Latest updates

TRAB rules that unusual product shape is eligible for 3D trademark registration
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • December 18 2017

Registering a three-dimensional (3D) trademark is difficult and the Chinese courts have failed to develop reliable jurisprudence on this matter. However, a recent Trademark Review and Adjudication Board decision concerning the world-famous Little Trees car air fresheners reaffirms the registrability and inherent distinctiveness of 3D marks that comprise the unusual shape of a product.

Beijing High Court releases new jurisdiction rules for civil IP cases
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • December 11 2017

Sources indicate that the Beijing High Court recently released the Provisions on the Adjustment of the Courts' Jurisdiction over Civil IP Cases in Beijing. The new provisions outline the jurisdiction of the Beijing High Court, the Beijing IP Court and the lower-level Beijing courts and abolish the Provisions on the Jurisdiction over First-Instance Civil IP Disputes Heard by People's Courts at Various Levels in Beijing 2008.

PBOC announces revised measures for registration of pledge of accounts receivable
Jingtian & Gongcheng
  • Banking
  • China
  • November 24 2017

The People's Bank of China recently released revised measures for the registration of a pledge of accounts receivable. The revised measures have broadened the definition of 'accounts receivable' and introduced a procedure for registering to transfer accounts receivable. For flexibility and convenience, the revised measures also adjust the registration term of a pledge of accounts receivable and extend the time limit for notifying a pledgee of any objection to its registration.

Supreme People's Court holds trademark and packaging rights separate
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • November 20 2017

The Supreme People's Court recently reversed a Guangdong High Court judgment and held that the trademark and packaging used on a product may constitute separate IP rights. The case serves as a reminder that where products are sold by a licensee in packaging which differs from that of the licensor, the licensee can claim independent IP rights. The licence agreement should therefore provide that on termination any packaging rights will remain attached to the trademark.

China 2020: world's largest insurance market and foreign insurers' strategies
AnJie Law Firm
  • Insurance
  • China
  • November 14 2017

China's shift towards a knowledge-based digital economy is fuelling growth in the insurance sector, which aligns with the government's plan to double the rate of insurance penetration by 2020. By this date, insurance premium income is expected to have reached Rmb4.5 trillion. If this aim is achieved, China will have usurped the United States to become the world's largest insurance market, which bodes well for overseas insurers looking to participate in the domestic market.

Patent claim drafting tips: a patent invalidation and lawsuit perspective
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • November 13 2017

There are a number of tips that patentees should follow in order to enhance their patent's strength and give greater protection to their inventions. For example, patent claims should cover as many direct infringers as possible, defence claims should include as many specific features as possible and patent claims should not include any process features.

Supreme Court issues judicial interpretation to regulate mining rights allocation
Broad & Bright
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • China
  • November 13 2017

Under the existing legal framework, the state owns all mineral resources in China and the allocation of mining rights is heavily regulated. However, the various courts have different understandings of the relevant laws and regulations and judgment criteria for mining right disputes vary from court to court. As such, the Supreme People's Court recently issued an interpretation on the application of law in hearing cases involving mining right disputes.

NDRC hints at SEP pricing guidance to enhance Anti-monopoly Law compliance
AnJie Law Firm
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • China
  • November 09 2017

At the recent China Competition Policy Forum, a Price Supervision and Anti-monopoly Bureau official commented on the potential enactment by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of regulations on standard-essential patent licensing practices. The NDRC's proposal aims to ensure greater consistency with the Anti-monopoly Law and develop a consistent approach to the enforcement of IP rights-related anti-competitive conduct.

Beijing High People's Court revises Guidelines for Patent Infringement Determination
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • November 06 2017

The Beijing High People's Court recently issued the newly revised Guidelines for Patent Infringement Determination. In addition to the comprehensive rules on patent interpretation, the determination of what constitutes patent infringement and the defence of patent infringement, the guidelines also provide rules on some much-discussed issues for the first time, such as standard-essential patents and graphical user interface designs.

The rise of insurtech in China
AnJie Law Firm
  • Insurance
  • China
  • October 31 2017

A new wave of 'insurtech' companies (ie, insurers engaging with online distribution models and tech companies foraying into insurance) are recognising the gains to be made by entering into this emerging market. However, these developments by no means spell the end of the larger, more traditional Chinese insurers, which are adapting their longer-term business development strategies in response.

