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Nanning, Guangxi

Experts’ Roundtables on the reform of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL)

With the new draft Chinese Anti-Unfair Competition Law recently passed to the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (LAC) for final revision and enactment, the European Commission and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce of China partnered in a two-day seminar and expert roundtable in Nanning, Guangxi, with the technical support of IP Key.

The seminar’s agenda built on the results of a preparatory workshop of the EUIPO and SAIC in September, as well as on previous activities of IP Key in cooperation with the LAC earlier this year on similar subjects.

IP experts from Danish and Spanish judiciary, EUIPO and French law profession, extensively discussed with colleagues of the Chinese Administration for Industry & Commerce and University, key issues of law policy & enforcement, ranging from the conflict between trademarks and other business identifiers, through ‘slavish’ imitation of products’ layouts, onto protection of trade dress, business initiatives and models, as well as trade secrets.

By looking at possible solutions based on their respective experience, Chinese and EU experts first aimed at finding a common understanding on the basic principles behind anti-unfair competition enforcement measures.

Thanks to insightful presentations and case studies, more than sixty participants from ten Chinese provinces and five EU countries then shared ideas and thoughts on how to tackle current trends in business behaviours which are trespassing “fair competition” thresholds, both on the physical and digital market.

With the growing sophistication of unfair competition behaviours on the market - especially online -Chinese and EU experts agreed on having clear guidelines and interpretation on the actual meaning of “good faith”, “honest behaviour” and “business ethics”, for effectively addressing newly emerging unfair competition conducts not specifically described by the laws.

On behalf of the EU, Minister Counsellor for IP at the EU Delegation in Beijing Benoit Lory stressed on the convergence of interests between China and EU for promoting fair competition in the EU-China trade and investment relations, while Deputy Director of SAIC International Cooperation Chen Zhuo remarked how the EU and China are far from showing distance in terms of legal principles and objectives of their anti-unfair competition legislations.

Social and cultural characteristics of Chinese and EU experience enriched the two days of discussions among IP experts, setting the grounds for productive cooperation on this subject in successor activities of the EU China IP Cooperation.

For additional information please contact the IP Key activity coordinator long-term expert Davide Follador at

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