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China intellectual property lawyer
China intellectual property lawyer

Previously China has three IP specialist courts. Three IP specialty courts are currently established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as a pilot-project, with the aim of improving quality, professionalism, and uniformity in IP litigation in China. All of these three courts are intermediate courts, with local high courts serving as the appeal courts. All of these specialist IP courts were established at the end of 2014.

The Beijing IP Court, Shanghai IP Court and Guangzhou IP court hear different types of cases, but they still have a lot in common.

All three IP courts have the authority to hear the following cases: (1) civil infringement and administrative lawsuits regarding patents, new varieties of plants, trade secret and computer software; (2) administrative appeals against administrative decisions on copyright, trademark, unfair competition made by local government or State Council departments; (3) cases concerning recognition of a well-known trademark; and (4) all the IP appeals against judgments handled by first instance district courts on copyrights, trademark, technical contracts, unfair competition and so on.

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China intellectual property
China intellectual property

China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC“) has published its list of the “top 10 significant IP cases” for 2014, which it has done since 2007. The list includes 1 patent case, 2 trademark cases, 2 copyright cases, 2 unfair competition cases, 1 antitrust case, 1 franchise case, and 1 integrated circuit design case. Although not strictly binding precedent under China’s civil law system, these cases act as judicial guidance for People’s Courts at all levels.

In this post, we briefly summarize the SPC’s top 10 significant IP cases.

1. Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. et al. v.  Beijing Qihoo Technology Ltd. et al. (Unfair Competition, the SPC)

Tencent claimed Qihoo committed unfair competition by developing a software product specifically targeting Tencent’s “QQ” software, one of the most popular instant messaging applications in China. Qihoo’s software allegedly enhanced computer security by searching for QQ and cleaning QQ of advertisements. The SPC affirmed the lower court’s judgment in favor of Tencent, holding that Qihoo’s software undermined the safety and integrity of Tencent’s QQ application in violation of the general principle of good faith and well-recognized business ethics in the internet industry under Article 2 of China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

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China NGO Law
China NGO Law

In April 2016, the National People’s Congress passed the Foreign NGO Management Law, which aims to restrict and regulate the activities of foreign organizations operating in the country.  There will be no "grace period" for the implementation of new regulations limiting the activities of foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in China that are slated to come into effect in 2017, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Western governments have lambasted the foreign NGO law passed in April, saying it treats the groups as a criminal threat and would effectively force many out of the country. "China is a country with the rule of law - no law has a 'transition period' or 'grace period' after it takes effect," a representative from the Ministry of Public Security's Foreign NGO Management Bureau told consular officials from 11 countries at a briefing in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Foreign NGOs would have to partner with a Chinese organisation and would be banned from working in different geographical regions from their Chinese counterparts, the representative said, according to a statement on the ministry's website.

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China NDRC v. Medtronic Case
China NDRC v. Medtronic Case

China's NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) has published the full order in which it fined medical device maker Medtronic 118.5 million yuan ($17.2 million) for its violation of China Anti-monoply Law, including imposing vertical restraints. We provide a English version of the decision for your reference.

Respondent: Medtronic (Shanghai) Management 

Residence: (*)

In accordance with laws and regulations including the Anti-monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China ("AML"), the NDRC launched an investigation in April 2016 into the respondent's behavior of concluding and implementing monopolistic agreements with trading partners during the sale of medical-device products in business areas including cardiovascular treatment, restorative therapy and the treatment of diabetes. During the investigation, the regulator conducted on-site inspections; extracted relevant written evidence and electronic data; inspected the prices quoted during the resale process; and analyzed and demonstrated the impact of the behavior involved on market competition and consumer interests.

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China Best Lawyers
China Best Lawyers

It is braught to you 15 young lawyers from all across China. Their impressive career development points to their potential to make it big in the legal profession in the future. These 15 rising stars, demonstrating great potential and professional excellence, are nominated as the Top 15 Rising Lawyers in recognition of their strong performance, established reputation and expanding client bases.

Selection criteria for rising lawyer candidates: aged under 40 or have been working in the legal profession for no more than 15 years; currently providing legal services in Mainland China; both Chinese and foreign lawyers are eligible.

Simmons & Simmons

JOSEPH CHU

As a dispute resolution partner at Simmons & Simmons, Chu has  13  years’  experience  practicing  commercial  litigation,  in- ternational arbitration and compliance investigation in Main- land China and Hong Kong. He is strong in cross-border arbi- tration and international litigation, in particular the provision of  legal  services  for  disputes  involving  outbound  investments by  Chinese  companies.

