Covert Brand Purchasing as an IP Protection Strategy

One does not always have to take legal action to combat a potentially dangerous opposing brand. One option is also to buy this trademark covertly via a middleman function and thus eliminate the threat potential.  The following case from practice: A German mechanical engineering company, which is very successful in China, discovered that there was… Continue reading Covert Brand Purchasing as an IP Protection Strategy

New Year, New Guidance Documents: China Improves IP Protection

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released information on the implementation of the Opinions on Strengthening Intellectual Property Protection (关于强化知识产权保护的意见) in late October 2022. They explain how amendments to the 2021 Patent Law will be implemented in practice. In addition, CNIPA aims to complete the revision and concretization of the Patent Law Implementation Rules… Continue reading New Year, New Guidance Documents: China Improves IP Protection

Security, Science and Technology

Political speeches and documents are known to provide valid clues to future developments in the PRC. Analysts therefore try to extract priorities and orientations from the phraseology, word choice, and frequency of terms related to the 20th Party Congress. In doing so, they also take into account minor changes in phrases that have appeared at… Continue reading Security, Science and Technology

Establishment of Corporate IP Compliance

In the context of building a dual circulation system and creating a unified domestic market, China is guiding all enterprises to strengthen their compliance management to prevent business risks at home and abroad, promote modernization and transformation, and improve competitiveness. The compliance system is to cover areas such as market transactions, environment, human resources, finance,… Continue reading Establishment of Corporate IP Compliance

NFT Copyright Infringement in China

The protection of intellectual property rights in non-fungible tokens (NFT) is an important element in the process of distribution and trade of digital works. There is now a first case on this in China. In April 2022, the Hangzhou Internet Court held a public hearing on the first NFT infringement case in China. The plaintiff… Continue reading NFT Copyright Infringement in China

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