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2020

Newsletter: Chinese IP Information

(English and Chinese)

  • Draft Amendment to the Patent Law: Strengthen the Protection of Designs and Stimulate "Micro Innovation"
  • Put on a "Tightening Curse" for Infringers
  • The EU Authorizes the Formal Signing of the China-EU Geographical Indication Agreement
  • China-Japan Coenzyme Q10 Patent Battle Ended

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Draft Amendment to the Patent Law: Strengthen the Protection of Designs and Stimulate "Micro Innovation"

In the rapidly changing Internet age, "micro-innovation" is becoming a new fulcrum to instigate changes in the industry, but innovators face the difficulty of patent protection. The partial design patent system newly incorporated to the draft amendments to the Chinese Patent Law is expected to become the "terminator" of the aforementioned problems.

Article 2 of the draft stipulates: "Designs refer to new designs that are aesthetically pleasing and suitable for industrial applications based on the overall or partial shape, pattern, or combination of products, as well as the combination of colors, shapes, and patterns." The focus of the amendment is to incoporate a "whole or partial..." clause, which means that partial design innovation is expected to be included in the scope of patent law protection.

Compared with the subversive overall product design, partial design is gradually becoming an important way of product design. According to current laws and regulations, GUI must be bundled with specific products and protected as a whole, resulting in many partial innovations being excluded from the object of design patent protection.

"The term of design patent rights is fifteen years." Compared with the current patent law, the draft amendment extends the protection term of design patents by 5 years. This move is considered to be China's preparation for joining the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Geneva Act) (hereinafter referred to as the Hague Agreement). At present, the Hague Agreement has established a system for the international registration of industrial designs, which stipulates that when the international registration has been renewed, the term of protection of the designated contracting party shall be at least 15 years from the date of the international registration.

"Extending the term of protection is one of the measures to increase the protection of intellectual property rights." Some designs with certain characteristics usually have a longer life cycle, such as parts of automobiles, household appliances or daily necessities that have significant design characteristics. Generally, products have a long lifespan. Only by giving right holders a reasonable protection period can the interests of innovators and the public be better balanced.

At present, the second review of the draft amendment to Chinese Patent Law is soliciting opinions from the public. Incorporating a partial design protection system and extending the protection period of design patents... The relevant provisions of this amendment will make China's design protection system increasingly perfect, and help broaden the scope of design protection, increase design innovation protection, and allow innovation those who have the heart of innovation have no worries about infringement.

From CNIPA

2020.7.29

Put on a "Tightening Curse" for Infringers

The punitive damages clauses and redistributes the burden of evidence collection are incorporated into the draft amendment to the Patent Law.

"In the case that the product has been ordered by the court for patent infringement, the subsequent production of the product by the infringer still uses our patented technology, and the company can only sue again." In the face of competitor's knowing violation, the incorporated punitive damages system in the fourth amendment to the Patent Law is expected to solve the old problems of low compensation in patent litigation and difficulty in producing evidence.

The draft amendment to the Patent Law adjusted the amount of compensation for deliberate infringement to more than 1 time and less than 5 times, the statutory compensation amount was increased from 1 million CNY to 5 million CNY, and the relevant obligation of proof for infringers was stipulated.

Intentional infringement makes right holders often fall into "marathon" rights protection. Solving this problem requires the infringer to pay a heavy price. Gree Electric is one of the victims of deliberate infringement. In 2015, Gree Electric discovered that a series of products produced and sold by an air-conditioning company were suspected of infringing its patent rights. The company filed a lawsuit with the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court. The court ordered the defendant to immediately stop the infringement and compensate Gree Electric for economic losses 80 ten thousand CNY.

However, the court decision did not stop the infringer from infringing, and he continued to intensify his patent infringement. Gree Electric subsequently sued the above-mentioned air-conditioning company to the court again. The first and second-instance courts both held that after the court had judged that it constituted a patent infringement, the accused air-conditioning company still produced and sold infringing products in large quantities. The nature of the infringement was serious and the infringement was malicious. Obviously, the infringement should be stopped immediately, and Gree Electric should be compensated 40 million CNY for economic losses.

