Archive (01.03.2015)

Swiss-Chinese bilateral dialogue on intellectual property

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Previous meetings

  

Sixth Meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on Intellectual Property

The Working Group for bilateral discussions on intellectual property between Switzerland and China took place in Beijing during the week of 4 March 2013.  In addition to the official working group meetings, a round of discussions with representatives from Swiss industry and the Chinese government as well as bilateral visits to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO), the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) were organised.

The working group meeting took place for the fourth time under the co-chairmanship of YANG Guohua, a vice-director of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), and Felix Addor, Deputy Director General of the IPI.  Representatives from the following ministries were also on-hand: the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the General Administration of Customs (GAC) and the State Forestry Administration.  This year, the focus of discussions was particularly on unfair competition and the new draft of the inventor's compensation regulation.

The round table discussion in China between representatives from Swiss industry (ABB, Nestlé, Novartis, Roche, SwissCham, Syngenta and Victorinox) and various representatives from the Chinese government, again proved itself to be a valuable instrument for discussing specific problems.

Within the context of bilateral contact, the SIPO invited a Swiss patent expert to hold a seminar on the Chinese patent system in China at the end of May 2013. In addition, an official visit at the Institute by a SIPO delegation, headed by Deputy Commissioner YANG Tiejun, is planned for the middle of June 2013 to discuss the electronic administration of the intellectual property system.

The seventh working group meeting is tentatively planned for Beijing in the spring 2014.

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Fifth Meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on Intellectual Property

The Working Group for bilateral discussions on intellectual property between Switzerland and China took place in Beijing during the week of November 21, 2011.  In addition to the official working group meetings, a round of discussions with representatives of Swiss industry and the Chinese government as well as bilateral visits to the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAID) and the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) were organised.

The meeting of the Working Group was co-chaired by YANG Guohua, a vice-director of the Chinese Trade Ministry (MOFCOM), and Felix Addor, Deputy Director General of the IGE. Representatives from the following ministries were also on-hand: the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO),  the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the National Copyright Administration (NCAC), the General Administration of Customs (GAC) and the  State Administration of Forestry. This year, the Swiss delegation focused particularly on trade marks and patent rights issues with the Chinese experts.

The first round table discussion in China, with representatives of Swiss industry (from Switzerland as well as subsidiaries in China) and various representatives from the Chinese government, received great interest and can be clearly viewed as a success, especially since important issues for Swiss companies could be openly discussed. One of the main issues for Nestlé, granting"well-known trade mark" status to numerous of their trade marks, was finally approved by the political approval committee of SAIC within two working days after the meeting.

Before the official Working Group meeting, the Swiss delegation conducted various bilateral visits, including at SIPO and SAIC, to discuss issues concerning patent and trade mark rights, as well as to increase direct cooperation between the representatives of these two very important IP institutions.

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9.11.2010 – Fourth Meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on Intellectual Property

The Chinese-Swiss Working Group on intellectual property met in Bern on 9 November 2010 for their fourth meeting. The day prior to the meeting saw a visit of both delegations to the Research Centre of the agricultural chemistry company Syngenta AG in Stein, where a factory tour and discussions with representatives of the industry took place, similar to the visit to Roche in 2008 (see report below from 2008).

The Working Group continued the discussions of the last three meetings held in Beijing (2007 and 2009) and Bern (2008) and addressed the subject of Chinese policy decisions which affect Swiss companies operating in China. The head of the Chinese delegation showed his willingness to take up these points with the internal administration of the various responsible authorities in Beijing and to provide concrete answers, in addition to leading the substantive discussion with regard to the next meeting. Questions relating to patent rights and the protection of test data for pharmaceutical companies will be answered in writing subsequent to the meeting, due to the absence of representatives of the relevant Chinese authorities (State Intellectual Property Office and State Food and Drug Authority).

The Chinese delegation also included representatives of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the National Copyright Administration (NCAC), the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China (SPC), the State People’s Procurate (P) and the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

Representatives from Economiesuisse, the SGCI Pharma Schweiz, Interpharma, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), the Association of Industrial Patent Attorneys in Switzerland (VIPS), as well as representatives from Nestlé, Novartis, Roche, BASF and also the host, Syngenta, took part in round table discussions with Swiss industry participants. The round table facilitated direct contact and discussions between representatives of Swiss industry and the Chinese delegation as well as the formulation of issues and problems faced by Swiss companies concerning protection of intellectual property in China.

In addition, the IPI held a second seminar on the protection of geographical indications of source (GIs) which aroused great interest among the Chinese delegation. It was agreed to continue the exchange and collaboration with regard to the protection of GIs.

