Boutique International Law Firm Specialized in IP, TMT/IT, Corporate & Trade

MMLC Group

MMLC Group
Level 19, Waterfront Place
1 Eagle Street

Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Phone+61 7 33600247
Fax +61 7 33600222

Website www.mmlcgroup.com
E-mail  Contact Mr Matthew Murphy

Other Offices: Beijing  

Law Firm Overview

MMLC Group is a leading group of international lawyers and consultants. It is a multidisciplinary practice helping many of the world's great companies to do business in China and Australasia. MMLC's attorneys and consultants work in the areas of intellectual property, TMT and IT, international trade, anti-trust, M&A, foreign investment, environment, government relations, business development and support, due diligence, labor, foreign exchange and taxation. The MMLC Group practices Chinese law through its local law firm, Beijing MMLC.

Our people are active in important inter-government negotiations, policy development and implementation, having outstanding experience in government, auto, agribusiness, information technology, retail, textiles, life sciences and pharmaceuticals fields. MMLC is a self-styled acronym for Management, Markets and Legal Consulting Group. It summarizes our business, being multi-disciplinary in nature, as well as what we believe in for making us better lawyers and corporate advisors.

We believe that having lawyers involved in business and commercial decision making, makes them better lawyers. We believe that having our business consultants involved in legal analysis and process, makes them better able to conceptualize the legal issues involved in making the best and most informed business decisions.

Year this Office was Established: 2002

Languages: Mandarin; English.

Areas of Law


Additional Areas of Law: Industrial Designs; Plant Varieties; Integrated Circuits; Employment Contract; Business Support.


Areas of Law Description

The MMLC Group offers legal services on the following practice areas:

- Business Transactions

Our business transactions practice covers complex international mergers and acquisitions, tax planning, corporate finance, franchising and IP commercialization transactions, foreign direct investment advisory, restructuring, anti-trust and competition law, Asian labor relations and consumer protection. We have acted in some of the most complex commercial transactions in Asia in recent times, in the capacity of market consultants, legal advisers or deal facilitators.

- Intellectual Property and TMT

Our IP and TMT practice covers contentious and non-contentious issues relating to trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyright, industrial designs, passing off/unfair competition, plant varieties and integrated circuits. We work with clients to properly and cost-effectively secure, protect and enforce their IP rights in China, Australia and globally. We act for some of the world's most well known companies in relation to IP rights, as well as counsel government regulators and industry groups.

- Commercial and Tax

Our commercial and tax practice covers a broad range of areas that most companies in China need to deal with for the ongoing success of their business. We work on supply and development agreements, franchise and licensing arrangements, dispute resolution and finance related matters, on a daily basis. Our employment practice has received national recognition in 2006 and 2007, assisting the PRC government in writing its ground breaking Employment Contract Law. Our direct and indirect taxation practice is extremely active, in which we have assisted many of the world's leading companies to develop and implement sound tax minimization strategies.

- Business Support

Our business support group actively assists our clients in all aspects of their business in China, including timely accurate translations, management of China based entities including accounting and tax filings, industry research and analysis work, and business intelligence advisory.

- Investment Services

Our market leading international investment services team provides innovative advisory services in relation to mergers and acquisitions, government relations, business development, quality assurance and risk management. Our investment services clients range from government groups to local and international companies looking to develop their investments in China, Asia or globally. Our investment services team cost-effectively manages many of our clients' investments in China - the MMLC Group provides management and support services for many well known trading companies, wholly foreign-owned entities, representative offices and joint ventures.



Partners

Mr. Matthew A. Murphy
Lawyer
Business Law, Corporate Law, Entertainment Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property

  

Affiliations

  • The Queensland Law Society
  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • International Trademarks Association
  • All China Lawyers Association

More Information on MMLC Group

Practice Areas of MMLC Group
MMLC Group Team
Awards Received by MMLC Group
Offices

Articles Published by MMLC Group

 China's Patent Law and the Pharmaceutical Industry

This article is aimed at introducing some important provisions of the PRC Patent Law that pharmaceutical companies need to be aware of when making or selling their drugs in China.

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 China Decides to Establish Intellectual Property Rights Courts

There has been a recent decision issued in China, regarding the establishment of dedicated IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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 Chinese Trademark Office Issues Announcement on Multi-Class Trademark Applications

There are various clarifications made by the Chinese Trademark Office in relation to the filing and prosecution of multi-class trademark applications in China.

