China’s market watchdog releases 2022 Legislative Plan
On 26 April 2022, the China State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) released its 2022 Legislative Plan. The Plan lists 69 legislative projects, including 14 laws and administrative regulations, and 55 departmental rules, mainly covering food and drug safety, intellectual property, monopoly, trade secrets and industry standardisation. Projects are divided into two categories to reflect their level of priority: Category I (36) and Category II (33).
Category I projects are more pressing, as the SAMR mandates that drafts of the enumerated laws, administrative regulations and departmental rules are to be submitted for compliance checks and internal scrutiny by 30 June 2022, before being subject to further deliberation at the SAMR by the end of this year. There is, however, no explicit deadline for Category II projects.
In principle, should a Category I project fail to make the 30 June submission deadline, it will be demoted to Category II. This may happen if a particular legislative project is left in abeyance or the draft is returned to the drafter, in any of the following circumstances:
- drastic changes;
- great divergence over the major regime;
- the drafter fails to negotiate with the competent departments whose orbit the legislative project falls within;
- no consensus is reached during negotiation; or
- noncompliance with the statutory authority or procedure.
Of the 69 legislative projects, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) is tasked with drafting the following eight.
- Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Trademark Agency;
- Measures for the Registration and Administration of Collective Trademarks and Certification Trademarks;
- Provisions Pertaining to Patent Examination and Adjudication; and
- Several Provisions on Regulating the Patent Filing Behaviours.
- Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China;
- Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China;
- Geographical Indications Law of the People’s Republic of China; and
- Measures for the Protection of Official Signs.
Other legislative projects in which brand owners may have a stake include:
- Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People’s Republic of China;
- Product Quality Law of the People’s Republic of China;
- Provisions of the State Council on the Criteria for Declaration of Concentration of Undertakings;
- Regulations for the Implementation of the Drug Administration Law;
- Implementing Measures on Business Name Registration & Administration;
- Interim Provisions on the Prohibition of Abuse of Administrative Power to Exclude and Restrict Competition;
- Interim Provisions on the Prohibition of Monopolistic Agreement;
- Interim Provisions on the Prohibition of Abuse of Market Dominant Position;
- Provisions on the Prohibition of Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights to Exclude and Restrict Competition;
- Interim Provisions on the Examination over Concentration of Undertakings; and
- Measures for the Administration of Food Business Licensing and Recordal.
- Measures of Administrative Reconsideration of the State Administration for Market Regulation;
- Interim Measures for the Administration of Lists of Enterprises with Abnormal Business Operation;
- Trade Secret Protection Regulations; and
- Measures for the Registration and Administration of Baby Formula Ingredients.
Though the SAMR has vowed to make a concerted effort with legislators to push forward the amendment of the Implementation Rules of the Patent Law, it has not yet been listed as a legislative project in the Plan.
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