On May 15, 2019, the Zhejiang High People’s Court (the Appellate Court) reversed the trial court decision and found the defendant infringing the plaintiff’s Chinese Patent No. ZL 200880118796.3. The Appellate Court concluded that the term “the luggage strap . . . guided adjustably along the wall of the luggage” does not require the luggage strap to remain in contact with the wall of the luggage because the objective of the patent is to variably divide the inner space by the intermediate plate. Although the Patent Examination Guidelines (2010) state that an objective of the patent, which solves technical problems over prior art, should be in the “Background” section, the Appellate Court relied on the objective disclosed in other sections of the specification. Similarly, in Xiaoping Ren & Jie Sun v. Apple Computer Trading (Shanghai) Co. (2020), the Supreme Court relied on the objective disclosed in the “summary of invention” section to exclude technical solutions that cannot achieve the objective from the scope of the claims.
Following our last blog post, there have been numerous additional developments in the PRC IP space around World Intellectual Property Day. Those developments include the following press conferences and reports on the IP protection condition and identification of certain IP model cases in 2020: Continue Reading The PRC People’s Courts and Governmental Authorities Issue White Papers and Model Cases regarding IP Protection
During the last week, and to mark the World Intellectual Property Day (April 26, 2021), the People’s Court in several jurisdictions held press conferences to summarize the judicial IP protection progress made during 2020 and released lists of noteworthy cases. Some of the announcements made by the courts in key jurisdictions include the following: Continue Reading The PRC People’s Courts Issue White Papers and Model Cases Regarding Judicial IP Protection
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress announced amendments to the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China on April 23, 2019.
The new amendments address three primary issue areas:
- the filing of trademark applications in bad faith without an intent to use;
- the sanctioning of trademark agencies that assist with the filing of trademarks in bad faith; and
- increasing punitive and statutory damages, and clarifying the disposition of infringing goods by the People’s Courts.
This update details the new amendments and offers takeaways for brand owners. Read the full Update.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will be closed from April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019 for the Qingming festival. All official deadlines falling on the above dates will be automatically extended to April 8, 2019.
The Qingming festival, also known as the Tomb-Sweeping Day, is a traditional Chinese festival observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008. During Qingming, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors, and make ritual offerings. Offerings would typically include traditional food dishes, and the burning of joss sticks and joss paper. The holiday recognizes the traditional reverence of one’s ancestors in Chinese culture.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will be closed from February 4, 2019 to February 10, 2019 for the Chinese New Year holiday. All official deadlines falling on the above dates will automatically be extended to February 11, 2019. Accordingly, please instruct your Chinese counsel in advance to ensure timely handling of matters due during this period.
Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar (Lunar calendar). The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival. The festival was traditionally a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day, called Chuxi (除夕), is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will be closed from December 30, 2018 to January 1, 2019 for the New Year holiday. All official deadlines falling on the above dates will be automatically extended to January 2, 2019. Please note that Christmas is not an official holiday in China and the deadlines of CN matters that fall on December 25, 2018 will not be postponed to December 26, 2018. Accordingly, please instruct your Chinese counsel in advance for matters due during this period to ensure timely handling.
A New Year brings new grace for new accomplishments. Wish you all a prosperous New Year.
Michael Mangelson has been IP Attaché at the US consulate in Shanghai since 2014. In this interview, we talk with Michael about what is the US IP attaché program and specifically his role in China.
Aaron Wininger: First off, what is the US IP Attaché program?
Michael: The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché Program works to improve IP systems internationally. The attachés advocate to improve IP policies, laws, and regulations abroad, which benefits the host country as well as U.S. businesses and stakeholders.
Aaron: How about more specifically in China?
Michael: I work closely with U.S. companies on IPR protection and enforcement issues and coordinate with U.S. government agencies and China counterparts to resolve IP concerns, promote U.S. IP policy in China, and encourage effective IP protection and enforcement in China. This includes assisting U.S. businesses on IPR issues in China, advising officials at all levels of the U.S. government on China’s IP system, conducting training activities and advising the Chinese government on U.S. IP law and policy, and helping to secure high IPR standards in trade agreements and China’s laws and monitoring implementation of these provisions.
Last year, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), (now, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA)), announced Administrative Measures for Prioritized Examination (“the Measures”), which took effect as of August 1, 2017. At the anniversary of the measures, we explain how domestic and foreign applicants can use the measures to expedite examination of their patent applications. Continue Reading Expedited Patent Examination in China Without the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)
China promulgated an electronic commerce law on August 31, 2018, effective, January 1, 2019. Of interest to intellectual property rights (IPR) holders, the law makes e-commerce platform operators potentially jointly and severally liable with IP infringers and enables the relevant administrative department (e.g., the China National Intellectual Property Agency (CNIPA)) to fine platform operators up to 2 million RMB (~$291,000) for failure to protect IPR. The law also formalizes a mechanism for IPR disputes on e-commerce platforms. Continue Reading China Promulgates Electronic Commerce Law