China updates

Intellectual Property

Contributed by Wanhuida Intellectual Property
Van Cleef & Arpels' four-leaf clover 3D trademark invalidated in China due to lack of distinctiveness
  • China
  • 26 October 2020

The Beijing IP Court recently denied the inherent and acquired distinctiveness of Van Cleef & Arpels' four-leaf clover 3D trademark. Van Cleef & Arpels appealed before the Beijing High Court and the case is pending. The Beijing IP Court has set a high threshold in assessing the registrability of a 3D trademark which consists of a product shape. It remains to be seen whether this view is shared by the Beijing High Court.

Clear and convincing evidence standard should be applied to prior art taking form of physical objects
  • China
  • 19 October 2020

In 2019 the IP Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court confirmed that a physical mobile phone was eligible prior art in assessing the novelty and inventiveness of a patent. The tribunal clarified that a party that asserts a physical object as prior art must specify the asserted prior technical solution, specify the corresponding relation between such prior technical solution and the physical object and prove or demonstrate that the public can intuitively obtain the technical solution from the physical object.

China embraces pharmaceutical patent linkage system
  • China
  • 05 October 2020

The exposure draft for the Implementation Measures for Early Resolution Mechanism of Pharmaceutical Patent Disputes (for Trial Implementation) was recently published to solicit public opinion. The measures are the first legal document explicitly addressing the pharmaceutical patent linkage system in China since the idea was first floated by the National Medical Products Administration in 2017. This article examines the measures' key takeaways.

Landmark judicial interpretation promulgated in patent administrative cases
  • China
  • 28 September 2020

The Supreme People's Court recently promulgated the Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Laws in Adjudicating Administrative Cases Involving Granting and Affirmation of Patent Rights, which is the first judicial interpretation concerning the trial of patent administrative cases. This article summarises the judicial interpretation's main points.

Guangzhou IP Court reaffirms legality of parallel imports
  • China
  • 21 September 2020

The Guangzhou IP Court recently upheld a first-instance judgment which had dismissed a trademark infringement claim against parallel imported products. The decision reaffirms the judicial practice that the import of non-counterfeit goods without the express permission of the trademark owner is not illegal in China, provided that the imported products comply with China's compulsory certification requirements and the importer does not modify, in any way, the imported product.


Blockchain evidence accepted in judicial proceedings for first time
  • China
  • 27 November 2018

The Hangzhou Internet Court recently confirmed, for the first time, the effectiveness of evidence recorded via blockchain. Shortly after, the Supreme People's Court cemented the lower court's view by implementing the Provisions on the Trial of Cases by the Internet Courts. This is the first time that blockchain technology has been officially accepted in a judicial interpretation as a valid technical means for preserving and presenting evidence.

Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media

Contributed by AnJie Law Firm
Strengthening protection of data rights and personal information security
  • China
  • 23 October 2020

The Supreme People's Court and the National Development and Reform Commission recently issued the Opinions on Providing Judicial Services and Supports to Accelerate the Improvement of the Socialist Market Economy System in the New Era. Among other things, the opinions emphasise that the state should strengthen the protection of data rights and personal information security.

MIIT exposes second and third batches of apps infringing users' rights and interests
  • China
  • 16 October 2020

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently instructed third-party testing agencies to examine certain mobile apps and issued the Second and Third Batches of Apps that Infringe Upon Users' Rights and Interests, requiring operators of said apps to make rectifications. Numerous apps did not complete their rectifications before the designated timelines. As a result, the MIIT may impose fines.

MIIT to crack down on SDK plug-ins' unlawful collection and use of personal data
  • China
  • 02 October 2020

China Central Television's 3.15 programme recently exposed that third-party software development kit plug-ins for mobile phones were collecting and using users' personal information. In response, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology immediately asked the relevant entities to investigate the enterprises involved in accordance with the law.

Shenzhen proposes local data protection regulations to protect data rights
  • China
  • 25 September 2020

The Justice Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality recently issued the Data Regulations of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone for public opinion. The draft regulations define the concept of 'data rights' for the first time and set out the ownership of personal and public data. According to the draft regulations, no organisation or individual may infringe on natural persons' data rights in accordance with the law.

State Council to formulate CII security protection regulations
  • China
  • 18 September 2020

The General Office of the State Council recently issued the 2020 Legislative Plan, which includes several laws applicable to the cybersecurity sector, such as the Regulations on Network Protection of Minors and the Regulations on the Security Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure.

White Collar Crime

Authorities ramp up enforcement of foreign companies' non-compliance with national anti-bribery laws
AnJie Law Firm
  • China
  • 07 October 2019

The prosecution of commercial bribery has once again become a key issue following the amendment of the Anti-unfair Competition Act. With the restructuring of the act's anti-bribery provision – which dovetailed with the national anti-corruption movement – the government appears to be cracking down on unlawful commercial activities by both domestic and foreign companies. To guide companies in this regard, this article provides an intuitive roadmap to the Chinese anti-bribery regulatory scheme.

Enhanced regulation of illegal payment and settlement business and FX trading
  • China
  • 15 April 2019

Criminal activities such as illegal payment and settlement business and FX trading have become increasingly rampant in recent years. Although these activities have been classified as business crimes in various laws and regulations, the applicable penalties have been unclear. However, new interpretations of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate set out the applicable convictions and penalties for illegal business operations involving FX trading and payment and settlement business.