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MAY

2021

Newsletter: Volume 3 (2021) Chinese IP Information

(English and Chinese)

  • Are you ready for the new drug patent term compensation?
  • Interpretation and Application of the leading case "Investigation and Handling of Shanghai Zhangyuan Information Technology Co., Ltd.'s Infringement on the Exclusive Right of D&B's Registered Trademark by the Market Supervision Bureau of Chongming District, Shanghai "
  • Supreme Peoples Court issued judicial interpretations on punitive damages for intellectual property rights to punish serious violations of intellectual property rights in accordance with the law
  • Special Action Plan to Combat Malicious Squatting of Trademarks

Are you ready for the new drug patent term compensation?

It is stipulated in the newly revised Patent Law in Article 42 Paragraph 3: "For the purpose of making up the time required for the assessment and approval of the marketing of a new drug, the patent administrative department of the State Council may, at the request of the patentee, provide patent term extension for an invention patent relating to the new drug approved for marketing in China. The extension may not exceed five years, and the total effective term of the patent after the new drug is approved for marketing shall not exceed 14 years.”

The United States, Japan, Europe and other countries and regions set up the drug patent term compensation system 20 to 30 years ago, in which the USA is the first country to establish the system. In 1984, Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, that is Hatch-Waxman Act, was adopted at the United States Congress, stipulating details on the patent term extension system which is listed in Patent Law in Article 156; in Japan, the patent term extension system was established in 1987 and revised and improved in 1999, it is generally regulated in Japan Patent Law in Article 67; in Europe, the EEC 1769/92 Act, that is EU SPC, was adopted and enacted at European Parliament in 1992, and officially came into effect in 1993.

The newly revised Patent Law in our country will come into effect on June 1, 2021, how to take effect depends on subsequent and more detailed method and system. In accordance with the statistical result of Frost&Sullivan, the worldwide famous market research company, from 2012 to 2016, the United States had been always the biggest drug consumption market, it is also the earliest country. There have been 2 million cases of patent having patent term adjustment.

Drugs and the corresponding US patents can be obtained from the US FDA Orange Book as of September 2020, involving 2,873 cases of patent, among the Chinese family of these patents, there are 296 cases of drug patents in total with valid legal status and before expiration by June 1, 2021. It is believed that the patentee of these patents may file a claim for the drug patent term compensation after June 1, 2021.

Rank patentees with 5 or more patents. MSD ranks first with 20 patents, which is much higher than other patentees; Novartis ranks second with 14 patents; AstraZeneca and Allei Biotech both rank third with 10 patents; the number of patents owned by other patentee is less than 10. According to their countries, 9 of the 13 patentees are from the United States, and the remaining four respectively come from Switzerland, UK, Japan and Germany.

In terms of patent drug application diseases that are most likely to file a claim for extension of drug patents, drug patent applicable to cancer with the number of 73 accounts for the most, which is much higher than other diseases; 28 drug patents applicable to neurological diseases rank second; 25 drug patents applicable to cardiovascular diseases rank third; patents applicable to skin diseases and AIDS are respectively 20 and 16; and the number of drug patents applicable to other diseases is less than 15.

Among the right holders who are most likely to file a claim for the extension of drug patents, Merck has much more drug types among the TOP5 patentee, which mainly are AIDS and hepatitis drugs; Novartis also owns many sorts of drugs leading by cancer ones; only three drugs are involved in AstraZeneca, of which TAGRISSO (generic name of the drug osimertinib mesylate) for the treatment of lung cancer is also the drug with the largest number of patents in a single drug layout, and all 7 patents protect compounds; ArrayBio involves only two drugs, both are cancer drugs, MEKTOVI (generic name Binimetinib) for treating melanoma ranks second in the number of patents in a single drug layout, 4 of the 6 patents protect compounds, one protects the use, and the other protects the compound, composition and use at the same time; Takeda also has many drugs, mainly are diabetes and gastric drugs.