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Michael Jordan China case
Qiaodan in China

China’s top court has ruled that Michael Jordan owns the rights to his last name in Chinese, overturning earlier decisions against the 53-year-old basketball legend in a long-running trademark dispute.

Michael Jordan finally wins the right to use the Chinese version of his name after beating rip-off sports goods firm in court case 

Jordan filed trademark suit against the company based in Fujian Province, China Qiaodan Sports Co has name and image branding that's similar to the sports star After two losses in Beijing courts, Jordan won his case at China's Supreme Court

Back in 2012, Jordan sued Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan Sports, which allegedly took the athlete’s Chinese name Qiaodan, pronounced “chee-ow dahn,” and his jersey number 23, to sell basketball jerseys and shoes. Jordan claimed this misled Chinese consumers to believe he was behind the brand.

After lower courts ruled in favor of the Chinese company, Jordan took the case to the Supreme People’s Court, which ruled on Dec. 8 that the Chinese firm will have to give up its registration of the Chinese version of Qiaodan, or 乔丹. The final ruling still allows the Chinese firm to use the pinyin version “Qiaodan” though.

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China Foreign Direct Investment
China Foreign Direct Investment

In contrast to Chinese firms' usual strategy of beating foreign competitors on price, the government is rolling out policies to encourage firms to participate in overseas infrastructure development projects to move the country's exports up the value chain.

Chinese leaders have promoted the country's railway technologies in foreign countries, such as Angola where the China-made 1,344-km railroad project was put into operation. China will also encourage its companies to win more global market share in electric power, communications, engineering machinery, automobiles, aircraft and electronics.

Chinese authorities are considering revising the country's guidance catalogue for foreign investment, cutting the number of restrictive measures to 62 from the previous 93.

The country's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, on Wednesday published a revision draft on its website to seek public opinion on the changes.The easing rules on foreign investment came amid government efforts to push use of the negative list approach, which identifies sectors and businesses that are off-limits or restricted for investment.

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China currency control
China currency control

Transfer pricing has fast become one of the standout issues in international taxation. Put simply, the practice concerns the price charged for intercompany transactions between entities in different tax jurisdictions. These transactions can be used to shift funds within a multinational company (MNC), making transfer pricing an effective means to manage a firm’s finances and remit its profits.

It’s often said about China that: “You can never get your money out”. Therefore, goes the logic, there is no point in going there in the first place. China does maintain strict capital controls, including severe restrictions on how and when money can leave the country. But money does flow out, in vast amounts. Here, we throw open the door on how companies do actually get money out of China for regular commercial business, including legitimate ‘white' channels, to grey ones, and the black market. 

There are multiple channels companies use for getting funds out of China, some legitimate, some less so, or open to manipulation. To fully understand them, there are certain distinctions that need to first be made clear.

No restrictions on foreign firms' profit transfers

China's foreign exchange authority said this Friday that there are no restrictions on foreign firms' cross-border profit transfers, responding to market concerns about tightened regulation over capital outflows.

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China film law
China film law

New law could help grow the Chinese film industry, and create some challenges, say film market attendees.

China-Hollywood enthusiasts gathered earlier this month in the Los Angeles area, where the American Film Market, the US-China Film Summit and the 6th Annual International Co-Productions Screenings were buzzing about the impact of a new Film Industry Promotion Law that will be taking effect in March. Since the law is complex and deals with issues of censorship as well as incentives for production and abuses by exhibitors, opinions varied about whether it will make things better or worse, depending on which segment of the industry one is involved in.

As we reported, the law indicates a decrease in oversight from state censors, which would spur industry growth and make it easier to get new film projects off the ground, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).

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China Cyber Security Law
China Cyber Security Law

China’s new cyber security law, expected to take effect next June, could hurt any foreign firm looking to do business in the world’s second-largest economy. Though the law is intended to fight non-Chinese and Chinese hackers, it also requires that foreign companies provide China’s government with potentially sensitive information about network equipment and software. Given the weaknesses of China’s enforcement of laws around intellectual property, it’s easy to see how trade secrets can fall into the hands of Chinese competitors at the expense of the best interests of foreign firms.

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China One Child Policy
China One Child Policy

Thirty-five years after it slammed the brakes on population growth by adopting a one-child policy, China announced Thursday that it would allow all married couples to have two children. The policy is driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economic ascent, the Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have two children.

The momentous move, revealed in a brief communique from senior Communist Party leaders Thursday night, comes as China is confronting slowing growth and a rapidly aging society, with the number of working-age people shrinking for three years in a row.

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