2018 China's National Two Sessions Announce Reorganization of SIPO and Gather Voices of IP

By Catherine Lee, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

The First Session of The 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the First Session of the 13th National People's Congress of People's Republic of China (NPC, together with CPPCC referred to as the Two Sessions) convened in Beijing respectively on March 3 and 5, 2018. The Two Sessions last 18 days (March 3 to March 20) and during this period, the Chinese government has made various major achievements, including passing the amendments to the Constitution and Supervision Law, deepening reform of institutions etc. The intellectual property is still one of the hot spots in this year's Two Sessions, moreover, the proposals and topics concerning intellectual property only see an increase compared with that of last year. As the delegates and members of the Two Sessions speaking more about the intellectual property, it's obvious that several major reforms concerning intellectual property will be carried out this year.
To develop innovation-oriented enterprises with IP
On March 7, Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the CPC, President of the PRC and Chairman of the Military Commission of the Central Committee, attended the deliberation given by the delegation from Guangdong province during the First Annual Session of the 13th NPC and he stressed that scientific innovation is the strategic support for building the modern industrial system; and with an eye to nation's strategy demand, we should carry on nation's major scientific programs, bring in top talents in technology at home and abroad, strengthen the support to the smalland-medium-sized enterprises for their innovation and develop innovation-oriented enterprises with intellectual property.
Institutional reform plan of the State Council To restructure SIPO
 On March 17, 2018, The First Session of the 13th NPC passed the decision of institutional reform plan of the State Council. Article 9, Part II of the plan says that China plans to restructure the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) by incorporating part of functions of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, to solve problems including separated administration and overlapping enforcement. The reorganized SIPO will be under the administration of the General Administration of Market Supervision and Management.
The move aims to strengthen the creation, protection and application of intellectual property rights (IPR), and speed up making China a country of innovators. And the new agency will be responsible for facilitating the construction of an IPR protection system, and the registration and administrative adjudication of trademarks, patents and geographical indications.
With regard to the approved reform plan, the Premier of the PRC Li Keqiang says that we will abide by the constitution and promote institution reform, and this is conducive to our adherence to the basic national policy of opening-up.
To strengthen the protection on IP 
On March 5, in his report on the work of government, Li Keqiang says that "We should improve the relevant laws and regulations based on the basic orientation of property protection, contract maintenance, market unification, equal exchange and fair competition. The property rights system is the cornerstone of the socialist market economy. All types of infringements on property rights will be rigorously dealt with in accordance with law, and all property rights dispute cases will be reviewed and settled in accordance with law. We will strengthen the protection of IP, and enforce a punitive compensation system for IP rights infringements. We will speed up the reform of price marketisation concerning the essential productive factors like technology and land; deepen the reform of the pricing mechanisms for resource products and public services; break government monopolies, and prevent from market monopolies. We will see that strong protection of property rights and fluid flows of the productive factors enable a great increase in market dynamism and public creativity.
In the review of China's government work over the past five years, large amounts of statistics fully demonstrate the fruitful achievements China has made in its innovation-oriented development. Over the past five years, China's investment in research and development (R&D) has grown at an average annual rate of 11%, ranking second in the world in scale. The contribution of technological advances to economic growth has risen from 52.2% to 57.5%. The number of valid invention patents owned by China has tripled, and the volume of technology transactions has doubled. In the global race of scientific and technological innovation, China has shifted place, from following others to keeping pace and even leading the pack in more and more areas. China has become a globally recognized fertile ground for innovation and business ventures.
 Premier Li Keqiang also stresses that our struggling direction is to make our 1.3 billion population into a market where all types of enterprise including domestic and foreign enterprises can compete fairly and provides customers with more choices, and thus promoting the upgrade of Chinese products and services and developing towards high-quality direction.
Ten-year evaluation work on the Implementation on the Outline of the National IP Strategy
  In his interview during the Two Sessions, Premier Li Keqiang says that this year is the 10th anniversary of the release and implementation of the Outline of the National IP Strategy (Outline). At the beginning of this year, the Office of Joint Session of the Implementation of IP Strategy of the State Council convened its conference in Beijing, declaring the official founding of expert group of general evaluation on the ten-year evaluation work on the implementation of the Outline. This evaluation will deepen and unite social consensus in a broader range, strengthen China's cultural confidence in IP, promote the modernization of China's governance system and ability in IP, and drive China from a quantity Power into a quality Power in terms of IP.
To speed up the revision of the Patent Law On March 13, Shen ChangYu, commissioner of SIPO
On March 13, Shen ChangYu, commissioner of SIPO says in his interview that over the past five years, China has accomplished over 190,000 cases of administrative law enforcement on patent with a 40% increace annually; the social satisfaction towards IP protection increased to 76 scores in 2017 compared with that of 63 scores in 2012, which demonstrates a remarkable progress. This year, one of the four major tasks for SIPO is to unswervingly carry out strict IP protection system, speed up the revision of the Patent Law, introduce punitive compensation measures, and strengthen the punishment on infringement behaviors.
To establish the work patterns for the protection of IP
The second task of the four major tasks for SIPO is to actively establish the work patterns for the comprehensive protection of IP. SIPO will work together with other relevant departments to comprehensively adopt various methods such as review and authorization, administrative law enforcement, judicial protection, arbitration and mediation to jointly protect IP.
To promote the fast-protection for IP
