China proposes fund to assist companies in international IP litigation


The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) is proposing a fund to assist Chinese companies in prosecuting international cases relating to IP rights.

Zhang Qin, the deputy director of SIPO, made the announcement at the National Corporate Intellectual Property Conference held in Hangzhou on September 2 2007. The aim is to reduce the financial pressure that Chinese companies are facing in international proceedings.

Zhang stated that the number of international cases in which Chinese companies have been involved has increased since China joined the World Trade Organization. In general, Chinese companies do not know how best to protect and utilize their IP rights. Moreover, certain multinational companies may be abusing IP rights in an attempt to hinder the rise of Chinese companies. Many Chinese companies do not have the financial strength to prosecute or defend international IP litigation.

SIPO is to examine the scale and requirements of the fund. No timetable for the commencement of the fund has yet been established.

In addition, SIPO is considering the introduction of other measures to assist Chinese companies in protecting their IP rights. For example, SIPO proposes that an expert committee be established to provide advice to Chinese companies. SIPO will also help companies to:

  • set up internal guidelines on the exploitation and protection of IP rights; and

  • avoid inadvertent infringement of IP rights.

Philip Tsang, Lloyd Wise & Co, Hong Kong

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