From: Sohu News

2021.3.17

Interpretation and Application of the leading case "Investigation and Handling of Shanghai Zhangyuan Information Technology Co., Ltd.'s Infringement on the Exclusive Right of D&B's Registered Trademark by the Market Supervision Bureau of Chongming District, Shanghai "

On December 14, 2020, the CNIPA issued the leading case for Administrative Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights "Investigation and Handling of Shanghai Zhangyuan Information Technology Co., Ltd.'s Infringement on the Exclusive Right of D&B's Registered Trademark by the Market Supervision Bureau of Chongming District, Shanghai " (Leading Case No. 1). The interpretation and application of the leading case are explained as follows.

1. Election process and guiding significance

The case was concluded by the Market Supervision Bureau of Chongming District, Shanghai on November 15, 2019. The agency handling the case affirmed that the party’s behavior was an infringement of the exclusive right of the registered trademark and imposed administrative penalties. After the decision was made, the party concerned did not file an administrative review or file an administrative litigation.

The leading case clarified that the parties use the same or similar words as the registered trademarks of others as searching keywords, and display the keywords in prominent positions, for example, the title of the webpage link on the search result page, which constitutes the use of the trademark. The leading case helped to further clarify the definition of trademark using behavior in the Internet environment.

2. The interpretation and explanation of the case’s main points

(1) The use of trademarks and the judgment of trademark infringement.

The use of trademarks plays a crucial role in the trademark legal system, which is of great significance in the acquisition, maintenance and relief of trademark rights. In recent years, the use of trademarks has been gradually separated from the judgment of "probability of confusion" as an independent infringement judgment element in the practice of administrative law enforcement. For one thing, it can reduce the risk caused by the loosening of the "probability of confusion" infringement judgment standard, and balance the interests of the public and the right holders better; for another thing, it can avoid the complexity of the "probability of confusion" judgment and exclude some cases from the judgment to save limited administrative resources and improve efficiency. Based on this, paragraph 1 of Article 3 in Standard of Trademark Infringement Judgment issued by CNIPA on June 15, 2020 stipulates that “To determine whether a trademark infringement constitutes a trademark infringement, it is generally necessary to determine whether a suspected infringement constitutes a trademark use in the sense of trademark law."

(2) The use of trademarks in the Internet environment.

The focus of the leading case is whether the use of words that are identical or similar to others’ registered trademarks in Internet keywords searching constitutes the use of trademarks. In the environment of Internet, the performance of trademark use show diversified characteristics, and how to define whether the use of relevant signs belongs to the use of trademarks in the sense of trademark law is also extremely complicated. There are two common cases of using words that are the same or similar to others’ registered trademarks in keyword searching: one is to use words that are identical or similar to others’ registered trademarks in the keyword part of the search engine, which means the words are only used for keyword promotion without showing in the search results, that is, internal use; the other is to display the text in prominent positions like the title linking to searching result web page except the keyword part, that is, external use. The said leading case belongs to the second one. The Internet users entering keywords in search engines are to find the related information. The results showing after the search with keywords will usually make the users think they are related to the keywords. Especially the keywords at a prominent position such as the title of the search result page will strengthen the relevance, causing them to have an association that the keyword is related to a particular commodity or service, and thus considering the above link involves the product or service represented by a trademark that is identical or similar to the keyword with the function of identifying the source of the product or service. Therefore, compared with the internal use, the mentioned external use behavior is easier to produce the effect of identifying the source of goods or services, and it should be recognized as the use of trademarks.

In this leading case, the parties used the same words as the "Dun & Bradstreet" trademark of the trademark owner Dun & Bradstreet International Co., Ltd., as searching keywords, and highlighted the words similar to the registered trademark of the owner "Dun & Bradstreet" in the title link on the search result page and the content of the linked web page. For network users, the effect of trademark use is visible and perceivable. The above-mentioned actions convey the information contained in the trademark to the relevant public, easily making the public associate the trademark with its directional specific service, so as to correspond to the provider of specific service, playing a role of distinguishing the service source, which is the use of trademarks.

