News & Cases from China: August 2021

Published on 28 Sep 2021 | 5 min read

To read News & Cases from China: July 2021, please click here.

 

国家知识产权局发布《专利审查指南修改草案(征求意见稿)》

修改后的专利法已于2021年6月1日起施行,专利法实施细则也正在修改过程中。为在审查实践层面保障对专利法及其实施细则的贯彻落实,国知局对《专利审查指南》中专利法及其实施细则的配套规定部分进行了适应性修改工作。 

此次修改的主要内容包括:

一是外观设计制度完善的相关规定,涉及局部外观设计及图形用户界面产品的申请文件要求和审查标准、外观设计明显区别的审查、外观设计本国优先权、外观设计国际申请的提交及审查程序等;

二是与专利合作条约相关的程序性规定,涉及援引加入、优先权恢复、增加、改正等;

三是专利权期限补偿相关规定,涉及专利授权期限补偿和药品专利期限补偿;

四是专利开放许可相关规定,涉及开放许可声明的提出和撤回、开放许可的登记和公告、开放许可实施合同的生效和备案、费减手续的办理等;

五是药品专利纠纷早期解决机制的无效案件审查相关规定,涉及请求书和证明文件的提交、审查顺序、审查基础、审查状态和结案通知;

六是应对疫情等突发事件的相关规定,涉及不丧失新颖性的宽限期、期限的依职权延长;

七是为了提高审查质量和审查效率的相关规定,涉及实用新型明显创造性的审查、计算机程序的发明专利申请审查、复审和无效程序中的依职权审查、权属纠纷当事人参加无效宣告程序的规定、延迟审查制度的进一步完善、违背诚实信用原则的判断及示例;

八是为了落实“放管服”要求的相关规定,涉及专利权评价报告相关事务、允许彩色附图提交、摘要附图提交方式的简化、强制代理委托的例外、分案申请手续的简化、序列表提交要求的简化等;

九是机构改革相关规定,涉及专利复审委员会表述的适应性修改等。 

http://www.cnipa.gov.cn/art/2021/8/3/art_75_166474.html

 

CNIPA Releases Revised Patent Examination Guidelines (Draft for Comment)

The CNIPA has issued draft revisions to the Patent Examination Guidelines aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the amended Patent Law that came into effect on 1 June 2021.

The main contents of this revision include:

  1. Provisions for the improvement of the industrial design system: (a) the application document requirements and review standards for partial designs and graphical user interface products, (b) the examination of obvious differences in industrial designs, (c) the priority for domestic design patent applications; and, (d) the submission and review procedures of international industrial design applications, etc;
  2. Procedural provisions relating to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, involving invocation and accession, priority restoration, addition, correction, etc.
  3. Provisions on patent term compensation, involving patent authorization term compensation and drug patent term extension.
  4. Provisions on patent open license, involving the proposal and withdrawal of open license declaration, the registration and announcement of open license, the effectiveness and filing of open license implementation contract, the handling of fee reduction procedures, etc;
  5. The relevant provisions on the examination of invalid cases in the early resolution mechanism of drug patent disputes, involving the submission of requests and supporting documents, examination sequence, examination basis, examination status and notice of conclusion;
  6. The relevant provisions on dealing with emergencies such as epidemic situations, involving the grace period without losing novelty and ex officio extension of the time limit;
  7. The relevant provisions to improve the examination quality and efficiency, involving the examination of obvious inventiveness of utility models, the examination of invention patent applications for computer programs, ex officio examination in the reexamination and invalidation procedures, the provisions on the parties to ownership disputes to participate in the invalidation procedures, the further improvement of the delay examination system, and judgments and examples that violate the principle of good faith;
  8. In order to implement the relevant provisions of the requirements of "reforms to streamline administration, delegate power, improve regulation, and upgrade services", it involves matters related to the patent evaluation report, allowing the submission of colour drawings, simplifying the submission method of abstract drawings, exceptions to compulsory agency entrustment, simplifying the divisional application procedures, simplifying the requirements for the submission of sequence tables, etc;
  9. The relevant provisions on institutional reform, involving the adaptive modification of the expression of the Patent Reexamination Board, etc.

 

SPC Issues Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning Application of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (Draft for Comments)

The Supreme People's Court has issued the Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (Draft for Comments) to assist in the determination of civil disputes arising from acts of unfair competition in accordance with the Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Law and the Anti-Unfair Competition law. The deadline for feedback is September 19, 2021.

The main modifications include: an explanation of various key terms including ‘unfair competition’, ‘business ethics’, ‘other operators’, ‘influential signs’, ‘decoration’ and "’forcibly jump link’ in the Anti-Unfair Competition law; clarifies the scope of Article 2; supplements the provisions relating to the protection of commercial signs; and provides guidance as to the application of provisions relation to unfair competition on the Internet.

At the end of the draft, the Supreme Court also clarifies various procedural matters such as jurisdiction and limitation of actions.

