Directed by the European Commission, IP Key China is implemented by the EUIPO and co-funded by the EU Partnership Instrument.
Its launch statement says:
IP Key China aims to facilitate economic exchanges, trade and investment between EU and China, while developing a level playing field as regards Intellectual Property (IP) protection.
IP Key will provide support to EU firms seeking to make inroads into the Chinese market or already doing business in China through a range of activities.
Overall, the project is designed to strengthen intellectual property enforcement and protection and raise awareness about its importance as a driver of economic growth.
Through close cooperation with Chinese stakeholders and the involvement of industry, academia, enforcement and judicial authorities, the IP Key China project will support the bilateral dialogue on IP through a broad range of activities that will:
- cover the full intellectual property lifecycle;
- encompass a wide spectrum of IP rights; patents, trade marks, designs, geographical indications, copyright, trade secrets and plant varieties;
- focus on IP enforcement, collaborating with enforcers to train Chinese judges dealing with intellectual property matters;
- provide and extend access to online IP search database to increase the global transparency of IP Rights.
The launch event organised at the Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao was attended by Mr Chen Fuli, Director General of China’s Ministry of Commerce, John Clark, Director at the European Commission, and Christian Archambeau, EUIPO Deputy Executive Director, among other stakeholders.
The IP Key team will consist of seven Beijing-based technical experts and assistants, supported by a team in EUIPO’s headquarters in Alicante, Spain. The core team will be supported by short term experts from other organisations and bodies dealing with IP, including the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the national administrations of the EU Member States, as well as private practitioners and EUIPO´s own experts.
One of the first goals of IP Key China – and a priority for EUIPO – is the integration of China into TMView, the world’s largest free trade mark search database, which already offers instant access to over 40 million trade marks from the registers participating offices around the globe.
The IP Key China project builds on a previous four-year project, which carried out over 250 activities with Chinese and EU stakeholders, industry, academia and students and a wide range of stakeholder groups.
The project had a number of deliverables, including, notably, the fact that over 4 million Chinese industrial designs were made available through DesignView. China also joined TMclass, the free online trade mark classification database.
Other EU-funded international cooperation projects include IPC-EUI (India, concludes March 2018), and Arise + IPR (ASEAN, signed in 2017). A technical study visit for ASEAN IP offices and ASEC took place in Alicante on 4 to 7 December 2017, with 21 participants.