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 China Improves Enterprise Information Access

Recent progress of enactment and establishment relating to the publicity of enterprise credibility information in order to cooperate with the implementation of the latest amended Company Law.

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 China Trademark Law - Non-use Cancellation Actions

Almost all the jurisdictions allow non-use cancellation actions. Most of them, for example Austria, Argentina, Egypt, Italy, etc, allow challenging trademark registration on non-use grounds where the trademark has not been used for five consecutive years. A five-year non-use grace period exists in practically all European countries. Whist some other jurisdictions provide for a shorter non-use grace period – of three consecutive years, such as China, USA etc.

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 China's SAIC Looks at Abuses of IP Rights to Eliminate or Restrict Competition

On June 11, 2014, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) published a draft of Rules of the Administration for Industry and Commerce on Prohibition of Abusing Intellectual Property Rights to Eliminate or Restrict Competition (“the drafted Rules”) to solicit public opinions.

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 A Digest of National Development and Reform Commission Antitrust Cases To Date

This article provides a useful digest of many of the NDRC antitrust cases announced/decided to 14 August 2014.

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 New Chinese Provisions on Well-Known Trademarks Become Effective

Examining the new Chinese regulations that deal with the determination of well-known trademarks. The new regulations are a welcome development and brings China into line with many more developed nations.

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 Antitrust Investigations in China

A series of anti-trust investigations intensively initiated by the Price Supervision and Anti-Trust Bureau of National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC Anti-Trust Bureau”) since last year, has brought a lot of attention to this Chinese anti-trust law enforcement authority. This article is aimed at introducing the NDRC Anti-Trust Bureau via a decided case.

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 China Taxation - New VAT Rate For Biological Products

This article looks at the reasons behind the newly announced reduction in VAT for biological products by the Chinese government.

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 SAFE Issues New Regulations on Cross-Border Security

On May 12, State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”) issued Regulations on Cross-Border Security as well as its Implementation Guidelines (the “Regulations”). The Regulations has become effective on June 1.

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 China's MOFCOM Rejects Maersk's P3 Alliance

This article looks at the recent decision by MOFCOM regarding Maersk's P3 Alliance, being only the second case ever where MOFCOM has refused approval. The implications of this decision need to be kept in mind by parties with large market shares, looking at entering into M&A transactions or cooperative ventures, affecting China.

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 China's Plant Variety Rights Legislation

The coverage provided by China's Plant Variety Rights Law and associated regulations.

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 Key Changes to China Trademark Law and Practice

From 1 May 2014, the new China trademark law will commence operation. The new law differs in key aspects to the old law, and trademark registration practice will also differ greatly. This article looks at the key changes that all trademark lawyers and owners need to be aware of.

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 China's New Company Incorporation Rules

This article looks at China's plans for removal of the registered capital system for incorporating local and foreign companies in China, as well as other company incorporation changes that are due to be implemented in early 2014.

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 Corporate Defamation in China - New Judicial Interpretation of China’s Supreme Court

China’s Supreme People’s Court held a press conference on 9 September 2013 to issue the Judicial Interpretation of China’s Supreme Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate about Several Questions on the Application of Law in Trial of Defamation Via Information Network. The judicial Interpretation has come into effect on 10 September, 2013.

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 The Protection of Trade Secrets in China

Trade secrets have long been recognized as a valuable tool in competing with local and foreign companies. Key to maintaining the value of trade secrets, is a strong local regulatory regime. Despite many comments to the contrary, China has a strong legal system in place regarding the protection of trade secrets, with relevant provisions and enforcement paths being found in the PRC Law Against Unfair Competition, PRC Criminal Law, and PRC Contract Law.

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 Chinese Patent Disputes - Latest Cases

With the sharp increase of the number of patent applications in China, the number of patent disputes is also increasing – according to various announcements of statistics, more than 100 cases have been reviewed by Beijing Higher People’s Court in the first half of 2013. We will briefly analyze four typical and noteworthy recent patent dispute cases in this article.

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 Parallel Imports and Chinese Trademark Law

This article looks at two recent cases involving Article 52 of the PRC Trademark Law and its application to parallel imports. Although the laws in China are not settled in this area, we are starting to see a flexible approach being adopted by the courts and administrative authorities when dealing with parallel import infringement claims by a registered trademark owner.

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 Latest Draft Amendments to China's Trademark Law

This article looks at the most recently issued draft of the new PRC Trademark Law, and highlights a number of concerns for brand owners.

