1. A step toward building an IPR power
The new Copyright Law which comes into effect on June 1, 2021 marks a milestone in China's efforts to better protect intellectual property rights and is expected to influence entertainment and news broadcasts.
The amended law encourages copyright owners to use economic leverage to better protect their rights. It states that damages exceeding the normal compensation amount and less than five times the amount can be claimed in serious infringement cases, raising the legal compensation ceiling from 500,000 yuan ($78,540) to 5 million yuan.
The new law also adjusts the burden of proof for infringement damages, stipulating that if the violator refuses to submit relevant materials to show income from the infringement, or provides false materials, the burden of proof on the rights holder can be reduced. The court can even determine the amount of compensation by referring to the claim and evidence provided by the rights holder. This means that if people or enterprises violating copyrights want to hide the real income by fabricating accounts, they may end up paying higher amounts as penalty.
The new law thus expands the scope of copyright protection for cinematographic works, helping them better defend their rights. This not only conforms to relevant international treaties but will also help protect the copyright for new types of works in the audiovisual industry. For example, the legal status of new audio-visual programs, such as short videos and live games, has always been difficult to assess and can only be protected under the banner of "film-related works". The new law, however, makes it clear that the copyright of any audiovisual work may be protected if it meets the statutory conditions of "originality".
Source: China Daily
2. Govt mulls more efforts to tackle unfair competition
China's top market regulator has urged stronger law enforcement to tackle unfair competition and related problems like dubious practices and unethical market behavior in the digital economy, in order to better protect brands and other forms of intellectual property.
At the first Anti-unfair Competition Forum in Beijing on Thursday, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) released the Anti-unfair Competition Law Enforcement Report of 2020.
The report features the top 10 cases against unfair competition.
According to the forum's data, in 2020, various departments of the SAMR have investigated and handled 7,371 cases of unfair competition in all, and imposed fines and confiscated goods, equipment or property worth a total of 416 million yuan ($65.2 million).
From January to May, investigations into 1,345 anti-unfair competition cases resulted in fines and confiscations valued at 122 million yuan.
Source: China Daily
3. Chinese customs up crackdown on IPR-infringing goods
Chinese customs have stepped up a crackdown on goods that infringe on intellectual property rights (IPR) in the first five months of 2021, customs data showed.
The customs authorities seized nearly 31 million items of suspected goods during the period, amid a nationwide IPR-protection campaign launched at the beginning of 2021, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The GAC has also formed a customs network against illegal activities of transshipment of infringing goods, shoring up barriers for infringing goods at ports.
Besides crackdown on malpractices, customs nationwide have improved services for IPR protection. A total of 5,629 applications for IPR protection were approved in the January-May period, the GAC said.