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IP Key China: Five Years of Support to European Businesses - EUIPO

12-Sep-2022 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 727

ALICANTE - Over the past five years, the IP Key China project has been helping EU firms, businesses and innovators establish themselves, or expand in the Chinese market, according to the official website of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

It has achieved this whilst facilitating continuous exchanges amongst stakeholders (EU and Chinese authorities, business associations, etc), and the EU-China IP Dialogue (a structured political exchange between the EU and China on IP). This project has consequently increased market understanding and improved of the implementation of IP legislation and IP enforcement system s in China.

Context

Mainland China is one of Europe’s key trading partners and IP rights are one of the priority trade topics between China and the EU.

In 2021, China was the third largest partner for EU exports of goods with EU companies exporting a volume of EUR 223.4 billion to China, representing 10.2% of all exports. European companies export technology and know-how.  IPR protection and enforcement are therefore a major challenge for EU businesses wishing to expand in this market.

The role of IP Key China

The IP Key China project is a technical IP cooperation programme directed by the European Commission and implemented and co-funded by the EUIPO. It is part of a trio of IP Key projects which were launched in September 2017, alongside Latin

America and South East Asia, under the EU Partnership Instrument.

IP Key China was set up with the objectives to:

• Promote convergence of China towards European intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement standards and the development best practices.
• Support the interest of European innovators and rights holders trading with/investing in China.
• Contribute to transparency and fair implementation of the IPR protection/enforcement system in China.
• Avoid and discourage any protectionist market access barriers through misuse of IPR legislation.
• Increase political and public awareness of IPR protection.

Furthermore, IP Key China has provided various studies which have shed light on the major differences with equivalent IP legislation in the EU. The analyses cover a wide range of aspects such as the response to counterfeiting and piracy, procedures for the treatment of IP cases, general IP enforcement and insights that were provided to European businesses.

Following the signature  of the EU-China bilateral agreement to protect geographical indications (GIs) on 14 September 2020, the project has further increased its cooperation with China. This was a landmark decision involving the protection of 100 European GIs in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against usurpation and imitation.

Moreover, IP Key China also successfully integrated over 32 million Chinese trade marks, registered with China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), in the trade mark search tool and database TMview. On 25 September 2020, the EUIPO and CNIPA signed the Agreement on the exchange of trade mark information, agreeing on the mutual exchange of Chinese national trade mark and European Union trade mark data.

The future
The next phase of the IP Key China project intends to advance convergence of Chinese, EU and international standards in IPR protection, with greater focus on law enforcement.

Furthermore, it will concentrate on strengthening partnerships and strategic engagement with businesses operating in China, as well as industry associations. It will also aim at ensuring greater involvement of sectoral institutions in the EU and its Member States.
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