China (PRC)

China’s continued focus on technology and innovation will have a critical impact on intellectual property protection and enforcement, under the Mainland’s 13th Five-Year Plan, according to intellectual property specialist, CEO and Principal Counsel of AWA Asia *, Ai-Leen Lim.

China’s Five-Year Plan is a national strategy document set by the country’s top leaders. It sets out policies for economic growth and social development, identifies areas for investment that are promising, and points to where government resources will be concentrated.China’s 13th Five year plan is therefore the Mainland’s most anticipated social, economic, environmental and technological blueprint for advancement between 2016 – 2020. In late 2015, President Xi issued a Proposal on Formulating the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) on National Economic and Social Development (13th FYP Proposal).

The building blocks of the 13th FYP include Innovation, Co-ordination, Green development, Opening up and Sharing.

“The communique aims to shift the country’s focus away from traditional state-led investment and dependence upon exports to an economy powered by consumption and indigenous entrepreneurship,” states Lim. The government plans to do this by injecting fresh incentives to sustain long-term growth and development.

Following a period of double digit growth and a widening gap between the rich and poor, the 13th FYP will emphasise consumption and services, which will hopefully guide the economy into its ‘new normal period’ in which the average annual GDP growth will be 6.5 percent until 2020, so as to address the ‘medium income trap’ with a view to achieving the goal of becoming a ‘moderately well off society’.

The world’s second largest economy will do this, in part, by upgrading technology and promoting innovation in the industry and service sectors with a view to boosting productivity and ultimately profitability. Lim comments: “By up-scaling the workforce and increasing workers’ wages, China aims to transition from a low-skilled manufacturing economy to a high-skilled manufacturing services and a consumption-based economy”.

Lim is setting her sights on clinching the inevitable work that will follow as a result of China becoming more innovative and providing a tech-competitive environment.

There will also be a transition from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’ as companies and start-up enterprises are encouraged to shift from Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) to Original Development Manufacturing (ODM.) This means that responsibility for designing and creating the specs for a product will lie with the manufacturer and not the buyer; a vastly different scenario to the one that China currently adopts and practices. “What this means under the 13th FYP is that manufacturers will need to strengthen their R&D skills, their product and brand designs as well as their marketing strategies to successfully make the move away from traditional equipment based manufacturing”, suggests Lim. One possible outcome of this shift is that foreign companies that were considering moving their sourcing away from China due to the rising costs and/or quality concerns may once again consider China as a location from which to source their products.

Moving away from conventional manufacturing will also entail importing and utilising new technology from overseas to pave the way for next-generation information and communication. By becoming more tech competitive, China will be able to innovate, upgrade its infrastructure, consider suitable energy efficiencies and environmental protections, expand its market into higher value industries and open up its economy to more modern and sophisticated services. No easy feat!

The government also intends to cultivate the next generation of internet related technology so that it will be embedded in traditional industries and drive economic growth. There will be a particular focus on implementing the Internet of Things and big data technology and application. The Internet of Things will link machines to other machines (M2M) across various networks with the aim of autonomously flowing the information between devices – creating a groundbreaking level of connectivity and convenience through smart homes and smart cities by 2020.

“The level and magnitude of application of intellectual property is potentially unprecedented. Navigating the new environment, from both a manufacturing and a corporate perspective will certainly require input and direction in terms of delivering innovative intellectual property solutions,” comments Lim.

* AWA Asia is the Asian arm of intellectual property heavyweight, Awapatent, which has a history of more than 100 years across offices in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. AWA Asia, which is currently celebrating its one-year anniversary, was established to provide direct assistance to its clients navigating the complex China market. The firm, also has a wholly owned subsidiary in China (AWA IP (Beijing) Co Ltd) which is a locally licensed intellectual property and trademark agency. In addition, AWA Asia’s Hong Kong headquarters handle all aspects of IP portfolio management directly before the Hong Kong IP Department.

