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    再论中国涉及专利的国家标准制修订管理规定草案

    Published on 26 January 2010 @ 5:45 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    作者:乔治.威林迈尔(George T. Willingmyre)
    中国国家标准化管理委员会曾在2004年公布了一份有关专利政策的法规草案,遭到世界各国众多组织提出的批评,最终未能实施。去年11月2日,国家标准化管理委员会公布了《涉及专利的国家标准制修订管理规定(暂行)(征求意见稿)》”(以下简称“专利政策草案”) ,并征求公众意见 。对此全球各政府机构、公司及民间利益团体提交了大量的意见书。其中大多数意见表达了一个共同的观点:该专利政策草案低估了专利权人在标准制定活动中作出的贡献和可能发挥的作用,甚至会抑制他们为国家标准贡献创新性解决方案和技术。

    诚然,标准开发组织的所有专利政策都希望能够在标准制定中平衡各利益相关方的合法利益。国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案第一条非常清楚地表明了这样的宗旨:

    第一条 为妥善处理国家标准涉及专利的问题,规范国家标准制定和修订工作,鼓励自主创新,促进国家标准合理采用新技术,保护社会公众和专利权人及相关权利人的权益,保障国家标准的有效实施,依据…… 等相关法律法规制定本规定。

    然而,令人遗憾的是,该专利政策草案并不能达到上述所期望的利益平衡,却低估了标准中包含的知识产权的价值。因此,如按拟定的条文实施,将不利于鼓励相关专利权人参与国家标准制定活动及贡献其创新性技术。该专利政策草案的政策与国际标准组织的专利政策是不一致的,其将对中国的标准制定和自主创新产生不利的影响。

    例如,草案第三章“专利权的许可声明”中第九条包含了当专利是实施国家标准所必须的技术时,专利权人做出的不可撤销的专利实施许可声明的内容:

    (二)专利权人同意在合理无歧视基础上,许可任何组织和个人实施该国家标准时实施其专利,但支付的数额应明显低于正常的许可使用费;

    这里“支付的数额应明显低于正常的许可使用费”的措辞在笔者所了解的任何其它标准开发组织的专利政策中都从未出现过。相比之下,该条文所表达的许可意愿(除去上述引用的语句,即仅仅保留专利权人同意在合理无歧视基础上授予许可的要求)则是众多国际标准制定组织的专利政策所广泛和共同采用的,例如国际标准组织(ISO)、国际电工委员会(IEC)和国际电信联盟(ITU)的共同专利政策包含:

    2.2 专利权人愿意在无歧视性基础上与其它方商谈合理的许可条款和条件。这些商谈由当事方在ITU-T(国际电信联盟电信标准化部门)/ITU-R(国际电信联盟无线通信部门)/ISO/IEC之外进行。

    国际性互联网标准化组织(IETF)的专利政策提到:

    b)包含合理和无歧视性条款和条件的许可,包括合理的提成费或其它付款。

    美国国家标准学会(ANSI)的专利政策包括:

    (i)合理的、可表明不带有任何不公平歧视的条款和条件。

    欧洲电信标准协会(ETSI)的专利政策提出:

    6.1当得知与任何一项具体标准或技术规范相关的必要知识产权时,本协会主任应立即要求知识产权人在三个月内提交一份不可撤销的书面承诺,表示其愿意以公平、合理和无歧视性的条款和条件授予至少在以下程度上对该知识产权不可撤销的许可。

    而中国国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案却要求专利权人以“明显低于正常的许可使用费”的条件许可实施有价值的技术(这些技术往往是专利权人在高风险的研发项目中耗费巨资开发的),这样的政策将使得国内外的知识产权持有者不愿意在中国参与国家标准的制定活动。他们会认为该政策条款将限制他们获得公平合理的投资回报。将“明显低于正常的许可使用费”这句话纳入第九条将会导致意想不到的后果,那就是阻碍开发以及/或阻碍技术上最适用之标准的采用,因为专利权人没有将最适用之专利技术贡献于标准的制定中。这样的政策会不可避免地导致实施成本不经济之标准和/或运行低效之标准被最终采用。

    同样地,当强制性国家标准有必要涉及专利时,第四章“强制性国家标准涉及专利的特殊要求”中的条款也产生了令人担忧的有关强制许可的问题:

    第十二条 强制性国家标准原则上不涉及专利。

    第十三条 强制性国家标准如确有必要涉及专利,应由专利权人免费许可或者由国家标准化行政主管部门提请相关部门和专利权人共同协商专利处置。如相关部门和专利权人未能取得一致的专利处置结果,则相应国家标准暂不批准发布或依法给予强制许可。

    第十四条 国家标准化行政主管部门应在涉及专利的强制性国家标准批准发布前对标准全文和已知的专利信息进行公示。

    第十二条提出强制性国家标准不涉及专利,第十三条规定专利权人对强制性国家标准所涉及的任何专利免费许可,这些原则在强制性标准方面是没有先例的。美国国家标准学会的政策指出:

    3.1 美国国家标准学会专利政策 – 在美国国家标准中包含专利 在起草美国国家标准时,原则上不反对在标准中包含采用必要专利中某项权利要求(该项权利要求的使用是为达到符合标准的目的而需要的)的条款,如果技术方面的原因为这样的做法提供了充足的理由。

    在美国,行政管理和预算局A-119通告制定了联邦政府使用和开发自愿共识标准(即非强制性标准)以及合格评定活动方面的政策。非强制性标准可以通过一定的行政程序成为强制性技术法规。关于知识产权的问题,该通告指出:

    为本政策之目的 …… 这些标准包括有关条款,要求相关知识财产拥有人同意在无歧视、免费或收取合理提成费的基础上向所有有意者提供该知识财产。

    专利技术通常是降低互操作性标准整个生命周期实施成本和最大限度优化性能的关键因素,其结果是使全世界的消费者和标准使用者极大地受益。

    中国国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案第十三条提到的强制许可会产生很多问题。强制许可应尽量少用,并只应在非常有限的特殊情况下施行。强制许可必须在世界贸易组织《与贸易有关的知识产权协定》的全球规则和框架内施行。同样地,在中国,国家标准化管理委员会也应考虑与国家知识产权局、国家工商管理总局或反垄断委员会、以及国家版权局联合进行法规的颁布和协调工作。

    国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案并没有清楚地阐述必要的法律和程序方面的细节,包括指导和定义等,将强制许可的适用性限于某些特殊的情况。比如,强制许可将依循哪些法律规则或程序, 是专利法吗?因此有必要制定这样的规则和程序,以明确规定,强制许可是极端的例外情形,只有在非同寻常、紧要、符合明确界定的条件的情况下才能采取这样的措施。

    上述第十四条关于强制性国家标准的公示问题,其本意是为了提高透明度,但是它没有提及对于标准制定程序的非参与者可能产生的影响。该条款可以理解为,对于与公示的标准相关的任何专利,它会产生设定的影响;也就是说,如果在规定时间内未能对公示做出回复,可能意味着权利人必须按本政策规定许可相关专利,或有义务这样做。

    由于政策的模糊不清,国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案将很可能危及研发投入的价值以及可望得到的投资回报,并因此在研发投入对中国或其它发展中国家正变得越来越重要时导致其减少。

    以下是部分团体提交的意见摘要。知识产权所有人协会(IPO) 的意见书指出,强制许可将对中国产生负面影响:

    同样地,为实施强制性国家标准而强制许可,或在强制许可威胁的阴影下强迫进行许可谈判也会导致创新活动的降低。通过建立长期的激励机制鼓励中国公司投资于创新从而产生专利技术有益于中国社会。

    假如中国将国家标准组织(ISO)、国际电工委员会(IEC)或国际电信联盟(ITU)的标准采纳为国家标准,这将产生更进一步的问题。有可能存在专利权人已承诺在无歧视性基础上以合理的条款和条件 许可的专利—— 这些许可条件与以上标准组织的专利政策相一致,或与另一家国际标准组织所采用的、表达同样的许可期望的类似用语保持一致 。在这种情况下,中国国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案对该专利权人产生的影响很可能会引发严重的贸易问题,如果该专利权人必须将原先作出的许可承诺改为专利政策草案第九条所要求的。

    美国商会(US Chamber of Commerce)和中国美国商会(American Chamber of Commerce PRC)联合提交了一份意见书 ,其中论述了专利政策草案如按照第十五条规定适用于原先在其它国家开发的标准将造成的意想不到的后果。

    此外,澄清这些规则的宗旨也将有助于了解规则的范围。虽然其中的条款表明这是为提高制修订中国国家标准的透明度而起草的,这些条款可以延伸到适用于行业和地方标准,也可能适用于在中国实施的、由中国境外的标准组织开发的、有可能成为制定国家标准的基础的国际标准或技术规范。如此扩大的范围对外国标准化活动的参与者和活跃于中国标准组织、但被排挤在无投票权的观察员地位的非中国公司都可能会产生无意但严重的后果。这些规则可能会导致事实上对非中国实体的歧视,而这与中国现有的国际义务是不一致的。

    美国商会的联合意见书提出了通过扩大该专利政策草案的适用范围而造成的使其扩展到“行业和地方标准”的问题。该草案的拟定意图是适用于“国家标准”,而将其延伸到“行业和地方标准”将急剧扩大其负面影响。

    第十九条 制定和修订行业标准和地方标准中涉及专利时,可参照本规定处理。

    在行业和地方标准组织中进行的标准开发制定活动远远超过国家标准的制修订工作。广泛地采用该针对国家标准的专利政策草案无疑将成倍地扩大本文所论述的问题。通常这些行业和地方标准是由相关行业中的参与者开发的,他们对专利和非专利技术的相对价值又非常清楚地了解。应鼓励行业和地方标准组织制定针对他们工作的、既能平衡标准开发进程涉及的多方参与者的利益、又最适合他们各自的情况和行业的专利政策。

    国家标准化管理委员会在专利政策草案中包含了部分条文支持增加透明度,披露参与标准制定活动的个人所知晓的专利信息。
    然而,该专利政策草案包含了过多不必要而且有损害性的条款,限制知识产权人取得公平合理的投资回报(第九条),同时在第十二、十三和十四条又威胁施行强制许可。这些条款打破了在现代全球标准制定进程中必须达到的利益相关方之间的微妙平衡,而正是这样的平衡才能使我们能够有效地开发采用最先进的技术、实现合理的实施成本的标准。

    为使标准既行之有效又有现实意义,无论是强制性的还是非强制性的,很多标准通常会采用涉及专利的技术。国家标准化管理委员会的专利政策草案在知识产权持有者的权利问题上有偏颇之处,这将抑制国内外知识产权持有者的参与。该草案如按现有条文实施,将使中国处于不利的境地,造成在重要的标准中只能接受和推广较为落后的技术和高成本的标准实施。

    作者简介:乔治.威林迈尔(George T. Willingmyre)是一家国际标准与贸易政策咨询公司GTW的创始人和总裁。针对各公司、组织和国家在全球市场的竞争力,该咨询公司主要向各公司、协会和政府机构提供有关标准的战略性作用以及标准的合格评定操作方面的咨询意见。

    Translation provided by author

    To read the original Inside Views piece in English, which includes footnotes, click here.

     


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