Messages & Testimonials

Benoit Battistelli
Benoit Battistelli
President, EPO

Over a period of almost 20 years, since 1993, the EPO has worked in close co-operation with the EU to implement several projects in China. Further to the operational results, they contributed to the growth of mutual understanding and the desire for greater co-operation between the two parties, eventually enabling the establishment of the IP dialogue in 2005.

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the IP dialogue mechanism, I wish to express my appreciation to the European Commission and to the Chinese authorities for their foresight and continuous drive in achieving a coherent IP system that supports innovation and trade between the two regions.

2015 also marks the 30th anniversary of co-operation between the European Patent Office and the Chinese intellectual property office, SIPO. Starting their respective operations just a couple of years apart, in 1978 and in 1980, the EPO and SIPO have grown in their jurisdictions and as strategic partners in international relations.

Just as Europe and China adapted to changes in cross-border manufacturing and retailing many years ago, I am confident that they will continue to exhibit this kind of foresight for the benefit of the end user. Both Europe and China have the capabilities to ensure that intellectual property continues to address the interconnecting of our economies.

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He Zhimin
He Zhimin
Deputy Commissioner, State Intellectual Property Office of PRC (SIPO)


In this video, He Zhimin, Deputy Commissioner, State Intellectual Property Office of PRC (SIPO), talks about the opportunities between the EU and China on IP and how they serve the public and society.

Raimund Lutz
Raimund Lutz
Vice President, Legal/International Affairs, European Patent Office (EPO)

 In this video Raimund Lutz, Vice President, Legal/International Affairs, European Patent Office (EPO) discusses the main lesson learnt with the EU-China cooperation



Ma Zhengqi
Ma Zhengqi
Vice Minister, State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC)

In this video, Ma Zhengqi, Vice Minister, State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) talks about working with Europe and building on strong cooperation in the future.  

Christian Archambeau
Christian Archambeau
Vice President, OHIM

In this video, Christian Archambeau, Vice President of OHIM discusses the importance of the EU China Intellectual Property Dialogue

Sergio Balibrea
Sergio Balibrea
Director, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

After having negotiated China's accession to WTO, I arrived with my family to Beijing in 2002 as the new Head of the EU Trade & Economics Section.  The mandate was clear: strengthen EU-China trade relations and support China's vast reform program.

During four years, we liaised with many colleagues to present the best EU regulatory know-how to our Chinese counterparts, balancing the interest of stakeholders with efficient governmental oversight.  At the same time, we kept learning from the Chinese characteristics.

In that context, we launched the EU-China IP dialogue, a most successful initiative annually gathering regulators in a mutually-constructive trust-building exchange. A creative arrangement with the European Patent Office subsequently facilitated the arrival of the first EU IP Counsellor to Beijing.

My thanks go to all EU and Chinese friends with whom we worked together hand in hand during these intense times to help achieve the world's deepest regulatory reform.

Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the EU-China IP dialogue and my best wishes for the future!!

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Wu Kai
Chief of International Cooperation Department, SIPO

Europe is the origin of the modern intellectual property system. China and Europe have maintained friendly and fruitful cooperation in the intellectual property sector for a long time. China's intellectual property system, as an important achievement of our reform and opening-up, hasleveraged the successful experience and practices of European countries through more than three decades of construction and development.  

Intellectual property cooperation has become an important part of the overall EU-China cooperation framework had has made positive contributions to innovation, technology, economic and cultural exchange between China and the EU. This has been supported by the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU,

The State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. (SIPO), as the government authority responsible for organising and coordinating China's intellectual property protection and foreign-related intellectual property affairs, always values the friendly cooperation with Europe.

Today, the "great steamer" of EU-China cooperation is heading towards a brilliant future with unprecedented momentum and steadfast determination. Intellectual property is just like a beacon on the sea to guide this greater steamer throughout its course. We believe it will return fully loaded from each voyage.


My best wishes for EU-China cooperation!

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Rise to Challenges and Embracing Opportunities

Over the last decade, the EU-China Intellectual Property Dialogue Mechanism has been operating in full swing. It is a decade in which China's international copyright exchange and cooperation have constantly deepened; our copyright protection system has seen continuous improvements; and our copyright protection cause has achieved historical progress. These achievements are attributed to the dedication and wisdom of numerous copyright workers in China, as well as to the selfless support from the international community including the EU.

