The purpose of this contract is to select suitable long term expertise in Intellectual Property (2 long-term experts with experience in the EU and knowledge of the Chinese IP system), Stakeholders' management (1 long-term expert with experience in working with the main local project's partners) and Support staff (2 long-term experts fluent in Chinese and able to communicate in English) that, from Beijing, will complement the EUIPO team in charge of implementing the project. The scope of the contract is limited to the provision of long-term expertise, other costs (e.g. for setting up the office and implementing the activites) are excluded.
The IP Key China Action is co-funded by the European Commission and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
The implementation period of the project is 36 months starting, according to currently available information, in September 2022. However, it is to be noted that, some of the expertise sought might be requested to contribute to closure activities (up to 3 months after the end of the project's implementation period), if this is the case the contracting authority will inform the selected contractor in writing during the last year of implementation.
Rationale and expected results.
EU trade relations with China are both particularly important, the country being among the top three international partners for trade in goods with the EU in 2020, and complex, with a multitude of issues EU stakeholders face in China. China’s economy is not only developing at a quite significant pace but still has to find the right balance between the state and the market.
At international level, its historical protectionist attitude that remains relevant in some rapidly developing strategic sectors, coupled with the unparalleled scale of its internal market, could represent a problem for EU industries’ competitiveness in the near future. It is therefore a crucial moment to promote and support the China’s integration into (and respect of) the international economic legal system, especially in the field of intellectual property rights that are key assets in sectors of importance now and that are likely to remain so in the future.
In the last couple of years, the country, with the view of furthering and consolidating its achievements, has updated and fine-tuned practically all applicable legislation to facilitate intellectual property registration, achieve institutional rationalisation, reinforce the protection of intellectual property rights and align with international treaties and best practices in the field. However, efforts in the definition of the regulatory and procedural framework necessary to constistently put the recent reforms in practice are still on-going.
Moreover, China remains the European Union's (EU) priority and focus of attention on IPR infringements. According to the Report on the EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights, in 2019 China (including Hong Kong) was the country of provenance of as much as 80% of IPR infringing goods detained at the EU borders when considered by value. Additionally, it represented the source of 90% of the IPR infringing goods seized while entering the EU via the postal services (so-called small parcels).
Within this framework, the project's expected results are as follows:
1. Improved convergence of China towards EU and international standards in IPR protection and the development of best practices.
2. Better transparency and more 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
3. Increased political and public awareness of the importance of IPR protection, including through academia.