By King & Wood’s Trademark Practice

The Law of the Application of Law for Foreign-related Civil Relations of the People’s Republic of China was promulgated on October 28, 2010 and will come into force on April 1, 2011. The new law absorbs the latest achievements of the research and legislation in the field of the private international laws, which is widely viewed as having reflected the contemporary legislation ideas and incorporated innovative rules, and the issuance of this law would have accomplished the systemization and modernization of the conflicting rules concerning foreign-related relations in Chinese legislation system.

The governing laws of the foreign-related intellectual property right relationships are provided in Articles 48-50 of this law. Firstly, the law at the locality where the protection is claimed shall apply to the dispute concerning the ownership and contents of intellectual property right. Secondly, a party may choose the laws applicable to the assignment and licensed use of intellectual property rights by agreement; otherwise, the laws at the habitual residence of the party whose fulfillment of obligations can best reflect the characteristics of this contract, or other laws which have the closest relation with this contract, shall apply. Thirdly, the laws at the locality where the protection is claimed shall apply to the liabilities for tort and for intellectual property; alternatively, the parties may also choose the applicable laws at the locality of the court by agreement after the tort occurs.