All change: a big year for IP legislation


Eric Su and Zhang Xu

All change: a big year for IP legislation

The regulatory environment of IP in China is undergoing great improvement—a welcome change, according to Eric Su and Zhang Xu.

Following the deepening of theoretical research about IP and the accumulation of related practical experience, the Chinese government, the legislative body and industry are looking forward to the amendment and completion of IP laws. By the end of 2012, the drafts of amendments to several laws had been published and the related reviews and comments by the public have been collected. This article gives a brief introduction to the laws and regulations to be modified.

Among the laws to be possibly modified is the Trademark Law, which was last reviewed 12 years ago. The draft of the amendment has been submitted to the standing committee of the National People’s Congress to be examined and passed for the first time. The amendments aim to adapt and be consistent with the continuous changes in the practice of IP in China. For instance, in the draft, sounds and single colours will be allowed to be registered.

Text reading “The application and use of a trademark shall be made in good faith” is introduced to discourage the phenomenon of trademark squatting. The opposition procedure is modified to shorten the whole process of trademark registration, approval and dispute. The statutory damage threshold is raised from RMB500,000 ($80,000) to RMB1,000,000 ($160,000) to increase the cost for the infringers.

China, IP law updates