Over the last decade, the National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China has actively participated in bilateral copyright affairs under the framework of the EU-China Intellectual Property Dialogue Mechanism. Through surveys, exchange of visits, workshops and other activities, we have shared our experience in copyright management with the EU and explored issues relating to the building of the EU-China copyright system and international cooperation. Likewise, the EU has offered tremendous support and help to China in training copyright professionals, establishing and improving the copyright protection system, and in many other aspects.

In the 21st century, the constant development and extensive application of Internet technology have brought about enormous impacts and challenges to both China and the EU in respect of our national legal system for copyright, the mode of copyright trade, and the concepts of copyright operation. Generally speaking, China started relatively late in building its copyright management system and is faced with many problems and difficulties. Not only do we need to address the conventional problems that developed countries or developing countries have solved, but we alsohave to confront, together with other countries of the world, the challenges brought by new technologies. China will continue to deepen its reform and opening-up, and launch extensive international cooperation on copyright protection. We will maintain and strengthen the sound cooperation and exchange with the EU and make the copyright protection system play a greater role in promoting the coordinated development of the world's economy, culture and science, as well as inhuman civilisation and advancement.

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Zhang Jingli
Economic Crime Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security

Deepening Exchange on Enforcement, Joint Protection of Dialogue and Cooperation

As a participant in the EU-China Intellectual Property Dialogue Mechanism and as a Chinese counterpart under the framework of the EU-China Intellectual Property Cooperation Project, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has witnessed closer collaboration, smoother communication and more fruitful results at various levels in the process of dialogue and cooperation with the EU on Intellectual property rights criminal enforcement. 

This is a process of getting closer to each other and expanding cooperation. Since 2007, the MPS together with the EU project team have launched a series of successful cooperative programmes as part of the EU-China Project on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR2) and New EU-China Intellectual Property Cooperation (IP KEY). The MPS and the EU jointly organised two sessions of training on IPR criminal enforcement and nearly 250 police officers from policeorgans at various levels across China participated in the training. The two sides also carried out a research on the subject of "EU vs. China:Comparison of Intellectual Property Criminal Enforcement" and issued a corresponding report, available as guidance and reference for the policeorgans in their IPR criminal enforcement practices. Furthermore, the MPS sent a delegation of police officers to Europe for exchange, through which the two sides deepened mutual understanding and cooperation.

This is a process of mutual respect, mutual trust, and collaborative innovation. Adhering to the principle of "seeking cooperation and protecting cooperation"under the framework of the EU-China Dialogue Mechanism, the MPS advocates intensiveandpragmatic cooperation and seeks points of common interest in key areas with respect to innovation-driven development of the national economy and enterprises, as well as to consumer health and safety. The results achieved through such cooperation will in turn guide and drive the overall enforcement cooperation between both sides. This approach has been highly recognised by relevant national governments and enforcement departments within the EU. For three consecutive years, the UK’sNational Crime Agency, Intellectual Property Office, City of London Police, and Her Majesty’sRevenue and Customs have sent delegations to the MPS in China for discussions and exploration of opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Today, at this critical stage of development for both China and the EU, we believe that actively creating a new form of enforcement cooperation aligned with the EU-China strategic partnership under new circumstances, will provide new momentum for the EU-China intellectual property cooperation. This will bring it into a new stage of exchange, dialogue and a new paradigm of joint development.

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Christophe Geiger
Christophe Geiger
Director General of CEIPI

I have been involved in the EU-China IP Dialogue as an academic expert in EU Intellectual property law. The cooperation on IP started more than 10 years ago with projects such as IPR1, IPR2 and more recently IP Key.  Academics of world renown, high officials, key members of the judiciary and policy makers were bought together to discuss the future design of IP law from an EU-China perspectives. The Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) which I represent always supported this very timely and useful initiative by sending at various occasions different legal experts to enrich the dialogue and to help drawing perspectives for the innovation ecosystem. I wish this initiative a happy 10th anniversary and a lot of success for the future!     