The provisions of the draft amendments to the Patent Law on the regulation of intentional infringements have incorporated confidence to companies like Gree Electric in protecting their patent rights. According to Article 71 of the second review draft, if the circumstances are serious for intentional infringement of patent rights, the amount of compensation may be determined based on more than 1 time and less than 5 times the determined amount. If it is difficult to determine the loss of the right holder, the benefits obtained by the infringer, and the patent license fee, the people's court can determine the compensation of less than 5 million CNY based on factors such as the type of patent right, the nature of the infringement and the circumstances.

Failure to produce evidence makes the infringer often feel lucky in litigation, believing that the right holder has no evidence and he is not responsible for the infringement.

In patent litigation, many right holders face the dilemma of not being able to access the location of the infringing product to collect evidence, and not being able to grasp the sales and sales of the infringing product. In order to solve this problem, Article 71 of the second review draft of the Draft Amendment to the Patent Law stipulates that in order to determine the amount of compensation, the court has tried its best to provide evidence and the account books and information related to the infringement are mainly in the hands of the infringer, the infringer may be ordered to provide account books and materials related to the infringement; if the infringer does not provide or provide false account books and materials, the court may refer to the claims of the right holder and the evidence provided to determine the amount of compensation.

"This clause is mainly to solve the problem of difficulty in producing evidence in patent litigation. If the above clause is implemented, the court can determine the defendant’s infringement profit based on the plaintiff’s claim and the evidence in the case, which greatly reduces the difficulty of the patentee’s proof of evidence, to help solving pain points that are difficult to provide evidence in patent litigation.

At present, patent litigation in China follows the principle of "who asserts, who presents evidence". Plaintiffs often find it difficult to provide evidence and often have insufficient power. If this clause is implemented, it will greatly reduce the burden of proof of the patentee as the plaintiff of patent infringement cases, effectively solve the problem of the defendant's slack or false proof in patent litigation, and effectively improve the trial level and effectiveness of patent litigation cases.

Low compensation and difficulty in producing evidence... The related problems that China has been facing in patent litigation are expected to be solved with the fourth revision of the Patent Law. The system of punitive damages is expected to become a "tight spell" against intentional infringement and a "booster" to promote technological innovation.

From CNIPA 2020.7.22

The EU Authorizes the Formal Signing of the China-EU Geographical Indication Agreement

The Council of the European Union made a decision on the 20th local time to authorize the formal signing of the China-EU Geographical Indications Agreement.

This is the first significant bilateral trade agreement signed between the EU and China. It will ensure that 100 EU agri-food GIs such as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Languedoc wine, Polska Wodka or Elia Kalamatas get protection on the Chinese market. Likewise 100 Chinese products will be protected in the EU, thereby ensuring mutual respect of the best of both agricultural traditions.

Four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides. The agreement also includes a mechanisum to add more geographical indications thereafter.

Negotiations on the China-EU Geographical Indications Agreement began in 2011 and lasted for 8 years. On November 6, 2019, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan jointly announced the conclusion of negotiations on the China-EU Geographical Indication Protection and Cooperation Agreement. Subsequently, China and Europe began to perform the relevant procedures for the formal signing of the agreement.

From CNIPA

2020.7.15

China-Japan Coenzyme Q10 Patent Battle Ended

Recently, Xiamen Kingdomway Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Kingdomway), the world’s largest supplier of coenzyme Q10, issued an announcement stating that the company had received a lawyer’s notice that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept Kaneka. According to Kaneka's appeal, Kingdomway was finally found not to infringe. After Zhejiang Pharmaceutical won the case against Kaneka's transnational patent case, a nine-year-old patent dispute between Chinese and Japanese coenzyme manufacturers officially ended.

Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can activate the nutrition of human cells and cell energy. It has the functions of improving human immunity, enhancing anti-oxidation, delaying aging and enhancing human vitality. It is widely used in medicine for cardiovascular diseases. At present, it is widely used as nutritional health products and food additives at home and abroad.

The "Coenzyme Q10 Market and Technical Analysis Report" released by the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Consulting Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences shows that Japan has been producing coenzyme Q10 by microbiological methods since the 1970s, and it was the earliest and most important coenzyme Q10 producer in the world. At the beginning of the century, it has occupied more than 90% of the world market export share in related fields. China is a relatively late country in the world to use Coenzyme Q10, but the application and demand for Coenzyme Q10 are growing rapidly. A technical person in charge of a domestic coenzyme manufacturer introduced to a reporter from China Intellectual Property News that from the perspective of the development situation, the current coenzyme Q10 market has gradually formed a relatively stable market pattern. The global coenzyme Q10 raw material competition is mainly concentrated in Japanese and Chinese companies. At present, the largest Japanese company is Kaneka Chemical, and Chinese manufacturers mainly include Kingdomway, Zhejiang Pharmaceutical, Xinhecheng, Shenzhou Biological and other enterprises.

