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Jack Chang interviewed by WTR in INTA 2017 Annual Meeting

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Jack Chang interviewed by WTR in INTA 2017 Annual Meeting

    news source: World Trademark Review

    Introduction: For many INTA 2017 Annual Meeting delegates, the busiest days are over and the end is in sight; but determined not to let the long days and nights wear us down, the World Trademark Review editorial team of Trevor Little (TL), Joff Wild (JW) and Tim Lince (TJL) have been running between sessions, meetings and receptions, with a few stops for coffee along the way, to bring you the latest stories and insights from Tuesday’s proceedings.

    Have your say on China’s upcoming e-commerce law

    Jack Chang: In China, the upcoming new e-commerce law has been the subject of intense scrutiny. It is being drafted to encourage an expansion of the country’s e-commerce market and one organisation keeping a close eye on it is the Quality Brands Protection Committee. Chairman Jack Chang explains that there are troubling aspects in terms of IP protection. For instance, he notes: “If you are an IP owner you can currently complain to a platform operator if you find infringing goods or unauthorised use of copyrighted images. The platform then sends a notice to the store operator, and sometimes they will take down the infringing goods and materials. However, the platform operator can take action if they don’t. The second paragraph of article 54 of the draft law says that if the online store operator then submits a declaration to the e-commerce platform to state that no infringement exists, the platform shall timely revoke the actions taken. The brand owner then has to file litigation or administrative actions. This will increase the need for litigation and administrative enforcement actions. But often it is hard to locate where the infringer really resides in order to file litigation with the jurisdictional court or a complaint with the jurisdictional administrative enforcement agency.” Another concern relates to article 55, which “sets the threshold of unfair competition of unauthorised use of another party’s domain name, website name or web page too high, saying the act has to mislead the general public and thus cause market confusion”. The positive is that the government is willing to listen to concerns, as it has in the past. Chang explains: “When the first draft of the new trademark law was published in late 2012 for public comments, we expressed some concern about certain aspects. With coordination from the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, QBPC was the only group representing foreign industry that was invited, three times (in February, May and August in 2013), to meet the Legal Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (NPC) to discuss issues. When we met the second time, we saw that they had taken our concerns into account in the second draft amendment. We also met about the third draft just days before it was implemented. One more recommendation was accepted at that meeting. So the NPC and the government are very willing to listen. In China you just have to provide valid input and constructive recommendation with goodwill and respect.” The message for brands is simple – make your voices heard (in the right way). The new law could be in place by the end of this year, and Chang concludes: “Whether we will be able to influence the final version of the e-commerce law I don’t know, but the NPC and government are certainly open and willing to listen.” (TL)



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