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In the News

Apple and the Slide to Unlock Patents!

On October 25, 2011 the USPTO granted Apple a patent (8,046,721) for "Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image". Almost every touchscreen smartphone manufactured, uses slide to unlock technology. It seems like the Apple patent, could potentially be a problem for smartphone manufactures. However, many individuals propose that this patent should not have been issued because of the prior art that was available, such as the Neonode N1m which has been discontinued. It seems like many people forgot that Apple already has patented the slide to unlock feature, (Patent 7,657,849---which is cited in the "721" patent) so unless the Neonode has related prior art before December 23, 2005, the Neonode is not prior art. The "721" patent is a continuation of the "849" patent, therefore the "849" patent is not counted as prior art. As a result, the "849" patent is not invalid in light of the "721" patent, and most likely if the prior "721" patent has not been found invalid, nor will the "849" patent.

Web link: http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2011/10/patently-o-bits-bytes-by-lawrence-higgins-4.html

Two Years after Implementation, New Patent Law Works Well

October 1 this year marks the 2nd anniversary of the implementation of the third revision of Chinese patent law. According to statistics, as of August 31, 2011, SIPO had received over 1,600 patent applications with forms of disclosure of origin of genetic resources; as of September 30, SIPO had examined more than 76,000 petitions for foreign filing license; from November 1, 2009 to August 31, 2011, SIPO received 252 requests for evaluation report for design patent.

It took SIPO over a year to receive the first 800 of the above-mentioned 1,600 applications while the rest 800 arrived within the period from January to August 2011.
As of September 30, 2011, SIPO had examined more than 76,000 petitions for foreign filing license in the past two years since the third revision of the Chinese patent law became effective. Among the petitions, 802 were requested for applications directly bound to overseas destinations; over 46,000, either raised during or after filing, were for applications seeking protection in China, the rest 26,000 were for PCT applications.
In two years, more and more public has put their eyes on the design patent evaluation report and used them. According to the Industrial Design Examination Department of SIPO, during the period from October 1, 2009 to August 31, 2011, it received 252 requests for evaluation report for design patent, 231 of which were completed.

Web link: http://english.sipo.gov.cn/news/iprspecial/201110/t20111028_626818.html

China¡¯s Copycat Culture

If you¡¯re worried about China overtaking the United States as one of the world¡¯s leading innovators, consider this: While Americans mourned the passing of Steve Jobs last month, the Chinese had just finished closing near-perfect copies of Apple retail outlets in the southwestern city of Kunming. While one country celebrated a man who represented three decades of new ideas, another was still playing whack-a-mole with companies that do nothing more than copy.

This is not how Beijing would like things to go. For several years, Chinese officials have been rolling out an ambitious ¡°indigenous innovation¡± policy that aims to transform China into a technology powerhouse by 2020. They¡¯ve turned on a fire hose of funding, dousing sectors as diverse as genome sequencing, coal-bed methane, nanotechnology and nuclear power. They¡¯ve wooed top Chinese scientists back from abroad and warned researchers in state labs to publish or perish.

On paper, this strategy would appear to be working. Last year, China filed 12,337 international patents, a 56 percent increase from the year before. The Chinese telecommunications equipment makers ZTE and Huawei rank among the top five patent filers in the world, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

But the harder Beijing pushes its companies and scientists to come up with new ideas, the more they seem to copy the work of others. Instead of the next Apple, Beijing is getting the Apple Peel, the Apple Stoer, and the BlockBerry.

Of course, technology has always spread by adopting the innovations of others. The journeymen of medieval Europe traveled around working with diverse masters to learn new techniques, and Jobs got his inspiration for screen menus and the mouse on a visit to Xerox¡¯s research lab in 1979. But too often China¡¯s purpose is not to build on what the competition has done, but simply to steal its work and underprice it.

In a nation with such breakneck economic growth and an overburdened judicial system the dishonest frequently win. The system to protect the honest simply isn¡¯t robust enough. Dishonest copiers move quickly to secure an advantage in a rapidly growing market, and their success, in turn, perpetuates China¡¯s copycat culture.

The concept applies to both academic research and business. Pressure to publish is so great in Chinese research circles that some scientists worry they don¡¯t have time to come up with original ideas. Last year, a scientific journal in Zhejiang Province disclosed that it found evidence of plagiarism in almost one-third of submissions over a 20-month period.

Mistrust also discourages companies and researchers from collaborating. So instead of its own Silicon Valley, China has what the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development calls an archipelago: islands of researchers scattered across the country, too scared of intellectual property theft to work together.

Many of the Chinese entrepreneurs working to develop new products and ideas say the culture of copying erodes their profit margins and provides less incentive to dream up something truly novel. Or, as the Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Adam Segal puts it in his book ¡°Advantage,¡¯¡¯ ¡°With quick profits available to companies that successfully reverse engineer already proven technologies, it makes little sense to risk failure by putting money and effort into further technological innovation.¡±

Somewhere in China today might be the next Steve Jobs. Maybe he was working at one of those recently shuttered faux Apple Stoers. But will he feel confident that his ideas will be protected, that his suppliers won¡¯t rip off his products, and that the courts will enforce the law?

Web link: http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/chinas-copycat-culture/

China Law News


  • Medical
    China to adopt tougher rules on organ donors
  • Banking
    China moves to beef up lending to small firms
  • Finance
    Private lending may get its official chance

China to adopt tougher rules on organ donors

China Daily

China intends to further regulate organ donations to deter the illegal trade in living organs, according to the Ministry of Health.
Under the current regulation, "the recipient of a living organ must be the donor's spouse, lineal descent or collateral relative by blood within three generations, or they must prove they have developed a family-like relation with the donor", a clause which has been exploited by some hospitals, doctors and illegal agencies that supply organs from strangers willing to donate for money under a false identity.

"That clause will be removed from the current regulation," said an official with the department of medical service supervision under the Ministry of Health, who would only state her surname of Wang, at a forum held by the ministry over the weekend.

Continue reading at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-11/07/content_14046100.htm

China moves to beef up lending to small firms

BEIJING - China has implemented a slew of measures to guide banks to loan more to small and micro-sized enterprises, and 27.9 percent of all outstanding loans by September went to those companies, the country's banking regulator said Monday.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said that outstanding loans made to small and micro-sized companies totaled 14.75 trillion yuan ($2.33 trillion) by the end of September.

Shang Fulin, the newly-appointed chairman of the CBRC, said Monday that the commission had made a series of policies to support the development of small and micro-sized companies in recent years.

"Effective policy guidance has guaranteed the sustainability of banking services provided to small and micro-sized companies," Shang said.

Continue reading at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-11/07/content_14053114.htm

Private lending may get its official chance

PRIVATE lenders may soon come out from the gray zone as China for first time will legalize private lending to increase financial support for the agriculture sector and smaller enterprises, a central bank official said yesterday.

But regulators will keep a high-profile stance over shark loans and other illegal activities accompanying the lending activities, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing an unidentified central bank official.

Referring to individuals, enterprises and other organizations that are not part of the current financial system, the official recognized private lenders' role in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the agricultural sector, which have been more or less neglected by formal financial institutions under China's tight grip on credit.

"There is no such concept as 'private lending' in the currently legal system," Xinhua quoted the central bank official as saying. "But it is already a natural outcome when formal financial institutions failed to meet all social demands. Private lending can help enrich the current financial system."

Continue reading at: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=487192&type=Business


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