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2022

Newsletter: Volume 03 (2022) Chinese IP Information

(English and Chinese)

  • [Law Interpretation by case] Whether “the closest prior art chose erroneously” will definitely affect inventive step evaluation?
  • The Supreme Court made detailed regulations on counterfeiting and confusing according to Anti-unfair Competition Law
  • A total of over 6,260,000 copyrights were registered nationwide in 2021
  • How to apply for the cancellation of the registered trademark already been the common name?

[Law Interpretation by case] Whether “the closest prior art chose erroneously” will definitely affect inventive step evaluation?

Case Introduction

The patent involved in the case is ‘a pump dispenser with inclined jet nozzle’, with the filing date of October 25, 2012 and priority date of October 25, 2011, which is applied by company A. After substantive examination, the original examination department of CNIPA made a rejection decision on the grounds that the application did not involve inventive step regulated in Article 22, Paragraph 3 of the Patent Law. Company A refused to accept the rejection decision and requested for reexamination to CNIPA, who later made a decision for being sued and withheld the rejection decision.

Company A refused to accept the sued decision and filed a lawsuit to Beijing Intellectual Property Court with the following main reasons: the technical problems to be solved, technical effect and the purpose of document 1 all keep away from that of claim 1, and there are multiple distinguishing features between the both, therefore, document 1 is not applicable as the closest prior art. In view of the above, company A requests to the court for revoking the sued decision and demand the defendant to make a new decision. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court entered a judgment on May 26, 2021.

Judge’s Law Interpretation

In practice, there are various ways to create an invention-creation starting from different prior art, each of which is differentially difficult for those skilled in the art. In order to ensure the invention which has inventive-step compared with all prior art be authorized, the Guidelines for Patent Examination emphasized that of numerous prior art, ‘the closest’ prior art, that is, ‘a technical solution of all the prior art that is most closely related to the invention claiming for protection’ should be the judgment starting point of non-obviousness. Furthermore, only the technical solutions still with inventive-step when comparing with the closest prior art are the technically contributive invention-creations to the whole of prior art.

Therefore, if a technical solution involves inventive-step with respect to one prior art and does not involve it relative to another one, then the latter is more suitable than the former for being as the ‘closest prior art’ to evaluate the inventive-step of the technical solution.

The Guidelines for Patent Examination gives schematic examples about how to determine the closest prior art, ‘For example, it may be the prior art sharing the same technical filed, the closest technical problem to be solved, technical effect or purpose with the claimed invention, and (or) the one with the most technical features of invention disclosed, or the one that is enable to realize the functions of invention with the most technical features of invention disclosed in spite of different from the technical field of the claimed invention’. The prior art meeting the above requirements is usually the closest prior art to the claimed invention, accordingly, the Guidelines for Patent Examination provides guidance for examiners and invalidation claimers, but it does not mean the closest prior art must satisfy the conditions mentioned above.

For this case, the plaintiff held that the reference document 1 should not be regarded as the closest prior art in order to prove that the present application involve inventive-step. However, based on the aforementioned reasons, as long as the present application has no inventive step can be concluded with the ‘three-step method’ can be fully applicable for reference document 1 as the starting point for the judgment, then the sued decision’s conclusion on determining the inventive-step is correct. As for whether the reference document 1 of all prior art is the one ‘most closely related’ to claim 1 of the application is not the focus of judging inventive-step, furthermore, it is not enough to overturn the conclusion of sued decision. Therefore, the relevant claims of the plaintiff cannot be established, and this court does not support it.

From: Beijing Intellectual Property Court

March 10, 2022

The Supreme Court made detailed regulations on counterfeiting and confusing according to Anti-unfair Competition Law

The Supreme People's Court of China released the latest judicial interpretation that in accordance with the revised Anti-Unfair Competition Law, making detailed provisions on counterfeiting and confusion, false promotion, and online unfair competition.

The Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Interpretation) issued on March 17th, a total of 29 articles, which will come into force on March 20, 2022.

In 2021, Chinese courts concluded 8,654 cases of unfair competition disputes, of which the cases of counterfeiting and confusion account for a large proportion. It is known that the ‘Interpretation’ details the provision of ‘counterfeiting and confusion’ in the Anti-Unfair Competition Law with 11 clauses, for example, ‘marks that are prohibited by the Trademark Law cannot be protected by the Anti-Unfair Competition Law’.

