Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Comparison Between The IPR in China Relevant Provisions Of the Foreign Trade Law 2004 and 1994

I have just added links to the Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China 1994 and 2004 on IP Dragon's blogroll ( under "IPR in China Laws and Regulations").

The IPR relevant article 6 Foreign Trade Law 1994 is almost identical to article 6 Foreign Trade Law 2004 (most favoured nation treatment and national treatment because of articles 4 and 4 TRIPs, respectively, before 2001 because of article 5 (1) Berne and aricle 3 Paris Conventions)

Article 14 Foreign Trade Law 1994 is similar to article 13 Foreign Trade Law 2004 (the departments that get information from the foreign trade operaters should keep business secrets to themselves, see pages 15-16 Thesis).

Article 27 (2) Foreign Trade Law of 1994 prohibits explicitly infringing upon intellectual property rights and article 27 (5) Foreign Trade Law 1994 "other acts violating laws or administrative rules and regulations" can also be used to base a prohibition against IPR infringement.

It can be concluded from article 14 Foreign Trade Law of 2004 that import and export of goods is not free if law or administrative regulation provides otherwise.
Different from Foreign Trade Law 1994 is that Chapter V of the 2004 amendment is dedicated to Foreign-trade-related Intellectual Property Protection. Article 29 Foreign Trade Law 2004 includes: "Where any of the import goods violates any intellectual property right and, at the same time, endangers the foreign trade order, the foreign trade department of the State Council may take such measures as prohibiting the import of the relevant goods that the infringer has produced or sold for a certain period of time." No word about export goods that violate IPRs. This is in compliance with TRIPs, since article 51 TRIPs only obligates that WTO members shall adopt procedures to enable a right holder that has valid grounds that counterfeit trademark or pirated copyright goods import may take place, to lodge an application. Article 2 Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Customs Protection of IPRs 2003, however, goes beyond this obligation and applies to both import and export.

Article 30 Foreign Trade Law 2004 is to give the foreign trade department of the State Council the legitimacy to take measures in case of an IP right holder that hinders the licensee from questioning the validity of the IPR involved in the license agreements, conducting forced package license or providing exclusive selling back conditions in the license agreement, etc.
Picture: threecee

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