Recieved an email from Toronto-based international lawyer, Paul Jones, on China’s just amended patent laws. I liked it so much, I secured Paul’s permission to run it here:

“Last week in Beijing there was the last meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for 2008. On Saturday it was announced that they had found that the revisions and consultations (they received some 500 responses) had gone so well that that the amendments had been voted on and adopted. The Amendments will come into effect October 1, 2009.
The Amendments and the Amended Law (in Chinese) are here. [We will be watching for a good English language translation and will post it when and if we find it]
The amendments introduce a number of changes such as an absolute novelty requirement, make it easier for judges to increase the penalties for patent infringement, require disclosure of sources for genetic resources, and require inventions made in China to be first applied for in China unless a license is granted for a foreign filing.
Interestingly and although “junk patents” were a major target of the drafters of the amendments, it was decided not to insert a concept of patent abuse. It was felt that this concept should be dealt with under the provisions of the Anti-Monopoly Law. In other words there is to be no separate doctrine of patent abuse as there is in the U.S.
Secondly some are now suggesting that it is time to codify all the IP laws, as came into effect in Russia on January 1, 2008. Apparently however there are other priorities at this time such as the proposed new Tort Liability Law.”

While on the subject of IP protection in China, it also bears mentioning that a Chinese court just handed down stiff prison sentences to a large and previously very successful software counterfeiting group. All of this reinforces what we have always been saying on this blog, which is that IP protection in China is and will continue to improve, but slowly, very slowly.

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Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.