SCIO briefing on development of China's intellectual property rights in 2019

The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Beijing on Thursday to brief the media on the development of China's intellectual property rights in 2019. April 24, 2020


We learned from General Secretary Xi Jinping's speech at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held last year that China would make more efforts to step up international cooperation in IP protection. What progress has the NIPA made in these aspects, especially in the Belt and Road cooperation on IP? Thank you.

Shen Changyu:

Thank you for your question. To implement the important instruction made by General Secretary Xi Jinping, the NIPA is actively advancing related work around the following aspects:

First, we are working to enhance multilateral cooperation and deepen ties with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to take an active part in the global governance of IPR. We will steadily advance China's preparations for joining the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs and work to bring into force the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (BTAP), the first international treaty on IPR named after a Chinese city. Second, we will boost cooperation with our neighbors. We will actively participate in negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, and we will promote mutual recognition and protection of geographical indication between China and Thailand. Third, we will strengthen small-scale multilateral cooperation. We will play an active role in IPR cooperation among China, the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea, as well as among BRICS countries and among China, Mongolia and Russia. We will hold the Meeting of China-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices. Fourth, we will enhance bilateral cooperation to complete the negotiations on the agreement of China-Europe geographical indications protection, concerning a mutual recognition and protection of 275 total products of geographical indications from each side, respectively. We will promote bilateral cooperation with the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, as well as the IP authorities of Britain, France and Germany. Generally speaking, we will accelerate building a new pattern of linked and coordinated international cooperation on IPR.

In terms of international IP cooperation, the cooperation among the Belt and Road countries is a top priority. We have worked with relevant parties to map out eight practical cooperation projects covering IP protection, review services, development of foundational capabilities and the improvement of public awareness of IPR. These projects have now come through with significant achievements. The number of patent and trademark applications between the Belt and Road cooperation partners and China has maintained rapid growth. Last year, the number of patent applications from those countries increased by 9.7% in China, while that of patent applications China filed in those countries went up 8.5%. The deepening cooperation has been a forceful driver of the Belt and Road's development.

Next, the NIPA will make greater efforts to step up international cooperation on IP protection to promote common development. Thank you.

Beijing Daily: 

The BTAP is an international treaty on IP named after a Chinese city. There were reports that the treaty would take effect by April 28. Could you share with us some details about the treaty? What has the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) done? Thank you.

Yu Cike:

Thanks for your question. The BTAP is an international copyright treaty administered by the WIPO. It aims to protect the spiritual and economic rights to their recorded or unrecorded performances that performers enjoy.

From June 20-26, 2012, the WIPO held a diplomatic conference on the protection of audiovisual performances, which ended with them entering into the BTAP. On Jan. 28, 2020, Indonesia submitted its instrument of ratification to the WIPO, becoming the 30th key member of the treaty. According to the BTAP's operative clauses, the treaty will take effect three months after the date on which 30 eligible parties have deposited its instrument of ratification or accession. Hence, the BTAP is scheduled to take effect going forward from April 28, 2020. 

The conclusion and entry into force of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances will comprehensively improve the level of protection offered to performers by the international community, and promote the development of the audiovisual industry. The positive effects of the Beijing Treaty are as follows: First, it will fully protect the rights of audiovisual performers, further improve their industrial status and stimulate their enthusiasm for creativity; second, it will enrich spiritual and cultural products, and promote the healthy development of the audiovisual industry; third, it is conducive to the protection of traditional culture, and folk literature and art, and will promote the development of cultural diversity.

Mr. Francis Gurry, director general of the WIPO, explained that the Beijing Treaty strengthens the rights of audiovisual performers, which can be translated into income growth, and will promote the economic sustainability of the audiovisual industry that brings pleasure to all of us.

The Beijing Treaty is the first international intellectual property treaty concluded in China and named after a Chinese city since the founding of New China. The National Copyright Administration has carried out a series of fruitful tasks in promoting the conclusion and entry into force of the Beijing Treaty.

In 2012, the National Copyright Administration and the Beijing Municipal People's Government jointly organized the "Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances," with the approval of the CPC Central Committee. During the meeting, the Chinese government pushed for the successful conclusion of the Beijing Treaty through mediation, negotiation and coordination, which was highly appreciated by Mr. Francis Gurry. He believes that this diplomatic conference embodies the "Beijing Spirit" featuring understanding, support, inclusiveness and cooperation, which will continue to promote international intellectual property cooperation.

On April 24, 2014, the eighth meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress approved the Beijing Treaty. On July 10 of the same year, Mr. Cai Fuchao, then-director of the National Copyright Administration, submitted a government statement on ratification of the Beijing Treaty to the WIPO on behalf of the Chinese government.

After the conclusion of the Beijing Treaty, the National Copyright Administration actively promoted its early entry into force. The National Copyright Administration and the WIPO have hosted multiple international copyright forums to discuss the protection of performers' rights and reach a consensus. The National Copyright Administration has also actively engaged in bilateral cooperation on copyright, and carried out exchanges into strengthening the protection of performers' rights. In addition, the National Copyright Administration, alongside WIPO officials, met with ambassadors of relevant countries in China to accelerate the process of the treaty's ratification; and worked with agencies of the Beijing municipal government to hold commemorative activities or seminars on the conclusion of the treaty and the copyright protection of audiovisual performances.

The Beijing Treaty is a milestone in China's copyright cause and a new starting point for benefitting global performers. China will continue to cooperate with the WIPO, actively promote more countries to ratify and join the Beijing Treaty, and solidly implement the protection of performers' rights. China will also take the treaty's entry into force as an opportunity to continuously improve the copyright protection system, further enhance the protection of performers, and promote the high-quality development of the copyright industry, including audiovisual performances. Thank you.

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