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 Chinese Intellectual Property Aspects of 3D Printing

3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid objects of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, whereby successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes by a printing machine. 3D printing is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).

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 China Employment Law

This article provides a summary of the most important laws in China governing the relationship between an employer and an employee. The discussions apply to wholly foreign-owned entities, local domestically owned entities, as well as the employment of foreigners and locals.

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 Zippo Recognised as a Well-Known Trademark in China

This article looks at Zippo's recent trademark litigation action and the recognition of ZIPPO as a well-known trademark in China, by the Zhejiang High Court.

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 Approval of M&A Transactions by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce - 2012 Annual Review

This article reviews the activities of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Anti-Monopoly Bureau, in reviewing applications for approval for M&A transactions under the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law, over the last 12 months.

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 Invalidation of Neoplan's Chinese Design Patent - Patent Litigation in the Middle Kingdom

This article summarises the 6 years of design patent litigation between Neoplan and Zhongda, two heavy weights in bus manufacturing. Readers will see that it is vital for manufacturers and designers to protect the confidentiality of their designs prior to the filing of design patent applications in China and elsewhere.

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 China - A Primer on Major Indirect Taxes for Foreign Enterprises

Foreign investors need to understand China's indirect taxes, especially its withholding taxes and VAT reforms. China relies greatly on these for its revenue base, thus enforcement of these taxes is strict. This article reviews these indirect taxes and identified major current issues.

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 The Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in China

This article looks at the issues associated with the enforcement of arbitral awards from the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, in the People's Republic of China. Arbitration can be an effective mechanism to resolve civil and commercial disputes. Many choose to use arbitration as it is confidential in nature, possibly more predictable and manageable.

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 The Registration and Enforcement of Three-Dimensional Shape Marks in China

China began to allow for the registration of three-dimensional (3D) marks when the new Trademark Law was passed in 2001. Unfortunately, the Chinese Trademark Office (CTO) has been very strict when examining these sorts of applications, so only a few have registered. Some recent cases will change this ...

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 Cancellation of a Registered Trademark for Non-Use - China

Trademark owners are reminded that any person can apply to the Chinese Trademark Office, to cancel their a trademark registration on the grounds that it has not been used at all for three consecutive years. This article looks at how the relevant provisions of the law in this area is applied in China by the courts, and what can constitute "use" for the purposes of defending any action for cancellation.

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 China's Competition Law - New Regulatory and Policy Developments

China’s Anti-monopoly Law took effect on 1 August 2008. During the last four years, over 400 business transactions have been reviewed under this law, including most of the world’s largest international transactions. This article looks at some of the major developments in this area of Chinese law, from a regulatory and policy perspective.

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 Shanghai High Court Removes Safe Harbour Defences for Chinese Online Shopping Malls

China has the world's largest internet population and by 2015, it may also have the greatest number of online shoppers. New developments in e-commerce bring the issue of intellectual property infringement and the liability of e-commerce operators to light. The E-land v. Taobao case in China removed the defense of the "Safe Harbor Principle" for the first time for online shopping mall operators, and should serve as a grave warning to these operators in China.

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 New Competition Regulation Aimed at M&A Transactions Commences

This article looks at the long awaited regulation that outlines penalties for non-compliance with transactional approval aspects of the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law. This new regulation commenced on 1 February 2012.

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 Damages in Trademark Infringement Cases

This article looks at how damages are awarded in Chinese trademark infringement cases. The principle regulations on trademark infringement damages in China are in Trademark Law of People’s Republic of China (the Trademark Law). Article 56 of the Trademark Law (Article 56) provides two methods on how to calculate the damages in trademark infringement cases.

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 Chinese Antitrust Law

This article looks at the makeup of the Chinese antitrust authority, its development and its case history. Establishment of Anti-Monopoly Bureau: The Chinese Anti-Monopoly Bureau was formally established within the Ministry of Commerce (‘MOFCOM’) in September 2008 under Notice on the Establishment of the Anti-Monopoly Bureau. It replaced the previous Antitrust Investigation Office under the Law and Treaty Bureau of MOFCOM.

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 China and Well-Known Trademark Protection

This article looks at the development of the legislation and policies regarding the recognition and protection of well-known trademarks in China.

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 Court Actions for Intellectual Property Infringement in China

This article looks at the options for proceeding with IP infringement claims in China, with an emphasis on court action, procedural issues, and recent damages awards provided by Chinese courts.

