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Opinions on Strengthening Protections of Intellectual Property Rights

Promulgation Date: 2019-11-24
Title: CPC Central Committee General Office, and General Office of the State Council Notice on the Release of "Opinions on Strengthening Protections of Intellectual Property Rights"
Document Number:
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: General Offices of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council
Source of text:
Strengthening protections for intellectual property rights is an important part of improving the system of protections for property rights, and is also the largest drive for increasing our nation's economic competitiveness.  The following Opinions are hereby made so as to implement the Party Central Committee and State Council's decisions and deployments on strengthening protections for intellectual property rights, further improving systems and optimizing mechanisms.   

I. General Requirements

With Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guidance, fully implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its 2nd, 3rd and 4th plenary sessions, closely revolving around the overall plan for advancing the '5-sphere integrated plan' and coordinating with the strategy for advancing the 'four completes' strategy, to firmly establish the idea that protection of intellectual property rights is protection of innovation; persist in strict protection planned coordination, breakthroughs in key areas, and equal protections, to continuously reform and improve the system of intellectual property rights protections, comprehensively utilizing legal, administrative, economic, technological, and social governance tactics to strengthen protections, promoting the overall increase in the capacity and levels of protection. By 2022, strive to effectively stop the phenomenon of violations occurring easily and often, and clearly turning around the situation for those protecting rights where 'it is hard to present evidence, the period is lengthy, the costs are high, and compensation is low'. By 2025, public satisfaction with protections of intellectual property rights is to achieve and maintain a higher level, effectively increasing protective capacity, improving the protections systems, optimizing the business environment for respecting the value of knowledge, and more effectively giving play to the fundamental role of the intellectual property rights system in driving innovation.

II. Strengthen systemic constraints, establishing a policy orientation for intellectual property rights protections.

(1) Increase the force of punishments for infringement and counterfeiting Research the necessity and feasibility of drafting basic intellectual property rights laws, accelerating revisions and improvements to the Patent Law, Trademark Law, and Copyright Law. Improve legislation related to the protection of geographical indications. Accelerate the introduction of a punitive damages system in the fields of patent and copyrights. Substantially increase the upper limit of compensation for infringement, increasing the force of compensation for damages. Strengthen civil judicial protections and effectively implement a punitive damages system. Research adopting measures such as confiscation of illegal income and destruction of counterfeit goods, increasing the force of administrative punishments, and carrying out special administrative law enforcement actions in key fields, at key stages, and for key groups. Regulate condct such as malicious trademark registration, irregular patent applications, and malicious litigation. Explore strengthening effective protections such as for trade secrets, confidential business information, and source codes. Strengthen criminal judicial protections, advancing revisions and improvements of the Criminal Law and judicial interpretations. Increase the force of efforts to combat crimes involving intellectual property rights, look into lowering the standards for violations being treated as crimes, increase the force of sentencing and punishments, revise the descriptions of crimes, and promote resolution of problems such as the disposition of goods involved in infringement cases. Strengthen the establishment of systems to combat crimes of infringement and counterfeiting, exploring and improving data-based, information-guided work mechanisms for fighting counterfeiting, and normalize special crackdowns, sustaining a high-pressure, strike-hard posture.

(2) Strictly Regulate Evidence Standards Thoroughly advance the reform of '3 in 1' trial mechanisms, for civil, criminal, and administrative intellectual property rights cases; improve appeal mechanisms for intellectual property rights cases, and unify standards for first-instance trial judgments. Draft improved judgment standards for trademark and patent violations in administrative law enforcement. Regulate evidence standards for the different judicial, administrative law enforcement, arbitration, and mediation paths. Advance coordination and connections between administrative law enforcement and criminal justice standards for opening cases, improve requirements for transfer of cases and evidence standards, and draft evidence guidelines for smooth transitions from administrative law enforcement to criminal justice. Draft judicial interpretations on evidence rules for civil litigation on intellectual property rights, striving to resolve the problem of the rights holder's difficulty in presenting evidence. Explore the establishment of notarized rewards for collection of evidence on infringement, reducing the rights holders' burden to present evidence.

(3) Strengthen case enforcement measures. Establish and complete mechanisms for judicial confirmation of settlement agreement in intellectual property rights disputes. Establish and improve 'blacklist' systems for market entity creditworthiness archives, implementing categorical regulation by market entity credit, establishing systems for publishing directories of enterprises with repeat infringement or intentional infringement, and establish mechanisms for joint disciplinary action against the untrustworthy. Gradually establish case guidance mechanisms and mechanisms for public trials of major cases for the entire field of intellectual property rights protections. Strengthen oversight and inspections of case enforcement in other areas, promoting the formation of a uniform and fair legal environment.

