4th Amendment to Chinese Patent Law
The patent law in China was updated on June 1st 2021. A draft version of the new implementing regulations has been made available, and while final details of the implementing regulations are still to be confirmed, there is a lot that can be learned and understood from the existing draft. The Virtual Boardroom participants met to explore their specific questions about the Amendment and to benefit from the expert insights of the moderators from IP March: Stephen Yang, Managing Partner and Amber Mi, Patent Attorney.
There was information on the general enforceability of IP rights in China with the overall conclusion that the new measures coming into place – including specifically raising the upper limit of statutory damage – present an even greater deterrent to potential infringers or IP risk takers. Given that the Amendment includes detailed changes to the prosecution and litigation of pharmaceutical patents there was lengthy discussion about these changes and their practical implementation.
The discussion also clarified issues around foreign filing licence in China and requirements for import/export licences.
'the atmosphere is very pro IP owners'
In-house counsel participated from a variety of sectors including automotive, electrical manufacturing and pharmaceutical, leading to a well-informed and balanced discussion.
The general feedback and understanding was that the Amendment will bring Chinese patent law even further in line with international practice and that, while of course the final details are still to be confirmed, the practical implications are clear enough to follow. Mr Yang also succinctly summarised the situation: 'the atmosphere is very pro IP owners whether they're foreign or Chinese; I would say it's a pretty fair game.'
'a well-informed and balanced discussion'
The participants were all agreeable to stay in touch individually with Mr Yang to benefit from his continued guidance as the final version of the implementing regulations is confirmed.