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 China's Anti-Monopoly Law Regime

This article looks at the development of antitrust/anti-monopoly/competition law in China, and provides an analysis of the various regulations involved and the government departments involves in enforcing these regulations in China.

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 China's Construction Laws

This article looks at the main regulators and laws involved in carrying out construction projects in China. It also provides some useful tips for project owners to keep in mind when dealing with construction projects in China.

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 China's Latest Draft of its New Trademark Law

This article looks at the latest draft of China's proposed new trademark law, focusing on some of the major changes to trademark law practice that this draft intends to make. Many commentators expect this draft to become law in early 2012.

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 China’s Ministry of Commerce Commences Its Review of Nestlé’s Acquisition of Hsu Fu Chi

This article looks at the Chinese competition law issues associated with the recently announced acquisition of China's Hsu Fu Chi, by Nestlé’s. Some are concerned that the transaction may not be approved by China's Ministry of Commerce on competition grounds, given its apparent similarities to the failed Coca-Cola/Huiyuan transaction.

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 China Law Update - September 2011

This update looks at major recent developments in legal and business issues in China.

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 Australian Law Update - August 2011

This update looks at the recent Federal Court decision in the Centro case, which discusses directors' duties; as well as recent developments in IP, competition law, tax and property law, in Australia.

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 China Update - August/September 2011

The latest issue of our China Update looks at some major developments in IP, equity contributions, competition law and tax issues affecting China. It also highlights some interesting business developments that should capture the attention of China watchers.

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 Patent Licensing Contract Recordal in China

Patent licensing is one of the most effective ways to maximize returns on R&D investments. When licensing technology to licensees in China, it is vital for patent owners to ensure compliance with the relevant regulations concerning recordal obligations and royalty remittance rules. This article reviews the current obligations for license recordals under the Chinese patent law and regulations, and the technology import and export regulations.

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 Reporting and Policing Internet Crimes in China

Internet-related crimes are covered by a number of regulations in China and are becoming increasingly important as e-commerce develops in China. This article looks at the Chinese regulatory authorities that are in charge of investigating Internet-related crimes.

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 China's Seed Industry

This article looks at the major legal issues associated with China's seed industry, as well as provides a snapshot of the main Chinese entities and government departments that are involved in the seed industry.

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 Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in China

This article looks out a number of issues associated with the enforcement of foreign decisions of courts and arbitrators, in China.

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 Legal Issues Associated with Cloud Computing in China

This article looks at some of the Chinese regulations that are most relevant to cloud computing in China. It is hoped that more comprehensive data privacy laws will receive attention in China in the near future.

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 China’s Commercial Vehicle Industry - A Snapshot

China's automotive industry has grown nearly 2,000% in the past 20 years to a whopping 13.6 million total autos sold in 2009—surpassing the US to become the world's number one auto market.

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 Privacy Protection in China – Latest Developments

This article looks at the various laws and regulations that can be used to protect privacy in China. It goes on to analyze a recent court decision regarding Article 253 of the PRC Criminal Law, which has expanded the scope of this provision for the benefit of privacy.

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 Mergers and Acquisitions by Foreign Entities in China

Since China's adoption of the “Open Door” policy and entry into the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’), merger and acquisition activities in China have become an increasingly attractive alternative to foreign investors as compared to foreign direct investment. This article gives an overview of the laws and regulations governing mergers and acquisitions by foreign entities in China.

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 Employee Inventor Rights Under the New Chinese Patent Regulations

The State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued the new Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Patent Law (the Detailed Rules) on January 9, 2010. The amended Detailed Rules causes some changes regarding the legal rights of service invention employees.

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 China’s New Tax Treatment for Royalties

The China State Administration of Taxation ("SAT") issued Circular Guoshuihan [2009] No.507 “Notice of the State Administration of Taxation about the Issues Relevant to the Execution of the Royalty Clauses of Tax Treaties” (“Circular 507”) on 14 September 2009 clarifying some issues on implementation of the Royalty Clauses under the tax treaties between the PRC and various countries. This article reviews the major issues of that Circular.

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 China's Animal Feed Industry

This article looks at the key players in this industry, as well as summarizes the major regulations applying to this industry. It is a snapshot.

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 China's Solar Power Industry - Regulations and Economics

This article looks at the main players in China's fledgling solar power industry, and the key regulations and government policies affecting the development of the industry.

