World Intellectual Property Report Volume 13 Number 3 - Monday, March 15, 1999
CHINA SETS TIMETABLE FOR NEW PATENT, COPYRIGHT LAWS
GENEVA -- Chinese authorities told the head of the World Intellectual Property Organization recently that they plan to adopt a new law on copyright protection before the end of this year and a new law on patent protection by the end of 2000.
China also informed WIPO Director-General Kamil Idris that its National People's Congress has approved the country's accession to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and would be depositing the instruments of accession with the UPOV secretariat shortly.
The pronouncements were made during a January 26-27 visit to China by Idris. The visit was the first to Asia by the director-general since he took over the helm of the organization in December 1997.
Idris was received by Chinese president Jiang Zemin, who declared that China had already made significant process in improving intellectual property protection and was in the process of revising its IP laws. The president also promised that China would do everything it could to protect intellectual property rights and comply with international standards. Although China is a member of WIPO and a signatory to many of the organization's key treaties, its legislation does not take account of recent international IP agreements, most notably the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). China has promised to implement the TRIPs provisions as soon as it is accepted as a member of the WTO. However, China's membership talks have been dragging on for more than a dozen years and show no sign of nearing completion.
Idris emphasized the importance of ensuring that China's new IP laws take account of new international developments such as TRIPs. The WIPO chief praised China for the efforts it has made so far to enhance and strengthen IP protection, but added that there were "many challenges lying ahead, including newly established standards on a global level which will require the adaptation of legislation and the system in China accordingly."
Draft Patent Law
Earlier, head of the State Intellectual Property Office of China Jiang Zing informed the WIPO delegation that a second draft of the new patent law was now being prepared and that the legislation was expected to be adopted sometime during the next year. Jiang, however, called on WIPO for assistance in preparing the draft as well as additional help in staff training and the preparation of seminars on intellectual property issues, a request to which WIPO officials said they responded favorably.
Copyright Â© 1999 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington D.C.