The past decade has seen a significant shift in the competitive landscape of China's science and technology sector. From the manufacturing floor to a major contributor to scientific advances and technological innovation, spending on R&D continues to increase and Chinese companies are emerging as genuine contenders to worldwide brands and renowned research facilities.
Against this backdrop, on 13 April 2015, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) released the final version of the Provisions on Prohibition of Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights to Eliminate or Restrict Competition (IPR Regulation) which will take effect on 1 August 2015.
The IPR Regulation comes at an opportune time, and reflects the growing recognition of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in China. In fact the IPR Regulation was first conceived in 2008 pursuant to the government issued National Intellectual Property Strategy Outline (Outline)1. Its enactment this year represents the fruits of a 7-year-long legislative process, including numerous rounds of public consultation during which issues on the interface between IPRs and competition law were debated and explored.
1 The National Intellectual Property Strategy Outline was a high level government strategy issued in 2008. It recognised that there were, at the time, IPR-related abusive practices which impeded fair competition and recommended issuance of specific legislation to regulate the market and protect public interest.