China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade Concludes with Key IPR Commitments

On 21-22 November 2011, the 22nd China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade was held in Chengdu, China. The conference was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan together with US Commerce Secretary John Bryson and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.   
At the conference, the two sides signed the China-United States Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Cooperation Framework Agreement among other economic and trade agreements, and agreed on a number of IPR-related commitments, including the following:  
  • China and the US agree to enhance efforts to combat online sales of counterfeit products, specifically, a collaborative program will be initiated in spring 2012 to identify new approaches to combat the sale of infringing hard goods on online markets, and bilateral roundtables will be held in China in 2012 to discuss online copyright protection and enforcement, including library copyright protection;
  • China pledged to increase political accountability by taking into account local IPR enforcement in the measure of provincial level officials’ performance; 
  • China committed that the software legalization program for the 31 provincial entities will be completed by the middle of 2012 and that for the municipal and county level governments by 2013, while the use of licensed software in enterprises will be further promoted; 
  • China announced the establishment and funding of the Complaint Center for Counterfeit Drugs, which includes a consumer hotline, website, and a data analysis unit; and information on instances of counterfeit drugs in China will be shared with the US government and pharmaceutical industry. 

The conference had the attendance of 17 senior officials from 23 ministries and agencies at the Chinese side. SIPO Commissioner Tian Lipu was also member of the Chinese team and delivered a speech expressing his concern about the cycle of examination in the US for patent filings from Chinese enterprises.