China Laws and Regulations Update in September 2014

1.The PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange releases the Notice on the Pilot Reform of the Administrative Approach Regarding the Settlement of the Foreign Exchange Capitals of Foreign-Invested Enterprises in Certain Areas

On 4 August 2014, the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange released the Notice on the Pilot Reform of the Administrative Approach Regarding the Settlement of the Foreign Exchange Capitals of Foreign-Invested Enterprises in Certain Areas to launch the pilot reform of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of foreign invested enterprises on a discretionary basis in 16 areas throughout the P.R.China, including the Suzhou Industrial Park, on 4 August 2014, after such reform was first launched in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

In addition, according to the Notice, the uses of the foreign exchange capitals of foreign invested enterprises and the RMB capitals acquired through the settlement of such foreign exchange capitals are restricted, and the payment management, the management of settlement and use of the capitals in foreign accounts for direct investment and the post-supervision of the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange are standardized.

Website of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange:

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Analysis on New Provision of Agent’s Trademark Rush-Registration in China Trademark Law

(By Luo Yanjie) According to the latest news report, more than 14 millions of trademark applications in China have already been filed by June 2014. It indicates that Chinese economy develops very fast and also that brands across China and even all over the world, big or small, are attempting to the protection of trademark registration in China. However, there is no doubt that some trademarks were registered with bad faith at the beginning, i.e., pirate trademark rush-registrations. Among those trademark rush-registrations, some of rush-registrars are connected to the original holders, thus leading to prevention from agent’s trademark rush-registration as regulated in Article 15 of the Trademark Law (2001 version). Furthermore, in the newly applicable Trademark Law from May 2014, legislature departments made implementation on the Article 15. In today’s post, we will discuss the modification and its application.

1.   Modification of Article 15 in the 2013 Trademark Law

The 2001 version of Trademark Law stipulates that, in the event that an agent or representative seeks Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in August 2014

  1. The Shanghai Municipal People’s Government Releases the 2014 Revised Version of ‘Negative List’ Applicable in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

On 1 July 2014, the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government released the 2014 Revised Version of ‘Negative List’ applicable in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, containing 139 special administrative measurements, while the previous version contained 190 ones, representing a change of 26.8% contents of the Negative List.

The Revised Version of ‘Negative List’ eliminated fourteen (14) material clauses to expand business scopes, fourteen (14) material clauses to lift dual restrictions on both domestic and foreign investments and twenty three (23) clauses to readjust categories. The eliminated clauses, including those restricting foreign investment in mail orders and online sales of ordinary commodities, allowing wholly owned foreign businesses to deal in railroad transport, etc., relate to manufacturing, real estate, infrastructure, commercial trade, shipping, social service sectors, etc.

Website of the Municipal Government of Shanghai:

http://www.shanghai.gov.cn/shanghai/node2314/node2319/node12344/u26ai39501.html

  1. The Ministry of Commerce Publishes the Notice on Improving the Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in July 2014

  1. The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council Releases the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and Solicits Public Opinions for It

On 6 June 2014, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council released the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and solicited public opinions for it. The deadline for opinion solicitation will be 5 July 2014.

What is most significantly revised according to the draft copyright law under review includes provisions on objects, contents, ownership and the validity period of rights within the scope of copyright. Also, it has stipulated more penalties that will be imposed on those who infringe others’ copyrights and has set forth means of enforcement by administrative authorities concerned, who have powers of seizure and confiscation, which was first stipulated by laws.

(Website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council:

http://www.chinalaw.gov.cn/article/cazjgg/201406/20140600396188.shtml)

  1. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Solicits Public Opinions for Regulations (Used for Opinion Solicitation) on Prohibiting Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in June 2014

  1. The State of Council Promulgates the Newly Amended Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China

On 29 April 2014 the State Council promulgated the newly amended Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China. The Regulations took effect on 1 May 2014.

The newly amended Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law provides supplementary provisions to the new Trademark Law, in connection with renewing the trademark application division system, in which the part of any patent application that does not be refused may be registered before the refused part of the same application is completely reviewed, initiating the trademark agency filing system, clarifying legal responsibilities for illegal acts of trademark agencies, imposing tougher punishment on those who infringe others’ exclusive trademark use rights and adding a chapter entitled ‘international registration of trademarks’.

 (Authorized to be published on

http://news.xinhuanet.com/legal/2014-05/01/c_1110495197_4.htm)

  1. Pilot Intensive Operational Management of foreign exchange funds of headquarters of multinational companies in Shanghai Free Trade Read More...

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Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?

Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?

–Analysis on the Prohibition of Installing Youku App and Iqiyi App on the Internet Cable Box

 

广电总局(By You Yunting) According to some media reports, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (the ”SARFT”) issued a rule to local administrations requesting to delete Youku App, Iqiyi App, Sohu App and browsers from Wasu Box and Internet cable Set-top boxes (the “boxes”), which enables users to support TV, games, online video, music and photos. At first glance, i was astonished how it could be called boxes if without Youku App, Iqiyi App and browsers. However, Hangzhou Wasu Digital TV Media Group confirmed receiving the rule shortly after the reports came out. That being the condition, we would like to analyze the rule.