Disputes over Internet unfair competition have increased day by day, and the ‘Interpretation’ has also made deployment. The person in charge of the Third Trial Division of the Supreme People’s Court said that, considering the characteristics of rapid updating and development of technology and business models in the Internet industry, the “Interpretation” timely summarized juridical practice experience, properly detailed application conditions for law, providing necessary regulations guideline for juridical adjudication as well as setting aside space for self-regulation and technical innovation of market.

Since the implementation of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, the general clauses (Article 2) have become one of the main legal grounds for Chinese courts to identify new types of unfair competition acts. However, inconsistence of judgment standards occasionally happens.

For this, the ‘Interpretation’ clarifies the applicable relationship between general clauses, clauses of specific acts, and provisions of special intellectual property laws, and also identifies the application status of general clauses to other special intellectual property laws such as the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and Trademark Law.

From: CHINANEWS

March 17, 2022

A total of over 6,260,000 copyrights were registered nationwide in 2021

On March 23th, the National Copyright Administration released the National Copyright Registration Bulletin in 2021, including the copyright registration of works, computer software copyright registration, and copyright pledge registration in 2021. The data shows that in 2021, the total number of copyright registrations nationwide reached 6,264,378, a year-on-year increase of 24.30%, in which copyright registration of works is 3,983,943, a year-on-year increase of 20.13%, and copyright registration of computer software is 2,280,063, a year-on-year increase of 32.34%.

The Bulletin indicates that in terms of copyright registration of works, in 2021, the number of national copyright registrations of works has increased stably overall, of which the number of registration in Beijing has reached 1,025,511, accounting for 25.74% of the total, moreover, compared with 2020, the growth rate of copyright registration of works in Hunan, Hebei, Yunnan, Anhui and other provinces has all exceeded 100%. For type of works, art work has the most registrations with 1,670,092, accounting for 41.92% of the total; photographic work takes the second with 1,553,318, accounting for 38.99%; the third is written work with 295,729, accounting for 7.42%, and the fourth is film and television work, it accounts for 6.14% with 244,538. The copyright registration of works of mentioned types occupies 94.47% of the total registration. In terms of copyright registration of computer software, 2,280,063 national registrations have been completed in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 32.34%. For the distribution of registered regions, computer software copyright registration areas are mainly in the eastern region, with a registration of about 1.44 million, accounting for 63.1%. For the number of all regions, provinces (cities) with more computer software copyright registrations are successively Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Beijing, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Shandong, Hubei, Fujian, and Shaanxi. A total of around 1.63 million software copyrights were registered in the above-mentioned regions, accounting for 71.5% of the total number, in which there were about 270,000 software copyright registrations in Guangdong Province, accounting for 11.8% of the total. In terms of copyright pledge registration, a total of 375 have been registered in China in 2021, a year-on-year decrease of 3.13%340 copyright pledge registrations of computer software were included, a year-on-year increase of 3.98%, and 340 contracts were involved, a year-on-year increase of 3.98%.

From: China Intellectual Property News

March 24, 2022

How to apply for the cancellation of the registered trademark already been the common name?

In accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 49 of Chinas Trademark Law and Article 65 of the Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law, when a registered trademark becomes the common name of its approved productsany unit or individual may file an application to the Trademark Office of CNIPA (hereinafter referred to as the Trademark Office) for cancelling the registered trademark. After accepting the application, the Trademark Office shall inform and limit the trademark registrant to respond within 2 months from the date of receipt of the notification; Trademark Office will not be affected to make decisions if the registrant fails to respond within the time limit. The Trademark Office shall make a decision within 9 months from the date of receiving the application, special circumstances that need to be extended can have extension for 3 months with the approval of the relevant departments of the State Council

A commodity common name refers to a standardized appellation that is used in a certain scope or a certain industry and reflects the fundamental difference between one type of commodity and another one. It characterizes in extensiveness and normalization, including statutory common name of commodity and conventional common name of the commodity. The statutory common commodity name is the commodity name stipulated or included in China’s relevant laws, national standards, industry standards, industry products or commodity catalogs; and the conventional commodity common name is the name of a certain commodity that has been established and commonly used in a certain scope after being used by relevant public for a long time. To apply for canceling the registered trademark that has been the common name of a commodity approved for usage, an application for revocation with explicit factual basis need to be filed, meanwhile, the evidence materials need to be attached, both application and evidence materials are in duplicate.

