We applied for membership of the China Intellectual Property Development Alliance in 2018 and were approved as a member recently after series of reviews and permits. In addition, we became a committee member on certification advisory services of the Alliance.
AFD has committed to assisting clients to identify, protect, and utilize their intellectual property assets over years and has also been looking for opportunities for domestic and foreign clients to establish IP cooperation.
By joining the national-level platform, AFD will have better visions and resources on patent operation and utilization and thus bring more benefits to our clients.
It is said that the irregular acts of trademark application will be under tight examination and crackdown.
According to the latest statistics released by the Trademark Bureau of National Intellectual Property Administration of China (CNIPA), China had 5.507 million trademark applications from January to September, 2018, up 39.8% year on year. As of the end of September, the number of valid registered trademarks reached 17.981 million. However, despite the large volume of trademark application, the use rate of trademark remains relatively low.
An official of CNIPA said, “the acts of filing trademark applications in large quantities as a method of making profits have devastated the sound operation of China’s trademark system, seriously hindered the normal business activities of market players, and harmed the market order of fair competition, hampering the healthy economic development.”
Recently, the Trademark Bureau of CNIPA refused over 16,000 trademark applications in accordance with Article 4 of the Trademark Law. The official indicated that the Trademark Bureau will conduct tight supervision on those illegal application acts in the work of trademark examination, opposition and refusal by curbing and cracking down on malicious registration and hoarding of trademarks.
The General Administration of Customs has announced that it will launch a special campaign to fight infringements upon intellectual property rights this year with a focus on foreign-funded companies. The move is part of the efforts to improve the country's business environment, customs officials said. Government data showed that Chinese customs nationwide seized 44,500 shipments of counterfeited goods worth 200 million yuan ($29.4 million) involved in foreign trade last year.
According to the statistics of the CNIPA, in 2018, granted invention patents in China totaled 432,000, 346,000 of which were from domestic applicants. Huawei (3,369), Sinopec (2,849) and OPPO (2,345) ranked as the top three patentees. In 2018, CNIPA received 55,000 PCT applications, up 9.0%; 52,000 of which were from local applicants, up 9.3%. The pendency for high-value patent examination was shrunk by 10% with a 52% reduction in complaints against patent examination.
In 2018, the number of registered trademarks in China was 5.007 million and China housed 18.049 million valid registered trademarks. Also in 2018, there were 6,594 Madrid international trademark applications. As of the end of 2018, the valid Madrid international trademark applications from China were 31,000, up 23.5%. In 2018, the concluded trademark applications were 8.043 million and the average examination pendency for trademark registration was curtailed below 6 months. The time spent for hearing trademark rejection review cases was reduced within 7 months.
In 2018, there were 67 geographical indication (GI) products under protection, 961 registered GI trademarks and 223 businesses certified to use GIs. In 2018, CNIPA also received 4,431 registered applications of layout designs of integrated circuits, up 37.3%; 3,815 of which were certified, up 42.9%.
The CNIPA recently conducted searches to evaluate the patent protection and utilization in 2018. The result turned out that 10.6% of patentees encountered patent infringement in 2018, lowest since 2012. About 2.1% of patentees were engaged in patent infringement litigation, and 71.1% of plaintiffs obtained compensation, up 9.3% year on year. In terms of patent utilization, the implementation and industrialization rate of China's valid invention patents were 48.6% and 32.3% respectively in 2018. 79.7% of company patentees believed patent was indispensable for them to gain ground or stay ahead in their line of business.
A recent survey showed that from 2013 to 2017, the industrial value added of China’s copyright industry increased from 4272.593 billion yuan to 6081.092 billion yuan, up 42%. Its share in the national economy grew from 7.27% to 7.35%. The value added of key copyright industry reached 3815.59 billion yuan, taking up 4.61% of the national GDP, up by 0.03% points from that of previous year. Iin particular, the fast-growing key copyright sectors are digital information technology, mobile gaming and online audio-visual.