(4) Improve systems for the protection of new business types and new fields. Targeting new situations developing from new business types and new fields, research strengthening increasing protections for patents, trademarks, copyrights, new plant varieties, circuit layout designs, and so forth. Explore the establishment of a pharmaceutical patent link system, and compensation system for pharmaceutical patent periods. Research strengthening protections of intellectual property rights in broadcast of sports competitions. Strengthen the wide use of notarization electronic certificate storage. Research the establishment of rules for protection of intellectual property rights in cross-border e-commerce, drafting protection management standards for e-commerce platforms. Compile and publish handbooks for protection of enterprise intellectual property rights, draft model contracts and operational guides such as for rights protection processes, encourage enterprises to increase establishment of risk protection mechanisms, and continue to optimize the protective environment public entrepreneurship and innovation. Research drafting measures for protections in areas such as traditional culture and traditional knowledge, strengthening intellectual property rights protections for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

III. Strengthen society oversight and joint governance, building

(5) Strengthening the force of enforcement oversight. Strengthen oversight by the people's congress carrying out intellectual property rights enforcement inspections. Give play to th political consultative conferences role of democratic oversight, periodically carrying out investigations of intellectual property rights protection work. Establish and complete systems for rewarding the exception and punishing those lacking, to increase the efficacy of law enforcement oversight. Strengthen oversight an accountability, promote the implementation of provisions related to administrative law enforcement information disclosure, disclosing a greater range and extent of information from administrative law enforcement cases, and accepting societal and public sentiment oversight.

(6) Establish and complete social governance models. Improve mechanisms for intellectual property rights arbitration, mediation, and notarization; fostering and developing arbitration bodies, mediation organizations, and notary bodies. Encourage industry associations and chambers of commerce to establish mechanisms for self discipline and information connectivity in the protection of intellectual property rights. Lead the agency industry to strengthen self-discipline and governance, comprehensively increasing the level of regulation for agency bodies. Strengthen the establishment of the creditworthiness systems, uniformly aggregating and lawfully publishing intellectual property rights pledge registrations, administrative punishments, spot inspection outcomes, and other such information involving enterprises, through the national enterprise credit information announcement system. Establish and complete systems for volunteers, mobilizing social forces to actively participate in governance of intellectual property rights protections.

(7) Strengthening Professional and Technical Support. Strengthen research and development, using source tracing, real-time monitoring, online identification, and other technical methods to strengthen protections of intellectual property rights. Establish systems for smart-testing of leads on infringement and counterfeiting, increasing the efficacy and accuracy of efforts to combat infringement and counterfeiting. Introduce a system of technical investigators in handling intellectual property rights administrative law enforcement and judicial activities, to assist the administrative law enforcement departments and justice departments in accurately and effectively determining technical facts. Explore strengthening the capacity of evaluations for intellectual property rights infringement, researching the establishment of an assessment system for infringement damages, and further strengthening the professionalization and standardization of forensic evaluation bodies.

IV. Optimize coordination and connectivity mechanisms, with breakthroughs in critical stages of intellectual property rights protection

(8) Optimize procedural connections between authorization, rights confirmation, and rights connectivity. Strengthen capacity for reviews of patents, trademarks, and new plant varieties, further shrinking the review period. Emphasize increasing the quality of reviews of utility and exterior design patents, strengthening protections at the source. Give further play to the role of systems for remote trials, or trials in different locations, to confirm patent and trademark rights, in administrative law enforcement cases for major infringement. Establish linkage mechanisms between administrative confirmation of rights, notarized certificate deposits, arbitration, mediation, administrative law enforcement, and judicial protections strengthening information connectivity and sharing, forming organic connections between each channel, and operating mechanism drawing on complementary advantages, to truly increase the efficacy of rights protection.

(9) Strengthen coordination of case-handling across departments and regions. Draft procedures for cross-department case-handling, establishing joint investigation and transfer mechanisms between departments for major cases. Establish linkage mechanisms between administrative law enforcement departments and public security departments for the investigation of intellectual property rights involving suspected crimes. Explore establishing mechanisms recommending prioritization of arbitration and mediation in regions with many cases. Establish and complete mechanisms for sorting intellectual property rights cases, advancing the reform of systems for separating simple and complicated cases. Promote the establishment of cross-regional trial mechanisms for intellectual property rights cases within provincial-level administrative regions, giving full play to court mechanisms for assigning jurisdiction, to effectively break through regional protectionism.