Jorge Wuttke
Jorge Wuttke
President , EUCCC

Congratulations on 10 years of progress in EU-China IPR relations

We are celebrating the 10thanniversary of the ‘EU-China IP Dialogue Mechanism’ this year. Much progress on the harmonisation of intellectual property rights (IPR) has been made between the EU and China over the course of the past decade and this cooperation has greatly helped to strengthen our economic relationship. The European Chamber is proud to have contributed to this dialogue since its inception in 2005 – through our own IPR Working Group in Beijing, Shanghai and South China and the China IPR SME Helpdesk that we have been implementing on behalf of the European Commission since 2008.

China is a relatively new player in the global IPR environment, yet its written laws have been rapidly catching up with international best practices. The European Chamber’s own members have been attesting to this year-on-year in ourBusiness Confidence Survey, with a majority regularly stating that China’s written IPR laws are ‘adequate’ or even ‘excellent’ and that it is rather their enforcement that remains a concern for foreign business. The ‘EU-China IP Dialogue Mechanism’ has undoubtedly played a great part in this very positive development.

While it is true that more can still be done by both sides to develop the dialogue, European business invested in China greatly appreciates what has been achieved over the past 10 years. We look forward to an even greater, positive engagement between the EU and China on the topic of IPR.

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Jack Chang
Jack Chang
Former QBPC Chairman

It was my great honor to be able to involve in the EU-China IP collaboration program since early 2001 (the IP 1). I was particularly impressed by the EU statement that “We support China’s efforts to build a modernized IP system to support the bilateral trade”, which indicated that EU initiated the IP collaboration program with China based on the equal status and the approach of mutual respect. IP 1 focused primarily on trademarks while IP 2 expanded the scope to other IP areas. The IP Key programs are further expanded to cover innovation and IP policies, technological standards, service invention, trade secrets and many other critical subjects. EU’s right positioning of the IP collaboration programs, which seek win-win for EU and China encourages industry to work closely with the stakeholders of both EU and China without the concerns of being viewed as involving in potential trade disputes between China and EU on intellectual property protection. This win-win approach also helps EU and China to timely catch and work on collaboratively the most critical IP issues affecting industry and bilateral trade. Our sincere congratulations on your success! Keep up the good work!  

Liu Chuntian, IP Academy, Renmin University of China
Liu Chuntian
Dean, IP Academy of Renmin Univerisity of China

Professor Liu Chuntian, Dean of IP Academy, Renmin University discusses the long history of cooperation between the EU and China on IP matters.

Joseph Straus
Joseph Straus
Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute

As an academic who has been involved in the ten years of cooperation between the PR China and the EU in the field of IP, I feel obliged to, first, pay tribute to Chinese academics, who greatly contributed not only to the establishment and development of Chinese IP law, but also to the mutual understanding and cooperation in this area between Europe and China, namely Prof. Zheng Chengsi, Director of the Intellectual Property Center of CASS, who died much too young in 2006, and Prof. Guo Shoukang, from the Renmin University School of Law, who for more than 30 years and until the very last days before he has passed away at a venerable age of nearly 90, has been an extremely active shaper of our legal field.

Under the wise and prudent guidance of Carlo Pandolfi and his successors, IPR-2 and IP-key projects have greatly contributed to the better mutual understanding of EU IP law and practice in China and vice-versa. Chinese legal texts and documents of the drafting process, e.g. concerning the Third Revision of China's Patent Law, have been translated into English and published; leading court cases on European intellectual property have been translated into Chinese and also published in book format. Moot court events with the participation of European and Chinese judges and practicing lawyers have been organized in which European and Chinese judges have decided the same cases pleaded by, on the one hand, European practitioners, and, on the other hand, by Chinese practitioners. The most significant event of that kind took place on the occasion of the Shanghai Expo. In the framework of IPR-2 project also the quality performance of SIPO and EPO have been evaluated by Chinese and European experts and brought to light interesting results, which have subsequently been taken into account by both organizations. Not to mention the many consultations between the officials of both sides, organized and orchestrated by IPR-2 and IP-key projects, lectures offered and organized by the projects with participation of leading EU practitioners and academics, and, last but not least, the efficient assistance which both projects have offered the European and Chinese companies in safeguarding their rights in intellectual property at many international fairs in Europe and China.

After ten years the conclusion is allowed that all involved in both projects have achieved remarkable results and helped the governments, the practitioners involved, the industry and the academic communities of China and EU to further develop IP laws and improve protection standards as well as transparency of the systems. 

