On November 15, 2020, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and ten ASEAN countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).The RCEP Agreement consists of a preamble, 20 Chapters, and 4 Annexes to the market access commitments table. The intellectual property chapter is Chapter 11 and contains 83 Articles and 2 Annexes on transitional arrangements and technical assistance, which is the most extensive and longest chapter of the RCEP Agreement and the most comprehensive intellectual property chapter incorporated in the FTAs signed by China to date. In 2021, 10 countries, including China, have formally submitted their approvals and the RCEP Agreement has reached the threshold for entry into force and will enter into force from January 1, 2022.
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to and comprehensively deployed the implementation of the entry into force of the RCEP Agreement, and established a list of obligations under the RCEP Agreement, including a total of 60 binding obligations and 25 encouraging obligations involving the functions of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), including patents, appearance designs, trademarks, geographical indications, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore.
At present, CNIPA has systematically sorted out the relevant obligations, formed a plan for the internal division of labour for the list of obligations under the RCEP Agreement, identified the responsible departments for each obligation, clarified the implementation measures, the form of results and the time schedule, and made preparations for the implementation of the obligations involving its functions.. After the entry into force of RCEP Agreement, CNIPA will make good efforts to implement the work with high quality in line with the unified arrangement of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.(Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version)