By Susan Ning, Kate Peng and Weiqing Qiu  King & Wood Mallesons’ Commercial & Regulatory Group

Ountitlednpeng_kate April 7, 2015, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) officially published the Rules on Prohibition of Abuses of Intellectual Property Rights for the Purposes of Eliminating or Restricting Competition (“SAIC IP Rules”). This is the first set of rules to implement the general principles recognized by Article 55 of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (“AML”) in the IPR sector. The SAIC IP Rules introduce a safe harbor mechanism which validates certain intellectual property right (“IPR”) related restraints.

During 2015, the Antitrust Committee under the State Council entrusted four authorities with drafting the Antitrust Guidelines regarding Prohibition of Intellectual Property Abuse (“IP Guidelines”). Amongst the four authorities, SAIC published its seventh version of draft IP Guidelines on February 5 2016 (“draft SAIC IP Guidelines”) and the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) published their second draft on December 31, 2015 (“draft NDRC IP Guidelines”). Both the SAIC and NDRC draft IP Guidelines set out an IPR sector safe harbor.
Continue Reading The Antitrust Safe Harbor for Exercising IPRs: More Details are Needed for its Scope, Thresholds and Compatibility

In recent years, search engine providers, P2P website or other Internet service providers are often challenged in the courts by content owners. While the legal actions brought by international record companies are constant headaches for major Chinese search engine providers, including Baidu, Yahoo and Sogou, international search engine giants like Google and YouTube have also been struggling to resolve various lawsuits internationally.

These cases raise the same issues for legislators and judges in all jurisdictions — how to evaluate the business models of Internet Service Providers or Online Service Providers ("ISPs" or "OSPs", collectively "ISPs") and the responsibilities and obligations for copyright protection of the ISPs?

In 2007, the US Ninth Circuit Court of the State of California rendered its judgment for Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill LLC. The California Court granted CCBill LLC immunity under the Safe Harbor Principle on the ground that the notice for removal sent by Perfect 10, Inc. failed to provide sufficient information and could not be deemed as effective notice. The intention of the US Congress when adopting the Safe Harbor Principle was to ensure that liabilities are shared fairly between the parties by requiring the copyright owner to bear the burden of proving the existence of infringement.  These safe harbor provisions are designed to shelter service providers from the infringing activities of their customers. The California Court’s decision has been interpreted by US legal professionals as another affirmation of the application of "Safe Harbor Principle" to ISPs.

He Wei, Partner and Wang Yaxi, Associate, Intellectual Property

Continue Reading Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill LLC — Insights on the Applications of the Safe Harbor Principle and how this is applied in China