IPR Updates January 2010

Patent Law Enforcement Rules amended

The State Council have issued amendment rules pertaining to the enforcement of the PRC¡¯s Patent Law. The release, titled ¡°"Decisions of the State Council on Amending the 'Rules on Enforcing the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China¡¯¡± shall be effective as of February 1, 2010.
One such amendment made to the enforcement rules, deals with Article 20 of the Patent Law. China made its third amendments to the PRC Patent Law in 2008 which became effective on October 1, 2009. Previous amendments took place in 1984, and 2000. The 2008 amendment came around through a voluntary need for change, in accordance with the State Council¡¯s National Intellectual Property Strategy, rather than international pressure.

The State Council¡¯s new release can be located at the following location: http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2010-01/18/content_1513398.htm

Push for stronger copyright laws

IPR protection is a continual concern and a number one priority for China. It¡¯s importance is evident by State releases, such as the National IP Strategy. Director General of the General Administration of Press and Publication (¡°GATT¡±) and the National Copyright Administration (¡°NCA¡±), Liu Binjie, expressed the need to push the need for reforms of copyright law in China. Currently, the PRC¡¯s Copyright Law is lagging behind, with revisions having already been made in 2008 to the Patent Law, and the Trademark Law currently undergoing revisions.

GATT is the administrative agency in China responsible for the distribution of news, and internet publications. The two agencies are very active in the promotion of copyright issues. In October 2009, Liu Binjie met with Director General Francis Gurry of WIPO in Geneva, exchanging views on joint cooperation within the field of copyright.

China is a binding signatory to international conventions concerning the protection of copyright, including the Universal Copyright Convention (1952), and the Berne Convention (1979).

Outsourcing & data protection

The protection of private and confidential data should be an immediate priority when outsourcing to a third party. As from February 1, 2010 Chinese domestic companies shall be subject to a Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology release which addresses the need to protect such data. The release outlines what is meant by confidential data, and steps required to be taken to ensure there are no breaches, or to limit the number of potential breaches by unauthorised personnel.

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