This month has been yet another successful month for the Helpdesk, with our team participating at the EEN Annual Conference 2015 in Brussels and the 4th Edition of the Greater Region Business Days in Luxembourg. In addition to these high-profile events, we also offered tailored IP consultations at the Mission for Growth in Taiwan, attended the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Investment and Trade Expo, and provided a number of industry-specific IP training sessions in both China and Europe.
This month we are officially launching a new and easy way for SMEs to contact us with IP-related queries. Our Live Chat sessions will take place once a month for 3 hours via our China Helpdesk website, and will provide you with an opportunity to speak directly with our IP Business Advisor, Reinout van Malenstein, who will be available to answer your questions. For more information please see below.
This Newsletter includes:
Information on upcoming training events in China and Europe
An outline of our recent blog articles and upcoming live chat session
A list of new Helpdesk guides and e-learning modules
Our case study of the month: the importance of registering a trade mark in China
Live chat sessions
Once a month, from 9:00-12:00 Brussels time, 15:00-18:00 Beijing time, our IP Business Advisor, Reinout van Malenstein, will be available to answer your questions on Intellectual Property rights in China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. All it takes is one click on the chat button that will be available at the designated time on ourwebsite. The next Live Chat session will take place on 29th June 2015!
E-Learning module: IP for F&B sector
In a market that is highly concerned about food safety, how do you communicate the quality of your brand while protecting your competitive advantage in China? This new e-learning module gives you an introduction to IPR concerns for the food and beverage industry, and explains how to use IPR to protect your food and/or beverage brand. Take our quiz to see how much you know about IP in the Chinese F&B sector. Click the picture to access the module.
Podcast This month, IP lawyer Alessandra Chies explains the importance of trade mark and trade secret protection for EU SMEs in the services industry. To listen to the podcast, clickhere.
Marking Your Territory: Choosing a Trade Mark in China
Several weeks ago, New Balance Trading (China) – the Chinese affiliate of US sports footwear brand, New Balance – was ordered by a Guangzhou court to pay RMB98 million in compensation (equivalent to approximately EUR14.3 million), and to publicly apologise to Chinese businessman, Mr Yuelin Zhou, for trademark infringement. The trade mark in question was “新百伦”, or “Xin Bai Lun”, a Chinese transliteration of “New Balance”. This case serves as a sharp reminder of how vital it is for foreign brands to register a Chinese trade mark in China, and how cutting corners may result in high financial penalties later down the line.
China Patent Law is being amended to increase protection and improve patent commercialization and administrative services. The new draft was released last month to solicit opinions from experts and practitioners. Song Jianhua, director of SIPO's Law and Treaty Department, noted that the new draft addresses a number of challenges, including difficulties in collecting evidence, insufficient compensation and high costs. According to the draft, courts can order suspects to provide financial records and other evidence if the rights owners have already made failed efforts to access them. “We also suggested punitive damages, about two to three times compensation, in the case of malicious infringements,” Song said. The draft of the amendment addresses also the issue of online infringement. New provisions in the draft include the discipline of industrial design, which has been kept in the patent law.
30TH ANNIVERSARY OF EU-CHINA PATENT COOPERATION
Last month, in occasion of the 30th anniversary of EU-China bilateral patent cooperation, Deputy Director of the State Intellectual Property Office, He Zhimin, met with Deputy Director of the Department of Legal and International Affairs of European Patent Office, Raimund Lutz, and his delegation in Beijing. He Zhimin acknowledged that the State Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office achieved a strategic cooperative partnership in the last 30 years. The two institutions will organize activities to celebrate the 30th anniversary, and discuss how to enhance the bilateral cooperation in the years to come. A special mentioning deserves to be given to the EU-China IPR cooperation projects, IPR1 and IPR2 and the ongoing IPKEY which have been an invaluable asset in fostering the cooperation.
CHINA’S FIGHT AGAINST ONLINE COUNTERFEITING: SPECIAL CAMPAIGN AND NEW E-COMMERCE LAW
Chinese authorities disclosed that in July this year a special campaign will be launched with the objective to tackle counterfeit goods sold online and focusing on the role of online retailers. The State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) announced that the anti-counterfeiting awareness campaign will be called Red Shield Net Sword. The campaign will run from July to November 2015, and will attempt to reduce the sale of counterfeit products on e-commerce websites. The SAIC said it will “strictly implement the legal responsibility of platform operators”. This initiative goes together with the recent announcement by the Chinese government of a new e-commerce law, which will be drafted by the end of 2015 and approved by the top legislature in 2016. The main purpose of the law is to encourage innovation and competition, while reinforcing the regulation of e-commerce. The law is expected to promote a honest online trade environment, improve the quality of goods and services sold on the internet and enhance the protection of consumers’ interests and rights of IP holders.
The China IPR SME Helpdesk, a project co-funded by the European Union supports European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in or relating to China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training, materials and online resources.