The rule relies on the Demands for Management Concerning Operation of Institutions with Internet Television Licenses (the “Demands”), stipulating that “institutions integrated Internet and television shall be designed to Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in May 2014

  1. National Development and Reform Commission of PRC Promulgates Foreign Investment Project Approval and Record Management Rules

The National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China promulgated the Foreign Investment Project Approval and Record Management Rules on April 8th 2014.  The Rules have effect from May 1st, 2014.

The Rules were made to do away with provisions that mark distinctions between overseas investment in resources and investments in other areas, except for those in connection with sensitive countries, territories or sectors. According to the Rules, the National Development and Reform Commission is entitled to assess and approve the overseas investment projects where Chinese investors contribute no less than USD 1 billion, while those with contributions of less than USD 1 billion by Chinese investors shall be put on record, no matter whether the projects relate to resource development or not. Before the Rules became effective, the minimum amount of Chinese investors’ contribution to overseas investment projects for resource development that the National Development and Reform Commission had the right to assess and approve were USD 300 million and that to other overseas investment projects were USD 100 million.

In September of last year, the Shanghai Municipality Government published the Incorporation Record Management Rules for Foreign Invested Enterprises in Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in April 2014

  1. Shanghai Customs Reform the Supervision and Administrative System of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Eleven (11) Respects

In response to AQSIQ’s (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China) issuance of the Notice on Supporting Animals and Plants Inspection and Quarantine Reforms in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone on March 4th, Shanghai Customs has  launched a series of administrative system reforms in eleven (11) respects, introducing a negative list, entitlements to ‘post customs declaration’, ‘free freight transport,’  ‘unified customs declaration’ , a list of goods applied to simplified import filing procedures, etc. to the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Subject to international conventions and current laws of the People’s Republic of China, the negative list was published by Shanghai Customs setting forth four (4) kinds of commodities that are prohibited from being imported or exported and fifty seven (57) kinds of commodities restricted under import and export supervision and controls to make sure commodities excluded from the list are circulated in a highly efficient and convenient way.

Since the Shanghai Free Trade Zone was launched at the end of January 2014, a total of 139 business transactions with an aggregate value of 204 million USD have been completed by companies in the zone. It Read More...

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Regulations against Intellectual Property Malicious Litigation in China

    (By You Yunting) Malicious litigation refers to instituting a lawsuit through fictional facts and falsified evidences for the purpose of receiving unlawful benefits. In today’s post, we will introduce some provisions about malicious litigation in intellectual property laws and civil procedure law in China.

    I. Provisions on wrongful litigation injunction can be applied into malicious litigation.

    In litigations concerning patent, trademark and copyright, the right holder always applies for such litigation injunctions as termination of infringement, evidence preservation and property preservation. Where the court approved the application, if the litigation is proved to be malicious, the respondent may require the applicant to compensate for such losses. Article 13 of the Several Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on the Issues Concerning the Application of Law to Terminating Infringement upon Patent Prior to Litigation stipulates that:

    In the event of any losses incurred to the party against which the request is filed due to the applicant’s failure to prosecute or any mistakes in the request, the party against which the request is filed can appeal to the People’s Court having jurisdiction over this matter requiring the applicant to compensate for such losses, or alternatively the People’s Court shall Read More...

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Liabilities of Contributed Capital Surreptitiously Withdrawn in New China Corporate Law

 (By You Yunting) In the end of 2013, China issued a revised Corporate Law updating the provisions about the contributed capital, as discussed in our previous post the Amendment to the Corporate Law. Today we will discuss the legal liabilities of promoters and shareholders with regards to the required contributed capital being surreptitiously withdrawn.

Assumption of liability

Pursuant to the updated Corporate Law, any shareholder who fails to make full payment of the capital contributions at the establishment of the company shall be jointly and severally liable for refunding the paid-in capital – in accordance with the amount of registered capital. As such, it is when the company is unable to pay its debts that the shareholders shall assume the liability of surreptitiously withdrawing the contributed capital.

Common forms of surreptitiously withdrawing contributed capital

Based on the introduction of Baidupedia (note: the link is in Chinese), in judicial practice, the main forms that withdrawing contributed capital may take are:

1. Read More...

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What kinds of Copyright Shall Television Watch-back Services Be?

topway

(By You Yunting) The U.S-based TiVo Inc. developed and marketed its TiVo, a digital video recorder (DVR), which can provide programs and services like on-demand and watch-back for its users. Similar to TiVo, Chinese cable operators and cable television stations provides similar services for its programs, shows and services. This means that users who miss the program can choose an on-demand program on the television. However, cable television stations are generally purchasing the right of broadcasting for the program, without the right of communication of information via a network. This purchase is at risk of copyright infringement. In a previous post Which Copyright Should an Internet TV Operator Purchase?, we discussed the difference between the right of broadcasting and the right of communication of information via network. Today we will introduce such a typical case in the following.

