News and Cases from China: March 2017

SIPO: Important Amendments to Patent Examination Guidelines Came into Effect on 1 April

Issue Date: 2 March, 2017

The main amendments to the Guidelines are as follows:

  1. The section relating to unpatentable objects has been amended to provide that business models containing technical characteristics are not excluded from patentability;
  1. The section relating to sufficient disclosure of chemical inventions now provides that experimental data submitted after the filing date shall be considered.
  1. The section relating to amendment of the patent document in invalidation proceedings now permits both amendments that limit the scope of protection and amendments that correct obvious errors in the claims
  1. The scope of documents accessible to the public has been broadened to include notifications, reports and decisions issued during examination as well as priority documents and search reports after grant.
  1. The section relating to the suspension of procedures, which is currently limited to six months, has been amended to conform with the new Civil Procedure Law: the Patent Office shall suspend procedures for the period indicated in a civil property preservation order.

国家知识产权局:新修改《专利审查指南》4月1日起施行

指南主要在以下方面做了修改:

1.   在不授予专利权客体部分增加包含技术特征的商业模式的权利要求不排除其获得专利可能性的规定;

2.   在化学发明的充分公开一节增加补交实验数据应当予以审查的规定;

3.   在无效宣告程序中专利文件的修改部分,增加两种修改方式,即权利要求的进一步限定和明显错误的修正;

4.   在允许查阅和复制部分增加了在公告授予专利权后阶段对优先权文件和检索报告的查阅复制;

5. 修改“中止期限为六个月”为“中止期限为民事裁定书及协助执行通知书写明的财产保全期限”

Beijing Court finds against Sony in patent infringement action - damages award of RMB 9.1 Million (approx. US$1.3 million)

Issue date: 23 Mar, 2017

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court (BIPC) has ruled that Sony Mobile Communications (China) Co. Ltd. (Sony) infringed Xidian Jietong’s patent, and awarded over 9.1 million RMB compensation for the plaintiff’s losses.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2015 by Xidian Jietong, a wireless network communications company in Xi'an, northwest China, accused of infringing its standard-essential patent (SEP) relating to WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI). Because Sony had failed to provide the required testing documents, the BIPC found that the alleged infringement had been established.

索尼中国通信专利侵权西电捷通 被判赔偿910余万

北京知识产权法院就西电捷通诉索尼移动通信产品(中国)有限公司发明专利侵权案做出一审判决,索尼中国侵犯西电捷通公司涉WAPI标准必要专利,判决立即停止侵犯涉案专利权行为,判赔共计910余万元。索尼在2015年7月对涉案专利提起无效宣告请求。2016年3月,复审委作出无效决定书,维持专利权有效。

北京知识产权法院认为被告并未根据法院要求提交其内部使用的测试规范等质量管理规范性文件,故法院合理推定被告在涉案手机的设计研发、测试、出厂检测等过程中进行了WAPI功能测试,该测试行为实施了原告的涉案专利。因此,认定原告认定构成侵权。

Alibaba Filed a Lawsuit against a Seller of Counterfeits and Claimed RMB 2.67 Million

Issue date: 23 Mar, 2017

Recently, Alibaba (China’s largest E-Commerce Company) filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai Fengxian District People's Court, in relation to the alleged sale of counterfeit Mars branded cat food. Alibaba is claiming damages of 2.67 million RMB and seeking a public apology from the Defendant,Yao.

Yao has been selling pet food on Taobao.com since 2015. Alibaba and Mars provided evidence of the illegal sales to the Baoshan branch of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which arrested Yao immediately. The police initialled the investigation; Alibaba then filed a civil lawsuit.

Alibaba said that it discovered 4,495 instances of the manufacture and sale of fakes in 2016 alone, each one exceeding the threshold (RMB 50,000) stipulated by Criminal Law.  So far, according to public information, criminal action has been successfully taken in only 33 cases,  i.e. less than 1%.

淘宝卖家售假猫粮 阿里巴巴索赔267万

近日,阿里巴巴(中国电子商务公司)向上海市奉贤区人民法院提起诉讼,以“违背不得售假约定、侵犯平台商誉”为由,起诉在淘宝网上出售假玛氏皇家猫粮的姚某,索赔267万元,并请求法院判令姚某公开道歉。据悉,姚某自2015年起在淘宝网上出售宠物食品,阿里巴巴和品牌方玛氏公司发现姚某存在售假嫌疑后,将经组织抽检、鉴定后的线索移交给上海市公安局宝山分局,姚某被当场抓获。在警方对姚某立案侦查之后,阿里巴巴启动了民事诉讼。

阿里巴巴发布的一组数据显示,2016年,阿里巴巴平台治理部共排查出4495个销售额远大于起刑点(5万元)的制假售假线索。截至目前,通过公开信息能够确认有刑事判决结果的案件仅33例,比例不足1%。

Amendment of Patent Law Included in Legislation Plan for 2017

Issue date: 21 Mar, 2017

According to the 2017 Legislation Plan, legislative projects will include a revised draft Patent Law and revised rules on patent commissioning.

The Patent Law came into force on 1 April, 1985, and has been amended three times since. On 2 December 2016, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council promulgated the "Draft Amendment to the Patent Law" and its interpretation, containing substantive amendments to 33 provisions, and an additional chapter named "The Implementation and use of Patents".

The Rules on Patent Commissioning (the Rules) originally came into force on 1 April 1991. On 11 February 2011, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office issued a Draft Amendment to the Rules, asking for public comments. So far, the revised "Rules on Patent Commissioning" has not been introduced.          

专利法修改列入今年立法工作计划

根据《计划》,2017年国务院“力争年内完成”的立法项目有22个。其中,涉及知识产权的有2件,包括提请审议专利法修订草案和修订专利代理条例。

专利法》于1985年4月1日开始施行,30多年来曾有过3次修改。2016年12月2日,国务院法制办公布《专利法修订草案(送审稿)》及其说明,涉及实质性修改的条文共33条,新增“专利的实施和运用”一章。

专利代理条例》于1991年4月1日开始施行。2011年2月11日,国务院法制办发布《专利代理条例修订草案(送审稿)》公开征求意见,但至今新的《专利代理条例》仍未出台。