Eye on China: INTA’s 2022 Policy Priorities and Key Activities

Published: February 2, 2022

The year 2021 for China was fraught with difficulties, marked by the transformation from sporadic pandemic-lockdowns and slow recovery to a vibrant local economy. Through it all, intellectual property (IP) was the catchword of the year, with a milestone in the national development of trademark law as well as notable progress in INTA’s high-level engagements on policy advocacy.

In 2021, INTA, through its extensive network of committee members in the country, made great inroads in policy engagement, as exemplified in the following activities:

  • The Association published the systematic and comprehensive Report on the Implementation of China’s Amended Trademark Law, which outlines the current state of play in legal practice and provides recommended strategies for INTA global membership to better navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the IP regime in China;
  • INTA’s 2021 Annual Meeting Virtual+ featured its first-ever China Case Law Update, to complement the Annual Review of Case Law in the European Union and the United States;
  • The Association had high-level engagements with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) on the important Trademark Examination Manual revision and with the Supreme People’s Court on bad-faith filing issues; and
  • INTA made numerous policy submissions to CNIPA and other IP agencies on a wide range of topics, including geographical indications, design rights, data regulation, and e-commerce law.

On top of its strong advocacy momentum, INTA’s China Office has developed a more mature communications channel to drive home the depth of its policy advocacy in China, including:

  • The Policy News Alert email newsletter, issued quarterly, to update members on the emerging IP environment and policy trends;
  • The Flash Briefing series, to provide an interactive and informative exchange of views on recent policy issues; and
  • The China Focus Group Discussion, an annual get-together of corporate members who are interested in the Chinese market.

Building on the remarkable success of 2021, INTA this year will continue to closely monitor IP developments in China and provide input to the government and stakeholders to advocate for a stronger and more effective IP system for brand owners.

In 2022, a primary focus will be scaling up engagement with CNIPA and other key IP authorities in China on the future overhaul of the implementing regulations of the revised Trademark Law. Further, the Association will look to collaborate with the State Administration for Market Regulation, the General Administration of Customs, and the Ministry of Public Security on the seamless coordination of IP enforcement; and, crucially, it will work with the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate on the increased penalties for IP infringements and counterfeits. The major message will be to reaffirm INTA’s research capacity as a trusted partner in legislative consultations and collaborative academic studies.

In addition, to supplement the high-level engagement with central IP authorities, and given the varied policies throughout the vast country, the Association will increase local outreach efforts through deepened dialogues and connections with local enforcement agencies across the country. Further, INTA will engage with key stakeholders, partners, think tanks, and local governments through a virtual delegation in the second quarter of 2022.

Moreover, the Association will continue to keep an eye on the main areas of key policy changes in trademark and related IP rights, notably, on data protection, famous and well-known mark regulation, trademark agency disciplinary measures, and the standards of e-commerce guidelines.

In the final analysis, INTA’s leadership and the China Office will remain available to engage, inform, and provide support to its expanded membership base in China to tackle common challenges and ensure the country’s IP community is an integral part of the global ecosystem.

INTA’s China Representative Office, based in Beijing, represents the Association’s members in China. Working in collaboration with staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City, the China Representative Office leads the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives in this jurisdiction. To learn more about INTA’s activities in China, please contact INTA China Representative Officer Monica Su.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2022 International Trademark Association