The 24th meeting of the EU-China IP Working Group was held during the week of 31 May 2021 in Beijing and online. Established in 2005 at the EU-China Summit, the group was set up to support the EU-China IP Dialogue. This year’s session was co-chaired by DG Trade (European Commission) and MOFCOM, and supported by IP Key China. Industry participants and representatives of the European Union’s small and medium-sized enterprises had a chance to raise awareness about the issues they face.
The EU-China IP Dialogue is a structured political exchange between the European Union and China on IP, reinforced by regular IP Working Group meetings, which brings together officials from a range of agencies and ministries in the area of IP protection, EU experts and industry representatives. These working-level meetings allow Chinese policymakers and industry experts to communicate directly with each other and discuss the latest developments and IP issues.s.
A discussion on IP issues is of the utmost importance in view of challenges faced. Years of effort have allowed some concrete achievements between the EU and China, for example, in early 2021, the EU-China Agreement on Geographical Indications entered into force on 1 March 2021, and on 19 May 2021 the TMview database administered by the EUIPO integrated over 32 million trade marks made available by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), which delivers benefits to businesses and rights holders from both sides.
To promote in-person exchanges during the week of the 24th Working Group, IP Key China hosted three side events:
- Appreciation lunch on 1 June 2021, to express appreciation for the support from stakeholders of the EU and China, in which the importance of IP cooperation was highlighted by relevant parties;
- Breakfast seminar on the importance of IP enforcement at customs, where participants discussed, in particular, the trends and challenges of e-commerce; and
- Breakfast seminar on China in the international IP environment, an exchange of views with a representative from WIPO’s office in Beijing.
IP Key China is a technical IP cooperation programme directed by the European Commission and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). IP Key China is an important tool to support the EU-China IP Dialogue mechanism and a facilitator to continuous exchanges amongst stakeholders including government, businesses, academia, service providers, industry associations and research institutes. .
IP Key China’s objectives are:
- To promote progressive convergence of China towards European standards in IPR legislation, protection and enforcement and the development of best practices.
- To support the interest of European innovators and rights holders trading with or investing in China.
- To contribute to greater transparency and fair implementation of the IPR protection and enforcement system in China, avoiding and discouraging any protectionist market access barriers through the misuse of IPR legislation and to further improve the IPR environment.
- To increase political and public awareness of the importance of IPR protection, including through universities.