3. Other issues need to be explained

The leading case also covers judgment issues that can easily cause confusion on the Internet. In accordance with the Standard of Trademark Infringement Judgment, "easy to cause confusion" includes two conditions: one is enough to make the relevant public believe that the involved goods or services are produced or provided by the registered trademark owner, and the other is enough to make the public believe that the provider of the involved goods or services has investment, license, franchise or cooperation relationship with the registered trademark right holder. The word "enough" indicates that "easy to cause confusion" does not take actual confusion as necessity but just need a possibility of confusion. In this leading case, 8 companies mistakenly believed that the parties had a licensing relationship with the trademark owner Dun & Bradstreet International Co., Ltd. via searching on the Internet and based on the trademark use of the parties, and commissioned the parties to apply for Dun & Bradstreet's code. To the time of the case, the parties had collected a total of 179,100 yuan for the agency service fees of the above 8 companies. In conclusion, the parties’ use of a trademark similar to the right holder’s registered trademark on the same service not only make it possible to cause the relevant public confused with the service involved and the service provided by the right holder, but also cause an actual confusion. There is no denying that it can be determined as constituting "easy to cause confusion," and then the party's behavior is a trademark infringement.

The identification of the use of trademark in keyword searching is a global leading edge issue with few related cases at home and abroad. Under the circumstance of lacking clear provisions in active laws and regulations with still disputes in law enforcement practices, the handling agency of the said leading case accurately mastered the essence of trademark use, made accurate determinations of trademark infringements, accumulating valuable experience for trademark administrative enforcement.

From: CNIPA

2021.4.1

Supreme People’s Court issued judicial interpretations on punitive damages for intellectual property rights to punish serious violations of intellectual property rights in accordance with the law

On March 3, 2021, the Supreme People's Court issued the Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court on the Application of Punitive Damages in the Trial of Civil Cases of Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Interpretation).

The Interpretation made specific provisions on the application scope of punitive damages in civil intellectual property cases, the determination of intentional and serious circumstances, and the determination of calculation bases and multiples. The Interpretation aims to guide courts at all levels to accurately apply punitive damages and punish serious violations of intellectual property rights via making judgment standards clear. The issuance of the Interpretation is an important measure to implement the punitive damages system, which manifests the determination of the people's courts to comprehensively strengthen the judicial protection of intellectual property rights, being of great significance for further optimizing the legal environment for technological innovation. It will be implemented on March 3, 2021.

From: Supreme People’s Court

2021.3.3

Special Action Plan to Combat Malicious Squatting of Trademarks

The special action focused on cracking down on the actions of malicious squatting of trademarks, seeking improper interests, disrupting the order of trademark registration management, which causes greater adverse social impact as follows,

(1) Maliciously squatting of the names of national or regional strategies, major activities, major policies, major projects, or major scientific and technological projects;

(2) Maliciously squatting of vocabulary and signs related to public emergencies such as natural disasters, major accidents, major public health incidents, and social security incidents, which harms the public interests of the society;

(3) Maliciously squatting of the names and logos of major events or major exhibitions with a relatively high reputation;

(4) Maliciously registering the names of administrative divisions, mountains and rivers, scenic spots, buildings and other public resources;

(5) Maliciously squatting of public commercial resources such as common names and industry terms of goods or services;

(6) Maliciously squatting of the public figures names, well-known works or character names with high popularity;

(7) Maliciously squatting of others’ trademark or other commercial marks with a relatively high reputation or strong distinctiveness, which damages the prior rights and interests of others;

(8) Obviously violating the prohibition of Article 10 of the Trademark Law and other violations of public order and moral, which causes significant negative social impacts on the country's political, economic, cultural, religious, ethnic and other social public interests and public order;

(9) Trademark agencies accept clients’ entrustment or disturb the order of trademark agency by other improper means even if they know or should know that the client is engaged in the above-mentioned acts;

(10) Other obvious violations of good faith principle.

