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Mrz 29, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 6/18)
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SIPO Takes Over Administration and Enforcement of Trademarks

On March 17, 2018, National People’s Congress (NPC) approved the proposal made by the State Council, China’s chief administrative authority, to restructure the administrative organs under the State Council.

The following restructuring is for example planned:
- The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) will take over examination and registration of trademarks from the China Trademark Office (CTMO) and the Trademark Review and Adjudicative Board (TRAB).
- SIPO will also take over registration and administration of geographic indicators from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
- SIPO will have additional responsibility to guide the enforcement of trademarks and patents but will not handle such enforcement on a daily basis.
- SIPO will be subordinate to a new State Administration for Market Supervision (SAMS). SAMS will have broad power including but not limited to enforcement of patents and trademarks. Hence SAMS’s enforcement teams will be in charge of trademark and patent enforcement with guidance from SIPO.

One purpose for the above restructuring is to consolidate government resources in administering and enforcing IPRs and to make the administration more efficient. It is not known how long the restructuring will take to complete. There are open issues about the new structure. For example, it is not clear whether SIPO will take over the administration and/or enforcement of copyright from the National Copyright Administration.

For more information, please see here