China is advancing laws that pursue intellectual property theft. That is why a council of intellectual property experts was created last 2020 (the CNIPA) that serves as a guide on conflict. It wants Chinese companies to better understand legal systems and rules.
What is CNIPA and what does it say about intellectual property in China?
The Chinese Overseas Intellectual Property Dispute Response Guidance Center (CNIPA) is the recently created council for the resolution of intellectual property disputes. As Desantes (professor of private international law at the University of Alicante (Spain)) says: ‘this project is important to the extent that China is the world’s first power in intellectual property. So, it can serve as an example for other countries in avoiding conflicts and litigation. And above all, to help improve both legal certainty and international trade relations.’ He claims that Chinese law has always been greatly influenced by European law. Due to the collaboration between China and Europe for more than forty years.
CNIPA’s functions against intellectual property theft in China
Two main tasks are assigned to CNIPA. Both based on the initiative that Chinese companies do not have conflicts with other companies over intellectual property matters:
- Advise Chinese companies on their intellectual property rights abroad.
- Help them respect the intellectual property rules that correspond to foreign jurisdictions.
The amendment to the China Trademarks Law
This council pursuing intellectual property theft in China is not the only action the country has taken recently. At the end of 2019, the fourth amendment to the Chinese Trademarks Law came into force. Greater legal certainty as well as avoiding unfair competition, bad faith trademark applications and trademark infringements are its main objectives. All in all, China wants to put an end to its bad reputation for copying and counterfeiting. According to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) data, in 2016, more than 10% of valid trademark registrations in China were filed by foreign companies.
Registration of trademarks with the ‘first-to-file’ system
Companies and businesses operating in China must have the appropriate registration of their trademark to avoid plagiarism and conflict. In this way, the ‘first-to-file’ system recognizes that the proprietor of a trademark shall first submit the trademark application. For a company to file its trademark application in China for intellectual property, it may choose to:
- National mode. The application is filed with the Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO).
- International mode. This is a registration that can be requested in several countries. This is the recommended option for foreign applicants.
More and more companies are realizing the need to look after their brands and protect them from third parties. Legislative and judicial advances in China are modernizing the country’s fundamental intellectual and industrial property system. That is why more and more measures are being taken to achieve this. At IBMH we will not only respect your intellectual property. But we will protect your trademark, business and products from any attempt at plagiarism. We’ll take care of all the legal procedures in the trademark registers, so you don’t have to worry about anything. In addition, we will manage all your imports of furniture hardware and construction from China with full guarantee of success. Do you want to contact us?