SAMR: revised anti-monopoly law will be introduced this year
On April 26, 2022, Gan Lin, deputy director of the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) and director of the State Anti-Monopoly Bureau (“SAB”), attended a press conference on the report on New advances in Intellectual Property Protection and Business Environment in China (2021) held by the State Council Information Office and has reported on the market order in maintaining fair competition since the establishment of the SAB. Director Gan Lin revealed at the meeting that the revised anti-monopoly law is expected to be released this year.
SAMR publishes 2022 legislative work plan
The 2022 Legislative Plan of the State Administration for Market Regulationadopted at the Sixth Executive Meeting of the SAMR on April 19, 2022, is hereby issued to the National Medical Products Administration, the National Intellectual Property Administration, and all departments and offices and directly affiliated agencies of the SAMR for implementation.
New Rules of the Supreme People’s Court: Civil and administrative cases involving monopoly disputes in the first instance are governed by intellectual property courts or intermediate courts (effective from May 1)
Several Supreme People’s Court Jurisdiction Provisions for First Instance Civil and Administrative Intellectual Property Casesadopted at the 1858th meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People’s Court on December 27, 2021, are promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court, with effect from May 1, 2022.
Beijing releases 21 measures to help and benefit businesses: tightening anti-monopoly compliance guidelines, fair competition review and anti-monopoly investigation of platform companies
In order to thoroughly implement the guiding principles of the Central Conference on Economic Work and the Beijing Municipal Reform provisions to optimize the business environment, continue to effectively carry out “six-front stability” and ” security on six fronts”, better stimulate the vitality of market players and support the development and growth of market players, focus on providing more equitable, transparent, accurate and efficient government services for market players on the basis market regulation functions. In order to permanently reduce the institutional transaction costs of enterprises, the Beijing Administration for Market Regulation has formulated a series of working measures.
SAMR updates three anti-monopoly regulations
In order to implement the recently revised Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalties and to urge the administrations in charge of market supervision and management to enforce the laws in a strict, standardized, fair and civilized manner while advancing the reform aimed at streamlining administration, delegating powers and improving regulations and services, the SAMR decided to revise certain provisions of six regulations and remove four others. Among others, the revised regulations include three anti-monopoly regulations, namely the Interim provisions on the prohibition of monopoly agreementsthe Provisional provisions on the prohibition of abuse of dominant market positionand the Provisional provisions on the review of business concentration.
The central government decides to eliminate local protectionism and regional barriers
Opinions of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Accelerating the Construction of a Unified National Market (the opinions”) were officially released on October 10. According to the notices, efforts will be made to establish unified national market systems and rules, break local protectionism and market segmentation, eliminate substantial barriers restricting economic circulation, and promote the smooth circulation of basic element resources on a larger scale.
Latest response from SAMR: Attention to alleged monopolistic behavior of CNKI
The SAMR said in a response to the message left by a Changjiang Daily reporter on April 25, 2022 that attention has been drawn to the alleged monopolistic behavior of China National Knowledge Infrastructure (“CNKI”) reported by all parties and that the corresponding work is carried out in accordance with the law.
Chongqing Administration for Market Regulation Rectified Several Cases of Administrative Monopoly
Recently, SAMR published on its website that the Chongqing Administration for Market Regulation rectified three cases of administrative monopoly, namely: designated transaction by Hechuan District Education Commission, designated transaction by the Fuling District Agriculture and Rural Affairs Commission, Liangjiang New Area State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Bureau. designated operation.
Special anti-monopoly law enforcement actions launched in 12 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Shandong, from March to October
Recently, market regulators from 12 provinces and municipalities, namely Beijing, Shanxi, Shandong, Hainan, Xinjiang, Gansu, Chongqing, Fujian, Shaanxi, Hebei, Tianjin and Hubei, said they would carry out special enforcement actions of the anti-monopoly law in key areas in 2022 from March/April to October, to promote the formation of a national efficient and standard unified market with fair competition, focus on the abuse of administrative power to eliminate or restrict competition.
Anti-monopoly administrative dispute brought by Huizhou motor vehicle inspection industry association ranks in Guangdong province’s top ten intellectual property cases in 2021
On April 25, 2022, Guangdong High People’s Court released the top ten intellectual property rights judicial protection cases in Guangdong courts in 2021, including “Anti-monopoly dispute between Motor Vehicle Testing Association of Huizhou and the Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation regarding an administrative penalty”. The Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation imposed an administrative fine (i.e. 0.4 million RMB) on the trade association for its monopolistic behavior by using the influence of the association in the regional market. The association refused to accept the sanction decision and took it to court. After hearing the case, the court rejected all the demands of the association. The court analyzed the case in depth. This case is of typical importance for the trial of similar cases.
Supreme People’s Court issues top 10 intellectual property cases, including joint operation of driving schools concerning the horizontal monopoly agreement
The Supreme People’s Court issued the top ten intellectual property cases and the typical 50 intellectual property cases in 2021 on April 21. In particular, the typical case in the antitrust field – “Joint Operation of Driving Schools – Monopoly Agreement horizontal” was selected as one of the top ten intellectual property cases. The decision of this case has effectively safeguarded the order of fair competition in the market, which is conducive to curbing monopolistic behavior at the source.
Hangzhou Intermediate Court Accepts Individual’s Case Against CNKI for Abuse of Market Dominance
Recently, an individual Guo Bing from Hangzhou formally filed a lawsuit against CNKI for abusing its dominant market position. According to Guo, CNKI allegedly abused its dominant position in the market (mainly by refusing to provide access to the academic misconduct detection system to individual users without justification, by limiting the institution’s personnel to use the system of detection of academic misconduct through manifestly unreasonable contract terms), prejudice their legitimate rights and interests.
The first domestic FRAND tariff decision: ZTE v. Tianlong Mobile for violation of 4G SEP
Evaluation and selection of Top 10 IP Events in Shenzhen in 2021, organized by the Shenzhen Municipal Administration for Market Regulation (the “Shenzhen Intellectual Property Office”), is ongoing. Among the 19 applicants, Event 15, in which a Chinese company for the first time asked a court to decide global royalty rates on its own initiative, attracts attention. This is the first time that a Chinese rights holder has asserted its rights against a Chinese performer in the field of EPS. This court’s decision reflects China’s attitude towards the protection of intellectual property rights. It is possible that foreign companies will even use this case as a “model case” to charge SEP tariffs in China in the future.
Supreme People’s Court Judgment: China Audio-Video Copyright Association Does Not Constitute Abuse of Dominant Market Position
On March 28, 2022, the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court heard the market abuse dispute between Nansha Jiazhou Red Pub of Nansha District, Guangzhou City and the China Audio-video Copyright Association (“CAVAC”). The first instance dismissed the plaintiff’s claims and the second instance dismissed the appeal and affirmed the initial judgment, determining that the CAVCA did not constitute an abuse of a dominant market position.