It is understood that Kaneka Chemical is an important supplier of coenzyme Q10 products in the world. The company's process of producing oxidized coenzyme Q10 through reduced coenzyme Q10 was patented in Europe and China in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The numbers were respectively EP1466983B1 and CN100523205C. Its related patent application has undergone a long period of examination in the United States and was granted on March 22, 2011 after substantial revisions. The patent number is US7910340 (hereinafter referred to as "340 patent").

It is around this "340 patent" that Chinese and Japanese coenzyme Q10 manufacturers have frequently confronted the court. On March 22, 2011, Kaneka Chemical filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the Central District of California (hereinafter referred to as the District Court), accusing several companies including Kingdomway and its coenzyme Q10 series of infringing one or more claims of its "340 patent", and submitted a "337 Investigation" application to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on June 17, 2011. On November 29, 2012, the ITC issued a committee decision that Kingdomway does not infringe the "340 patent" rights and does not violate Section 337. After trial, the district court also ruled that Kingdomway did not infringe the "340 patent" rights. In response, Kaneka Chemical filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After the retrial was sent back, the local court again made a non-infringement judgment. So far, the local court's trial of the case is over.

A year and a half ago, in January 2018, the U.S. District Court of Houston, Texas, made a final judgment on Kaneka Chemical’s v. Zhejiang Pharmaceutical Coenzyme Q10 Patent Infringement Dispute, and determined that Zhejiang Pharmaceutical’s production process of Coenzyme Q10 did not violate Kaneka Chemical’s patent. Zhejiang Medicine also lasted for 7 years. After the "337 Investigation" and several patent litigation, it ushered in the final victory of the Coenzyme Q10 transnational patent case.

From PEOPLE.CN

2020.7.6

  • 专利法修正案草案:强化外观设计保护,激发微创新

  • 为侵权者戴上紧箍咒

  • 欧盟授权正式签署中欧地理标志协定

  • 中日辅酶Q10专利战落幕

专利法修正案草案:强化外观设计保护,激发“微创新”

在瞬息万变的互联网时代,“微创新”正在成为撬动行业变革的新支点,但创新者却面临专利保护难的困境。中国专利法修正案草案新增的局部外观设计专利制度,有望成为上述难题的“终结者”。

草案第二条规定:“外观设计,是指对产品的整体或者局部的形状、图案或者其结合以及色彩与形状、图案的结合所作出的富有美感并适于工业应用的新设计。”此次修改的重点在于增加了“整体或者局部的……”条款,这意味着局部外观设计的创新有望被纳入专利法保护范围。

相对于具有颠覆性的产品整体设计,局部外观设计正逐渐成为产品设计的重要方式。根据我国现行法律规定,GUI必须与特定产品捆绑,作为一个整体进行保护,导致很多局部创新被排除在外观设计专利保护客体之外。

“外观设计专利权的期限为十五年。”相比现行专利法,修正案草案将外观设计专利的保护期限延长了5年。此举被认为是中国为加入《工业品外观设计国际注册海牙协定(日内瓦文本)》(下称海牙协定)做准备。目前,海牙协定建立了一套外观设计国际注册体系,其规定,国际注册已经续展的情形下,被指定的缔约方的保护期至少为自国际注册日算起15年。

“延长保护期限是加大知识产权保护力度的举措之一。”一些具有一定特点的外观设计通常具有较长的生命周期,比如汽车、家用电器或日用品上的部分具有显著设计特点的零部件,一般具有较长的产品寿命,只有给予权利人合理的保护期限,才能较好地平衡创新者与社会公众之间的利益。

目前,我国专利法修正案草案二审稿正在向社会公众征求意见。增设局部外观设计保护制度、延长外观设计专利保护期限……此次修法的相关条款将使中国外观设计保护制度日趋完善,并有助于拓宽外观设计保护范围、加大设计创新保护力度,让创新者怀创新之心,无侵权之忧。

摘自CNIPA

2020729

为侵权者戴上“紧箍咒”