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Christophe Depreter,
Christophe Depreter
President of GESAC

I first went to Beijing in 2001 for a Seminar of collective administration in the internal market.  I came back several times to Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu in 2004 for technical assistance and training in establishing a collective administrative body.  We also had a program of 15 months 2005-2006 for the enforcement of Copyright protection through capacity building of collection management societies and exchange of best practices.

I was immediately filled with wonder by the capacity of our Chinese contacts and colleagues to understand immediately the most complex aspects of our business, and by their enthusiasm about our European experiences.

It was also the occasion to exchange about culture, which is exactly what we take care of, and to admire the Chinese music: of course, the classical opera, but also their fantastic rock bands!

Sustaining this relationship would consist in exchanging more information now on the way we and they are challenged by the new manners of using and disseminating music and AV works, and the way we all try to answer it. A common economic study would also be of great value.

Assuring that the decision makers in this area know each other better would be a great asset for everybody.

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DR Mihaly Fiscor
Mihaly Fiscor

From May 1982 to November 2014, I was 19 times in China (mainly in Beijing, but also in Shanghai, Nanking, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Xian and Xiamen). All the nineteen times at copyright meetings.

Breathtaking. This is the word which may express the enormous changes which characterized this cca. 30 years in China.  Spectacular developments have taken place in all fields: economy, science, technology, culture, social relations, standards of living, etc.  Also in the field of copyright.

In May 1982, the very first international copyright event was held in Beijing. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), at the request of the National Publishers Association of China, organized a week-long copyright training course. The Chinese organizers had requested that, in addition to the then Director General of WIPO – dr. Arpad Bogsch – and his colleagues, there be also a lecturer from the US, one from Western Europe, and one from the Central and Eastern European region. It was due to this that, in addition to Alan Latman, the key copyright professor of New York University and Ivor Davies, the then Comptroller of the UK Patent Office, I – as the then Director General of the Hungarian Copyright Bureau – also had the great honor to participate in that historic event.

The last time – it was 19th time – when I attended a copyright event in China was at the Roundtable Meeting on Collective Management organized in Beijing in November 2014 by the EU-China IPKey intellectual property project, the third one after IPR1 and IPR2 in the latter of which I also had the honor to participate as an EU expert.

For considering and assessing the tremendous changes in the past 30 years in the field of copyright, it is worthwhile taking these two events – the 1982 WIPO course and the 2014 IPKey meeting – as kinds of snapshot and comparing them.

In 1982, copyright activities were reduced to the operation of a publishing agreement system and some limited-scope research carried out by a Study Group of the National Publishing Association of China. The members of the Study Group had already some ideas about copyright in accordance with the international standards, but for the majority of the more than 100 participants invited from the various parts of the country, the WIPO course rather offered a sort of general introduction to the most basic concepts of copyright.

In contrast, the IPKey meeting in November 2014 could not have been regarded anymore as a training program; it was duly characterized as a “roundtable” meeting since it was a forum of partnership; an excellent opportunity for exchanging information, experience and views. High quality dialogue took place between the IPKey management and the European speakers, on the one hand, and the Chinese officials and experts, on the other hand.

The times when basic copyright issues were still the topics to be covered had been forgotten. The meeting had the most up-to-date agenda to discuss current issues of collective management: measures to make management more transparent and better corresponding to the principles of good governance, online licensing of music, conditions and fields of application of mandatory and “extended” collective management, and so on. For us the EU experts, it was an opportunity to present the most important features of the new EU Directive on collective management adopted precisely nine months before the meeting, on 26 February 2014, while our Chinese partners shared with us the legal-political objectives and the contents of a draft law to amend the Copyright Law of the PRC concerning collective management.

Genuine, animated and fruitful debate took place in which the Chinese experts – among them young, well-prepared and elegantly arguing young professors of various universities – also expressed different views both with us and among them. At the end of the meeting it became sure that, on the key issues, all reasonable options had been reviewed, all relevant information had been shared and all arguments had been presented that were needed for well-informed decisions on the draft law under consideration in accordance with the international norms and standards.    

