The publication this summer of draft amendments to China's Trademark Law revealed that the government is heading in a direction that appears favourable to brand owners (see "Revised draft of amendments to Trademark Law issued"). The authorities started rewriting the law in 2003 and practitioners have followed the evolution of the statute carefully. Foreign rights holders have been working behind the scenes to ensure that the new law significantly improves the trademark protection regime in the world's fastest-growing market. But progress has been slow and the more jaded among those practising in China claim that little attention has been paid to the latest version of the law: although the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) is scheduled to submit its final draft to the State Council before the end of the year, a number of commentators told WTR that it could be years before any changes are realized. Wang Zhengfa, a partner at Hylands Law Firm, feels that the draft "may not be submitted to the Congress for a vote until October 2010". He adds: "I personally think that it might be delayed even further if efforts are not made to speed up the process."

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