3 February 2022TrademarksAlex Baldwin

China reveals ‘positive’ results follow crackdown on sham IP

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has outlined the progress of its “Blue Sky” campaign, which is aimed at cracking down on illegal behaviour related to IP.

The CNIPA published the notice with the update on Tuesday, February 1, titled “Fighting against chaos, supervising and keeping the blue sky - the progress of the ‘Blue Sky’ action in 2021”.

The Blue Sky campaign’s main goals include combatting unlicensed patent agents, increasing efforts to combat malicious trademarking behaviour, and guiding agencies to conduct legal IP services.

According to the announcement first reported by National Law Review, so far a total of 2,350 agencies have been interviewed, 2,105 have been ordered to rectify behaviour, and 12 have been closed down entirely.

The administration has also issued 220 fines and warnings, with the fines totalling more than RMB12 million ($1.89 million). The highest single fine issued totalled $1.04 million.

In its efforts, the CNIPA has monitored patent examinations, trademark examinations and social security information to “discover clues” related to “abnormal patent applications, malicious trademark applications and abnormal per capita agency volume”.

Through this monitoring method, more than 3,300 instances of IP law violations were flagged, according to the announcement.

The CNIPA has also created a list of “serious illegal and untrustworthy” acts which was issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation, and has indicted 48 patent agencies.

“We will continue to carry out the ‘Blue Sky’ special rectification action, build a credit-based collaborative governance system, and comprehensively strengthen intellectual property protection,” the CNIPA said.

Trademark crackdown

Following the launch of the CNIPA’s IP protection campaign to suppress infringements associated with the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, it now says that it has “severely cracked down” on malicious trademark application acts such as “trademark squatting” on words and terms related to the Olympics.

According to the announcement on Tuesday, the CNIPA has interviewed a total of six agencies and filed 24 cases for investigation and sanctioned 13 agencies for malicious acts related to the Olympics.

The Chinese government also revealed a separate plan to combat trademark squatting back in March 2021.

The “Special Action Plan for Combating Malicious Trademark Squatting” identified ten “malicious acts” that constitute infringement or squatting. Among these are acts of registering trademarks of famous logos, names, places and events.

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27 April 2021   China will prioritise stronger IP protections in “hi-tech” sectors as part of the country’s economic development, government officials have said.
25 March 2021   The Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has unveiled a new plan to combat trademark squatting.