There is a process of development and degeneration for a registered trademark to become the common name of its approved commodity, that is, the trademark is not a commodity common name before it is approved for registration, and it evolves and degenerates into a commodity common name after it is approved for registration. When applying for cancellation of a registered trademark that has been the common name of the approved commodity, the evidence submitted should focus on proving the process of evolution and degradation. The internal reason why a registered trademark becomes a common name of a commodity is the improper use and management of the registrant, that is to say, the registrant’s ineffective protection and improper use of the trademark in the process of using it after acquiring the exclusive right reduce even lose the distinctiveness of the trademark, making it degenerating into a common name of commodity. The external cause lies in factors of third-party like competitors, for example, other people use a registered trademark as a commodity name or use it as a commodity name in dictionaries, works, and media publicity, and the trademark registrant is negligent to exercising the right, causing the registered trademark become a common name of commodity.

As for the cancellation of a registered trademark that has become a common name of a commodity, the “Regulations of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Administrative Cases of Trademark Authorization and Confirmation” points out that, the one belonging to the common name of commodity in accordance with legal provisions or national standards and industry standards shall be identified as a common name; the one that is widely recognized by relevant public as being able to refer to a type of commodity shall be identified as a conventional common name; the one being listed as commodity name in professional reference books, dictionaries, etc. may be as a reference for identifying a conventional common name. A conventional name is generally judged on the basis of common cognition of the relevant public nationwide. For commodities that are fixed in the relevant market formed due to the historical tradition, local culture, geographical environment, etc., the appellation commonly used in it can be determined as common name. It shall be noticed that only Internet evidence is not authoritative to identify conventional common names.

From: CHINA Intellectual Property Right Net

March 29, 2022

  • 【以案释法】“最接近的现有技术选取错误”是否必然影响创造性评价?
  • 最高法根据反不正当竞争法对仿冒混淆等作出细化规定
  • 2021年全国著作权登记总量超626万件
  • 如何申请撤销成为通用名称的注册商标?

【以案释法】“最接近的现有技术选取错误”是否必然影响创造性评价?

案情简介

涉案专利名称为“具有倾斜喷嘴的泵分配器”, 申请日是20121025日,优先权日为20111025日,专利申请人是A公司。经实质审查,国家知识产权局原审查部门以本申请不具备专利法第二十二条第三款规定的创造性为由作出驳回决定。A公司不服该驳回决定,向国家知识产权局提出复审请求。后国家知识产权局作出被诉决定,维持驳回决定。

A公司不服被诉决定,向北京知识产权法院提起诉讼,其主要理由为:对比文件1与权利要求1所要解决的技术问题、技术效果和用途均不接近,且二者之间存在多项区别特征,故对比文件1不适合作为最接近的现有技术。据此,请求法院撤销被诉决定,并责令被告重新作出决定。北京知识产权法院于2021526日作出判决。

法官释法

实践中,以不同的现有技术为起点创造出一项发明创造存在不同路径,各路径对于本领域技术人员来说难易不同。《专利审查指南》之所以在诸多现有技术中,强调应以“最接近”的现有技术,亦即“所有现有技术中与要求保护的发明最密切相关的一个技术方案”,作为非显而易见性的判断起点,其根本原因在于确保相对所有现有技术而言均具有创造性的发明创造才可获得授权。而只有相对于最接近的现有技术而言仍具有创造性的技术方案,才是对所有现有技术整体而言具有技术贡献的发明创造。

因此,如果某个技术方案相对于一项现有技术具有创造性,相对于另一项现有技术不具备创造性,则后者相对前者更适合作为“最接近的现有技术”以评价该技术方案的创造性。

《专利审查指南》中对于如何确定最接近的现有技术给出了示意性列举,“例如可以是,与要求保护的发明技术领域相同,所要解决的技术问题、技术效果或者用途最接近和/或公开了发明的技术特征最多的现有技术,或者虽然与要求保护的发明技术领域不同,但能够实现发明的功能,并且公开发明的技术特征最多的现有技术”。这是因为,满足上述条件的现有技术通常是与要求保护的发明最接近的现有技术,《专利审查指南》据此给审查员及无效请求人提供了指引,但不意味着最接近的现有技术必须满足上述条件。

