Thursday, December 17, 2009

FICPI Shenzhen Symposium: Made by China

China aims to shift from producing 'Made in China' products to 'Made by China' products. It is indisputable that China is the worlds factory; many goods are produced in China. China produces 80% of worlds clocks and watches. However, China only enjoys 10% of the gross revenue of world clocks and watches. Hence, China is recognizing the importance of patent and intellectual property protection to increase the value of goods produced.

The symposium was held to update patent practitioners around the world on the recent 3rd amendment China's Patent Law. There are more than 240 delegates at the symposium, China itself having 130 delegates. Delegates from Taiwan and Hong Kong is classified in the attendees list along as participants from China. As expected, most of the Chinese delegates come from Beijing.

Patent provides protection for invention or design according to Chinese laws, similar as US laws. A typical patent is identified as 'Invention Patent' to distinguish it from 'Design Patent'.

Some of the amendments introduced:
- definition of prior art to include any technology that has been known to the public in the country or abroad before the filling date.
- definition of novelty means that the invention or utility model does not belong to prior art and before the date of filling, no one has filed with SIPO. There is no grace period, hence, absolute novelty policy.
- direct source and primary source of genetic resource need to be declared in patent applications.
- patent for design requires explanation of the product design.

A major concern of foreign delegates is the effectiveness of Chinese patent laws. How enforcement and courts prosecute patent infringement is also discussed. Enforcement and courts are active in major cities. Case can be viewed online in Chinese.

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