(By You Yunting) Large number of business opportunities have arisen from the rapid development of wireless and mobile technologies. As a result, new startups appear one after another, scrambling for these opportunities. However, the faster a market grows, the fiercer competition it involves. The process of Entrepreneurship is a race with other outstanding entrepreneurs, in which they use reasonable efforts to gain competitive advantages and win their rivals. If properly used, intellectual property rights can be very helpful in creating advantages. Here, let’s talk about what advantages can startups create by using intellectual property.
(By You Yunting) This March, at the invitation of the U.S. government, Mr. You Yunting, the founder of Bridge IP Commentary began his journey to the United States. The main purpose of this visit was to better understand the system of intellectual property rights in the United States. Mr. You would like to share with our readers his experiences there in several posts here on our website. Of course, the content of the posts may not be truly comprehensive or strictly accurate; that being said, if you find any mistakes or comments that can be corrected or improved upon, please let us know. We encourage more dialogue with the IPR community and welcome all constructive commentary. The following is the first post in a series of Mr. You’s visit to the United States:
(By Albert Chen) In the previous post, the author introduced how to determine the unit granted the patent right by looking at a case decided by a Shanghai court. Today, the author will use a case from a Guangdong court to introduce how the court there held on who must prove “the profit after tax” when a dispute breaks out on invention remuneration payable by the unit granted the patent right.
Summary of the case:
The employee inventor, Mr. Zhu, worked for Dongguan Wei Ba Cleaning Equipment Co., Ltd (the “Wei Ba Company”) from 1998 to 2006. During his employment, Mr. Zhu participated in the development of sixteen patents and was also registered as a joint inventor in the company’s patent applications. Afterwards, the Wei Ba Company exercised some of the patents but did not pay Mr. Zhu any remuneration. For this reason, Mr. Zhu filed a lawsuit against the Wei Ba Company, claiming that remuneration payable for his invention should be calculated based on the 2004 Annual Joint Inspection Report that the Wei Ba Company submitted to the Ministry of Commerce, which indicated the company’s total profit after tax. Moreover, Mr. Zhu claimed that the remuneration shall be calculated for the past two years.
(By Albert Chen) In past essays, the author has introduced the legal issues related to the establishment of remuneration for inventions developed under work for hire schemes, and payment of said remuneration. Through a study of two recent cases, the author has found that the comments made by the judge in them is of reference value when deciding the “unit granted the patent right” and the “one liable to prove after tax profits”. In the meantime, the author would like to share his interpretation and analysis in these two posts.
(By Albert Chen) In previous posts, we introduced our readers to ways to pay remuneration for the invention made for hire, and the standard adopted by Chinese courts in related disputes. On 26th November 2012, the State Intellectual Property Office (the “SIPO”), accompanied by 12 other authorities, jointly released the “Several Opinions on Further Strengthening the Protection of Service Inventor’s Legal Interests and Promoting IPR Implementation (the “Opinions”), which demand a strengthened protection on the rights of service inventors in several aspects. In today’s post, you will be able to become more familiar with the main points contained within the Opinions.
(By Albert Chen) Yesterday’s post introduced regulations concerning calculation and payment of remuneration for the invention made for hire. The post also pointed out problems in the existing law, both at the by the central government and local level, namely that they lack binding authority, have low enforcement, or provide inadequate regulation on the liability of the unit.
The author has conducted research on these points in the established cases in China and found a case decided last year by the Guangdong High People’s Court (“Guangdong Court”), which is of referential value to settling the above problems.
(By Albert Chen) Statistics have shown that since 2007, the invention made for hire have comprised over half of China’s patent applications, and the number is still increasing. According to Article 16 of the Patent Law: “The unit that is granted the patent right shall reward the inventor or designer of an employee invention. After such patent is utilized, the inventor or designer shall be given a reasonable amount of remuneration according to the scope of application and the economic results.”
The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) published the exposure draft of the amendment to patent law on 9th August 2012. In this draft, we could find only some clauses are revised, and the followings are the articles translated by us for your reference.
