The 2021 Government Work Report (the “Report”) was delivered in the 4th session of the 13th National People's Congress. The Report is divided into three parts: (i) a review of the work undertaken in 2020; (ii) achievements in the 13th Five Year Plan Period and key objectives and tasks for the 14th Five Year Plan Period; and (iii) major tasks to be undertaken in 2021.
The Report outlines the following objectives on the promotion of scientific and technological innovation: strengthening science and technology for national strategic support, promoting the construction of national laboratories, and improving the layout of scientific and technological projects and innovation centres. The PRC Government will also implement research projects for core technologies, further plan for the "Science and Technology Innovation 2030 Agenda", reform the implementation of major science and technology projects, and extend competitive mechanisms to key areas. The Report supports the construction of international and regional science and technology innovation centres in areas with conditions to do so and enhance the role of institutions such as national innovation demonstration zones. The Report also outlines the development of disease prevention and control and science and technology for well-being, promote open cooperation in science and technology, and strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights. Basic research is the source of scientific and technological innovation, so the PRC Government will improve funding mechanisms and increase investment in the area. Central government spending on basic research will increase by 10.6%, and implement policies to expand funding, improve mechanisms for assessment and evaluation, which will reduce the burden of scientific researchers.
In March 2020, Beijing, Hebei, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei, Guangdong, Shenzhen and eight other regions were identified as the first batch of pilot regions to carry out administrative adjudication of patent infringement disputes. In order to demonstrate the leadership of the models, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”) and the Ministry of Justice selected 13 national typical experiences and practices in the construction of administrative adjudication of patent infringement disputes based on reports and recommended milestones in various regions of the country, which is as follows:
- Beijing has formed a "joint oral trial" mechanism for patent infringement and confirmation of rights to enhance the efficiency of administrative adjudication, and has taken the lead in exploring the establishment of a technical investigation officer system to accurately identify technical facts;
- Hebei Province has refined and promoted the "5421" working method to significantly enhance administrative adjudication; the city of Shijiazhuang established a "vertical and horizontal" administrative adjudication mechanism, giving full play to the advantages of efficient and speedy administrative protection;
- Shanghai established a judicial confirmation system for the administrative mediation of patent infringement, extending the depth of administrative protection of intellectual property rights;
- Jiangsu Province formulated and issued administrative enforcement regulations, refining the rules of procedure for administrative patent adjudication;
- Zhejiang Province established an "administrative judicial" system for patent infringement disputes; Ningbo City established a joint case handling mechanism involving law enforcement teams to strengthen case investigation and collection of evidence;
- Hubei Province has promoted the "four enhancements" method to build a high-quality administrative adjudicative team;
- Guangdong Province strengthened the administrative adjudication mechanism combining investigation, evidence collection and professional support; the city of Zhongshan will be building a diversified "one-stop" dispute resolution platform for administrative adjudication cases;
- Shandong Province will innovate the "1+5" mechanism to improve the efficiency in adjudicating patent administrative cases;
- Shenzhen City will promote legislation on intellectual property rights protection and create a mechanism for patent infringement disputes.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”) has issued a notice approving the implementation of geographical indication protection for EU products. The first batch of products on the mutual recognition and protection list recommended by the European Commission include Cyprus fishtail chrysanthemum wine, Czech Bujejovice beer, Munich beer, Danish blue cheese, Irish whiskey, Feta cheese, Cava, Armagnac, Tokaj wine and Modena balsamic vinegar, and will enjoy a high level of protection in China under the China-EU Geographical Indications Agreement (“China-EU GI Agreement”).
The European Commission previously issued a communiqué on 9 February 2021 confirming that the China-EU GI Agreement came into force in the EU on 1 March 2021 and the first batch of 100 Chinese products will also obtain GI protection in the EU on the same date. Up to now, 110 Chinese geographical indications have been protected in Europe and 134 EU geographical indications have been protected in China through individual applications, mutual recognition pilot projects and mutual protection agreements between China and Europe. The CNIPA issued a notice on the recognition of geographical indications, marking a solid step forward in the implementation of the China-EU GI Agreement.
In the next four years, China will work with the EU to promote the technical preparation of the second batch of products in the "175+175" list for mutual recognition and protection.