Request for Comments on Intellectual Property Enforcement in China
As China has become a major trading partner for the United States, U.S. rights holders are increasingly seeking to protect and enforce their intellectual property (IP) in that country. China's patent and trademark offices are now among the largest in the world in terms of filings, and its IP enforcement system is being increasingly utilized by U.S. rights holders. Ensuring that the Chinese IP system works in a fair and timely manner for U.S. innovators is a top priority for the U.S. Government. To that end, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in collaboration with other U.S. Government agencies, is leading an effort to identify and assess the challenges U.S. inventors are facing with China's judicial and administrative patent enforcement systems. The USPTO would like to address the concerns of rights holders by working with them to identify problemssuch as difficulties in gathering evidence, meeting evidentiary requirements, protecting proprietary information, obtaining adequate damages, and enforcing preliminary injunctionsto then find ways to address these issues with the Chinese Government. As part of this effort, the USPTO, in coordination with the White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), has conducted a series of roundtables to obtain the views of diverse members of the patent community who have first-hand experience enforcing their patents in China. Roundtables were held on July 19, 2011, in Washington, DC; on July 26, 2011, in Beijing, China; on July 29, 2011, in Shanghai, China; and on August 1, 2011, in Guangzhou, China. Topics for discussion included: (1) Acquisition and enforcement of utility model and design patents; (2) evidence collection and preservation in Chinese courts; (3) obtaining damages and injunctions; (4) enforceability of court orders; and (5) administrative patent enforcement. To ensure that the USPTO receives a wide array of views, the USPTO would like to invite any member of the public to submit written comments on China's patent enforcement system, including, but not limited to, the five specific issues listed above. Examples of first- hand experience using China's patent enforcement system, and recommendations on ways to improve the system, are encouraged. Based on these comments, the USPTO intends to produce a report that details the patent enforcement landscape in China and identifies any challenges faced by U.S. innovators, together with recommendations for improving the system.
Performance Review Board (PRB)
In conformance with the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announces the appointment of persons to serve as members of its Performance Review Board.