For more information:
Ai-Leen Lim
AWA Asia
Phone: +86 10 8573 1125
Mobile: +852 6121 7911

Related Articles by Firm
Clasis Law (India) Newsletter August 2015
Analysis of the revocation of a company's drug patent and other key court rulings and updates on corporate and commercial matters
Foreign Banks Allowed to Operate in Myanmar
After more than 50 years of banning, the Central Bank of Myanmar has issued the first final licenses allowing four foreign banks to operate in Myanmar.
Tanzanian Draft National Energy Policy of 2015
Highlights on the ongoing and upcoming industry developments with focus on the transition of the energy sector since the introduction of the Big Results Now! campaign
Mineral Rights Available in Tanzania
Overview of the mineral rights available in Tanzania, with specific focus on the various categories of mineral rights
The Legal Framework of the Aviation Sector in Tanzania
As attention turns to Tanzania’s trade and energy opportunities, the spotlight has fallen upon the nation’s infrastructure. This update focuses on the capabilities and issues of the Tanzanian aviation sector.
Oil price volatility - Offshore oil storage
Are there any legal concerns with tankers being used for floating storage?
Oil price volatility - risks and opportunities in 2015
While many companies can weather the oil price slide and volatility, some industry players face a real risk of insolvency.
India: Union Budget 2015
A bullet-point overview of changes in Direct Tax, Indirect Tax and Goods and Service Tax in India in light of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s first full-year Budget…
Prohibition against transfer of personal data outside Hong Kong
Section 33 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) prohibits the transfer of personal data to places outside Hong Kong, except in circumstances specified in the PDPO.
Security of payment under FIDIC contracts: more secure, for now
The High Court of Singapore recently handed down an important judgment in relation to the enforceability of Dispute Adjudication Board (DAB) decisions under the FIDIC forms of contract.
Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill passed as Ordinance in India
The long-awaited Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill has become a provisional law in India. The Bill amends the Insurance Act (1938), the General Insurance Business (Naturalisation) Act (1972), and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Act (1999).
SICC: now open for business
On Monday 5 January 2015, the Singapore International Commercial Court ("SICC") was officially opened...
Myanmar insurance update
Clyde & Co partner Michael Horn recently visited Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon and reports on the current state of the insurance market...
Launch of the online mining cadastre transactional portal
Plus, a summary of the key mineral rights available in Tanzania; and, a look at the manner in which mineral rights can be transferred.
Restrictions imposed on holders of mineral rights
This briefing looks at some of the restrictions imposed on holders of mineral rights in Tanzania by the Mining Act 2010
Draft local content policy for the oil & gas industry in Tanzania
The first draft of the long-awaited local content policy for the oil & gas industry in Tanzania has now been published by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals ...
Tanzania: Revocation of mining licences
The Tanzanian government recently announced the cancellation of a total of 174 mining licences. This mining update examines the key continuing obligations imposed by the Mining Act upon mining licence holders.
Mining Development Agreements
In this month’s mining briefing we look at Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) and the role that they play in the mining sector in Tanzania.
The Tanzanian railway system: current legal framework
The railway system of mainland Tanzania has a total track length of 3,676 kilometers (km) with two separate networks, run by two separate organisations ...
Related Articles
China bans iPhone sales over Qualcomm dispute
A court in Fuzhou has moved to block sales as part of a long-running battle between Apple and Qualcomm.
Transforming busy lawyers into business leaders
Trevor Faure provides a proven approach to improve legal services in his new book.
Biggest US IP firm to open in China
Fish & Richardson has won approval to open a representative office in Shenzhen.
Related Articles by Jurisdiction
Rules of engagement
Gang Xu, director and associate general counsel of Walmart (China) Investment Co Ltd, tells us what qualities he looks for when recruiting staff and appointing external counsel
Inaugural In-House Community gathering in Shenzhen 深圳企业法律顾问大会
The inaugural In-House Congress Shenzhen will be held next week at the Shenzhen Marriott Hotel Nanshan.
Draft Implementation Rule Addresses Vague Issues in the Labor Contract Law
The recent draft Implementation Rule reveals Chinese labor authorities’ efforts to clarify vagueness in the implementation of the Labor Contract Law for the past years.
Latest Articles
The thing about … Carl Im
The brains behind eYulchon talks to Patrick Dransfield about his algorithmic approach to corporate compliance ...
New anti-money laundering law
The new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE.