China to Further Refine Intellectual Property Laws

China will continue to refine its intellectual property laws and improve its punitive damages system, said Shen Changyu, head of the National Intellectual Property Administration.
      He made the remarks Wednesday at the High-Level Forum on China IP Protection in Beijing.
      The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Tuesday passed a proposal to amend China's trademark law.
      The proposal outlined that the amount of compensation for malicious infringement of trademarks should be up to five times the amount of actual losses, compared with three times before the amendment.
      It also said the compensation upper limit should be raised from 3 million yuan ($446,000) to 5 million yuan.
      These revisions will take effect Nov 1.
      China will increase efforts protecting intellectual property rights and consider these rights a cornerstone of economic development, innovation and international trade, according to Shen.
      "China is speeding up the transformation from industrialization to informatization. Intangible assets such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, business secrets and software are playing an increasingly important role, so intellectually property protection has become more significant," he said.
      Shen said the administration will release a strategic outline to make China a bastion of intellectual property protection, make plans for implementing the protection system, and devise innovative new protection mechanisms.
      It will also cooperate with the National People's Congress to revise patent law and improve the punitive damages system.
      The current patent law stipulates that patentees can receive one-to-five times the amount of their losses in compensation for intentional, serious infringements.
      The average time for trademark review will be shortened to less than five months, compared with six months last year, and the time for high-value patents review will be cut by more than 15 percent, he said.
      According to Shen by the end of 2018 there were 1.602 million invention patents on the Chinese mainland and 19.564 million effective trademarks registered.

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