IP Protection in New Areas

Intellectual property protection has always been high on the Chinese agenda. For example, the Made in China 2025 strategy aims to transform Chinese enterprises from manufacturers into owners and creators of intellectual property in the global economy. In September and October 2021, China published the Outline of Building an IPR Powerhouse (2021-2035) and the 14th Five-Year National Plan for the Protection and Use of IPRs.

Under the new national IPR protection policy, China will further improve its IPR protection system at several levels, including the legislative, judicial, and administrative levels. First and foremost, at the legislative level, China will continue to refine existing IPR protection laws and regulations, such as by coordinating the revision and improvement of the Patent Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law, Anti-Monopoly Law, Scientific and Technological Progress Law, E-commerce Law, and other related laws and regulations.

China will also make new breakthroughs. The country will accelerate intellectual property rights legislation in new fields and industries such as Big Data, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, promote the development of data protection projects, conduct studies on data ownership rights, and explore legislation related to data intellectual property protection. The goal here is to meet the protection needs of data for scientific and technological progress, as well as economic and social development.

These efforts will lead to stronger IP protection for foreign companies in China and encourage them to enforce their rights in China. But they can also serve as a weapon for Chinese companies to defend their interests. Chinese companies are increasingly generating high-value IP rights in industries such as telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and Big Data. The quantity and quality of Chinese IP is expected to grow as IP protection is constantly strengthened in new areas. We recommend that foreign companies review and ensure their Freedom to Operate in China. Chinese companies are becoming more protective of their IP rights, and the number of IP lawsuits filed by Chinese companies against foreign competitors will continue to increase.

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