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China IP Highlights: January 2021 (Issue 4)

Published on 27 Jan 2021 | 6 minute read

IP News


Beijing Higher People's Court Issued the 2020 Work Report

Date: 2021-01-25

On January 25, the President of the Beijing Higher People's Court issued the 2020 Work Report (the “Report”) at the fourth session of the 15th People's Congress of Beijing. According to the Report, the Beijing Courts received 839,175 new cases and concluded 836,514 cases.

In 2020, the Beijing Courts committed to actively promoting innovation-driven developments and playing a major role in intellectual property trials to stimulate innovation. They have also successfully concluded a total of 68,327 intellectual property cases. The Beijing Courts will further strive to improve the level of judicial protection, formulate guidelines for adjudication of damages for the infringement of intellectual property rights, improve the mechanism for the judicial determination of damages for infringement damages, and raise the standard of damages in accordance with the law. For this purpose, the Beijing Internet Court has created a world-leading Internet litigation platform to further the judicial protection of intellectual property rights.



CNIPA Issued the 2020 Intellectual Property Statistics

Date: 2021-01-22

Recently, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”) published its 2020 intellectual property statistics in its first quarter press conference, which are as follows:

  • Patents - The CNIPA granted a total of 530,000 invention patents, 2,377,000 utility model patents and 732,000 design patents. By the end of 2020, China's domestic invention patents (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) effectively amounted to 2.123 million patents.
  • Trade Marks – The CNIPA allowed a total of 5.761 million trade mark registrations and received 7,553 applications for international trade marks under the Madrid System from domestic applicants.
  • Geographical Indications – The CNIPA received 10 applications for geographical indication protection. They have also granted approval for the protection of six geographical indication products, 1052 enterprises for the use of geographical indications, and the registration of 765 geographical indication trade marks.
  • Integrated Circuit Layout Design – In 2020, integrated circuit layout design registration applications increased by 72.8% to a total of 14,375 applications. A total of 11,727 certificates were issued, a 77.3% increase from the previous year.
  • In terms of IPR protection and application, in 2020, the national IPR administration handled over 42,000 administrative patent infringement disputes.



CNIPA Issued the 2020 Major Trade Mark Statistics

Date: 2021-01-11

Recently, the Trade Mark Office of the CNIPA issued major trade mark statistics for provinces, cities and counties for the fourth quarter of 2020, including the number of trade mark applications and registrations for each province, as well as for administrative regions at the provincial, municipal and county levels, along with the number of applications and registrations for collective trade mark and certification trade marks in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the Central Government.

According to the statistics, the total number of trade mark applications in China in 2020 reached 9.116 million, a 20.23% increase compared to 2019, and the number of valid registered trade marks was 28,393,188. Among the provinces, Guangdong Province ranks first with 1,755,995 trade mark applications and 1,079,852 trade mark registrations. Among the various categories of trade marks, Class 35 had the highest number of trade mark applications with over 2 million applications. For collective trade marks and certification trade marks, Jiangsu Province ranked first with 1,273 applications and 1,365 registrations.



NCAC Issued the Copyright Protection Achievements during the 13th Five Year Plan Period

Date: 2021-01-15

Recently, the National Copyright Administration issued significant achievements of  copyright work in China during the period from 2016 to 2020, which are as follows:

  1. The copyright legal system has been improved and the third revision of the Copyright Law has been completed. Relevant regulations have been issued to continuously improve the legal basis for copyright work.
  2. The copyright law enforcement system has been improved, including the supervision of online copyright and promotion of copyright law enforcement. Supervision and handling of major cases has strengthened, along with the carrying out of inspections and promotion of social governance. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, copyright administrative law enforcement departments across the country investigated and handled more than 13,000 copyright infringement and piracy cases and seized more than 1,000 infringing products. More than 40 million infringing and pirated products of all types were seized.
  3. The continuous development on the development of the legal system governing software. From 2016 to 2019, the average annual growth of software copyright registrations was 51.26%, and the average annual growth of software business revenue was 14.4%
  4. Both the copyright social service system and copyright registration system has been improved, along with the standardisation and informatisation of copyright registration work. New progress has been made in the construction of national copyright trading centers and trade bases, and pilot work on national copyright innovation and development bases has been carried out. There has also been improvement on the national copyright exhibition authorisation trading system and the establishment of a government-led copyright publicity system.
  5. Foreign-related copyright exchanges and cooperation continue to deepen with the promotion of a new type of multilateral and bilateral copyright relationship with win-win cooperation as its core. There has also been active participation in the formulation of international copyright rules and improvement in the level of foreign-related copyright protection and foreign-related copyright publicity.



Case Spotlight


First Instance Anti-Unfair Competition Case between Tiktok and Shuabao

Date: 2021-01-16

Bytedance filed an anti-unfair competition lawsuit against Beijing Chuangrui Media (“Chuangrui”) for the illegal copying of short videos and comments from Bytedance’s Douyin onto its Shuabao app.

The Beijing Haidian People’s Court held that Bytedance, as the developer and operator of Douyin, invested labour and financial resources to attract users to publish, watch, comment and share short videos through proper and lawful operation. The short videos and comments displayed on Douyin are legitimate business activities of Bytedance and such legitimate rights and interests shall be protected by the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. Secondly, Chuangrui did not operate its app normally to attract users, establish a competitive advantage and obtain business benefits in a legal manner. Instead, Chuangrui directly uses technical and manual means to obtain the short videos and comments Bytedance relies on for business and profit. Without investing corresponding costs, Chuangrui competed with Bytedance for traffic and users, weakening Bytedance’s competitive advantage and damaging its legitimate rights and interests. The court held that this type of behaviour violated the principal of good faith and recognised business ethics, constituting as unfair competition.

The Court granted an injunction and ordered Chuangrui to compensate Bytedance for the economic loss of RMB 5 million.



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Principal, Managing Partner at Lusheng Law Firm (Rouse’s strategic partner)
+86 10 8632 4000
Principal and Head of Shanghai Litigation Group at Lusheng Law Firm (Rouse's strategic partner)
+86 21 3251 9966
Principal, Managing Partner at Lusheng Law Firm (Rouse’s strategic partner)
+86 10 8632 4000
Principal and Head of Shanghai Litigation Group at Lusheng Law Firm (Rouse's strategic partner)
+86 21 3251 9966