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News & Cases from China: January 2024

Published on 28 Feb 2024 | 7 minute read

National Intellectual Property Office Directors’ Conference Held in Beijing

Date: 4 January 2024

On 4 January 2024, the National Intellectual Property Office Directors’ Conference was held in Beijing. The Director of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) reported that three major events had taken place in the intellectual property protection field in 2023:  a new round of intellectual property institution reform; the release of several important documents in the field of intellectual property protection; and the holding of two events commemorating the 50th anniversary of cooperation between China and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Good progress had also been made in other areas. Throughout 2023, China granted 921,000 invention patents, 2.09 million utility model patents, 638,000 design patents, and 4.383 million registered trademarks. Also, 73,812 international patent applications had been filed through the PCT, 1166 design applications through the Hague Agreement for the International Registration of Industrial Designs (for the first 11 months), and 6,196 international trademark applications through the Madrid system, ranking China among the top filing countries in the world. In 2023, eight new Intellectual Property Protection Centers and seven Fast Right-Protection Centers were built, bringing the total number to 112.

The Report identifies a number of areas on which CNIPA will be focusing in 2024 to further improve the IP system and foster international co-operation. For example, there will be expedited efforts in a new round of amendments to the Trademark Law and its implementing regulations, a study of specialized legislation on geographical indications, and the revision of the Regulations on the Protection of Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits.

Source: CNIPA, 2024-01-04




2024年1月4日,全国知识产权局局长会议在北京召开。国知局局长在会议上做出工作报告。根据报告, 2023年知识产权方面共发生了三件大事,一是中央推进了新一轮知识产权机构改革,二是中央审议出台了知识产权领域多个重要文件,三是成功举办了两场中国与世界知识产权组织合作五十周年纪念活动。其他方面的知识产权工作亦取得了良好进展。2023年全年,我国共授权发明专利92.1万件,实用新型专利209万件,外观设计专利63.8万件,注册商标438.3万件,通过PCT、海牙、马德里体系分别提交专利、外观设计、商标国际注册申请7.3812万件、1166件(前11个月)、6196件,稳居世界前列;2023年新建知识产权保护中心8家、快速维权中心7家,总数达到112家。


资料来源:国知局  2024-01-04



CNIPA Releases ‘Measures for the Protection of Geographical Indication Products’ and ‘Provisions on Registration and Administration of Collective Marks and Certification Marks’

Publishing Date: 2 January 2024

Effective Date: 1 February 2024

The Measures for the Protection of Geographical Indication Products (the Measures) contain regulations relating to five key aspects of geographical indications: applications; examination and recognition procedures; protection and special mark use system for geographical indication products; modification and revocation; and protection and supervision. In particular, the Measures stipulate that geographical indication products must exhibit authenticity, regional characteristics, specificity, and association, and specify circumstances in which they will not be recognized. They provide for an objection process following technical examination, streamlining of the examination process, and they outline application modification procedures. Additionally, the Measures clarify the responsibilities of applicants and the producers’ obligation to comply with the production standards. Once geographical indication products receive protection, applicants are mandated to implement measures to oversee the use of geographical indication product names and special marks, as well as the products’ distinctive features and quality under the geographical indication.

The revised Provisions on Registration and Administration of Collective Marks and Certification Marks (the Provisions) strengthen the management requirements for both registrant and user. The Provisions set out the basic obligations and rights of the registrant and users. For example, in addition to establishing management rules, authorizing qualified users, and carrying out regular monitoring, the Provisions allow the registrant to reasonably charge fees based on fair and reasonable principles, and negotiate matters such as the amount of fees, payment methods, and payment deadlines.   They also add provisions relating to the registration and fair use of trademarks containing geographical names, making it clear that the marks should have distinctive features, be readily distinguishable and not be detrimental to the public interest.

Source: CNIPA, 2024-01-02 









资料来源:国知局  2024-01-02



Beijing Intellectual Property Court Concludes Copyright Infringement Action Involving NFT Digital Collections

Date: 11 January 2024

On 11 January 2024, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court resolved a copyright infringement dispute relating to NFT digital collections. An NFT digital collection is a collection of individual non-fungible cryptographic tokens issued by an artist.

The case involved the artwork ‘Poetry of Jia Dao’ by renowned painter Fan Zeng, which the Defendant company had, without permission, converted into an NFT digital collection and offered for sale on its WeChat public account. Fan Zeng brought an action for copyright infringement, seeking orders for cessation of the infringement and compensation for economic loss and rights protection expenses.

In the initial ruling, the Court found that the Defendant company had infringed Fan Zeng's right of information network dissemination, and ordered it and its sole shareholder, Wang, to jointly compensate Fan Zeng RMB 330,731.1 (approx. US$ 46,000) for economic loss and RMB 20,000 (approx. $3,000) for rights protection expenses. Subsequently, the Defendants appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

During the appeal, the Court confirmed that Fan Zeng's signature and inscription established his ownership of the copyright in the painting ‘Poetry of Jia Dao.’ It concluded that the Defendant company’s use of the painting on its Wechat public account, and the creation and unauthorized sale of an NFT collection based on the copyrighted painting, infringed Fan Zeng's rights to information network dissemination and reproduction. Specifically, the Defendant company had reproduced the painting in articles posted on its WeChat public account and displayed it within its App, thereby violating Fan Zeng's right to disseminate the painting on the information network. Furthermore, it had uploaded a duplicate of the painting onto the back-end server of its App, which constituted an act of reproduction under copyright law. As a result, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court dismissed the appeals from the company and Wang and upheld the original judgment.

Source: Beijing Intellectual Property Court, 2024-01-11








资料来源:北京知识产权法院  2024-01-11




The High People's Court of Guangdong Province Concludes First Unfair Competition Action Involving Data Scraping (use of a computer program to extract data from output generated by another program)

Date: 18 January 2024

On 16 January, 2024, the High People’s Court of Guangdong Province made a second instance ruling in an unfair competition action brought by Weimeng Company against Jian Yixun Company.

The case involved the unauthorized use of server APIs (application program interfaces) to acquire data for resale transactions.  It was the first time a claim of this kind had been made. Weimeng Company, the operator of the Sina Weibo platform, accused Jian Yixun Company of illegally accessing Weibo servers’ APIs to extract and store a significant amount of backend data, subsequently selling it to a third party through its iDataAPI website.

The Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province had found that Jian Yixun Company’s conduct amounted to unfair competition and ordered it to pay compensation of RMB 20 million  (approx. US$ 2.3 million)  and issue a statement of apology. Dissatisfied with the initial ruling, Jian Yixun Company appealed to the High People's Court of Guangdong Province.

In the second instance decision, the High People's Court dismissed the appeal and found in favour of Weimeng Company. It determined that Jian Yixun Company's actions, the unauthorized scraping and resale of Weibo backend data, infringed the legitimate rights of Weimeng Company and disrupted the competitive order in the data market, severely harming the interests of both  Weimeng Company and its consumers. Consequently, the Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the original judgment.

Source: The High People’s Court of Guangdong Province, 2024-01-18








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