IP News in Brief March, 2018
【Conor Stuart／IP Observer Reporter】
Jiangsu Considers Adoption of Technical Assistants for IP Lawsuits
The Jiangsu High Court is exploring the possibility of integrating technical assistants to judges into intellectual property lawsuits across the entire province to assist the judges in investigating the facts of technology-related cases, in order to improve intellectual property enforcement. Since 2015, 5,970 civil intellectual property lawsuits on first instance involving innovative technology have been heard in Jiangsu courts. Patent disputes make up the majority of these, totaling 3,055, which is around 8% of the total patent disputes nationwide.
In November of last year, the Nanjing IP Court was the first to recruit technical assistants, hiring six. Suzhou has also been working with the State Intellectual Property Office to form a team of part-time technical assistants.
Jiangsu has also formed a pool of 157 technical experts, some of whom will be chosen as technical lay-judges.
Cathay Century Insurance Launches Usage-Based Car Insurance
Cathay Financial Holding's insurance subsidiary Cathay Century Insurance is set to introduce usage-based car insurance in Taiwan for the first time, using InsurTech innovations, according to Taipei-based China Times. The scheme will reward safe drivers with 5%-10% discounts on premiums.
Traditional car insurance was calculated on the basis of car brand and age as well as a risk analysis of the driver, based on broad categories such as age, sex and any history of accidents. The lowest risk group in traditional car insurance is women aged from 30-60, while young men aged 20-30 were high risk. The new system will account for individual driving skill and frequency of car use.
Zhengzhou Patent Enforcement Center Reduces Examination, Mediation Times
A Patent Enforcement Center established last year in an IP Innovation Pilot Development Park in Zhengzhou, the capital of China's Henan Province, has reduced the time required for the formalities examination of a design patent from the previous 3-6 months to just 10 working days, according to a report on the local government website. Patent disputes, which previously took four months to process, now are processed in one month. The center started operations in March of last year.
BRICS IP Heads Meet in Chengdu
On March 26, the 10th Meeting of BRICS Heads of Intellectual Property Office was held in Chengdu. The commissioner of the China’s State Intellectual Property Office, Shen Changyu, chaired the meeting.
Also attending and addressing the meeting were Luiz Otávio Pimentel, president of the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Grigory Ivliev, director general of the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (ROSPATENT), Om Prakash Gupta, controller general of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks of India (CGPDTM), and Rory Voller, commissioner of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of South Africa (CIPC).
Wang Binying, deputy director general of WIPO, was also invited to attend the forum and delivered a speech.
Amended Patent Law Draft to Be Submitted for NPC Deliberation in 2018
China’s State Council Legislation Plan for 2018 states that four draft bills including an amended Patent Law will be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation and amendments will also be made to 11 lower-priority regulations, including the Patent Representation Regulation.
China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) launched the preparation work for the fourth comprehensive amendment of the Patent Law in the second half of 2014 and shaped a draft based on feedback. The draft was later reported to the State Council in July 2015, and was examined by the Legislative Affairs Office (LAO). In December 2015, LAO then proceeded to seek public comment on the draft bill.
The current Patent Representation Regulation was issued and implemented by the State Council in 1991. The amendment to the regulation has been listed on the to-do list of the State Council Legislation Plan for five straight years from 2012 to 2016. In February 2016, the State Council issued a decision, eliminating the process by which local IP authorities need to approve the establishment of a patent firm, a rule under the current version of the Patent Representation Regulation.
MatsuTek Settles Robot Vacuum Patent Dispute with iRobot, Retains US Market
Taiwan-based robot vacuum OEM supplier MatsuTek has settled its patent dispute with US-based robot vacuum firm iRobot. MatsuTek was accused of patent infringement by the US company in 2017 and had also filed with the ITC to enforce its patent. The terms of the settlement are that both firms will not sue each other for patent infringement. MatsuTek was assisted in the patent dispute by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, which licensed a patent to MatsuTek. The Taiwanese company then filed a patent infringement lawsuit against iRobot in China, following the advice of head intellectual property lawyer for Chinese communications company ZTE Oliver Hu. A larger-scale Taiwanese manufacturer that was also accused of patent infringement by iRobot was forced out of the robot vacuum market under the terms of its settlement.