The S&F law blog

China’s domestic patent-holder population increases
May 13, 2011, 3:12 pm
Filed under: statistics, Trademarks and Patents, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

The 2010 China Valid Patent Report released by SIPO reported consistent rapid growth in domestic patent rates. Domestic patents represented 33.3% of total patents in 2006; in 2010, that percentage rose dramatically to 45.7%.

According to the report, China owns 2.216 million valid patents. 82.4% of the total number of patents were filed domestically, a gigantic increase compared to 75.7% of all Chinese patents in 2006. Beijing’s valid invention patents per million population has risen to 2,222, reflecting China’s economic transformation into a country with more innovative power.

Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejing are listed as China’s most prolific provinces in terms of patents submitted.

Source: IPR in China


China’s Internet sector getting overcrowded
April 29, 2011, 11:48 am
Filed under: Baidu, Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The immense success and potential of China’s internet sector has reached a point of attracting too many contenders. Parallels are being drawn between the US’s bursting tech bubble in the 90’s although industry executives and venture capitalists almost unanimously said that the paring down of competitive companies will  be more productive than devastating.

The key difference lies in China’s immense population; there are enough users and business models to support internet sector growth and justify speculative spending. Sock from standout companies Baidu Inc., and Youku have surpassed 50% growth and Sina Corp is trading at 77 times its 2011 earnings.

More companies have been raising billions in funds to invest in logistics and support an initial public offering, making start-up companies difficult to evaluate.

The severity of internet sector over-competition will likely be determined by how fast China can connect greater numbers of its population. Even though China has the biggest internet population in the world, the penetration rate is still a small 35 percent.

Source: Reuters

High-speed rail construction to connect Kunming to Singapore

Construction of the Kunming-Singapore High-Speed Railway began on Monday. Once it is completed, the new track will shorted travel time by train between Kunming and Singapore to approximately 10 hours.

The expanded rail network is meant to facilitate greater and more efficient trade with South-Asian countries.

China to punish websites for illegal music downloads

China’s Ministry of Culture will penalize 14 popular websites that have provided illegal music downloading software. The most notable amongst this group is Baidu Inc., whose “BiaduMP3” service was found to be in violation of the law.

Gaming companies will also face harsh punishment. 20, including Shenzen Xunlei Network Technology Ltd., have drawn the Ministry’s ire for using allegedly “vulgar” promotional methods to promote their games. No elaboration has been provided in regards to the specific definition of “vulgar.”

Source: Business Weekly

China has world’s most registered trademarks

Reporting from Beijing on Thursday, Intellectual Property Rights official Tian Lipu announced that China has the world’s highest number of registered trademarks. Tian was speaking at a press conference at the State Council Information Office.

China received over a million new trademark applications in the last year alone and more than 1.22 patent applications. In addition to domestic patent applications submitted, Chinese applicants were said to have submitted 12,337 overseas under the Patent Operation Treaty. In terms of the Patent Operation Treaty, China represented the fourth largest group of applicants in the world.

Source: Asia News International

China Court Hears More Intellectual Property Cases
April 19, 2011, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Rulings | Tags: , , ,

Building on a massive crackdown on counterfeit goods this month, Chinese courts have accepted 40 percent more intellectual property cases over the last year. The number was a robust 42, 931 with verdicts rendered in 14,718.

The total value of disputed intellectual property was set at 1.2 billion dollars. Trade groups have long protested that China’s piracy consumer culture and production of counterfeit goods costs producers a massive, billions of dollars a year in lost potential sales.

The changing trend is highlighting the power and necessity of the Chinese courts. For example, more than half of the copyright cases involve content posted online, forcing the court to set new copyright precedents and standards.

The growing wave of litigation appears to be mainly between entities within China; of the 24, 724 copyright disputes heard in court, only 1,647 involved overseas plaintiffs, a declining number.

Source: NPR

Yekalon, Unilin locked in patent case
November 23, 2009, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yekalon and Unilin are engaged in a patent dispute

Chinese building materials provider Yekalon Industry Inc says it will take legal action “at any cost” to defend its self-developed locking technology for laminate and wood floorings.

The private company, based in the southern boom city of Shenzhen adjacent to Hong Kong, was charged by its much stronger competitor Unilin, a subsidiary of the US-listed Mohawk and located in Belgium, with patent infringement at a world fair in Germany in January.

“We have hired top-notch lawyers in Germany and will appear at the court of Hamburg on Wednesday,” said Wilson He Yixin, chairman of Yekalon. “We will never surrender to these groundless allegations.”

The focus of the case lies in a glueless locking technology for laminate and wood floorings. Unilin has owned patents since 1996 for the method and duopolized the market with another European company, Valinge.

However, the Chinese company invented a new locking method in 2005 which can connect the flooring by vertically tapping in the edges of the planks instead of the established technique of angling and snapping horizontally, according to He.

“Our locking technology is completely self-developed. It works theoretically different from that of Unilin. How can we infringe its patents?” he asked, adding that Yekalon has applied for international patents for the invention under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and will soon complete the process.

It is the second big clash between Yekalon and Unilin.

In July 2006, 18 Chinese flooring exporters, including Yekalon, were put under a Section 337 investigation by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) for patent infringement by Unilin and its subsidiaries.

Yekalon was the only company in the group that was not condemned by the investigation because the USITC found that its locking technology did not infringe the patent claims asserted.

The other Chinese companies who were using Unilin’s locking technology were ordered to pay $100,000 to $120,000 in royalties and $0.65 in royalties per cubic meter to the patent owner, or they would not be allowed to export their glueless laminate flooring panels to the US market.

It’s estimated that both Unilin and Valinge could earn more than $1 billion in royalties and licensing fees from flooring companies around the world.

Source: China Daily