IPR law acted out

Updated: 2015-07-03 10:46

By YU RAN in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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As more and more Chinese companies go global, and foreign companies explore the Chinese market, the issue of intellectual property rights is taking center stage like never before.

Loeb and Loeb, a US-based law firm, sponsored a tour of mock trials from June 19-22 in Beijing and Shanghai as a way for Chinese and US companies to learn about the similarities and differences between each countries' intellectual property rights (IPR) laws.

It was the 7th year of the Sino-US IPR Mock Trial Program, organized by John Marshall Law School, and the first time sessions were held in Shanghai, in cooperation with China University of Political Science and Law.

"Clients in America have issues come up with Asia, and especially China, so we need to better understand how IPR law works in China, in order to effectively work with our clients in the US, and the same the other way around,"said Douglas Masters, an attorney with Loeb and Loeb.

The whole-day format of the mock trial consists of a morning session focusing on Chinese law and an afternoon session on American law.

This year's theme focused on the contrasts between American and Chinese trademark law, China's having been amended last year.

"This program is very important because it creates a close-to-real court scene with real procedures, real evidence, witnesses, jury and a real judge, to give a realistic view of a trial for the audience to see and experience IPR better,"said Masters.

"We also have programs organized to have Chinese lawyers and examiners spend one semester or summer course in the law school in the US to take lectures and tutorials on IPR,"said Arthur Yuan, an attorney in Loeb and Loeb.

"Hopefully in the future, we will have more programs to welcome Chinese and US attorneys or students to participate in and learn from each other,"said Yuan.

Loeb and Loeb's IP practice helps clients around the world establish, acquire and protect intellectual property, as well as develop and implement strategies to manage intellectual property portfolios and maximize profits.

It now only has two overseas branches in Hong Kong and Beijing, as it foresees China becoming the most promising market in the world.

"Even though growth is slowing down, there are still a lot of Chinese companies connecting with us to raise money or deal with financial issues,"said Masters.

In recent years, China's central government has been trying to improve its IPR legal framework and enforcement.

In 2014, with improved IPR management, China received the most patent applications in the world for the fourth year running, reaching 2.36 million, with 928,000 patent applications for inventions, up 12.5 percent from 2013, according to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

China still lags behind developed countries in trademark work, with only about 1,000 trademarks for every 10,000 market entries in 2014, while the figure is about 3,000 in developed countries.