07.01.11 00:39 Age: 7 yrs
Amendments to the Rules on Administrative Enforcement of Patent Rights (Draft for Comments) Was Published
The rules elaborate the role and power of administrative bodies to govern enforcement of patent rights, including handling patent infringements, mediation of disputes over patent rights and handling patent passing-off cases. In the draft amendment, the current rules (dating from 2001) were amended to be consistent with the new law and regulations.
The administrative bodies responsible for patent enforcement are local intellectual property offices, which are quasi-independent of SIPO and can be found all over China. In terms of administrative enforcement of patent rights, SIPO is supposed to give support and guidance to the local IP offices. In the draft rules, SIPO’s power over the local offices is strengthened. Specifically, the draft says that in a cross-province/cross-city patent infringement case or patent passing-off case, SIPO has the power to organise the relevant administrative bodies to work together.
One important change to administrative bodies’ power provided in the new patent law concerns patent passing-off cases such as falsely marking pending applications as granted, continuing to mark patent numbers after patent expiry and forging patent certificates. The administrative bodies were given the power to inspect, seize and detain such products. Accordingly, provisions that prescribe the working procedure in handling such cases were added to the draft rules. Furthermore, the rules also specify three possible outcomes of patent passing-off cases: passing-off is found and administrative punishment is issued; passing-off is not found and the case is dismissed; and criminal activity is suspected and the case is transferred to the police. It is to be noted that administrative bodies are not given the power to inspect, seize and detain products during infringement cases.