就本案而言,原告之所以主张对比文件1不应作为最接近的现有技术,其最终目的还是证明本申请具备创造性。但基于前述理由,只要以对比文件1作为判断起点能够完整适用“三步法”得出本申请不具备创造性的结论,则被诉决定有关创造性的认定结论就是正确的。至于对比文件1是否是所有现有技术中与本申请权利要求1“最密切相关”的那一个,并不是创造性判断关注的重点,更不足以据此推翻被诉决定认定的结论。因此,原告的相关主张不能成立,本院不予支持。

摘自:北京知识产权法院

2022310

最高法根据反不正当竞争法对仿冒混淆等作出细化规定

中国最高人民法院最新发布的司法解释,根据修订后的反不正当竞争法,对仿冒混淆、虚假宣传、网络不正当竞争行为等问题作出细化规定。

17日发布的《最高人民法院关于适用〈中华人民共和国反不正当竞争法〉若干问题的解释》(下称《解释》)29条,将自2022320日起施行。

2021年,中国法院审结不正当竞争纠纷案件8654件,仿冒混淆行为案件数量占有很大比例。据知,《解释》用11个条文对反不正当竞争法中“仿冒混淆”的规定进行了细化,例如,“属于商标法禁用禁注范围的标志也不能获得反不正当竞争法的保护”。

网络不正当竞争纠纷日益增多,《解释》也有部署。最高人民法院民事审判第三庭负责人说,考虑到互联网行业技术和商业模式更新发展快的特点,《解释》及时总结司法实践经验,对法律适用条件作出适当细化,为司法裁判提供必要规则指引,同时为市场的自我调节和技术创新留出空间。

反不正当竞争法实施以来,一般条款(第二条)已成为中国法院认定新类型不正当竞争行为的主要法律依据之一,但是,裁判标准不统一的现象时有发生。

为此,《解释》厘清了一般条款与具体行为条款、知识产权专门法规定之间的适用关系,也明确了一般条款对反不正当竞争法及商标法等其他知识产权专门法的兜底适用地位。

摘自:中国新闻网

2022317

2021年全国著作权登记总量超626万件

323日,国家版权局发布2021年全国著作权登记情况通报,对2021年作品著作权登记、计算机软件著作权登记、著作权质权登记情况进行了通报。数据显示,2021年全国著作权登记总量达626.4378万件,同比增长24.30%。其中,作品著作权登记达398.3943万件,同比增长20.13%;计算机软件著作权登记228.0063万件,同比增长32.34%

通报显示,在作品著作权登记方面,2021年,全国作品著作权登记量总体呈现稳步增长趋势,其中北京市达到102.5511万件,占登记总量的25.74%;而相较于2020年,湖南、河北、云南、安徽等省的作品著作权登记量增长率均超过了100%。从作品类型看,登记量最多的是美术作品,为167.0092万件,占登记总量的41.92%;摄影作品次之,为155.3318万件,占登记总量的38.99%;第三是文字作品29.5729万件,占登记总量的7.42%;第四是影视作品24.4538万件,占登记总量的6.14%。以上类型的作品著作权登记量占登记总量的94.47%。在计算机软件著作权登记方面,2021年全国共完成计算机软件著作权登记228.0063万件,同比增长32.34%。从登记区域分布情况看,计算机软件著作权登记区域主要分布在东部地区,登记量约为144万件,占登记总量的63.1%。从各地区登记数量情况看,计算机软件著作权登记量较多的省(市)依次为广东、上海、江苏、北京、浙江、四川、山东、湖北、福建、陕西。上述地区共登记软件著作权约163万件,占登记总量的71.5%,其中,广东省登记软件著作权约27万件,占登记总量的11.8%。在著作权质权登记方面,2021年全国共完成著作权质权登记372件,同比下降3.13%。其中,计算机软件著作权质权登记340件,同比增长3.98%,涉及合同数量340个,同比增长3.98%

摘自:中国知识产权报

2022324

如何申请撤销成为通用名称的注册商标?