Implement precise strikes around the entire process of trademark registration. Strengthen the supervision of malicious squatting, realize the synergy of trademark registration, opposition, examination and follow-up service, and promote consistent implementation of standards. The clues in the trademark registration process are handled in accordance with the law by various local trademark examination and cooperation centers with the instructions of Trademark Office. If it constitutes malicious squatting of trademark, the rapid rejection mechanism will be activated. If clues to cases in the trademark opposition or invalidation procedures constitute malicious registration of trademark, measures such as advance review and trial, combined review and trial, and oral trial of major cases should be adopted, and registration shall not be granted or be declared invalid in accordance with the law.

From: CNIPA

2021.3.24

  • 新药专利权期限补偿你准备好了吗?
  • 指导案例上海市崇明区市场监管局查处上海章元信息技术有限公司侵犯邓白氏注册商标专用权案”的理解与适用
  • 最高人民法院出台知识产权惩罚性赔偿司法解释 依法惩处严重侵害知识产权行为
  • 打击商标恶意抢注行为专项行动方案

新药专利权期限补偿你准备好了吗?

最新修改的《专利法》第四十二条第三款中规定:“为补偿新药上市审评审批占用的时间,对在中国获得上市许可的新药相关发明专利,国务院专利行政部门应专利权人的请求给予专利权期限补偿。补偿期限不超过五年,新药批准上市后总有效专利权期限不超过十四年”。

美国、日本、欧洲等国家和地区早在二三十年前就设立了药品专利期限补偿制度,美国是最早设立这项制度的国家,1984年,美国国会通过《药品价格竞争和专利期限补偿法》,即著名 Hatch-Waxman法案,对于专利期限延长制度进行了详细规定,并列入专利法第156条;日本在1987年设立、1999年修订完善专利延长制度,在日本专利法第67条中对该制度做出一般规定;欧洲议会在1992年颁布通过、1993年正式实施EEC1769/92法令,即《欧盟药品补充保护证书》。

我国新修改的《专利法》将于202161日起开始实施,如何实施还要关注后续更加细化的办法和制度。根据国际知名市场研究公司Frost&Sullivan的统计结果,2012-2016年美国一直是全球最大的药品消费市场,美国也是最早设立药品专利期限补偿制度的国家。共有二百多万件专利获得了专利权期限调整。

从截止到20209月的美国FDA橙皮书中可以获得药品及其对应的美国专利,涉及到2,873件专利,这些专利的中国同族,其中当前法律状态为有效并且截止到202161日未届满的药品专利共296件,我们认为这些专利的权利人有可能在202161日后提起药品专利期限补偿主张。

选取拥有专利数量在5件及以上的专利权人进行排名。默沙东以20件专利拥有量位居榜首,远高于其他专利权人;排名第二的诺华拥有专利14件;阿斯利康和阿雷生物皆以10件专利拥有量并列排名第三;其他专利权人拥有专利数量均低于10件。从所属国家来看,13个专利权人中有9个来自美国,其余来自瑞士、英国、日本和德国的专利权人各1个。

最有可能提起药品专利期限延期主张的专利药物适用病症方面,适用于癌症的药物专利最多,有73件,远远高于其他疾病;适用于神经疾病的药物专利排名第二,有28件;适用于心血管疾病的药物专利排名第三,有25件;适用于皮肤病和艾滋病的专利数量分别有20件和16件;适用于其他病症药物的专利数量均不足15件。

最有可能提起药品专利期限延期主张的权利人中,TOP5专利权人中,默沙东涉及的药物种类较多,其中以艾滋病和肝炎药物为主;诺华涉及的药物种类也比较多,其中以癌症药物为主;阿斯利康涉及的药物仅三种,其中治疗肺癌的TAGRISSO(药品通用名甲磺酸奥希替尼)也是单一药物布局专利数量最多的药物,7件专利保护的均是化合物;阿雷生物涉及的药物仅两种,都是癌症药物,其中治疗黑色素瘤的MEKTOVI(药品通用名贝美替尼),是单一药物布局专利数量排名第二的药物,6件专利中4件保护的是化合物,1件保护的是用途,1件同时保护了化合物、组合物和用途;武田涉及的药物种类也较多,其中以糖尿病和胃病药物为主。