专利法修正案草案新增惩罚性赔偿条款、重新分配取证责任——

在产品已经被法院判令专利侵权的情况下,侵权者后续生产的空调产品仍然使用我们的专利技术,公司只能再次起诉。面对竞争对手的明知故犯,第四次专利法修改新增的惩罚性赔偿制度有望破解专利诉讼赔偿低、举证难的老问题。

专利法修正案草案将故意侵权的赔偿数额调整为1倍以上5倍以下,法定赔偿额从100万元提高到了500万元,并规定了侵权者的相关举证义务。

故意侵权,使得权利人经常陷入马拉松式维权,破解该难题,需要让侵权者付出沉重代价。格力电器是故意侵权的受害者之一。2015年,格力电器发现有一家空调企业生产、销售的系列产品涉嫌侵犯其专利权,该公司遂向广州知识产权法院提起诉讼,法院判令被告立即停止侵权行为,并向格力电器赔偿经济损失80万元。

然而,法院判决并未使侵权者停下侵权的脚步,其继续变本加厉地从事专利侵权行为。格力电器随后再次将上述空调企业诉至法院,一审、二审法院经审理后均认为,被诉空调企业在法院已判决其构成专利侵权后,仍然大量生产、销售侵权产品,侵权性质严重,侵权恶意明显,应立即停止侵权行为,赔偿格力电器经济损失4000万元。

专利法修正案草案关于规制故意侵权行为的条款,为类似格力电器这样的企业增添了专利维权的信心。根据草案二审稿第七十一条规定,对故意侵犯专利权,情节严重的,可以按照已确定数额的1倍以上5倍以下确定赔偿数额。权利人的损失、侵权人获得的利益和专利许可使用费均难以确定的,人民法院可以根据专利权的类型、侵权行为的性质和情节等因素,确定给予500万元以下的赔偿。

怠于举证,使得侵权者在诉讼时经常抱有侥幸心理,认为权利人没有证据,自己无需为侵权行为负责。

在专利诉讼中,很多权利人面临无法进入侵权产品所在地取证、无法掌握侵权产品销量和销售额等证据的困境。为了破解该难题,专利法修正案草案二审稿第七十一条规定,法院为确定赔偿数额,在权利人已经尽力举证,而与侵权行为相关的账簿、资料主要由侵权人掌握的情况下,可以责令侵权人提供与侵权行为相关的账簿、资料;侵权人不提供或者提供虚假的账簿、资料的,法院可以参考权利人的主张和所提供证据判定赔偿数额。

该条款主要是解决专利诉讼中的举证难问题。如果上述条款付诸实施,法院可以依据原告主张和在案证据认定被告的侵权获利,极大地减少专利权人举证的难度,有利于解决专利诉讼中举证难的痛点问题。

目前,中国专利诉讼遵循谁主张,谁举证原则,原告往往举证艰难,常常力有不逮。如果该条款付诸实施,将大幅减轻专利权人作为专利侵权案件原告的举证责任,有效解决专利诉讼中被告懈怠举证或者虚假举证问题,有效提升专利诉讼案件的审判水准和审理效力。

赔偿低、举证难……我国专利诉讼一直面临的相关难题,有望随着专利法第四次修改被破解。惩罚性赔偿制度将有望成为打击故意侵权的紧箍咒和促进科技创新的助推器

摘自CNIPA

2020722

欧盟授权正式签署中欧地理标志协定

欧盟理事会当地时间20日做出决定,授权正式签署中欧地理标志协定。

这是中欧之间签署的第一份重要的双边贸易协定。它将确保100个欧盟农业地理标志,例如Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Languedoc葡萄酒,Polska WodkaElia Kalamatas在中国市场得到保护。同样,在欧盟将保护100种中国产品,从而确保相互尊重这两种农业传统中的最佳传统。据欧盟理事会发布的公告,该协定是欧盟与中国之间签署的第一份意义重大的双边贸易协定。它将确保来自欧盟和中国的各100个地理标志在对方市场上得到保护,从而确保双方相互尊重对方的优良农业传统。公告说,该协定生效四年后,协定范围将扩大,以涵盖双方额外的175个地理标志名称。

中欧地理标志协定谈判始于2011年,历时8年时间。2019116日,中国商务部部长钟山与欧盟农业委员菲尔•霍根共同宣布中欧地理标志保护与合作协定谈判结束。随后,中欧开始履行正式签署该协定的相关手续。

