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Zhang Mao and Shen Changyu Answering Questions of Journalists: New Trends of Trademarks and Patents

Zhang Mao, minister of the State Administration for Market Regulation, Shen Changyu, commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration and Jiao Hong, head of the National Medical Products Administration attended a press conference on strengthening market regulation and safeguarding market order for the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) in the morning of March 11, 2019.

Text record (excerpt)
Crackdown on Counterfeit Products
ThePaperQuestion: How to realize the goal of “less counterfeit products in the market” with the help of technical detection?
Zhang MaoAnswer:
Counterfeit and shoddy products infringe upon the interests of the masses severely and disrupt the market order, and must be rectified emphatically. We handled 1.29 million cases of counterfeit and shoddy products last year and it can be said that the deterring intensity is relatively high. Our current and future work must focus on key areas such as food and medicine, products targeting children and the elderly that the masses care most about and harm the most, and strengthen the supervision over them. It is necessary to adopt the strictest supervision and the most severe punishment. As I have mentioned in the “minister’s passage interview” last year, it is necessary to destroy all the investigated counterfeit and shoddy products according to law. You may have noticed a relevant report that there were 35 tons of counterfeit and shoddy products destroyed in Shijiazhuang recently to prevent the counterfeit and shoddy products from entering the market again. There was a concept of “counterfeit but not shoddy” in the past, but I believe that we must correct this viewpoint. Counterfeiting is a violation of intellectual property rights and must be cracked down. China will substantially increase the cost for breaking the law to make the manufacturers and sellers of fake products pay the price until bankruptcy, to force them be exposed to the public and let them have no place to hide under the sunshine. At the same time, the country will push for the self-discipline of companies and nurture a social credit system. Through the efforts, the administration aims to gradually reduce the number of counterfeit products, ease the concerns of the people and ensure the public feel at ease. Thank you all.
Blacklist Only in the list of the Government
【China Economic Net】 Question: How to carry out the clean-up of the brand selection and identification activities?
【Zhang Mao】 Answer:

Whether the brand of an enterprise is well-known and famous or not is formed in the market competition and is the result of the choice of the consumer. In the past, there was a viewpoint that the improvement of product quality and the creation of brand-name products should be rated and rewarded by the government, which actually distorted the relationship between the government and the market, affected the fair competition of the market and misled the consumers. We have paid a heavy price for those activities and it is easy to generate government rent-seeking and corruption at the same time. It is originally a product of the enterprise, but since the government endorsed it, it should shoulder the responsibility and should be accountable. Hence, before the institutional reform, the former State Administration for Industry and Commerce had already canceled the rating of so-called well-known trademarks and famous trademarks. This work was further supported by the Legislative Affairs Commission of NPC because many local governments have established laws for this purpose. At the same time, we also canceled the rating of “contract-honoring and promise-keeping” enterprises. Now we have cleaned up the rating of famous brands and well-known brands all over the country, and some local governments have stopped this activity, but some associations that are not decoupled from the government, i.e. the so-called “red top mediations” are still doing this work, which is not allowable. Thus, on this issue, we should handle the relationship between the government and the market correctly, and there should only the “black list” without “red list” on the government’s list. The “red list” should be the public praise of the consumer and is what the enterprise should do, and the “black list” means the enterprise should be punished for illegal business. Therefore, I also hope that you will send a message to the society, that is, the journalists should correctly handle the relationship between the government and the enterprise and should not endorse the behavior of the enterprise any more.
High-value patent examination period is to be reduced by 15% again

【CGTN】Question:How to improve the examination quality and examination efficiency of IPR?
【Shen Changyu, commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration】Answer:

Regarding improving the examination quality and the examination efficiency of IPR, President Xi Jinping made important instructions at the first China International Import Expo last year, the State Council made corresponding arrangements and the General Administration of Market Supervision and the China National Intellectual Property Administration formulated a clear work plan by implementing the spirit of Present Xi’s important instructions and the decisions and arrangements of the party central committee and the state council. For example, since last year, we have been trying to reduce the examination period of trademarks to less than four months from the past eight months within five years to reach the fastest level of the current “OECD” countries, and to reduce the examination period of invention patents by 1/3, in which the high-value patent examination period is to be reduced by more than half, also reaching the fastest international level currently.

In order to achieve this goal, the CNIPA has taken a series of measures: first, strengthen the team construction of examiners and improve the examination ability and level by strengthening the examination power; second, comprehensively improve the informationization level of the examination work, accelerate the construction of an intelligent examination system and improve quality and efficiency with the help of information technology; third, further optimize the management processes of the examination and adopt short-term refined management to improve the quality and efficiency of the examination; fourth, further innovate the ideas and models of the examination work. For example, the introduction of centralized examination and accelerated examination to improve the quality and efficiency. Significant results have been achieved through this series of measures. At the end of last year, the trademark examination period has been reduced from the past eight months to less than six months, and the high-value patent examination period has been reduced by 10%. At the same time, the quality of the examination is steadily increasing and the social satisfaction of the examination is constantly improving.

This year, we will work harder to ensure that the trademark examination period is to be reduced to less than five months from the past six months before the end of this year, and further reduce the high-value patent examination period to more than 15% from 10% last year so as to better meet the needs of the society.
Patent Law Revision is Expected to be Completed within the Year

【China Education Television】 Question: What’s the achievements of establishing a system of punitive compensation for IP infringement and in what areas we will promote technological innovation?
【Shen Changyu】Answer:

Establishing a system of punitive compensation for IP infringement is a great measure to strengthen IP protection. In the new round of amendment to the Patent Law, an important aspect is to strengthen the IPR protection by perfecting the system of punitive compensation for IP infringement and substantially raising the cost of infringement by stipulating that the punitive damages for intentional infringement can reach up to five times of the amount of infringement, forcing the infringer to pay a prohibitive price. At present, this work advances smoothly on the whole. As we all know, since the implementation of the Chinese Patent Law, it has been revised three times, and the fourth revision is currently underway. In December last year, the State Council Executive Meeting reviewed and approved the draft amendment to the Patent Law. At present, the National People’s Congress has conducted the first review, and the amendment to the Patent Law is expected to be completed within this year. This amendment to the Patent Law is of great significance to the transformation of scientific and technological achievements and the promotion of inventions and innovations. It will stimulate the inventors, help to protect the innovation results and better promote the transformation and use of the innovation results.
Collated from the live text of the press conference
Time: March 12, 2019
Source: Topics about IPR
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