May 2018 | by Kenneth L Ng, Echo Lin
Changyu Shen, Director of the State Intellectual Property Office, Introduces the State of Intellectual Property Development in China in 2017.
The State Council Information Office held a press conference at the State Council Information Office on
April 24, 2018. Changyu Shen, Director of the State Intellectual Property Office, gave a speech about the
development of intellectual property in China in 2017. Five points mentioned by Shen show positive
improvements for IP right owners. We summarize below:
I. The volume of applications for patent, trademark, new varieties of plant right, and the
registration volume for copyrights keep rising.
The application volume for patents reached 1.382 million in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 14.2%,
once again placing China at number one in the world for seven consecutive years. The number of accepted
applications for trademark registrations reached 5.748 million, a 55.72% year-on-year increase, placing
China number one in the world for sixteen consecutive years.
II. China’s Pro-active Stance on Intellectual Property Legislation.
The Anti-Unfair Competition Law was recently amended and came into force on January 1, 2018. It was
revised for the first time twenty-four years, since the Anti-Unfair Competition Law was enacted in 1993.
This statute covers a wide range of intellectual property rights, such as trade secrets, confusion of
unregistered marks, false publicity, and statutory liability for infringement of unregistered marks, etc.
Meanwhile, the Patent Law is in its fourth revision. China has actively promoted the revision of the
Copyright Law, National Defense Patent Regulations, and its Regulations on the Protection of New Plant
III. China’s Courts Improve Intellectual Property Protection Further.
The number of administrative enforcement cases for patents reached 67,000, a 36.3% year-on-year
increase. The number of administrative enforcement cases for trademarks was 30,100. The Copyright
Office investigated and dealt with more than 3,100 cases of piracy and seized 6.05 million products.
Customs seized 19,200 shipments, involving goods totaling RMB182 million. The courts nationwide
received a total of 21.35 million cases in the first instance, which includes civil, administrative, and
criminal cases for intellectual property.
IV. Procedures for Trademark Registration are Further Accelerated and Simplified
To further accelerate the procedures for trademark registration, China has established 105 local
trademark filing points, and 49 application acceptance pointsfor trademark rights pledge registration
throughout China. Several years ago, all trademark applicants would have to submit their applications
to the China Trademark Office located in Beijing. There were no trademark offices in provinces except
in Beijing. This new measure enables trademark applicants throughout China to submit their
applications in their own province. Meanwhile, the examination period for trademark registrations has
been shortened from 9 months to 8 months.