US, China Talk Standards & IP, Trade Secrets, GIs, Broadcasting, Enforcement 24/11/2015 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The 26th United States-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meeting was held from 21-23 November, and covered a wide range of intellectual property-related areas, including standards and IP, trade secrets, geographical indications, sports broadcasting, enhanced enforcement against media boxes and unauthorised content providers, and online enforcement. Other relevant areas included food safety, competition, agricultural biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The USTR fact sheet from the meeting is available here. The Office of the US Trade Representative press release states: “US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and US Trade Representative Michael Froman today led a US delegation in discussions with Vice Premier Wang Yang and other Chinese government officials as part of the 26th session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Guangzhou, China. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and US Ambassador to China Max Baucus also participated in this year’s JCCT. At the conclusion of the discussions, the United States announced key outcomes in the areas of intellectual property rights and enforcement, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, competition policy, and technology policy.” The IPR section of the fact sheet is below: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS Standards and Intellectual Property Voluntary, consensus-based technological standards promote innovation, competition and consumer welfare and have helped spur investment and advances in a wide range of industries. The United States and China affirm the beneficial role of standards in promoting innovation, efficiency, and public health and safety, and the need to strike an appropriate balance of interests of multiple stakeholders. The United States and China commit that licensing commitments for patents in voluntary standards are made voluntarily and without government involvement in negotiations over such commitments, except as otherwise provided by legally binding measures. The United States confirms that Chinese firms participate in the setting of voluntary consensus standards in the United States on a non-discriminatory basis, consistent with the rules and procedures of the relevant standards organizations. China welcomes U.S.-invested firms in China to participate in the development of national recommendatory and social organization standards in China on a non-discriminatory basis. With a view to enhance mutual understanding and trust, the United States and China agree to hold dialogues over issues under this topic. Trade Secrets Trade secret theft threatens to diminish U.S. competitiveness around the globe, putting American jobs at risk. Trade secrets are essential to businesses, large and small, and often are a company’s most valuable asset. China announced steps to strengthen protection of trade secrets in China by providing U.S. companies with better legal tools to defend their trade secrets from misappropriation. The United States and China are committed to providing a strong trade secrets protection regime that promotes innovation and encourages fair competition. China clarifies it is in the process of amending the Anti-Unfair Competition Law; intends to issue model or guiding court cases; and intends to clarify rules on preliminary injunctions, evidence preservation orders and damages. The United States confirms that draft legislation proposed to establish a federal civil cause of action for trade secrets misappropriation has been introduced in relevant committees. Both sides confirm that IP-related investigations, including on trade secrets, are conducted in a prudent and cautious manner. The United States and China agree to jointly share experiences and practices in the areas of protecting trade secrets from disclosure during investigations and in court proceedings, and identify practices that companies may undertake to protect trade secrets from misappropriation in accordance with respective laws. Geographical Indications (GIs) China’s commitments on GIs will help to ensure that China’s growing market remains open to exports of U.S.-originated products. The United States and China will continue our dialogue on GIs. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the 2014 JCCT commitment on GIs and confirmed that this commitment applies to all GIs, including those protected pursuant to international agreements. China will publish in draft form for public comment, and expects to do so by the end of 2016, procedures that provide the opportunity for a third party to cancel already-granted GIs. Sports Broadcasts Sporting events, live concerts and other broadcasts of live events are an integral part of American culture and entertainment media. They represent the collective creativity of thousands of Americans. China’s unique position as the host country of the 2022 Winter Olympics and China’s interest in promoting the development of Chinese sporting leagues provide incentives to protect these broadcasts under copyright provisions. The United States and China agree to protect original recordings of the images, or sound and images, of live events, including sports broadcasts, against acts of unauthorized exploitation, including the unauthorized retransmission of such broadcasts over computer networks, in accordance with their respective laws and regulations. The United States and China agree to discuss copyright protection for sports broadcasts and further cooperate on this issue in the JCCT IPR Working Group and other appropriate bilateral fora. Enhanced Enforcement Against Media Boxes and Unauthorized Content Providers The digital media revolution is transforming the way that U.S. and Chinese viewers watch television, film and other cultural content. Unfortunately, entities and individuals seeking to take advantage of the ease by which digital media is copied, distributed and made available have created a chain of infringing activity from servers hosting infringing content to media boxes sold directly to consumers that allow the download and streaming of pirated programming from around the world. Noting the challenges posed by new technologies to the protection of copyright, China and the United States will continue discussions and share respective experiences and practices on combating the unauthorized online distribution of audiovisual content made possible by media boxes. China clarifies it is to enhance enforcement against such media boxes and the providers of unauthorized content in accordance with its laws and regulations. Online Enforcement As one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world, China presents valuable opportunities to reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers, who have a growing interest in and ability to purchase U.S.-branded goods online. However, it also presents challenges in ensuring that the millions of transactions taking place every day involve safe, reliable and legitimate goods. Preventing the online sale of pirated and counterfeit goods is a high priority for both the United States and China. In order to address the civil, administrative and criminal enforcement challenges caused by the rapid development of e-commerce, as part of the JCCT IPR Working Group, China and the United States will enhance engagement and exchanges between U.S. and Chinese government IPR policy and enforcement officials, IP right holders, business representatives and online sales-platform operators, among other relevant stakeholders. This engagement will cover current and anticipated challenges in protecting and enforcing IPR online by sharing respective practices, discussing possible improvements in each country’s systems, facilitating information exchange and training between our two countries, and increasing cooperation on cross-border enforcement. The goal of this effort is to enhance existing legal and cooperative regimes among businesses, rights holders and governments in civil, administrative and criminal online IPR enforcement. Appropriate criminal matters will be referred, if necessary, to law enforcement agencies through the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) IP Criminal Enforcement Working Group or domestic law enforcement officials. 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