China IP Focus 2016 - introduction
The 14th edition of Managing IP's annual publication devoted to IP in China demonstrates that investors and practitioners continue to face new challenges in protecting and enforcing their IP rights in the country. This is despite the significant steps made over the past decade, which have seen China lead the world in patent and trade mark filings, develop specialised IP courts and promote IP generation among businesses.
This edition has 17 chapters, on a wide range of topics. They can be grouped into three broad areas, each of which represents an important challenge for IP owners.
The first area is patent developments. We have an article looking at the important issue of subsidies – how the system works, what tax and other incentives are available and how they help to promote innovation. Another contribution considers the latest developments regarding patent reform, and another looks at the patent prosecution highway. And, reflecting the current uncertainty in the area, we have two articles on different issues to do with software patenting.
Second, we have five articles on trade mark developments, including one looking at the impact of the 2014 revisions nearly two years on, another looking at the thorny issue of trade mark use and one examining the questions raised by original equipment manufacturers and the recent Pretul case. Two articles that I'm sure many readers will find interesting are on protecting celebrity rights and a practical case study of trade mark counterfeiting.
Finally, there are seven articles covering enforcement and related issues. These look at the IP Courts one year on, evidence and the burden of proof in patent cases, enforcement options (including administrative procedures), how damages are calculated and how IP owners can use Customs. One article focuses on the fascinating issue of how to protect fonts and typefaces, and finally we come right up to date with a look at how China plans to use IP and innovation to overcome the current economic challenges.
I'm sure that whatever your area of practice, if you do business in China, you will find much worth reading in this Managing IP supplement, the full contents of which can also be found online at managingip.com/China2016.