Hui Liu (Kerena), Haoyu Zhou (Elliot)
On December 5, 2018, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) reached a consensus with 37 other government authorities of China and jointly announced to impose a strict discipline to punish severely dishonest behaviors in the IP field, particularly in the patent field.
The 38 ministries specified six behaviors of severe dishonesty below:
(1) Repeated infringement;
(2) Refusal to follow the decisions or rulings on punishments on patent infringement;
(3) Severe law violation by patent agents or agencies;
(4) Illegal private license of patent agent certificates;
(5) Abnormal patent applications, such as duplicated patent, plagiaristic patent, etc.; or
(6) Submission of fake documents during the patent prosecution.
Agencies and individuals with records of severe IP dishonesty will face greater difficulty in getting financial support in China. These severe measures will force all entities to file patent applications in higher quality and will inspire more innovations in a long run, which is another sign of China’s determination to more strongly enforce IP.