to IP intensive industries being low on resource demands and low polluting.

The legislative basis for the National IP Strategy is the China Science and Technology Promotion Law (Dec 2007).  Article 7 of that law provides that China will establish a NIPS, in order to promote innovation, encourage indigenous innovation (激励自主创新), and raise the utilization protection and management of IP.  This 2007 law was famous for codifying the concept of indigenous innovation, which elicited considerable concern at the time over potential discrimination against the foreign technology community.  This Action Plan introduces several new and useful concepts which, if implemented fairly, will benefit foreign and domestic investors alike.

 

 

UK Concludes Week of IP Activities in China

Both the United States and the UK just recently concluded a week of activities on IP issues.  Here’s a summary of the UK activities:

Baroness Neville-Rolfe,  the UK Minister for IP, led a large delegation and series of activities that covered 8 cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Hong Kong) in 4 days. The delegation attended the 2nd UK-China IP Symposium in Beijing, which was attended by 180 companies from the UK and China, as well as a High Court judge, and officials from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO).  SIPO Commissioner Shen Changyu opened the Beijing program.

The speech by Baroness Neville Rolfe is worth reading. It emphasizes some of the science and technological cooperation between China and the UK, including scientific citations and the Newton Fund for further developing science and technological cooperation. The speech also talks about joint criminal enforcement and other cooperative efforts, as well as how “good collective licensing can contribute hundreds of millions to the economies of both the UK and China.”  Minister Rolfe also highlighted four areas where UK businesses thought that worked well in China: border detentions by China Customs; sophisticated judgments in the Chinese courts; enforcement of IP rights at trade fairs in China and the transparency and openness to stakeholder input during recent legislative reforms

Agreements were also signed, including between the China Britain Business Council with Alibaba Group, covering IP protection on the Alibaba and Taobao sites, and between the UK Copyright Licensing Agency and the China Written Works Copyright Society on collective licensing cooperation.

The program also included extensive government to government meetings at the central and provincial/municipal level, including a bilateral with State Councillor Wang Yong which made the CCTV1 evening news.

Follow these links to the UK government news report, and to the British Chamber news report.

Last week, the United States hosted the bilateral JCCT IPR Working Group in Washington, DC.  The Ministry of Commerce also hosted a bilateral cooperation forum.  More on the forum in my next blog.

Thanks to Tom Duke, the UK’s IP Attache in Beijing for pointing out these UK activities to me!

State Council Legislative Affairs Office Releases NCA Draft of Copyright Law for Public Comment

On June 6, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO) released the entire draft and explanation  of the copyright law revision that had previously been submitted by the  National Copyright Administration (NCA) to the SCLAO for public comment.

This presumably is the draft that had been submitted to the SCLAO in late 2012, although no public comment period was offered for this revision at that time.

After State Council review and draft it has cleared will of course need to be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress for its consideration.

The immediately prior draft had received over 1800 comments when NCA made it available for public comment.   See: https://chinaipr.com/2012/04/03/nca-releases-draft-of-proposed-amendments-to-the-copyright-law-for-comment/; https://chinaipr.com/2012/06/10/who-is-commenting-on-the-copyright-law-revisions/).

Overall, this is likely a welcome effort to move along what some had perceived as a stalled drafting effort.

Comments on this draft are due at the State Council by July 5, 2014.  The weblink for the draft and explanation of the draft is: http://www.chinalaw.gov.cn/article/cazjgg/201406/20140600396188.shtml.