When I went back to China in between 1982 and 2014 several times – in general as a WIPO official and later as a consultant of the Organization – the development and the step-by-step increase of the level of knowledge was already visible in the area of copyright but, in the last 10-15 years, all this has been explicitly accelerated and become spectacular. The EU-China IPR1 and IPR2  projects and then, in particular the IPKey project, obviously have contributed to this. In contrast with the WIPO programs which were also well prepared but which took place in a more sporadic manner dealing with certain specific issues, the EU-China projects have been construed and applied in a more continuous and persistent manner ensuring closer and more substantive contacts. The way I saw it, the obvious success of the various IPR and IPKey programs has been due not only to the timely and well-thought preparation and smooth organization of the various meetings and consultations but to a great extent also to the excellent professional and human relations which the IPR and IPKey staff established with the Chinese partners.

I have had rich personal experience how important such relations are and how sincere and faithful colleagues and friends our Chinese partners become. I have had the honor to have had a number of such colleagues and friends among Chinese intellectual property and copyright specialists.  Professor Zheng Chengshi, former Rector of Renmin University passed away earlier and only his bust in the big entrance hall of the University welcomed me. Professor Guo Shuokang, the doyen of Chinese IP professors  – who was already more than 90-year old and in bad health condition – came on the eve of the November meeting to the University (before the well-attended and lively “IP Café” program organized by the IPKey project) assisted by one of his students and by his nurse just to welcome me and hand over copies of both his new English-language publications and the Chinese translation of my Oxford University Press book on the two WIPO “Internet Treaties” the publication of which by the Renmin University Press had been arranged by him. It was heart-warming and touching; retrospectively it became even more so, when I received the news a couple of month later that he died. Fortunately, Shen Rengan, with whom I had the most frequent contacts, also because, as the head of the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) he regularly represented China and the Administration both at WIPO meetings in Geneva and at various events in China, is still among us. He had retired from NCAC but become the President of the Chinese Copyright Society, and important professional association.

While I was attending the IPkey meeting in Beijing last November, I spoke about these old colleagues and friends to the Chinese experts. After the meeting, I received a photo taken at that time from one of the young professors with the inscription: “to Professor Ficsor from one of his new old Chinese friends”.

This became for me also as a symbol of the success of the IPKey project for a double reason. First, along with the photo, the young professor also sent me a thoroughly researched and well-written draft study on the most intensively debated issue discussed at the November meeting: “extended” collective management. Intensive exchange of views and comments followed which proved again to me that – to  great extent also due to these EU-China IP projects, our Chinese colleagues are now equal partners in dialogues around “roundtables” and not just some target audience of mere training programs. Second, as a result of the IPR and IPkey projects, a great number of such close partnerships and “new old” friendships have been established, which – as rich experience shows – is one of the guarantees of flourishing cooperation with this big and great country.

I have been 19th times in China, but in 2015 I may get closer to my next target number – 21, which is the most luckier one according to Hungarian superstition – because the said young professor, my “new old friend”, has invited me to present a series of lectures later in the year. 

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Clifford Borg Marks
Clifford Borg Marks
Ambassador, Malta

Prior to becoming Ambassador to China in 2013, I worked as a China IP practitioner. When I started in 1990, China’s IP systems were rudimentary, and there was a distinct feeling among practitioners that we were “making it up as we went along”.

The stream of new IP legislation in the 1990’s provided a steady supply of fresh tools and made for exciting times. Sure, there were problems with enforcement, and we often had to exercise persuasive powers, and engage in long theoretical discussions with IP officials. I remember a spirited discussion with National Copyright Administration officials, within days after the Copyright Law entered into force in 1991, on whether video games should be protected as cinematographic works or software programs. Back then, we advised IP owners to avoid the courts as most judges were former police or military officers with little knowledge of IP.

How things changed! China’s sophistication in this area grew rapidly, particularly in the WTO run-up, and expertise in IP among specialist circles has reached world levels. OurDialogue has played a key role in all this.

With the trade that goes on between the EU and China, it is obvious that a healthy IP environment should form a vital part of our strategic partnership. It creates jobs, promotes economic growth, and fosters innovation, cultural exchanges and the growth of creative industries.

There will always be issues, and that is where the Dialogue comes in. The effort is worth every Euro allocated to it. We now talk, not only to government, but also to academics, and, crucially, to IP owners. The scope of the Dialogue will no doubt continue to expand in the decade to come.

