The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in China has quite recently released its Intellectual Property (IP) Law Enforcement Action Plan for this year, which is code-named as “Iron Fist.” The most critical tasks of the entire plan include strengthening law enforcement on essential commodities such as anti-epidemic protective gear, strengthening law enforcement in the e-commerce sector and physical marketplaces, and strengthening law enforcement in the filing process of IP-related applications such as Trademark Applications. The plan also focuses on information sharing and regional cooperation with statistics collection.
1. Strengthening law enforcement on essential commodities –
While focusing on essential commodities like anti-epidemic protective articles, electronic products, food items, household appliances, clothing, auto parts, and packaging, to name a few, the SAMR shall proactively initiate law enforcement actions to investigate the issues of Trademark Infringement and Patent Infringement. When it comes to the agricultural products and specialty products, the SAMR shall efficiently step up the investigation levels of counterfeiting and infringement of Geographical Indications. Additionally, the SAMR shall put in sincere efforts to strengthen the enforcement of IP corresponding to the official logos, like the Olympic logos, and further deal with all the complaints received at the time of trade fairs, exhibitions, cultural events, and sports events.
2. Strengthening law enforcement in physical marketplaces –
The SAMR shall enhance the investigation levels by incorporating various methods like carrying out surprise inspections in the marketplaces. Furthermore, it shall carry out some exclusive law enforcement actions from time-to-time. During peak consumption periods like public holidays, the SAMR shall also carry out increased law enforcement inspections in both the urban and rural markets.
3. Strengthening law enforcement in the e-commerce sector –
The SAMR shall enhance the online investigation levels, perform source-tracing, make use of information technology to monitor and investigate the online sales, and improve identification and detection of case leads. It shall also look forward to strengthening the levels of cooperation and communication between the law enforcement departments and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) holders, logistics delivery companies, and e-commerce platform operators. The SAMR shall make the most out of logistics delivery information and e-commerce big data resources to support law enforcement cases. It shall encourage and inspire the e-commerce platform operators to protect their IPRs by implementing the “notification – deletion – announcement” policies, which shall, in turn, cause them to increase the levels of information sharing and communication in law enforcement cases.
4. Strengthening law enforcement in the filing process of IP-related applications –
The SAMR shall check all the applications filed for Trademark Registration and Patent Registration to come across the malicious applications filed without any intent for use. It shall also punish the trademark agencies and applicants involved in illegal activities and investigate the work of patent agencies.
The SAMR is efficiently looking forward to implementing all the tasks mentioned above by performing better investigations, collecting evidence data, sharing relevant pieces of information, and maintaining coordination among different regions.