Supreme People's Court dashes patentee's hopes for second medical use claim
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • October 23 2017

A Swiss-type claim allows applicants to seek protection for a new medical use of a known substance. Although such a claim may make the subject matter of the second medical use patentable, attention should be paid to which features may contribute to the prior art. The Supreme People's Court recently clarified that use features which do not relate to the manufacture of a medicament cannot be taken as having a restrictive effect on or making a contribution to such a medical use when compared with the prior art.

SIPO releases new Administrative Measures for the Prioritised Examination of Patents
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • October 16 2017

The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) recently released the new Administrative Measures for the Prioritised Examination of Patents, which took effect on August 1 2017. Applicants in China and abroad, as well as other relevant parties, can take advantage of the measures to obtain the examination results of relevant patent applications or patents more quickly. The new measures represent the SIPO's efforts to foster the development of an innovative economy.

Refusal to deal: a review of Yunnan Ying Ding v SINOPEC
AnJie Law Firm
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • China
  • October 12 2017

Following the recent final judgment of the Yunnan Province Higher People's Court, the curtain has – for now – fallen on the Yunnan Ying Ding v SINOPEC refusal to deal case. This case is unique for several reasons. Among other things, it is reportedly the first antitrust dispute to involve the Chinese petroleum industry. In addition, it is the first case in which the plaintiff's claims have concerned refusal to purchase.

SAIC publishes rules regulating enterprise name registration
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • October 09 2017

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce recently published the Rules on the Prohibitions and Restrictions for Enterprise Name Registration and the Rules on the Criteria for Finding Enterprise Names Identical or Similar. Both documents aim to regulate the examination of enterprise names during registration in order to establish a method of comparison and provide convenience for applicants.

New policy on ICO fundraising activities
Jingtian & Gongcheng
  • Banking
  • China
  • September 29 2017

The Internet Financial Risk Special Rectification Work Leading Group Office recently issued a notice on rectification work regarding tokens issuance financing. In addition, a number of national authorities issued a joint announcement on the prevention of financial risks associated with token issuance. Following issuance of the notice and the joint announcement, initial coin offerings are now an illegal and unregulated method of raising money.

Rational approach to abuse of collective dominance in antitrust law
AnJie Law Firm
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • China
  • September 28 2017

The National Development and Reform Commission recently penalised two Chinese pharmaceutical undertakings for alleged collective abuse in the isoniazid active pharmaceutical ingredient market. This was the first time that the Chinese enforcement authorities applied the rules of the Anti-monopoly Law to a case concerning collective abuse.

Hangzhou Internet Court inaugurated
  • IT & Internet
  • China
  • September 26 2017

The Hangzhou Internet Court was recently inaugurated. It has first-instance jurisdiction over a range of disputes, including contract disputes arising from online shopping services and small loans, disputes over internet copyright ownership and infringement, and product liability claims for goods purchased online. This move comes after the Supreme People's Court piloted a programme in May 2017 which granted the Hangzhou Railway Transport Court jurisdiction over five categories of internet-related civil cases.

Not all designs copyrightable as works of art
Wanhuida Peksung
  • Intellectual Property
  • China
  • September 25 2017

A recent case before the Guangzhou IP Court concerned the principle that a design must display a fundamental level of intellectual creativity in order to be copyrightable as a work of art. Mao Jihong claimed that he owned a copyrighted design comprising a reversed version of the word 'exception'. However, the court held that it was essentially the expression of an idea as much as a design, and therefore demonstrated little originality in expression and no aesthetic value as fine art.

Decoding exposure draft of MOFCOM's amendments to antitrust review rules
AnJie Law Firm
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • China
  • September 21 2017

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently released an exposure draft of the amendments to its Provisions on the Antitrust Review of Concentrations for public comment. The amendments aim to improve the functionality, comprehensiveness and quality of the provisions by incorporating MOFCOM's experience and its existing best practices. In general, this move to amend the provisions is praiseworthy. However, several issues will need to be resolved through the public consultation process.

Recent reform of mineral rights granting system
Broad & Bright
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • China
  • September 18 2017

The Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) recently announced the Mineral Rights Granting System Reform Programme, which aims to promote the competitive granting of all types of mineral right in China. The programme requires the competent authorities to implement tender, auction and listing methods to grant mineral rights and imposes strict restrictions on the granting of mineral rights via agreements. It also requires the MLR to delegate its mineral rights approval powers to lower-level departments.