The USPTO and the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government in the People’s Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a general framework for future cooperation in the area of intellectual property (IP). This is the first time that the USPTO has entered into an agreement with a provincial government of the People’s Republic of China. The agreement is consistent with the goal of the USPTO’s strategic plan for 2010-2015, i.e., “providing domestic and global leadership to improve intellectual property policy, protection and enforcement.” USPTO Director David Kappos and Zhi-Jun Luo, Chairman of the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Congress, signed the MOU on July 20, 2011. The signing ceremony was attended by USPTO Deputy Director Teresa Rea, Commissioner for Patents Robert Stoll, Deputy Administrator for Policy and External Affairs Jasemine Chambers, and delegates from the Jiangsu Province.
In recent years, trade and economic activities between the U.S. and China have continued to grow, and the U.S. business community faces ongoing significant challenges in the areas of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. Because U.S. patent filings from China are also predicted to escalate in the next decade, one of the major priorities in global policy for the USPTO is to engage and cooperate with China’s national and provincial governments. To address these challenges, the Office of Policy and External Affairs (OPEA) of the USPTO established a team of IP attorneys and China experts (the “China team”). The China team focuses on bilateral and multilateral IPR issues involving China. The team provides assistance to Director Kappos in formulating policies within the IPR working group of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), advises other U.S. government agencies on IPR matters in China, and engages with the Chinese government on cooperative activities including joint IPR training workshops.