The discussions took place in a very open and informative manner and in a constructive and cooperative atmosphere. Focus was placed on the mutual exchange of information, creation of an atmosphere of trust and also on the approach to concrete economic and industrial issues within the entire field of intellectual property rights.

The fifth meeting of the Working Group is planned for autumn 2011 in China. For the first time, a round table meeting of industry participants will also directly follow on from the official meeting in China.

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Third Meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on Intellectual Property

The third meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on intellectual property took place in Beijing, China, on 6 November 2009. The Working Group was co-chaired by the Swiss Federal Institute’s (IPI) Deputy Director General Felix Addor and China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Deputy Director General of the Department of Treaty and Law YANG Guohua.

The Working Group continued the substantive discussions held on the occasion of the first two meetings in 2007 (Beijing) and 2008 (Berne). The main topics addressed were the new Chinese Patent Law (in force since 1 October 2009) and the protection of test data, as well as the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The Chinese delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the State Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) as well as from the Ministry of Public Security.

In addition, the Swiss and Chinese delegations organised a first seminar on their national protection systems of geographical indications (GIs). It was agreed to further explore closer collaboration in that field.

The meetings were held in a very open and constructive atmosphere.

The fourth Working Group meeting is scheduled to take place in Switzerland in autumn 2010. It is planned to hold a roundtable discussion with Swiss industry back-to-back to the formal Working Group meeting as well as a follow-up seminar on GIs.

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24-25.11.2008 – Second Meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on Intellectual Property

The second meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on intellectual property took place in Bern on 25 November 2008. In addition, the Working Group visited the pharmaceutical company Roche in Basel on 24 November 2008 for a factory tour as well as a discussion with representatives of the Swiss industry.

The Working Group continued the discussions of their first meeting in Beijing, particularly the ongoing third revision of the Chinese patent law, the revision of the Chinese trade mark protection law, the strengthening of cooperation in the area of the protection of geographical indications, test data protection as well as a variety of questions regarding legal protection in China.

The Chinese delegation included, amongst others, representatives of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), as well as the Supreme Court.

At the round table discussions with the Swiss Industry, hosted by Roche, representatives of Economiesuisse, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), the SGCI Pharma Schweiz, ABB, Rieter, the Basel trade fair, Novartis and Roche took part. The representatives of the industry made use of the opportunity to present interests and problems with reference to intellectual property protection in China.

Both the meeting with the industry as well as the meeting with the Working Group took place in a very constructive and open atmosphere.

The next Meeting of the Working Group will take place in China in the autumn of 2009.

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14.09.2007 – First Meeting of the Chinese-Swiss Working Group on Intellectual Property

On September 14, 2007, members of the Chinese-Swiss working group on intellectual property met for the first time in Beijing. The working group is jointly presided over by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. This meeting represents the first step in a dialog on issues of importance for the Swiss economy concerning the protection of intellectual property. The working group will focus particularly on issues related to the responsibilities of various Chinese agencies in enforcing intellectual property rights as well as the current amendment of the Chinese patent law, weaknesses in protecting test data, and strengthening cooperation in the area of protecting geographical indications of source. Certain unresolved issues will be worked out in a written document.

In conclusion, the representatives of China and Switzerland agreed to hold the next meeting of the working group in Switzerland in July 2008.

Swiss delegates used the meeting in Beijing as an opportunity to meet with other Chinese agencies involved in intellectual property including the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC). An agreement for increased cooperation was reached with all of them. At SIPO, the Swiss delegation presented various issues from Swiss industry, while at the AQSIQ and the SAIC it reached an agreement on increasing collaboration in the protection of geographical indications of source.

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08.07.2007 – Swiss Chinese Working Group on Intellectual Property to be Created

On the occasion of Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard’s economic mission to China, the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Bo Xilai, and Councillor Leuthard officially opened bilateral talks between China and Switzerland on the subject of intellectual property with a declaration.

The context of the dialog will be the discussion of issues which are important for the Swiss economy in terms of intellectual property protection in China. One of the foci will be the lack of implementation and enforcement of the existing laws in China.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed as part of the 17th meeting of the China-Switzerland Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Beijing on 29 May, 2007 by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Seco, in collaboration with the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, envisions a bilateral working group for intellectual property as the basis for the dialog.

The working group, presided by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, will hold its constitutive meeting in the current year. The MoU will allow representatives from industry and trade associations participate if there is a need.

The impetus for the bilateral dialog is Switzerland’s request in the WTO at the end of 2005. In the request, Switzerland demanded that China provide information about its system for enforcing intellectual property rights. The purpose was to receive information on institutionalized aspects and modalities of the Chinese mechanisms for enforcing rights based on specific cases of infringement. In response, the Chinese offered to clarify the issues raised by the request within the framework of a bilateral dialog. This dialog is now being launched.

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