(10) Promote rapid handling of simple cases and disputes. Establish a catalog of markets for key scrutiny, and build channels for rapid handling, such as through administrative law enforcement, arbitration, and mediation; targeting key areas and links such as e-commerce platforms, exhibitions, professional markets, import/ export. Promote e-commerce platforms' establishment of effective complaint systems for the quick handling of patent infringement of utility models and designs by effectively using patent evaluation reports. Guide all kinds of websites to regulate management, deleting infringing content, blocking or disconnecting links to pirating websites, stopping the transmission of infringing information, combat the use of copyright litigation to for speculative profit and other such conduct.

(11) Strengthen the establishment of intellectual property rights protection bodies. Establish a group of centers for the protection of intellectual property rights in areas where advantageous businesses are more concentrated, establishing mechanisms for the quick acceptance and rational division of cases to provide one-stop' dispute resolution plans with quick reviews, rights confirmations, rights preservation. Accelerate procedures for reviewing authorizations, confirmation of rights, and protection of rights, in key technical sectors such as patent, trademark, and new plant varieties. Spread the use of mediation to accelerate the rapid resolution of disputes, effectively interconnecting administrative law enforcement, judicial protections, arbitration, and other channels and stages of protection.

V. Complete mechanisms for foreign communication, forming a superior environment of equal protection of intellectual property rights

(12) Expand the extent of and strengthen international cooperation. Actively carry out foreign lecture tours, hold round tables, and strengthen cooperation and exchanges with relevant nations and organizations on strengthening intellectual property rights protections. Explore setting up special areas in important international exhibitions, and holding touring exhibitions on China's accomplishments in protecting intellectual property rights. Give full play to the important role of the intellectual property rights system in promoting the joint development of BRI, support joint development nations in strengthening capacity building, and promoting sharing of the results of reviews of patents and new plant varieties. Fully use all kinds of two-way dialogue and cooperation mechanisms to strengthen communication. exchanges, and negotiations on intellectual property rights protections. Comprehensively use all kinds of international exchange and cooperation platform, actively promoting accomplishments in the development of our nations' intellectual property rights protections.

(13) Complete communication channels between domestic and foreign rights holders. Use methods such as convening meetings of embassies based in China and business conversations to strengthen information exchanges with foreign industry associations, chambers of commerce, social groups, and so forth that are in China. Organize and convene intelligence briefings on intellectual property rights protections, promptly announcing major matters and developments to the news media and public, clearing up doubts and actively responding to the concerns of domestic and foreign stakeholders.

(14) Strengthen assistance service for overseas rights protections. Improve early warning and prevention mechanisms for overseas intellectual property rights disputes, strengthening follow up and research on major cases, establishing mechanisms for dynamic tracking of revisions and changes in foreign intellectual property rights laws, promptly publishing risk alerts. Strengthen the establishment of overseas information service platforms, carrying out guidance for addressing overseas intellectual property rights disputes, and building coordinated resolution mechanisms for overseas disputes. Support all kinds of social organizations in carrying out the establishment of intellectual property rights risk control systems involving foreign interests. Encourage insurance bodies to initiate overseas intellectual property rights infringement liability insurances, patent enforcement insurance, insurance for damages from suffering patent infringement, and other such insurance operations. Establish mechanisms for expert consultation on overseas rights protections, effectively promoting our nation's rights holders receipt of equal protections of their lawful rights and interests overseas in accordance with law

(15) Complete mechanisms for coordination and obtaining information. Improve coordination mechanisms for overseas enforcement, expanding the force of coordination, and further strengthening our nation's embassies work on intellectual property rights. Select observation enterprises and social organizations for overseas intellectual property rights, and establish communications mechanisms. Establish information reporting and response mechanisms for major overseas intellectual property rights disputes. Organize andc carry out investigations into the state of overseas intellectual property rights protections for our nation's enterprises, researching and establishing mechanisms for assessing the status of protections by nation, promoting improvements of the overseas intellectual property rights protection environment for out nation's enterprises.