根据我国商标法第四十九条第二款及商标法实施条例第六十五条规定,当注册商标成为其核定使用商品的通用名称时,任何单位或者个人可以向国家知识产权局商标局(下称商标局)申请撤销该注册商标。商标局受理后应当通知商标注册人,限其自收到通知之日起两个月内答辩;期满未答辩的,不影响商标局作出决定。商标局应当自收到申请之日起9个月内作出决定,有特殊情况需要延长的,经国务院有关部门批准可以延长3个月。

商品通用名称是指为某一范围或某一行业中所共用,反映一类商品与另一类商品之间根本区别的规范化称谓,具有广泛性与规范性的特征,包括法定的商品通用名称和约定俗成的商品通用名称。法定的商品通用名称,是我国相关法律、国家标准、行业标准、行业产品或商品目录等规定或收录的商品名称;约定俗成的商品通用名称,是相关公众经过长时间使用而在某一范围内约定俗成,被普遍使用的某一种商品的名称。如果申请撤销成为核定使用商品的通用名称的注册商标,需要提交撤销申请书,撤销申请应当有明确的事实依据,同时需要附送证据材料,申请书与证据材料一式两份。

注册商标成为其核定使用商品的通用名称有一个演变退化的过程,即商标在被核准注册前并非商品通用名称,获准注册后演变退化为商品通用名称。申请撤销成为核定使用商品的通用名称的注册商标时,所提交的证据材料应重点证明此演变退化过程。一件注册商标成为商品通用名称,其内因在于注册人使用及管理不当,即注册人取得商标专用权后,在使用商标过程中保护不力、使用不当,使得商标的显著性降低甚至失去显著性,从而退化为商品通用名称;外因包括竞争对手等第三方的因素,如他人将某件注册商标作为商品名称使用或在辞典、著作、媒体宣传中将其作为商品名称使用,而商标注册人怠于行使权利,致使注册商标变成商品通用名称。

关于撤销成为商品通用名称的注册商标,《最高人民法院关于审理商标授权确权行政案件若干问题的规定》中指出,依据法律规定或者国家标准、行业标准属于商品通用名称的,应当认定为通用名称。相关公众普遍认为某一名称能够指代一类商品的,应当认定为约定俗成的通用名称。被专业工具书、辞典等列为商品名称的,可以作为认定约定俗成的通用名称的参考。约定俗成的通用名称,一般以全国范围内相关公众的通常认识为判断标准。对于由于历史传统、风土人情、地理环境等原因形成的相关市场固定的商品,在该相关市场内通用的称谓,可以认定为通用名称。需要注意的是,单纯的互联网证据不具有认定约定俗成通用名称的权威性。

摘自:中国知识产权网

2022329

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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Newsletter: Volume 11 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) The Beijing Intell...

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31
DEC
2021
31
DEC
2021
北京知的財産裁判所は、北京初の特許侵害紛争の行政調停協議に関する...

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12
NOV
2021
12
NOV
2021
Newsletter: Volume 9 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) The influence of the mo...

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28
OCT
2021
28
OCT
2021
Newsletter: Volume 8 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) The main statistics of...

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10
SEP
2021
10
SEP
2021
Newsletter: Volume 7 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Interpretation of Poli...

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10
SEP
2021
10
SEP
2021
「医薬品特許紛争の早期解決メカニズムの実施のための措置(試行)」...

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27
JUL
2021
27
JUL
2021
ブロックチェーン技術は、版権の保護と運用のために科学的および技術...

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27
JUL
2021
27
JUL
2021
Newsletter: Volume 6 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Block-chain technolo...

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30
JUN
2021
30
JUN
2021
特許請求の範囲における数字「一」の解釈 水平的独占契約の実施者が他...

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30
JUN
2021
30
JUN
2021
Newsletter: Volume 5 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Interpretation of th...

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28
MAY
2021
28
MAY
2021
Newsletter: Volume 4 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Interpretation of the "...

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28
MAY
2021
28
MAY
2021
商標登録禁止条項における「欺瞞的」条項への解釈 最高人民法院の知的...

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19
MAY
2021
19
MAY
2021
Newsletter: Volume 3 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Are you rea...

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19
MAY
2021
19
MAY
2021
新薬の特許権期間補償に準備できていますか? 指導事例:「上海崇明区...

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14
MAY
2021
14
MAY
2021
Newsletter: Volume 1 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) Announcement of t...

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14
MAY
2021
14
MAY
2021
「特許審査ガイドライン」(第391号)の改正に関する 国家知識産権...

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14
MAY
2021
14
MAY
2021
Newsletter: Volume 2 (2021) Chinese IP Information (English and Chinese) - Main Statistics o...

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14
MAY
2021
14
MAY
2021
2020年の知的財産権の主要統計データー 知的財産最高裁判所の2020年度報...

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29
DEC
2020
29
DEC
2020
中国特許法の第4回改正に焦点を当てよう 10月17日、第13回全国人民...

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