Dear Friends, I am Michael Ding, Chair of QBPC. At the 20th World IP Day, it is my pleasure to deliver a warm greeting to IP colleagues in China and around the world on behalf of QBPC members, 7 committees and 17 industry working groups.
Since 2001, World Intellectual Property Organization has celebrated every April 26 as the World IP Day. The purpose of this celebration is to show our respect for science and knowledge, to help people learn more about IP protection, and to build a legal environment that encourages innovation and creativity.
QBPC works closely with Chinese governments, organizations, corporations and the international society to contribute to the emergence of a fair, competitive and orderly business environment backed by a robust legal system. Together, we break ground for a new stage of reform. Our work coincides with the purpose of establishing the World IP Day. In the past years, QBPC actively participated in the legislative process, such as the revisions to the Trademark Law and Law against Unfair Competition, and the enactment of E-Commerce Law. As a result of these legal developments, more and more QBPC members are using legal tools to stop infringements. The high damage awards received by many cases not only justly compensate the rights holders but also put pressure on the infringers. During this year’s promotion of World IP Day, we are pleased to see many IP cases that involve QBPC members are selected as model cases by the judicial and prosecutorial systems across the country.
Our collaborations with Chinese governments are fruitful and our advices are taken seriously. Early this month, QBPC submitted suggestions to the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on the Court’s Opinions on Strengthening Judicial Protection for IPR in All Areas. This week, SPC published the Opinions and asked all people’s courts to study it. The publication of the Opinions is considered an important step of implementing the results of China-US Phase I Trade Deal and improving protections for IPR.
April 2019, QBPC submitted written suggestions to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) to implement a plan that would inform rights holders their rights and obligations in IP criminal prosecutions in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangzhou and Fujian provinces. The suggestion was taken by SPP and a one-year trial run of the plan started November last year. This measure has greatly improved the transparency of IP criminal trial procedures and given rights holders a chance to participate and contribute.
During the revision of the Law against Unfair Competition, QBPC, at the request of State Council research department, suggested that non-business operator be added as a type of subjects that can misappropriate trade secrets, additional behaviors to be classified as trade secret misappropriations, the impracticability of asking rights holders to discover all evidence on their own and shifting the burden of proof to the defendant after the rights holders produce the prima facie evidence. After three revisions, suggestions made by QBPC regarding trade secrets were adopted by Chinese legislature in the new Lawagainst Unfair Competition, which became effective in April 2019.
All of these were affirmations of our work.
The theme of this year’s World IP Day is “Innovate for a Green Future.” The spread of COVID-19 has slowed down economic growth and frustrated efforts of innovation, but we firmly believe that Chinese government can and will defeat the disease. We are confident in the long term Chinese economic growth and drive for innovation. During the epidemic, QBPC hasn’t stopped for a moment: trainings with customs nationwide are ongoing and membership services are carried out online. In February, QBPC organized a donation with full support from members, sending critical medical supplies to Wuhan and contributing in our own ways.
At 2020 World IP Day, on behalf of QBPC, I want to express our gratitude to all those who have worked with us and grow with us. QBPC is a voluntary organization, created by rights holders. Every representative here is a volunteer, giving your sweat and your wisdom. For all of your hard work, I thank you.
In the future, QBPC will continue to be an adviser to the legislature, the judicial system and the government agencies, an active participant in promoting more robust IPR enforcement, a bridge for the international cooperation on IPR protection, a partner to rights holders, both international and domestic. We will give all we have to assist Chinese government in building a healthy and harmonious business and legal environment, promoting the growth of market economy and help our members prosper in China from an IP perspective.