On Wednesday, June 17th at 4:30 PM PST, former Chief Judge Paul Michel (ret.) will be moderating a star-studded panel hosted by Berkeley Law on one aspect of one of the great ironies of this current moment in US-China IP relations: the weakening of the US IP system with respect to patent eligibility and China’s concurrent strengthening in those areas. Judge Michel will be joined by former PTO Director David Kappos, Berkeley Law Professor Robert Merges, Beijing East IP Partner Liaoteng Wang, and Tsinghua Professor Guobin Cui. Liaoteng Wang has recently written an article in anticipation of this event. Information and registration information is available here and here.
The United States-China Intellectual Property Exchange and Development Foundation, of which I am a board member, will be hosting two webinars on pharmaceutical-related IP. The first session focuses on the Phase 1 Trade Agreement including post-filing supplementation of data and patent term extension (June 16, 7 AM PST). The second session focuses on patent linkage (June 17, 7 AM PST). Former Chief Judge Randall Rader and several notable practitioners will be joining the discussions.
On June 16th at 9 AM PST, I will also be speaking along with Jim Harlan of InterDigital on the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) ban on Huawei and its effect on global Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs). This program is sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Standards and Open Source Committee. Non-AIPLA members may join this open event without charge. Call: +1 (347) 991-7204, passcode 251151532, or join the Skype Meeting.
What does the recently released CNIPA document listing “100 Projects in 2020 to Deeply implement the National Intellectual Property Strategy to Accelerate the Construction of the Intellectual Property Powerful Country Promotion Plan” (2020年加快建设知识产权强国推进计划提出 100项具体措施) (the “100 Project List”) (May 28, 2020) add to the discussion around where China is headed on IP?
The projects reveal much more than its lengthy, bureaucratic-sounding title might indicate. There are several themes worth noting:
It is ambitious. It includes doing many things over a short period of time, including reducing patent examination time for “high value” patents to 16 months and trademark examinations to 4 months (Projects 55-56).
China is paying attention to its IP quality vs quantity dilemma. This document calls for ending local subsidies for utility model and design patents, as well as trademark (task 59). It also discusses problems with incentives that are intended to encourage high quality patenting in universities and research institutions, SOE’s, and major government projects (Projects 3, 4, 5, 12, 55, 60 -61, 66, 77-79, 93, 96-97).
There is increased attention to defense patenting. The word “defense” appears 17 times. Defense patenting also occupies a greater role than in prior plans of type (Projects 6-10, 25, 80).
Trade secrets as well as improving the criminal IP process play important roles (Projects 24, 44, 49, 51-54).
We can expect some important developments in plant variety protection (Projects 26, 47, 57, 92).
There is no attention to innovative pharma IP challenges. There are tasks related to generic medicines and traditional Chinese medicine (Projects 38, 73). Patent linkage does not appear in this list of tasks. These omissions could suggest a lack of CNIPA commitment to Phase 1 pharmaceutical IP reforms.
There is a big focus on improving IP-related services (Projects 1, 2, 62, 72, 74, 77, 86).
China reiterates its commitment to plurilateral IP policy (Projects 82, 87).
The drafters are committed to the Phase 1 Agreement. China is also doing a lot more on IP than what the Phase 1 Agreement requires (Projects 24, 49, 51, 83, 87, and others).
Further background: I have been blogging about China’s national IP plans for years now, including in 2014, 2015 , 2016as well as in my discussions on the National IP Strategy. Readers may wish to compare this document with some of the prior strategy documents.
Berkeley Law and Tsinghua law will be co-hosting their Second Annual Conference on Transnational IP Litigation, at the campus of UC Berkeley on October 22, 2019. Details, including registration information, are available here.
The program will look at strategic concerns in many of the hot issues in cross-border US-China IP litigation, including trade secret cases, standards-essential patents, whether foreigners “win” in each other’s jurisdictions, Section 337, criminal cases, on-line enforcement, civil litigation and the role of China’s new IP courts, administrative challenges to validity, forum non conveniens claims, enforcement at trade fairs, and other issues. Please register soon if you are interested in attending.
We have great speakers and we look forward to having a great audience!