In 2020 the China Intellectual Property Administration dismissed an opposition proceeding against the geographical indication (GI) collective trademarks COGNAC and 干邑 ('Cognac' in Chinese), which were filed by the National Interprofessional Cognac Bureau. Both trademarks have since proceeded to registration. Because GI trademarks are not immune to genericide attacks, owners must monitor how they are used.
In an exemplary trademark case concerning major sport footwear manufacturer New Balance, the Supreme People's Court ruled that a single-letter mark can become distinctive and famous in the market through long-term use and promotion and that the bad faith of registrants of disputed marks must be considered in determinations of similarity.
In a landmark case, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) IP Tribunal clarified that two reference documents which disclosed technical solutions that point to the same prior art could not be combined in an assessment of claim novelty because such a combination would create a prior art that had not been disclosed by either document yet existed in the mind of the assessor. This case has since been selected as one of the SPC IP Tribunal's guiding cases and an SPC exemplary case.
The Supreme People's Court recently promulgated two judicial interpretations regarding IP rights disputes that involve internet service providers (ISPs): the Reply to Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Online IP Rights Infringement Disputes, which applies to all ISPs, and the Guiding Opinions on the Trial of Civil IP Rights Cases Involving E-Commerce Platforms, which target e-commerce platforms. This article summarises the key points of these two judicial interpretations.
Soon after the recent adoption of the third amendment to the Copyright Law, the Supreme People's Court promulgated the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Copyright and Copyright-Related Rights. The opinions aim to encourage the development of emerging industries and improve the quality and efficiency of copyright trials.