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Q & A

Differences between the TRIPS Agreement and China’s Unfair Competition Law

  • TIME: 2013-05-02 16:29:15
  • HIT: 6702

Although Article 10 of China’s Unfair Competition Law is derived from the TRIPS Agreement, there are two noticeable differences between the two.

The first difference is in the language. China’s Unfair Competition Law uses the term "trade secret" while the TRIPS Agreement uses the term "undisclosed information." The difference is reconcilable in the fact that the terms share the same definition.

The second difference is that although there is a requirement in the TRIPS Agreement that government staff have a confidentiality obligation for secret information that the owner submits to them, there is no such requirement in China’s Unfair Competition Law of China. Article 39 of the TRIPS Agreement provides that:

"Members, when requiring, as a condition of approving the marketing of pharmaceutical or of agricultural chemical products which utilize new chemical entities, the submission of undisclosed test or other data, the origination of which involves a considerable effort, shall protect such data against unfair commercial use. In addition, Members shall protect such data against disclosure, except where necessary to protect the public or unless steps are taken to ensure that the data are protected against unfair commercial use."