Compendium of China National Intellectual Property Strategy released

After a review that lasted over one year, the Compendium of China National Intellectual Property Strategy, which gives directions for the development of IP rights protection in China, was promulgated on June 5 2008.
The National Intellectual Property Strategy Formulation Leading Group, which comprises officials from 33 state departments and central institutions, was established by the State Council in 2005 to formulate the country’s National Intellectual Property Strategy. The strategy includes the compendium and 20 specialized research studies. 
The compendium is divided into the following five parts: 
  • The preface provides the background for the formulation of the strategy. 
  • The ‘guiding principles and strategic goals’ specify China’s goals with regard to IP rights protection (including increasing the level of IP rights created independently, and improving their application and protection within the next five years), the aim being to provide a relatively high level of IP creation, utilization, protection and administration by 2020. 
  • The ‘strategic focuses’ aim to perfect the IP laws and regulations, as well as to strengthen the enforcement and administration system in order to enhance the role of the judiciary in the protection of IP rights.
  • The ‘specific tasks’ outline the work to be done in relation to patents, trademarks, copyright, business secrets, new plant varieties, other IP rights and national defence. These tasks include: 

    • refining the policies related to patent standardization
    • encouraging companies to implement trademark strategies
    • supporting the development of copyright-related industries; and
    • the establishment of trade secret management systems.    
  • The nine ‘strategic measures’ specify how to achieve the ‘specific tasks’. One notable development under consideration is the setting up of specialized IP courts, which would have jurisdiction over all administrative, civil and criminal IP cases (currently, criminal IP cases are heard by the first instance people’s courts, and civil IP cases by the intermediate people’s courts). In addition, an IP appellate court is being considered. 
A significant feature of the compendium is that, for the first time, the role of the judicial system in IP protection is being emphasized by a state policy in China.
Selene Ng, Wilkinson & Grist, Hong Kong

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