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Dr Klaus Grabinski
Klaus Grabinski
Judge of the German Federal Court of Justice.
The 10 Year Anniversary of the EU China IP Dialogue Mechanism gives a welcome occasion to recall an event that like no other allowed a comparison between patent litigations in China and Europe. It was at the World Expo in Shanghai 2010 where the EU-China Project for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR2) organized on 4 September 2010 a mock trial on a patent infringement case. The scenario dealt with a request for a preliminary injunction to cease allegedly patent infringing acts that were assumed to have taken place at trade fairs in China and Europe. Chinese and European judges were required to decide in preliminary proceedings. The facts were taken from the famous “tension screw” case that in real life was decided by courts in France, Germany and Switzerland. After more than one hour of engaged pleadings of lawyers and patent attorneys in the mock trials, remarkably, the Chinese and European judges came to the same result. The request for a preliminary injunction was dismissed in both proceedings. However, the reasons given by the judges were quite different. While the European judge denied an infringement the Chinese panel dismissed the claim for lack of irreparable harm. To sum it up, stakeholders who attended the event were given a unique insight into Chinese and European patent litigation procedures.
Stephanie Mitchell
Stephanie Mitchell
Administrator, European Parliament Secretariat, previously Head of IPR Team, Industrial Competitiveness Policy, DG Enterprise & Industry

I had the honour and privilege of being Acting EU Co-Director of what's now fondly remembered as ''IPR I" in the winter of 1999-2000.  It was a first attempt at bringing together so many diverse actors on both the Chinese and European sides but, as I said to the Head of the EU Delegation at the time – ''no one else in the world is doing anything like this!''  It is hard now in our ever more-interconnected world to remember a time when China was not a WTO member and IPR was hardly ever front page news.  So much has changed, but my best memories of EU-China IPR matters are the way we overcame our unfamiliarity with each other as people and as institutions, and how our businesses and officials learnt ''on the job'' about how to work together and how to develop ever-better systems of IPR protection.  What remains to be done is to continue to walk the walk – to find ways to reconcile legitimate profit and security concerns with access to information in the context of advancing technological possibilities.  That will increasingly be a journey that crosses frontiers and where the ability to build world-class systems and standards is vital, a challenge I am confident can be met by the newest generations of IPR experts in the EU and China.

Song Xiaoming
Presiding Judge of Intellectual Property Court of Supreme People’s Court

The EU-China IP dialogue mechanism has become the most diverse platform with the richest contents in China’s IPR foreign exchange since its official launch in 2005. Over the past decade, mutual understanding and trust are significantly enhanced, collaboration and communication are extensive and in depth, and the fruitful results are gratifying. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the EU-China IP dialogue mechanism, both sides have agreed to raise it to a vice-ministerial level dialogue mechanism. Not only is it a total recognition of the fruitful results achieved over the past decade, it also marks the beginning of a new historical stage for the dialogue.

The past decade is a period in which China has strengthened its IPR judicial protection, sustained itself in the leading role, and stepped up its international influence. Currently, the IPR judicial protection in China has entered a new historical stage. Specifically, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council jointly published Opinions on the Intensified Reform of Systems and Mechanisms to Accelerate the Implementation of the Innovation-Driven Development Strategy in March 2015, which explicitly proposes to “put in place stringent IPR protection systems” and lists the IPR protection as the top measure to “create an environment of fair competition that encourages innovation”. The State Council presented the ambitious goal of “striving to build an intellectual property rights powerhouse” in its Action Plan for Further Implementation of National Strategies on Intellectual Property Rights (2014 – 2020) in December 2014. Intellectual property courts have been established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou by the end of 2014. Looking ahead, people’s courts in China will further boost its communication with the worldwide IPR community including the EU, to contribute the Chinese model, experience and wisdom, and jointly promote the modernisation of the IPR legal system in response to the historical trend and innovation needs.

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Adolf Dietz
Professor, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property

The Munich Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, originally named Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Patent, Copyright, and Competition law, for a long time has been engaged in comparative law studies, also concerning Chinese IP law. The latter is true, in particular, since Deng Xiaoping had started his reform policy at the begin of the years eighty. The legal reforms as an important part of that policy also concerned, to an important degree, preparation and adoption of basic IP laws, namely the original texts of the Trademark Law in 1982, the Patent Law in 1984 and, finally, the copyright Law in 1990.