摘自Sohu News

2021317

指导案例上海市崇明区市场监管局查处上海章元信息技术有限公司侵犯邓白氏注册商标专用权案”的理解与适用

20201214日,国家知识产权局发布了知识产权行政执法指导案例“上海市崇明区市场监管局查处上海章元信息技术有限公司侵犯邓白氏注册商标专用权案”(指导案例1号)。下面就该指导案例的理解与适用进行说明。

一、 推选经过和指导意义

该案由上海市崇明区市场监管局于20191115日办结。办案机关认定当事人的行为属于侵犯注册商标专用权的行为,并进行了行政处罚。行政处罚决定作出后,当事人未提出行政复议或提起行政诉讼。

该指导案例明确了当事人将与他人注册商标相同或者近似的文字作为搜索关键词,并在搜索结果页面网页链接的标题等显著位置显示该关键词,构成商标的使用。该指导案例的发布,有利于进一步厘清互联网环境下商标使用行为的界定。

二、案件要点的理解与说明

(一)商标的使用与商标侵权判断。

商标的使用在商标法律体系中起着非常重要的作用,其在商标权利的取得、维持和救济等方面均具有重要意义。近年来,行政执法实践中逐渐将商标的使用从“混淆可能性”判断中剥离出来,作为一个独立的侵权判断要件。这一方面可减少混淆可能性”侵权判断标准的松动所带来的风险,更好地平衡社会公众和权利人的利益;另一方面可避开“混淆可能性”判断的复杂性,将一些案件排除在“混淆可能性”判断之外,以节约有限的行政资源,提高效率。基于此,国家知识产权局2020615日印发的《商标侵权判断标准》第三条第一款规定“判断是否构成商标侵权,一般需要判断涉嫌侵权行为是否构成商标法意义上的商标的使用。”

(二)互联网环境下商标的使用。

该指导案例的焦点问题是在互联网关键词搜索中使用与他人注册商标相同或者近似的文字是否构成商标的使用。在互联网环境下,商标使用的表现形式呈现出多元化特征,如何界定相关标识的使用是否属于商标法意义上的商标的使用也极为复杂。在关键词搜索中使用与他人注册商标相同或者近似的文字常见两种情形:一是在搜索引擎关键词部分使用与他人注册商标相同或近似的文字,即该文字仅用于关键词推广,不显示在搜索结果中,即内部使用行为;二是除关键词部分外,在搜索结果网页链接的标题等显著位置也显示该文字,即外部使用行为。该指导案例属于第二种情形。网络用户在搜索引擎中输入关键词的目的是想要寻找与其相关的信息。通过关键词搜索后所显示的搜索结果,网络用户通常会认为显示结果与关键词相关,尤其在搜索结果页面的标题等显著位置出现该关键词时,会让这种关联性加强,让网络用户产生联想,认为该关键词与特定商品或服务存在联系,从而认为上述链接涉及与该关键词相同或近似的商标所代表的商品或服务,产生了识别商品或服务来源的功能。因此,前述的外部使用行为相比内部使用行为,更易产生识别商品或服务来源的效果,宜认定为商标的使用行为。

该指导案例中,当事人将与商标权利人美国邓白氏国际有限公司的“邓白氏”商标相同的文字作为搜索关键字使用,在搜索结果页面网页链接标题以及链接网页内容中均突出显示与商标权利人“邓白氏”注册商标近似的文字。对于网络用户来说,商标的使用效果是可视的、可感知的,上述行为将商标中所蕴含的信息传达给相关公众,易使相关公众将商标与其指向的特定服务相关联,从而对应特定服务的提供者,起到了区别服务来源的功能,属于商标的使用。