 

最高院发布《反不正当竞争法司法解释(征求意见稿)》

为正确审理因不正当竞争行为引发的民事纠纷案件,根据《民法典》《民事诉讼法》《反不正当竞争法》,最高人民法院起草了《最高人民法院关于适用〈中华人民共和国反不正当竞争法〉若干问题的解释(征求意见稿)》,现向社会征求意见,意见反馈截止日期为2021年9月19日。

此次征求意见稿对《反不正当竞争法》的“不正当竞争行为” “商业道德” “其他经营者” “有一定影响的标识” “装潢” “强制进行目标跳转”等名词进行解释。

征求意见稿特别明确互联网不正当竞争行为的类型:针对其他特定经营者实施不兼容、妨碍用户正常使用其他经营者合法提供的网络产品/服务、其他经营者不能通过与第三方合作来消除不兼容的影响等行为构成“恶意不兼容”,属于不正当竞争行为。同时,利用网络技术手段实施违背其他经营者医院并导致合法网络产品/服务无法运行的有悖商业道德的行为属于不正当竞争行为。其次,征求意见稿对“引人误解的商业宣传”进行细化,明确对商品做片面宣传对比、将科学上未定论的观点作为事实进行宣传、适用歧义性语言等行为属于令人误解的宣传。但以明显夸张方式宣传,不足以造成误解的不属于违法宣传。

在征求意见稿最后,最高院还明确了不正当竞争行为的管辖地、诉讼时效等程序性问题。

新闻链接:http://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-318221.html

 

Tianhe Culture Ordered to Pay Compensation of 99.76 Million Yuan (approx. US$ 15.43 Million for Breach of Copyright Collecting Agency Contract)

Tianhe Culture and its subsidiaries are authorised by China Audio-Video Copyright Association(CAVCA), China’s collective management organisation (or copyright collecting or performing right society), to collect karaoke copyright royalties. In November, 2018, CAVCA brought an action against Tianhe Culture in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, claiming that, since the fourth quarter of 2016, it had been embezzling the copyright usage fees through the use of related companies. At the same time it executed its arbitrary dissolution right to terminate its cooperation with Tianhe Culture. 

Tianhe Culture argued that the agreements it had entered into with CAVCA were cooperative agreements in nature, rather than simple entrustment contracts, which meant that CAVCA did not have an arbitrary dissolution right.

On 29 July 2021, the Court delivered its judgment. It held that the agreement between the two parties had been appropriately terminated by CAVCA and that, during the performance of the contract, Tianhe Culture and its subsidiaries had engaged in continuous and malicious breaches, deliberately delaying settlement, intercepting copyright fees, etc., which had serious consequences for CAVCA. In addition to being required to pay the correct copyright fees to CAVCA, Tianhe Culture should bear liability for breach of contract.

 

The Court ordered Tianhe Culture to pay arrears of copyright license fees and interest of 95.3 million yuan (approx. US$ 14.75 million) to CAVCA, interest of 4.13 million yuan (approx. US$ 639,324) due to delayed payment of copyright, and damages for economic loss of 330,000 yuan (approx. US$ 51,084).

 

Schneider Protected its Trademark and Won A Compensation of 3 Million Yuan

施耐德公司商标维权,获赔300万元

施耐德电气(中国)有限公司(下称施耐德中国公司)是“Schneider”“施耐德”中外文商标的权利人,核准使用商品范围包括第9类,电开关、断路器、继电器等商品。杭州东恒电器有限公司(下称东恒公司)曾用名杭州施耐德电器有限公司(下称杭州施耐德公司),2013年8月名称变更为东恒电器有限公司。

施耐德中国公司与2019年发现东恒公司在其经营的网站首页、信息标题等处使用使用 “施耐德” 字样,其等产品链接和产品介绍中使用 “施耐德” 标志。施耐德中国公司认为,东恒公司在明知其行为构成商标侵权的情形下重复侵犯施耐德中国公司商标权,主观恶意明显。故施耐德中国公司诉至朝阳法院,请求法院判令东恒公司立即停止侵权并赔偿其经济损失300万元。东恒公司辩称,涉案网站由第三方公司独立制作、运营,涉案侵权行为系双方2013年经法院调解后未及时整改所致。

朝阳法院认为,东恒公司使用的“施耐德”标志与施耐德公司的商标文字内容一致,构成相同商标。东恒公司系网站的ICP备案单位,应当对网站发布的内容承担责任。因此东恒公司侵犯施耐德公司的商标权,法院判决东恒公司赔偿施耐德中国公司经济损失300万元。

新闻链接:http://www.iprchn.com/cipnews/news_content.aspx?newsId=130613

 

Schneider Awarded Compensation of 3 Million Yuan (approx. US$465,00 ) for Trademark Infringement

In 2019, Schneider Electrics (China) Co., Ltd. (Schneider) became aware that Hangzhou Dongheng Electrics Co., Ltd (Dongheng) was using the word ‘Schneider’ on its website, and the ‘Schneider’ logo in product links and information. Both the word and the logo were registered trademarks belonging to Schneider China. 

Schneider commenced trademark infringement proceedings in the Beijing Chaoyang District Court (Chaoyang Court), seeking an order that Dongheng immediately stop the infringement and pay compensation of three million yuan (approx. US$ 465,000). Dongheng argued first that it was not responsible for the website on which the marks were used - it was independently produced and operated by a third-party company.

Chaoyang Court held that the ‘Schneider’ logo used by Dongheng infringed both Schneider Company’s word and logo marks. Dongheng had an ICP (Internet Content Provider) license in relation to the infringing website, and was responsible for content published on the website. It was therefore responsible for any trademark infringement occurring on the site. The Court ruled that it should pay compensation of three million yuan (approx. US$ 465,000).

 

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