VI. Strengthen the establishment of basic conditions, vigorously supporting efforts to protect intellectual property rights

(16) Strengthen basic platform construction. Establish and complete a national intellectual property rights big data center and protection monitoring information network, strengthening statistics and monitoring on information such as on registration, approvals and announcement, handling of disputes, and major cases. Establish mechanisms for the overall coordination of the reporting of intellectual property rights law enforcement information and information sharing, increasing the extent of information integration, and increasing the level of analysis and big picture decision making. Strengthen the establishment of public service platform software, such as for assistance, reports and complaints in rights protection, enriching platform functions and increasing the level of facilitation in services for citizens.

(17) Strengthen the establishment of teams of professional talent. Encourage and guide regions, departments, educational bodies, industry associations, and academies to increase the extent of training for personnel specializing in intellectual property rights protections. Strengthen allotment of administrative law enforcement and judicial personnel for intellectual property rights and their professional specialization; establish effective mechanisms to motive proactivity in administrative law enforcement and judicial personnel; ensuring stable and orderly communication between the teams. Promote the establishment of specialized handling of intellectual property rights criminal cases, increasing the efficacy and quality of investigations, reviews for arrest, reviews for prosecution, and trials. Comprehensively advance systems for government lawyers, company lawyers, and legal consultants in relevant management departments, enterprises, and public institutions; promoting the legalization of efforts to administer and protect intellectual property rights. Give full play to the functions of lawyers and other legal service teams to do a good job of resolving intellectual property rights disputes, case representation, popular legal education, and other such work. Establish and complete systems for selection, management, and incentives for personnel involved in intellectual property rights arbitration, mediation, notarization, public oversight, and so forth. Strengthen the training of intellectual property protection professionals and give full play to the role of all kinds of personnel in the practice o rights protection.

(18) Expand resource investments and the extent of support. Each region and each department should increase the extent of financial investment in intellectual property rights protections. Encourage regions where the conditions are mature to be early implementers and experimenters, taking the lead in establishing model pilots areas for the protection of intellectual property rights, forming 'high-grounds' for protections. Promote modernization and digitization of equipment for administrative law enforcement and judicial handling of intellectual property rights. Encourage enterprises to increase financial investment and use marketized methods to establish mutual funds for intellectual property rights protections, increasing their capacity for and the level of protecting their own rights.

VII. Expand the force of organizational implementation, ensuring that work tasks are put in place

(19) Strengthen organizational leadership. Comprehensively strengthen the Party's leadership over intellectual property rights protection work. Each relevant party should divide labor in accordance with their functions, research specific policy measures, and collaborate in promoting the establishment of an intellectual property rights protection system. The State Intellectual Property Bureau should collaborate with relevant departments to continuously improve work mechanisms, strengthen coordination and guidance, and oversight inspections, to ensure that each work requirement is effectively implemented; major issues should be promptly reported to the Party Central Committee and State Council in accordance with procedures.

(20) Take firm hold of implementation. All levels of local Party commissions and governments should fully the Party Central Committee and State Council's decisions and deployments, implementing local responsibility for intellectual property rights protection, periodically convening special meetings for party committees and government, researching intellectual property rights protection efforts, strengthening the establishment of institutional mechanisms, drafting accompanying measures, and putting funds in place for personnel. intellectual property rights protection efforts should be included in local party committee and government agendas of important matters, and periodically carry out assessments to ensure that each measure is truly implemented.

(21) Strengthen Evaluations and Appraisals. Establish and complete evaluation and appraisal systems, include the efficacy of in intellectual property rights protections in local Party committee and government efficacy evaluations and in the business environment appraisal system. Establish systems for annual investigations of public satisfaction with intellectual property rights protections and for the assessment of protection levels. Improve mechanisms for releasing circulars and having talks, urging all levels of Party committee and government to increase the force of intellectual property rights protection efforts.

(22) Strengthen incentives and rewards. Follow relevant national provisions to give commendations to groups and individuals making outstanding contributions in intellectual property rights protection efforts. Encourage all levels of government to fully use existing reward systems to strengthen commendations for advance workers in intellectual property rights protections and exceptional societal participants. Improve mechanisms for rewarding reports of infringement or counterfeiting, increasing the extent of rewards for informants, motivating the public to actively participate in intellectual property rights protection efforts.

(23) Strengthen publicity and guidance. Each region and each department should strengthen guidance of public opinion, periodically publishing example cases that have social impact, making the people deeply internalize the concept of intellectual property rights protections. Each region and each department should strengthen guidance of public opinion, periodically publishing example cases that have social impact, making the people deeply internalize the concept of intellectual property rights protections.


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