Due to the large and attractive scholarship program of the Max Planck Institute, there always were a number of Chinese guest scholars at the Institute, beginning with the late Professor GUO Shoukang, a most influential academic in China, followed by a high number of very keen personalities most of whom afterwards had had enormous career chances. Let us only mention Dr. TIAN Lipu who, for a long time, was Commissioner (or President) of the Chinese Patent Office, later named State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), or Prof. XU Chao, who until his retirement, was a leading manager within the China National Copyright Administration, which was and still is responsible for the preparation of laws in the field of copyright.

Since, until my own retirement in 2001, I was the China specialist at the Munich MPI (in German “Chinareferent”), I had good, often friendly relations with these and many other Chinese scholars at the MPI; the personal aspect was, of course, closely related to continuous discussions and exchanges of material in all fields of IP. Since my own scientific interest was mostly (not exclusively) focused on copyright law, it goes without saying that the preparation of the new copyright Law of 1990 was a subject ofintensive debates, especially with Prof.  XU Chao, as a result  of which – as can be demonstrated - the Chinese legislators, not only in terminological, but also in structural terms, followed the European path of authors’ rights (zhuzuoquan 著作权in Chinese) in lieu of the Anglo-Saxon path of copyright (banquan 版权). My own engagement was crowned by a whole number of invitations to  Congresses and lecture tours in China, also as a guest professor at the Peoples University of China (Zhongguo Remin Daxue中国人民大学) in Beijing. Many  of these tours were organized and financed by the German Patent and Trademark Office, but later also by the EU-China IP Cooperation Program of the EPA.

As a general result, I think one can state that the engagement of the Munich MPI, which, of course, continues still today, and my own endeavors to contribute to the establishment of a modern IP protection system in China were worthwhile and are supported by the enormous achievements made by China in that field.

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Carlo Pandolfi
Director International Co-operation, EPO

When I think of the evolution of the intellectual property system in China, the impression one has is of watching a film in fast-forward.  The IP system in China moves extraordinarily fast. This exceptionally rapid development can be illustrated by the pace of change in patent law, which has been amended or re-drafted every eight years since its first enactment in 1984.

My involvement in EU-China co-operation took place with the implementation of the IPR2 Project between 2008 and 2011. Strengthened by a National IP strategy that was driving domestic innovation, co-operation with Chinese authorities in the field of intellectual property proved both effective and productive.

The identification and adoption of co-operation objectives and the growing realisation that progress could be rapidly achieved in the course of the project, made the IPR2 experience extremely rewarding for relations between the two parties.

On the 10th anniversary of the EU-China IP dialogue, it is my wish that Europe and China continue to work together in a way that is best described as pioneering. I sincerely hope that we will always continue to identify common objectives and achieve them through joint solutions.  

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Manuel Desantes
Manuel Desantes Real
Professor of Law, University of Alicante (Spain)

Working together. Learning together. Moving forward together. China and the European Union should definitely be very proud of more than forty years of closer and closer relationship on a subject which has proven to be crucial for the knowledge society: Intellectual Property.

I've had the pleasure to witness such  development since almost twenty years ago, mostly focused on the evolution of the strategic alliance between the European Patent Office and the State Intellectual Property Office. No doubt this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of both my professional and personal life. Be honoured as an old friend by so many former and present colleagues all around this huge continent, China, is one of the most wonderful gifts i've ever enjoyed.

Visioners from both Europe and China understood long time ago that a step by step strategic approach meant moving forward from assistance to cooperation, and from cooperation to partnership. Their names -hundreds- are not forgotten, and it is time today to honour them. Their personal commitment -human beings are always behind institutional achievements- managed to convert a unilateral assistance policy -training, tools, drafting legislation, procedures, standards, examination guidelines- into first an actual cooperation framework -win win, quid pro quo, equal to equal, mutual respect, full trust- and, second, a deep and mature partnership where a holistic vision of Intellectual Property -patents, trade marks, designs, copyrights, enforcement, intangible assets- is perceived as an essential tool for fostering innovation in both regions, and all over the world.

Yet, as strategies merit long term visions and fruits only arrive after many years of investments, the most valuable results are still to come. Therefore, that's my dream for the future: Europe and China will continue deeping their partnership on Intellectual Property and Innovation for the benefit of next generations of citizens all over the world.

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Paul Ranjard
Paul Ranjard
Of Counsel, Wanhuida, Vice Chair EUCCC IPR working group

I moved to China in 1997 when the protection of IPR was already a major issue.

