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News & Cases from China: May 2024

Published on 26 Jun 2024 | 8 minute read

The Standing Committee of NPC and the State Council Announce 2024 Legislative Programs which Include IPR Legislation

Reference Number: Guobanfa [2024] No. 23

Issue Date: 8 May 2024

In the legislative program work plan of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the draft amendment to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and 12 other laws are listed as 'laws for initial review,' in the section ‘drafting and review arrangements for accelerating the development of new productive forces and constructing a new development paradigm’.

In the legislative program released by the General Office of the State Council, the draft amendment to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law drafted by the State Administration for Market Regulation is included among 20 other draft laws in the section 'laws to be submitted for review by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.' At the same time, focusing on the strategies of revitalizing the country through science and education and building a strong cultural nation, there are preparations to submit the draft Artificial Intelligence Law and the draft amendment to the Trademark Law for review by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, as well as a proposal to amend the Regulations on the Protection of New Plant Varieties.

Source: Standing Committee of NPC, General Office of the State Council










CNIPA and Eight Other Organs at State Level Jointly Issue Implementation Plan for the Construction of the IPR Protection System

Reference Number: Guobanfabaozi [2024] No. 10

Issue Date: 27 May 2024

The Implementation Plan specifies seven key focuses for building an intellectual property protection system: intellectual property protection policies and standards; enforcement and judicial systems’ authorization and confirmation systems; protection and management systems; social governance systems; national security governance systems; and capability support systems. It aims to achieve modernization of the intellectual property protection system and capability by 2035.

Regarding the construction of the enforcement and judicial systems, the Implementation Plan requires the establishment of a high-quality intellectual property judicial agency,  the enhancement of specialized adjudication systems, the  strengthening of oversight mechanisms for intellectual property cases, and the full implementation of punitive damages for intellectual property infringements. It also aims to refine rules on evidence and criteria for determining damages in infringement cases. Simultaneously, improvements to the administrative enforcement mechanisms for intellectual property are planned, including intensified enforcement efforts to combat counterfeit and illegal activities, along with strengthened professional guidance and administrative adjudication system development.

In relation to the construction of the authorization and confirmation systems, the Implementation Plan emphasizes improving the quality and efficiency of authorization and confirmation processes. The goals set to be achieved by 2025, include reducing the patent examination period for inventions to 15 months, stabilizing trademark registration periods at seven months under normal circumstances, achieving a closure accuracy rate of over 95% for invention patent cases, and a qualification rate of over 97% for trademark examination checks.  

Source: CNIPA







在授权确权体系建设方面,《实施方案》要求提高授权确权质量和效率,实现到 2025 年,发明专利审查周期压减至 15 个月,一般情形商标注册周期稳定在 7 个月,发明专利结案准确率 95%以上,商标审查抽检合格率 97%以上。




State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) Issues Interim Provisions Against Unfair Competition on the Internet

Reference Number: Guobanfabaozi [2024] No. 10

Issue Date: 6 May 2024

The Interim Provisions supplement and improve the provisions on regulating unfair competition on the internet in China as follows:

  1. The legal responsibilities of online platform operators are strengthened. Specifically, Article 6 of the Interim Provisions requires platform operators to enhance the standardized management of competitive acts within the platform. Upon discovering unfair competitive acts by operators within the platform, they should take timely measures and keep relevant records for no less than three years from the date those measures are taken. In addition, platform operators should report the aforementioned unfair competitive acts to the market regulation agency at or above the county level where they are located.
  2. New types of unfair competition that have emerged in online business activities are addressed, and relevant rules introduced. For instance, in relation to online acts causing confusion, the Provisions add the act of 'using influential online nicknames, network symbols, online abbreviations, and other identifiers without authorization'; in relation to online false publicity, it adds the act of 'carrying out commercial marketing activities through viral search, viral review, hot transmission, rankings, and other methods'; and in relation to online bribery, it defines property as 'including cash, goods, virtual online property, as well as vouchers, funds, shares, debt relief, and other property rights, ' etc.
  3. The provisions relating to the use of technical means to carry out unfair competition to maintain fair market competition are improved. Article 18 requires operators not to use technical means to interfere with the normal transactions between other operators, or to hinder or disrupt the normal operation of the network products or services legally provided by other operators, through methods such as influencing user choices, throttling, blocking, search demotion, or product removal. At the same time, operators are not allowed to use technical means to restrict trading objects, sales areas, or times, or to participate in promotional activities, affecting the business choices of other operators.
  4. New regulations are introduced regarding jurisdiction over cases of online unfair competition. According to Article 27, in cases where there is a concentration of reports on online unfair competitive practices, or where such practices have led to serious consequences or resulted in other adverse effects, the market supervision and management departments at or above the municipal level, where the actual business operations of the violator are located or where the consequences of the violations occurred, may have jurisdiction.

Source: SAMR














The Intellectual Property Court of SPC Concludes a Case of Reconsideration of an Administrative Fine against Patent Infringement, with the Accused Infringer Fined for Falsifying Evidence, and a Witness Fined for False Statement

Date: 15 May 2024

The administrative reconsideration decision concerns a fine imposed by the court of first instance in a patent infringement action between a technology company and an instrument company. The patent in question was a utility model patent entitled 'Pupillary Distance Adjustment Mechanism for Ophthalmic Medical Equipment and Ophthalmic Medical Equipment,' with the patentee being the technology company.  The instrument company had raised the defence of prior existing technology. 

The Defendant claimed first that its 'LD Multifunctional Weakness and Myopia Comprehensive Treatment Instrument' had a pupillary distance adjustment mechanism, submitting Notarial Certificate No1896 as evidence. The product manual of this instrument did not, however, make any reference to the structure of the pupillary distance adjustment mechanism or its operation and usage methods. The technology company, the patentee, then provided Notarial Certificate No. 6190 containing details of a comprehensive treatment instrument purchased from the instrument company. It showed that the actual product did not have a pupillary distance adjustment mechanism, and that its internal structure was different from that shown in the instrument company's Notarial Certificate No. 1896. The instrument company could not provide a reasonable explanation, and the court of first instance determined that the instrument company had artificially altered the treatment instrument when submitting its evidence.

The Defendant further submitted notarial certificate No. 5624, which showed its product with a base plate marked with a production date of 18 April 2017, which was earlier than the production date of the product’s internal chip. Analyzing the production process of the product, the step of affixing the base plate label with the production date is usually the last process of the treatment instrument equipment, and the production time marked on the base plate should normally not be earlier than the production date of the internal chip used in the product. The witness, Fei, an employee of the instrument company, made statements in Court that were obviously unreasonable. Therefore, the court of first instance rendered a decision on the fine: a penalty of 600,000 yuan (approx. US$ 82,700) was imposed on the instrument company; a penalty of 50,000 yuan (approx. US$ 6,890) was imposed on Fei. In response to this decision, the instrument company and Fei filed an application for reconsideration with the Supreme People's Court.

The Supreme People's Court held that the instrument company had fabricated the physical evidence of the treatment instrument in both defenses of prior existing technology, and that Fei had concealed the fact that the physical evidence had been altered and intentionally made false statements, thereby hindering the People's Court in hearing the case. The court of first instance had made a decision to fine the instrument company and Fei based on the nature and circumstances of the acts, which had a factual and legal basis. The Supreme People's Court ultimately dismissed the reconsideration applications of the instrument company and Fei, upholding the decision issued by the court of first instance.

Source: The Intellectual Property Court of SPC










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Rouse Editor
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Rouse Editor
+44 20 7536 4100