Jerry Xia / Wen Zou / Anbi Xu

Recently, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court (SIPC) rendered a so-called partial or interlocutory judgment during a patent infringement lawsuit filed by the French automotive parts manufacturer Valeo against three Chinese defendants including Xiamen Lucas Automotive Parts Co., Ltd., Xiamen Fuke Automotive Parts Co., Ltd. and an individual Mr. Chen (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the defendants”). In this case, Valeo alleged that the wipers for cars being manufactured and sold by the defendants have infringed its Chinese invention patent named “Connectors for wiper of motor vehicles and corresponding connecting devices” and on that basis, they requested RMB 6M for damages. After careful investigation with support of technical experts, the SIPC found that the defendants’ products have indeed fallen into the scope of Claims 1-3 and 6-10 of Valeo’s patent in question and hence should immediately stop the infringement first while the damages can be determined later.

It’s said that this is the first time the SIPC has made such a partial judgment for an IP case. The legal basis is Article 153 of the Civil Procedure Law of PRC: “If some of the facts in a case being tried by the people’s court are already evident, the court may pass judgment on that part of the case first.”

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Authored by Jerry Xia <jerryxia@anjielaw.com> ,  Wen Zou <zouwen@anjielaw.com> , Anbi Xu <xuanbi@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm

Steve Zhao / Pei Lyu

In the everchanging business environment, business owners’ exploration in terms of using and registering non-traditional trademarks, such as 3D trademarks, sound trademarks, color trademarks and position trademarks, has never stopped. Different jurisdictions may have different thresholds to assess registrability of non-traditional marks. In China, there has been a noteworthy development regarding single-color mark used on a particular position filed by Christian Louboutin.

Fashion followers should know that the red sole is a signature design of Christian Louboutin high heel shoes. Christian Louboutin has been fighting for years in various jurisdictions for trademark registration of its red-sole signature, arguing that the red sole alone is capable of identifying origin of the shoes. Christian Louboutin applied for an international trademark of the red sole design under No. 1031242 on women’s high heels in Class 25 and designated China for protection.

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Authored by Steve Zhao <zhaokefeng@anjielaw.com> ,  Pei Lyu <lvpei@anjielaw.com> , at AnJie Law Firm

Michael Gu / Sihui Sun[1]

Introduction

In 2018 the Anti-monopoly Law celebrated its 10th anniversary. Further, the antitrust enforcement functions of China’s three former antitrust agencies (ie, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce) were consolidated into the new State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). The SAMR comprises 27 divisions, including the Anti-monopoly Bureau, which is responsible for the supervision and enforcement of the Anti-monopoly Law. The bureau’s functions include:

  • drafting anti-monopoly rules and guidelines;
  • enforcing the Anti-monopoly Law;
  • assisting enterprises in responding to foreign investigations;
  • promoting the fair competition review system;
  • undertaking international cooperation; and
  • undertaking the day-to-day work of the State Council Anti-monopoly Committee[1].

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Authored by Michael Gu <michaelgu@anjielaw.com> ,  Sihui Sun <sunsihui@anjielaw.com> , at AnJie Law Firm

Arthur Dong and Darren Mayberry

Your day in court; Months of preparation. Millions on the line.  But today your lawyers will finally press the other side’s evasive CEO / CFO / Low-level Lackey with the tough questions.  And this time, there is no escape.

Or is there?

If the arbitration is in China, there can be no guarantee that your opponents may have to answer the tough questions. Proper preparation permits no substitute here.

Cross-examination remains a dominant presence in international commercial arbitration proceedings in leading jurisdictions. China commonly recognizes this in foreign-related proceedings, but the parties must have opted for arbitration. This article discusses additional steps non-Chinese companies can take to preserve cross-examination when handling international commercial arbitration seated in China.

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Authored by Arthur Dong <dongxiao@anjielaw.com>, Darren Mayberry <darren.mayberry@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm

He Jing, Jerry Xia

February 3 was the deadline for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China to accept the public comments on the new version of the proposed Draft Amendments to the Patent Law (“the Draft”).  This new draft is the result of the first reading at the end of December by the standing committee.  The 2nd reading of the Draft is expected to be in April 2019.  The final version may be approved in June at the earliest.

While the NPC is reviewing the comments, let us analyse what are possible changes to come. Compared to the earlier version, the Draft has eliminated some provisions that generated intense discussions, e.g., rules related to administrative enforcement on repeated infringement matters, some special rules on service invention, and secondary infringement etc.  The Draft has introduced a new provision on patent term extension for innovative pharmaceutical drugs, among other notable points.

