China- Intellectual Property Law Enforcement
The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) released an intellectual property law enforcement plan in early 2020, dubbed as the “iron fist”. The action plan aims to strengthen law enforcement for commodities, physical marketplaces, e-commerce, and IP application process. The plan seeks to gather information through regional cooperation and statistical evaluation.
The particulars of the plan are as follows;
The action plan aims to strengthen law enforcement on crucial commodities, including household products, electronics, food, anti-epidemic equipment and protective articles, clothing etc. The regulatory authority is empowered to investigate cases of potential trademark and patent violation. As per the action plan, the SAMR shall investigate infringement cases and counterfeit and further strengthen intellectual property enforcement involving official logos.
The SAMR shall also carry out investigations in physical market places by conducting surprise inspections and law enforcement actions promptly. The quantum of these inspections shall be increased during peak consumption periods in both urban and rural areas.
The SAMR aims to enhance their online investigation process and source tracing to tackle e-commerce law enforcement issues. Further, it seeks to strengthen communication and cooperation between law enforcement and intellectual property holders, e-commerce operators, delivery companies etc., to provide support to law enforcement departments.
As for IP application procedures, the SAMR shall be empowered to crack down malicious applications in trademark and patent cases, applications filed without the intention to use, applications filed to deceive or for any other such improper means. The SAMR is also empowered to hold persons liable for illegal activities per the law.