China Remained the Top PCT Filer in 2021
Date: 10 February 2022
According to data released by WIPO on 10 February, the number of international patent applications submitted by Chinese applicants through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2021 reached 69,500, a year-on-year increase of 0.9%. China ranked first in the number of applications filed for the third consecutive year. For the fifth year in a row, Huawei topped the list of applicants. In 2021, Chinese applicants submitted 73,100 international trademark applications through the Madrid system, ranking third in the world after the United States and Germany.
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the total number of PCT international patent applications continued to grow in 2021, with a year-on-year increase of 0.9%, which is a record high. The top five filing countries were China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Thirteen Chinese companies, including Huawei, OPPO, BOE, and ZTE, entered the Top 50 global PCT international patent applicants list, and 19 universities, including Zhejiang University and Tsinghua University, entered the Top 50 list of educational institutions filing PCT Applications.
China Joins WIPO's Hague System and the Marrakesh Treaty
Issue Date: 5 February 2022
Promulgation Date: 5 May 2022
China formally submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) accession documents to the Hague Agreement and the Marrakesh Treaty. The Hague Agreement and the Marrakesh Treaty will both come into force in China on 5 May 2022.
The Hague Agreement is an international treaty on intellectual property rights related to the international registration of industrial designs. The Hague System enables applicants to register a design in multiple countries by filing one application. China’s entry into the system will not only help domestic designers protect and promote their designs overseas more conveniently and cost effectively, but also make it easier for foreign designers to enter the Chinese market.
The Marrakesh Treaty, an international treaty intended to facilitate access to published works by persons who are blind, visually impaired, or have other print disabilities such as dyslexia, is the world's first and only law human rights treaty in the copyright realm. China's entry into the Treaty will not only bring more opportunities for the blind and visually impaired in China to obtain copyright works but will also facilitate the cross-border flow of accessible Chinese works.
The Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court Issues its Annual Report 2021
Date: 28 February 2022
The Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court has released its ‘2021 Tribunal Annual Report’, which summarises the Tribunal’s work and results for the year.
In 2021, the Intellectual Property Court strengthened the judicial protection of intellectual property rights in key areas, including core technologies and emerging industries, by focusing on appeal cases related to patent and other technical intellectual property and antitrust laws.
The report notes that in 2021, a total of 5,238 technical intellectual property and antitrust cases (4,335 newly received) were accepted, and 3,460 cases were concluded, with a settlement ratio of 79.8%. Compared to the same period in 2020, the number of newly received cases increased by 1,158, a growth rate of 36.4%; the number of decided cases increased by 673, a growth rate of 24.1%. In addition, each judge decide, on average, 83.5 cases during the year, a year-on-year increase of 1.2%.
Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) Sues Three Companies for Unfair Competition in Providing Ghostwriting Services
Date: 25 February 2022
Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle platform, with a reputation as a trusted source of product recommendations and reviews, has announced that it is filing a lawsuit against three content publication platforms and multi-channel network (MCN) institutions, including Yunmeiyi, Qunliang, and Shengshi Qilin. These platforms all engage people to produce fraudulent content such as fake reviews, which are published on Xiaohungshu’s platform. Xiaohongshu alleges that this service is damaging the ecology and reputation of the Xiaohongshu platform and harming the rights and interests of users, and that it constitutes unfair competition. It is requiring the three institutions to immediately stop their false promotion and compensate it for economic loss. This is not the first time Xiaohongshu has filed a lawsuit against this type of behavior. Previously, it filed lawsuits against four companies, including Vmedea, in relation to the same conduct.
These lawsuits are all part of Xiaohongshu's special campaign against false promotions on its platform. In addition to the lawsuits, Xiaohongshu has also adopted methods such as bans and deletion of accounts and fake reviews. Since the launch of the campaign on 16 December 2021, it has so far banned 81 merchants and brands from using its platform, and deleted a total of 172,600 fake reviews, or other forms of promotion, and 53,600 illegal accounts.