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Authored by He Jing <hejing@anjielaw.com> ,  Jerry Xia <jerryxia@anjielaw.com> , at AnJie Law Firm

Zhan Hao, Song Ying, Yang Zhan

The year 2018 should be a milestone for Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China (“AML”) enforcement and development in China.

 

On May 9, 2018, the newly established State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”), as a sole Chinese antitrust and competition authority, has completed unification and reorganization of the three previously separate government agencies. In the second half of 2018, SAMR transited through a series of AML regulations modification and rearrangement of internal enforcement responsibilities, as well as reshuffle of official positions. Public enforcement is active in 2018, although the institutional reform took much time. Private antitrust enforcement has also developments in 2018. For worldwide antitrust policy and enforcement, international cooperation among competition authorities in different jurisdictions is expected to be more frequent.

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Authored by Zhan Hao <zhanhao@anjielaw.com>,  Song Ying <songying@anjielaw.com> , Yang Zhan <yangzhan@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm

Simon Li, Susie Shi

In the Year 2018, China has promulgated a series of new regulations and policies in relation to foreign investment, which indicates the government’s determination to further expand market opening-up, attract foreign investment and inject new impetus into market competition and innovation.

Set forth below is a timeline of the major foreign investment regulations and policies issued nationwide in 2018:

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Authored by Simon Li<lixiameng@anjielaw.com>,   Susie Shi  <shiye@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm

Ren Gulong and Zhang Jiaqi

NPL MARKET IN CHINA

As China’s economic growth slows down, non-performing loans (“NPLs”) continues to rise. According to the regulatory indicators released by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (“CBRC”), the balance of commercial banks’ NPLs reached RMB 2.03 trillion by the end of the third quarter of 2018. CBRC urges Chinese banks to make greater efforts to manage and dispose of their NPLs. As a matter of fact, supportive policies have been consecutively enacted by Chinese government in recent years so that more investors are given opportunities to participate in China’s NPLs market.

The major players in China’s NPLs market are the big four state-owned assets management companies (“AMCs”), which were established by the Chinese government in 1999 to purchase NPLs from the big four Chinese commercial banks. Since CBRC allows setting up of local AMCs to participate in NPLs disposal in 2012, over 70 local AMCs haven been established. In June 2018, CBRC further issued Pilot Management Rules For Financial Assets Investment Companies (《金融资产投资公司管理办法(试行)), encouraging commercial banks to set up a subsidiary to engage in swap of NPLs into equities.

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Authored by Ren Gulong <Ren Gulong@anjielaw.com>, Zhang Jiaqi <zhangjiaqi@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm

Ren Gulong and Yang Anshu

In early December 2018, UBS AG increased its shareholding in its PRC subsidiary, UBS Security Co., Limited (“UBS China”), to 51%, making UBS China the first securities firm in China controlled by a foreign entity. This is an important event in the financial market and UBS AG certainly takes the advantage of China’s new measures to open up its financial market.

Measures of financial opening-up were provided in the government work report of 2018 issued in March. This opening-up process speed up due to the trade war tensions with the United States. At the Boao Forum in April 2018, President Xi Jinping announced further open up of Chinese financial market. Immediately after the announcement, Mr. Yi Gang, the governor of the People’s Bank of China (“PBOC”), disclosed details of the opening-up measures and a timetable. As responses to Mr. Yi’s timetable, the past year 2018 witnessed several new rules issued and old rules amended.

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Authored by Ren Gulong <rengulong@anjielaw.com>, Yang Anshu <Yang Anshu@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm

Arthur Dong and Darren Mayberry

Eventually, civic life requires everyone to produce documents for inspection and approval. As individuals, we need to submit documents in connection with a new bank account, health insurance, job applications, enrollment into an institution of higher learning, occupational licensing, and evaluation for loans. Companies and organizations may have even more occasions and demands placed on them to produce documents. Even so, parties often resist the production of documents while in the throes of a commercial dispute. Perhaps this happens because the opposing party routinely makes the request, and not a neutral third-party. China’s institutional rules for arbitration, however, are silent as to whether the parties may request documents, and under what circumstances the parties may do so.

 

Arbitration in China seems to reflect an overall disposition of reluctance towards the document production process. Leading institutional rules in China offer wide latitude, but little guidance, as to document production procedure. As a practical matter, a China-based Tribunal is likely to order document production only within a narrow and proscribed range. Participants in China-based arbitration may consider whether to forgo the document production phase altogether. After all, the process can incur considerable time and expense. However, such a departure from international norms would also carry risk. If parties decide to exercise document production, it would seem wisest to adopt the CIETAC Guidelines on Evidence, and do so prior to any dispute.

 

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Authored by Arthur Dong <dongxiao@anjielaw.com>, Darren Mayberry <darren.mayberry@anjielaw.com> at AnJie Law Firm