摘自CNIPA

2020715

中日辅酶Q10专利战落幕

近日,全球最大辅酶Q10供应商厦门金达威集团股份有限公司(下称金达威)发布公告称,美国联邦最高法院拒绝受理Kaneka(日本钟渊化学工业株式会社,下称钟渊化学)的上诉请求,金达威最终被判不侵权。继浙江医药胜诉钟渊化学跨国专利案后,中日辅酶生产厂家之间一起长达9年之久的专利纠纷正式落幕。

辅酶Q10是一种脂溶性抗氧化剂,能激活人体细胞和细胞能量的营养,具有提高人体免疫力、增强抗氧化、延缓衰老和增强人体活力等功能,医学上广泛用于心血管系统疾病。目前,国内外广泛将其用作营养保健品及食品添加剂。

国科学院上海科技查新咨询中心发布的《辅酶Q10市场及技术分析报告》显示,日本自上世纪70年代开始用微生物法生产辅酶Q10,是世界上最早也是最主要的辅酶Q10生产国,直到本世纪初一直占据相关领域世界市场出口份额的90%以上。中国是世界上利用辅酶Q10比较晚的国家,但辅酶Q10的应用及需求量迅速增长。国内一家辅酶生产企业技术负责人向中国知识产权报记者介绍,从发展形势来看,目前辅酶Q10市场已逐渐形成了相对稳定的市场格局,全球辅酶Q10原料的竞争主要集中在日本与中国的企业之间。目前,日本规模最大的是钟渊化学,中国生产厂家主要有金达威、浙江医药、新和成、神舟生物等企业。

据了解,日本钟渊化学是世界上辅酶Q10产品的重要供应商,该公司通过还原型辅酶Q10生产氧化型辅酶Q10的工艺分别于2008年和2009年在欧洲和中国获得专利权,公告号分别为EP1466983B1CN100523205C。其相关专利申请在美国经历了较长时间的审查并经较大幅度修改后于2011322日获得授权,专利号为US7910340(下称“340专利”)。

正是围绕这件“340专利”,中日辅酶Q10生产企业频频走上法庭对峙。2011322日,日本钟渊化学向美国加州中央区地方法院(下称地方法院)提起诉讼,指控包括金达威在内的数家公司的辅酶Q10系列产品侵犯其“340专利”一项或多项权利要求,并于2011617日向美国国际贸易委员会(ITC)提交了“337调查”申请。20121129ITC发布委员会决定,金达威不侵犯“340专利”权,没有违反337条款。经审理,地方法院同样判决金达威没有侵犯“340专利”权。对此,钟渊化学向美国联邦巡回上诉法院提起上诉。发回重审后,地方法院再次作出不侵权判决,至此,地方法院对该案的审理结束。

但是,钟渊化学不服地方法院的判决向美国联邦巡回上诉法院再次提起上诉。2019513日,美国联邦巡回上诉法院作出维持地方法院的判决。一个月后,钟渊化学提交了要求重审的请求。重审请求被拒后,今年初,钟渊化学向美国联邦最高法院请求提交保密版的上诉请求。224日,该院否决了这一请求。317日,钟渊化学再次向美国联邦最高法院提交公开版的上诉请求,这一请求最终还是被拒,这意味着这场旷日持久的辅酶Q10专利诉讼案正式结案。

而在一年半前,20181月,美国得克萨斯州休斯顿地区法院就钟渊化学诉浙江医药辅酶Q10专利侵权纠纷案作出终审判决,认定浙江医药生产辅酶Q10产品的工艺没有侵犯钟渊化学的专利权。浙江医药也是历时7年,在历经“337调查”、数次专利诉讼后,迎来了辅酶Q10跨国专利案的最终胜利。

摘自人民网

202076

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特許法改正案ドラフト:意匠の保護を強化し、「マイクロイノベーシ...

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28
AUG
2020
28
AUG
2020
2020年上半期の知財に関する主要統計データー 執法基準統合!『商標権...

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28
AUG
2020
28
AUG
2020
Newsletter: Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) IP Statistics in the First Half of 20...

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25
JUL
2020
25
JUL
2020
Newsletter: Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Trademark Examination: Adhere to Stab...

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25
JUL
2020
25
JUL
2020
商標審査:安定を踏まえ進展を図り、品質・効率の向上を実現する We...

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