The third task of the four major tasks for SIPO is to actively promote the fast-protection for IP. By building IP protection center, SIPO will coordinate the functions of fast-review, fast-confirmation of IP and fast-rights-safeguarding so as to improve the protection effect on IP, and thus providing the society and public with a more convenient, more efficient and less costs channel to protect their rights.
Equal-protection on IP
The fourth task of the four major tasks for SIPO is to stick to the equal-protection on IP. SIPO will achieve an equal protection between domestic and foreign enterprises; state-owned and private enterprises; large and small and micro enterprises; public institutes and individuals in terms of IP and build a better environment for innovation and business.
Shen Changyu, Commissioner of SIPO
Key Words: The Enterprises' Utilization and Application of Patent
"As the industrial transformation and upgrade speed up, enterprises now have attached more importance to the utilization and application of patent. SIPO also adopts a series of measures to promote the relevant work. Firstly, SIPO actively deepens the institutional reform on the allocation of rights and interests of IP, establishes a more scientific and rational allocation mechanism for rights and interests, fundamentally mobilizes the enthusiasm and initiative of all kinds of innovative subjects in their implementation of utilization of IP. Secondly, SIPO speeds up the establishment and improvement of operating system as well as platform for IP, promotes the comprehensive application of IP, including the transfer and transformation, acquisition and trusteeship, transaction and flow, pledge and fund-raising, and evaluation of IP. Thirdly, SIPO channels great efforts in promoting the development of IP-intensive industries, including smart manufacturing, Biomedicine, new generation of mobile communication etc. "
Chen Qun, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal People's Government
Key Words: IP pledge
"Although China has established work mechanism for IP pledge, the rules are relatively simple; the procedure is rather complex; the period lasts too long and the legal system needs improving. China lacks IP evaluation institutions with high credibility and authority. Various kinds of IP operating platforms for IP transaction have been built across the nation, however, there is no efficient mechanism for integration and sharing, and the service ability and level still need to be improved."
Xie Shanghua, Director of Sichuan Provincial IP Office
Key Words : IP law compiled as separate provision
"I suggest we should improve the IP legislation, draft a unified IP code or establish a separate law for IP so as to meet the demand from the times and timely fill in the blank of law. We should also build and improve the rights-safeguarding mechanism for the report, complaint and law enforcement on IP, implement the top-down mechanism reform of comprehensive administration and law enforcement on IP."
Zhang Zhenyu, Director General of Science and Technology Department of Henan Province
 Key Words: Appraisal on IP
"We should strengthen the top-level design of appraisal on IP, move faster to set up national level, inter-department leader group for the appraisal on IP, and include the appraisal work on IP into the assessing goal of all-level governments and municipal relevant departments. At the same time, we should also channel more efforts to build third-party service agencies and train talents, and increase their enthusiasm on the participation of IP appraisal in major scientific and economic activities.
Liu Shoumin, Vice Chairman of All China Lawyers Association
Key Words: protecting IP by judicial means
"The report on the work of government points out that all types of infringements should be rigorously dealt with in accordance with law, and the IP rights should be strengthened. As the core element of innovative motivator and international competitiveness, intellectual property has been mentioned in the report on the work of government for several consecutive years, which demonstrates China's growing efforts on the protection of intellectual property. In today's world, those who attach more judicial protection to IP will occupy the commanding heights of innovation. The judicial protection to IP embodies dual-advantages which are punishment and guidance, and judicial protection also attaches more importance to the compensation to the obligee, and this is the last guardian for curbing the infringement behaviors of IP. At the same time, by judicial trials practice, we can define the applicable standards of law, and it's conducive to increasing the expectation of the obligee, leading massive innovation initiatives."
Yan Xiaohong, Director of Copyright Society of China
 Key Words: Overseas IP Protection
"As the continuing development of digital Internet technology, some unregistered small websites, especially those whose servicers are set up overseas, pirating lots of fine Chinese copyright work, and making it hard for Chinese obligee to safeguard their rights. The issue of protecting Chinese IP overseas requires relevant departments' attention.
Ma Huateng, Chairman of the Board of the Tencent
Key Words: Digital Cultural China
"As the development of technology and the emerging of animation, literature, film, television and music, China should promote the innovation integrating technology and culture, build cultural IP with Chinese characteristics, achieve an ecological and coordinated development within the cultural industry and between cultural industry and various social fields, and build a Digital Cultural China' with developed industry, prosperous culture and broad values.
Jiang Shengnan, Vice Chairman of Association of ZheJiang Network Writers
Key Words: the third revision of China's Copyright Law
"China should strengthen its efforts to the protection on IP in online-literature industry and the elimination of piracy. Administrative departments should strengthen their supervision, conduct investigation on the pirated websites that maliciously infringes others' copyrights. The Implementing Regulations on the Protection of the Right to Network Dissemination of Information should be formulated, and the third revision of the Copyright Law should be accomplished as soon as possible, in order to further improve the protection system for copyright according to the new trends in current online-literature industry."
Zhang Jindong, Chairman of Suning Holdings Group Co.Ltd
Key Words: the live broadcasting rights for sports events
"We may refer to the Regulation for Computer Software Protection, lower the judging standard towards the creativity of live broadcasting for sports events. Meantime, strengthening the law protection on the rights of live broadcasting for sports events will be conducive to changing the current conditions of China's lack of IP protection concerning live broadcasting for sports events."
Cai Jinchai, CEO of FuJian PanPan Foods Group Co.Ltd
Key Words: counterfeit and poor-quality food products
" Some unscrupulous merchants in the food industry also make use of the package, name and symbols for their products, which is similar to those of a famous brand, to counterfeit. This not only damages customer's interests, but also causes unfair competition in the industry and disorders the market. One of the major reasons leading to this phenomenon is that the costs of violating the law is too low. The government should strengthen its efforts to punish the behaviors of counterfeiting foods."

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