On 1 June 2021, a number of new intellectual property laws, regulations and national standards have officially come into effect. The following provides a brief summary of the new laws, regulations and standards:
In late 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (the “NPCSC”) approved the fourth amendment to the PRC Patent Law (the “Amended Patent Law”). The Amended Patent Law establishes a punitive damages system and increases the maximum threshold for statutory damages. In addition, the Amended Patent Law improves the system for service inventions and establishes a open-licensing scheme for patents. Finally, the Amended Patent Law establishes a patent term extension and a patent linkage system for pharmaceutical patents.
In late 2020, the NPCSC passed the third amendment to the PRC Copyright Law (the “Amended Copyright Law”). The Amended Copyright Law includes the following key changes: 1) a new punitive damages system; and 2) wording changes in relation to types of works (e.g. ‘film works and works created in a method similar to film making’ have been changed to ‘audio-visual works’).
The Patent Navigation Guide (GB/T39551-2020) drafted by the CNIPA was approved on 9 November 2020. The Patent Navigation Guide sets out national standards and consists of seven parts, covering general provisions, regional planning, industrial planning, business operations, R&D activities, talent management and service requirements.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology formulated the ‘Administrative Measures for Industrial Internet Labels’ in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and rules. The Administrative Measures contains 20 articles, covering the system architecture, institutional management, service management, network security management and protection of user information for industrial internet labels.
The Intellectual Property Protection and Management of E-Commerce Platforms was drafted by the CNIPA with the joint participation of multiple departements. The national standards cover e-commerce platform management, e-commerce network information platform requirements, organization of intellectual property management and conformance testing requirements, which are applicable to the release, construction, operation and management of e-commerce platforms.
In accordance to the PRC Patent Law and other relevant laws, regulations and rules, the CNIPA has issued the Administrative Adjudication Measures for Major Patent Infringement Disputes. The Measures are mainly used to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, maintain fair competition in the market, and effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of patentees and the public in respect of administrative adjudication cases involving patent disputes with great influence.
On 1 June 2021, the Top 100 Most Valuable Brands in the World in 2020, jointly produced by the China Trade mark Association and the Information Analysis and Research Center of Renmin University of China, was published.
According to the list, most of the top ten seats are occupied by United States companies. Among them, Apple ranked first with a brand value of US$291.126 billion, followed by Amazon and Google with a brand value of US$239.51 billion and US$228.329 billion.
The average ranking of Chinese companies on the list has improved in 2020 compared to 2019, with a rise of 9 places to 55th place. The total brand value of Chinese brands has also increased significantly. The total value of Chinese brands on the list in 2020 is US$258.426 billion compared to US$228.843 billion in 2019.
In regards to industry composition, the distribution of Chinese companies in the 2020 list has remained stable and the brand value of companies in various industries has shown an overall upward trend. Chinese brands listed come from the telecommunications services, regional banking, science and technology, energy and alcohol industries, among others.
From 2013 to 2020, the number and brand value of Chinese technology brands on the list have grown the fastest out of all industries. In the 2020 list, the top three Chinese brands, Tencent, Alibaba and Huawei, all come from the technology sector.
On 3 June 2021, the "White Paper on AI Development 2021" prepared by the Shenzhen Artificial Intelligence Industry Association (the “White Paper”), was released during the 2nd Shenzhen International Artificial Intelligence Exhibition in 2021.
The White Paper highlights that the number of Chinese AI patent applications currently rank first worldwide. By the end of 2020, Chinese AI enterprises have applied for 551,300 patents and registered more than 120,000 software copyrights. In terms of field distribution, main innovations in the AI industry include the internet of things, big data, cloud computing and smart chip enterprises. At the technical level, the number of patents and software works applied by computer vision enterprises has exceeded 10,000. In terms of application layer, smart robots, smart terminals, public safety, smart vehicles and smart manufacturing enterprises lead in the number of patent and software copyright applications. Among them, statistics from smart robot and smart terminal enterprises are particularly outstanding, as their patent and software copyright applications account for more than 10% of the total number of patents and software copyrights of AI enterprises.