According to reports (note: the link is in Chinese), Shenzhen Topway Video Communication Co., Ltd Read More...

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China Protects the Graphic User Interface for Software as of May 1, 2014

(By You Yunting)  In our previous post, we introduced that Graphical user interface (the “GUI”) for software has not been protected in China. However, State Intellectual Property Office (the “SIPO”) suggested protecting the GUI in the latest Draft Revision of the Patent Examination Guidelines (the “Draft Revision”) on October 22, 2013. Recently, in the publication of the Decision of SIPO on Amending the Patent Examination Guidelines, It is the GUI that is protected by the Patent Law as of May 1, 2014.

Pursuant to the 2010 version of Patent Examination Guidelines by the SIPO, the GUI for software is excluded from the design patent protection, particular Item 11, Article 7.4 stipulating “visible images of a device after the device keep normal power”. For example, visible images on watch-face of electronic watches, or visible images on telephones screen or software screen, etc., are executed from any circumstances of granting a design patent.

The Draft Revision attempted to change the aforementioned article as following: “display images of a device’s visual indicators that irrelevant to human-computer interaction (the “HCI”) or the achievement of device’s function”, for example, electronic screen wallpapers, or images of a device that irrelevant to the HCI or the achievement of a device’s function in the process for on-off, or, PageMaker or game interface of a website that irrelevant to the web’s function are Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in March 2014

1. The State Council has begun circulating the “Registered Capital Registration System Reform Plan”

On February 7th, 2014 the State Council issued the Registered Capital Registration System Reform Plan (the “Plan”) with the purpose of promoting the development and efficiency of business registration systems.

The Plan makes it clear that requirements for registered capital of companies applying to be incorporated will be lowered. However, minimum registered capital restrictions could remain applicable to companies in given industries subject to relevant laws, administrative rules and decisions made by the State Council. The new guidelines stipulate that the minimum registered capital restrictions of RMB 30,000 on limited companies, RMB 100,000 on solely- owned limited companies and RMB 5,000,000 on stock-limited companies will generally be lifted. Additionally, restrictions on the proportion of registered capital that is initially subscribed by all shareholders (or initiators) upon incorporation of a company as well as the proportion of registered capital subscribed in cash by all shareholders (or initiators) to the total registered capital of a company will be lifted. The duration of existence for a company with registered capital not fully paid by its shareholders (or initiators) will also no longer be limited.

Furthermore, the Plan (with a list of Read More...

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China Supreme Court legalizes Part of Corporate Lending

supreme court(By You Yunting) China’s financial system is restricted regulated. Private corporate lending contracts, whereby an enterprise without qualified financial credit lends money to another enterprise is considered to be invalid, and China’s courts would order the lenders return the original amount of money without any interest. Recently, the President of Supreme People’s Court Xi Xiaoming delivered a speech at the National Civil and Commercial Adjudication Work Conference, indicating that the courts have recently begun to expand the validity of corporate lending and are attempting to legalize corporate lending contracts.

1. The Previous policy was that corporate lending without qualified financial credit shall be invalid.

China adopts obligatory provisions to forbid corporate lending as well as borrowing and lending in a disguised form. Pursuant to Article 61 of the General Rules for Loans issued by People’s Bank of China, no financing business involving lending or borrowing, or lending and borrowing in a disguised form, may be handled between enterprises in violation of State provisions. Pursuant to Article Read More...

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China Laws and Regulations Update in February 2014

  1. Seven laws, including the Company Law, the Customs Law, etc. Are Amended

On 28 December 2013 the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress adopted the Decisions on Amending Seven Laws of the People’s Republic of China, including the Marine Environment Protection Law, the Drug Control Law, the Metrology Law, the Fisheries Law, the Customs Law, the Law on Tobacco Monopoly and the Company Law.

The amendments to the Marine Environment Protection Law, the Drug Control Law, the Metrology Law, the Fisheries Law, the Customs Law, and the Law on Tobacco Monopoly entered into force upon promulgation and the amendments to the Company Law will be effective as of 1 March 2014.

According to the Decisions, the amendment to the Company Law focused on provisions relating to the paid-in registered capital, for example, those about the capital actually received, the amount of subscribed capital, etc.

2. Policies on Further Opening-Up of Value-Added Telecommunication Businesses in Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone jointly released by the Industry and Information Ministry and the People’s Government of Shanghai

On 6 January 2014 the new Policies on Further Opening-Up of Value-Added Telecommunication Businesses of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone were jointly released by the Industry and Information Ministry and the People’s Read More...

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