The existing articles
The articles in the exposure draft
|Article 46 The patent review board shall examine the request for declaring a patent right invalid and make a decision in a timely manner and notify the requesting person and the patentee of its decision. The decision on declaring a patent right invalid shall be registered and announced by the patent administration department under the State Council.|
A person that is dissatisfied with the patent review board’s decision on declaring a patent right invalid or its decision on affirming the patent right may take legal action before a people’s court, within three months from the date of receipt of the notification. The people’s court shall notify the opposite party in the invalidation procedure to participate in the litigation as a third party.Article 46 The patent review board shall examine the request for declaring a patent right invalid and make a decision in a timely manner and notify the requesting person and the patentee of its decision.
By Albert Chen
According to the report of South China Morning Post, the latest revised Measures for the Compulsory Licensing for Patent Implementation (the “Measures”), which has come into effect from 1st May of 2012, China government may sign the compulsory license to the manufacture of the cheap copy of the patent drugs when in the urgency or exceptional conditions of the state, or for the public interests.
Also in the report, it points out that the action by China government is an alert to the world pharmacy industry when China is a prominent part to the global medicine market; especially currently we see a decline in the western countries. Meanwhile, the news also says, for the past decades, many Chinese medicine makers have been manufacturing the important drug ingredient exported to foreign counterparts, who however would afterwards sell the patent medicine made with the aforesaid ingredients to China at a high price which is hardly affordable to Chinese patients. Now China has been focused on its wrestling with foreign drug makers, especially as known, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will no longer grant donation of AIDs prevention to China from 2013.
China State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) issued its No. 64 order on 15th March, 2012 to announce the promulgation of the newly revised Measures for the Compulsory Licensing for Patent Implementation (the “Measures”). The most attention catching point is the amendment of medicine patent compulsory licensing. Then, what are the specific provisions? And is there any amendment else deserve you focus? Today, we will make a brief introduction for you. (the image is the picture of Tamiflu once applied for compulsory licensing in China)
Recently, we are consulted by foreign clients the difference between utility model and invention by China Patent Law. Today’s post is Bridge IP Law Commentary’s reply on the question. (the image above is the logo of the State Intellectual Property Office of China, the organ administrating in patent issues)
I. The difference in the scope of the protected object
According to the patent law, the “Invention” means any new technical solution relating to a product, a process or an improvement thereof, while the “Utility model” shall refer to any new technical solution relating to a product’s shape, structure, or a combination thereof, which is fit for practical use. Despite both being the technical solution, the utility model only involves the aspect of shape, structure and other tangible solution, while the inner process or intangible solution, like molecular structure or pharmacy, is included in the invention. Therefore, the utility model shall be included in the invention, thus any invention could also be applied as the utility model.
Which Chinese authority has the jurisdiction over the patent infringement?
Recently, the International Trade Commission of United State ruled on the patent conflict between Apple and HTC, determining that HTC has infringed the No.647 patent of Apple iPhone and banning the import of HTC’s smart phone with this patent feature from 19th, April, 2012.
For the case, Bridge IP Law Commentary would like to discuss a problem that which authority shall have the jurisdiction over the conflict shall it occurred in China? In fact, there’s no similar administration like ITC in China considering the IPR conflict with foreign products involved, and the administration duty on the infringement combat mainly focuses on the fake patent, namely those products claimed being patented or claiming owning others patent. Although the administration will handle some patent conflicts of unlicensed using, the complicated dispute, like the one between Apple and HTC, is mainly handled by the court.
Today, Bridge IP Law Commentary will post you the latest China laws and regulations promulgated in November, and the following is the first part of the month:
1. The State Council of People’s Republic of China decides to start pilot VAT reform in Shanghai and a series of policies will be promulgated
On 16th November, 2011, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation issued the Experimental Plan of Transfer of Levy on Business Tax to VAT, and the Notice of Experiment of Transfer of Levy on Business Tax to VAT in the Transportation Industry and Part Modern Service Industries in Shanghai, which provide that the pilot of VAT replaces the existing business tax will be carried out in the transportation industry and part modern service industries in Shanghai from 1st January, 2012. Before that, with regarding to VAT, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation has issued the Notice on Return the Period-end Un-credited VAT Levied on the Purchase of Integrated Circuit Enterprises, and on the same day, the State Administration of Taxation issued the Announcement on the Adjustment of the Administration Measures of the Preferential Policy “Levy first and Return Immediately” for VAT.