三、其他需要说明的问题

该指导案例还涉及互联网环境下容易导致混淆的判断问题。根据《商标侵权判断标准》,“容易导致混淆”包括两种情形:一是足以使相关公众认为涉案商品或者服务是由注册商标权利人生产或者提供,二是足以使相关公众认为涉案商品或者服务的提供者与注册商标权利人存在投资、许可、加盟或者合作等关系。“足以”二字表明,“容易导致混淆”不以实际混淆为要件,只要具有混淆的可能性即可。该指导案例中,有八家企业通过互联网搜索,基于当事人的商标使用行为,误认为当事人与商标权利人美国邓白氏国际有限公司有授权许可关系,委托当事人办理了邓白氏编码申请。至案发时,当事人累计收取上述八家企业代理服务费17.991万元。综上,当事人在同一种服务上使用与权利人注册商标近似的商标的行为不仅存在使相关公众将涉案服务与权利人提供的服务混淆的可能性,而且产生了实际混淆的后果,当然可以认定其构成“容易导致混淆”,继而认定当事人的行为属于商标侵权行为。

对于关键词搜索中商标使用行为的认定属于世界前沿问题,国内外相关案例较少。在现行法律法规没有明确规定,执法实践尚存在争议的情况下,该指导案例办案机关准确把握商标使用的要旨,对商标侵权行为作出准确认定,为商标行政执法积累了有益经验。

摘自CNIPA

202141

最高人民法院出台知识产权惩罚性赔偿司法解释 依法惩处严重侵害知识产权行为

202133日,最高人民法院发布《最高人民法院关于审理侵害知识产权民事案件适用惩罚性赔偿的解释》(以下简称《解释》)。

《解释》对知识产权民事案件中惩罚性赔偿的适用范围,故意、情节严重的认定,计算基数、倍数的确定等作出了具体规定。《解释》旨在通过明晰裁判标准,指导各级法院准确适用惩罚性赔偿,惩处严重侵害知识产权行为。《解释》的发布是落实惩罚性赔偿制度的重要举措,彰显了人民法院全面加强知识产权司法保护的决心,对于进一步优化科技创新法治环境具有重要意义,自202133日起施行。

摘自Supreme Peoples Court 202133

打击商标恶意抢注行为专项行动方案

专项行动重点打击以下商标恶意抢注、图谋不当利益,扰乱商标注册管理秩序,造成较大不良社会影响的行为:

(一)恶意抢注国家或区域战略、重大活动、重大政策、重大工程、重大科技项目名称的;

(二)恶意抢注重大自然灾害、重大事故灾难、重大公共卫生事件和社会安全事件等突发公共事件相关词汇、标志,损害社会公共利益的;

(三)恶意抢注具有较高知名度的重大赛事、重大展会名称、标志的;

(四)恶意抢注行政区划名称、山川名称、景点名称、建筑物名称等公共资源的;

(五)恶意抢注商品或服务的通用名称、行业术语等公共商业资源的;

(六)恶意抢注具有较高知名度的公众人物姓名、知名作品或者角色名称的;

(七)恶意抢注他人具有较高知名度或者较强显著性的商标或者其他商业标志,损害他人在先权益的;

(八)明显违背商标法第十条规定禁止情形以及其他违反公序良俗,对我国政治、经济、文化、宗教、民族等社会公共利益和公共秩序造成重大消极、负面社会影响的;

(九)商标代理机构知道或者应当知道委托人从事上述行为,仍接受其委托或者以其他不正当手段扰乱商标代理秩序的;

(十)其他明显违背诚实信用原则的。

围绕商标注册全流程实施精准打击。加强恶意抢注行为监控,实现商标注册、异议、评审和后续业务的协同,促进标准执行一致。对处于商标注册程序中的案件线索,由商标局指导各地方商标审查协作中心依法处理,构成商标恶意抢注行为的,启动快速驳回机制。对处于商标异议、无效宣告程序中的案件线索,构成商标恶意抢注行为的,采取提前审查审理、并案审查审理和重大案件口头审理等措施,依法不予注册或者宣告无效。

摘自CNIPA

2021324

About the Firm

Ge Cheng & Co Ltd.
Address Level 19, Tower E3, The Towers, Oriental Plaza, No 1 East Chang An Avenue, Beijing 100073, China.
Tel 86-10-8518 8598
Fax 86-10-8518 3600
Email davidcheng@gechengip.com , info@gechengip.com
Link www.gechengip.com

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