IP Compliance Guidelines

The Shanghai Pudong New Area Procuratorate has released China’s first intellectual property rights (IPR) compliance guidelines. The goal is to highlight IPR-related risks and drive the establishment of a robust IP compliance system. IP compliance includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The guidelines distinguish IPR risks according to their level. For example, changes in… Continue reading IP Compliance Guidelines

China Cracks Down on Bad Faith IP Infringement Cases

The Supreme People’s Court of the PRC is emphasizing the need to step up its crackdown on false and bad faith IP litigation. The relevant document is the “Opinions of the OVG on Strengthening the IP Litigation System to Provide Effective Judicial Services and Ensure the Construction of an IP Stronghold”, published on October 29,… Continue reading China Cracks Down on Bad Faith IP Infringement Cases

Intentional and Punitive Damages in IPR Infringement

Punitive damages are applicable in all areas of IPR infringement and have been steadily improving in PRC legislation in recent years. It is also part of the latest Five-Year Plan through the government’s stated goal of establishing a comprehensive IPR infringement compensation system. The Judicial Interpretation of Punitive Damages for Intellectual Property Rights to Punish… Continue reading Intentional and Punitive Damages in IPR Infringement

IP Protection in the Chinese Metaverse

The topic of IP in the metaverse (metaverse) is gaining importance in China. The drivers are the Chinese technology groups, above all Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, ByteDance and NetEase, which are currently racing against each other with massive metaverse trademark applications. Tencent alone has filed around 100 applications. Baidu, for example, has applied for the term Metaapp as a trademark, Alibaba for the trademark Ali Metaverse, and NetEase for the NetEase Metaverse. NetEase Group’s trademark applications… Continue reading IP Protection in the Chinese Metaverse

Fluid Trademarks Can Create Free Space for Counterfeiters

Fluid trademarks appear in different and frequently changing variations, all based on a specific base brand. While they can be a creative way to connect with audiences, brand owners should use this tool with caution. Those who change their visual brand identity frequently can quickly confuse customers. The brand becomes undifferentiated and loses contour, leading… Continue reading Fluid Trademarks Can Create Free Space for Counterfeiters

The New Stamp Duty Law also Reduces the IP Costs

On June 10, 2021, the new Stamp Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国印花税法) was passed by the National People’s Congress. It will reduce or even eliminate the stamp tax previously levied on certain legal documents, licenses or certificates issued by an administrative authority. The new law replaces the previous Transitional Stamp Tax… Continue reading The New Stamp Duty Law also Reduces the IP Costs

Protect Icons with Trademarks and Copyrights

In China, apps now dominate many markets. Their symbols (icons), which should be protected as intellectual property, are becoming correspondingly important. The icon positions an app as a digital service brand and stands for a special value proposition in the virtual space.  Under China’s Trademark Law, app icons can be registered as a trademark as… Continue reading Protect Icons with Trademarks and Copyrights

China Expands IP Legal System

The Chinese government is focusing more on legal certainty in intellectual property and is condensing the network of agencies responsible for IP. Currently, the structure of courts handling IP infringement lawsuits is organized according to the principle of “1 plus 4 plus 22.” Here, the number 1 represents the IP court at the national level,… Continue reading China Expands IP Legal System

Creative Commons and Copyleft: Open-Source Licenses in China

Free open source software is highly popular in China. A recent report by the Chinese think tank China Academy for Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) states that in 2019, 87.4% of Chinese companies had already used open source technologies, and by now the figure is likely to be even higher. Standardized licenses (public copyright licenses),… Continue reading Creative Commons and Copyleft: Open-Source Licenses in China

Market Entry with Strong IP: Not Always Recommended

Western companies are often enthusiastic about their innovative technology and rely on their strong patents to be monetized globally. But what about the company’s own competitive advantage in the Chinese market and in third markets already served by strong-patent Chinese competitors? Does the company have freedom of exercise there, or does it infringe already existing… Continue reading Market Entry with Strong IP: Not Always Recommended