Monday, May 11, 2009

AmCham Gives Chinese Government Recommendations About Copyright Law, Trademark Law and Patent Law

American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China (AmCham-China) issued the 'American Business in China White Paper 2009' last month. Pages 45-48 pdf, with pagenumbers 88-94 are about intellectual property rights protection. Read here.

AmCham-China's recommendations to the Chinese government are:
  • "Continue the pioneering efforts of the US Embassy and government in recent years, with greater internal coordination and cooperation with industry.
  • Amend the Chinese Patent law to address AmCham-China concerns, as specified in this chapter (IP Dragon: Lacks patentability from computer program/software; left out an earlier draft provision allowing employers and inventors to define remuneration for employment invention through contracts; requires the disclosure of genetic resource for patentability; does not have criteria of inventiveness at the same levels for utility model patents and invention patents; does not compensate for regulatory approval process delays in the duration of drug patents; does not set forth conditions for granting compulsory license in sufficiently detailed language; and is unclear and possibly overly broad in defining what constitutes “patent abuse,” its relationship with the Anti-monopoly Law, and “working” requirements for patents.
  • Fully support and follow through with the efforts of the trademark office in eliminating the examination backlog. Retain the Trademark Office examination of trademark applications on relative grounds.
  • Establish new public-private partnerships to duplicate the effective IPR infringement prevention during the Olympics.
  • Resist establishing IP policies in violation of WTO rules, which unduly favor Chinese domestic companies over foreign companies.
  • Amend the 2006 Internet Regulations and Copyright Law to correspond with international norms and comply with WIPO treaties.
  • Enable websites and ISPs to work with rightholders and adopt preventive measures such as filtering and automated take-down.
  • Establish a clear and transparent government structure for administrative enforcement, and adopt an inter-departmental enforcement platform."
I do not understand AmCham-China's recommendation to change China's patent law so that it has criteria of inventiveness at the same levels for utility model patents and invention patents. A utility model patent is something completely different from an invention patent: Utility model patents are meant to protect innovations and are not examined at the application stage, such as an invention patent, and is only examined in case it is enforced. Besides, the protection term for a utililty patent is 10 years, while the term for an invention patent is 20 years. Do you know the ratio of this recommendation?

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