I remember the Chief Justice of the IP tribunal of the Supreme People's Court saying :"stop complaining about Chinese counterfeiters, sue them !". And he was right. Before complaining about a system, it is necessary to study and touse the system. Then, and only then, is it possible to make comments, suggestions or even complaints.

This is why the EU China IPR Dialogue and Working Group were created: to allow both sides to learn and exchange views about their respective IPR legislation and enforcement systems.

The first meetings were … rather cold. Progressively, both sides learned to relax and to accept debating. Some fundamental issues were discussed in separate meetings and special activities, organised with the help of the EU China Cooperation Program (IPR2, and then IP Key).

Dialogues can be very productive, provided that both sides agree that only fools never changes their mind.

The Dialogue and IPR Working Group, with the help of IP Key, have found their rhythm, annual or bi-annual meetings, with in between follow-up meetings, where discussions can go into detail, without the constraints of time. 

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Olav Stokkmo
Olav Stokkmo
Chief Executive Officer of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations

Authors’ rights and Copyright are a fundamental human right. Collective management contributes to making these rights work – for everybody. IFRRO is the principal network for collective management and author and publisher organisations in print and publishing, providing reliable information on solutions for seamless access to the world’s cumulative knowledge. Since 2006, IFRRO has collaborated with EU institutions and the Chinese government and IP authorities in the EU-China IP dialogue, to strengthen the protection of Authors’ rights and Copyright, thus enabling the creative sector to contribute to the creation of wealth, employment, economic growth and cultural diversity. The cooperation has focused, in particular, on the building of successful structures for collective rights management, including support allowing IFRRO’s two Chinese member organisations, CWWCS and MCSC, to develop. It has included training, conferences and seminars, study visits, law assessment, and lecturing at universities. We are looking forward to continuing the cooperation in the years to come, and to developing further solutions for seamless access to copyright works and collective management when direct licensing is not practicable, through appropriate legislation, capacity building, and awareness raising. The motto for our efforts will continue to be ‘A world that values knowledge and culture values its creators’.

Gadi Oron
Gadi Oron
Director General of International Confederation of Authors and Composers (CISAC)

On behalf of its members and the four million creators they represent, CISAC, the International Confederation of Authors and Composers, congratulates the EU-China IP Dialogue Mechanism on a decade of success.  Over the past 10 years, the European Commission has worked closely with the Chinese Government through this useful protocol, endeavoring to explore the most suitable ways to deal with important IP issues.  In particular, CISAC treasures the occasions it was afforded to participate in the EU-China IPR Working Group meeting to put forth suggestions on copyright matters.  CISAC is grateful for this invaluable opportunity.  We also look forward to providing more input to future Working Group meetings with the view of strengthening the copyright protection of creators. 

Simon Cheetham
Simon Cheetham
Team Leader, EU-China IPR SME Helpdesk

10 years might be considered a rather short period in the development of a legal system, but by reading through the key milestones of the EU-China IP Dialogue, I can’t help but feel impressed with the extent of cooperation and achievement this mechanism has brought since its first meeting in 2005.

The China IPR SME Helpdesk was launched in 2008, three years after the first EU-China IP Working Group meeting took place. The project was founded on the realisation of a need to inform European business actors about the IP environment and the protection strategies and tools available to them in China. I’m delighted to have witnessed the fruits of the regular EU-China Dialogue and see the positive impact it has brought to European companies. This advancement has been exemplified in the launch of the12312 IP hotline, enhanced Customs Cooperation, the establishment of specialised IP Courts in core jurisdictions, and the launch of the IP Key project in 2014.

The China IPR SME Helpdesk will continue to operate in the spirit of joint action and progression, embodied by the extension of invitations to Chinese companies for joint consultations with their European counterparts, provision of advice in Mandarin Chinese for domestic staff, and continued support of the EU-China IP Dialogue at ‘grass roots’ level.

I welcome the upcoming series of activities that will take place in Europe and China throughout this remarkable year and look forward to the positive developments it will bring for future EU-China IP cooperation.

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Alain Strowel
Alain Strowel
Professor, Université catholique de Louvain


In this video, Professor Alain Strowel talks about the importance of the EU-China Intellectual Property Dialogue.