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 Non-Compete Agreements under Chinese Law

This article looks at how non-compete agreements and arrangements are regulated under Chinese law.

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 Passing Off in China - A Review of Recent Cases Decided under Article 5 of the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law

The PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law has become a powerful weapon for dealing with unfair and corrupt business practices. This article focused on the intellectual property protections aspects of this law. Article 5 of this law is akin to the common law action for passing off, but could be seen as being broader and more flexible.

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 China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau - Decision to Approve HP’s Acquisition of 3Com

HP and 3Com Corporation (3Com) announced in November 2009 that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase 3Com, a leading provider of networking switching, routing and security solutions, at a price of $7.90 per share in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $2.7 billion. The Chinese government approved this transaction in early April 2010.

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 Tort Law in China - China's New Tort Law

A welcome development, has been the enactment of a new tort law in China in early 2010. This law has the potential to change the legal landscape in China in relation to negligence claims, IP infringement matters and labor matters.

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 An Introduction to China's Biotech Industry

China has just seen double-digit growth in its biotechnology industry and has gone from being one of the slowest to one of the fastest nations in the adoption of new biotechnologies. By 2010, the Chinese biotech market is projected to reach US$9 billion. This article gives a snapshot of the industry and major laws.

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 China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau Approves the Pfizer-Wyeth Transaction

On 29 September 2009, China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) published another decision from its fledgling Anti-Monopoly Bureau (“AMB”), this time concerning the acquisition of Wyeth by US drug heavy-weight, Pfizer. Approval was granted to the transaction, ahead of approval from the US Federal Trade Commission, Australian ACCC and the Canadian Competition authority.

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 Foreign Investment in Securities in China

The Chinese securities market is a hot area for foreign investment. Currently, China has opened the B-share market to foreign investors, and begun to open the A-share market to qualified foreign institutional investors, which means China has opened its domestic stock market to foreign capital. In terms of securities firms, China is beginning to widen market access to foreign capital.

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 Continuing Disclosure Obligations and Chinese Contracts – Beware

In late May 2009, the Justicw John Gilmour of the Federal Court of Australia, reserved his decision in the case brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”) against billionaire, Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest of Fortescue Metals Group. This article looks at the precarious nature of contracting with a Chinese entity and the care that must be shown, when issuing public announcements.

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 Trademark Registration Appeals in China

This article looks at the rules to follow when filing appeals in trademark prosecution actions in China. It looks at practical steps for filing appeals to the TRAB and to a court.

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 Patent Litigation in China

A recent decision by a Chinese court, making Scheider Electric pay tens of millions of dollars in damages to a Chinese patent holder, must be seen as a wake up call for any one doing business in China. China's patent laws need to be considered when doing business in China and failure to do so, can lead to disastrous consequences.

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 Another Interesting Competition Law from China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau

On 24 April 2009, China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) published yet another controversial decision from its fledgling Anti-Monopoly Bureau (“AMB”) concerning the acquisition of British owned chemical producer, Lucite, by Mitsubishi Rayon. Approval was granted to the transaction, following approvals from every other competition bureau around the world, however that approval was made subject to some controversial conditions.

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 China’s New Anti-Monopoly Law – An Analysis of Recent Decisions Regarding Foreign Investment and Trade

This article analyses the new Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law, and recent decisions in international M&A transactions under this law - including the Inev/Anheuser Busch transaction, the Coca Cola/Huiyuan transaction and the Mitsubishi Rayon/Lucite transaction. This article also suggests steps that can be taken to maximise chances of approval being obtained from the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Bureau in M&A transactions requiring approval.

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 Global Policing Strategies - China Analysis

This article looks at policing of IP rights in China, with a particular focus on trademark rights. It examines some of the special policing measures available in China.

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 Virtual Property in Greater China

This article looks at the legally complex area of virtual property ownership in Greater China. It is the writer’s view that new laws need to be developed to recognize and cope with the virtual property, noting that some regions in Greater China have been willing to do this already.

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 Intellectual Property in the Employer and Employee Relationship in China

This article provides an overview of current laws and regulations in connection with intellectual property ownership of inventions developed by an employee within the scope of employment in China. It also refers to similar developments under the new Patent Law, which is due to be enacted in 2009.

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 Data Protection and Privacy Issues in China

Privacy rights have been available to Chinese citizens under the Constitution and other legal regulations since the 1980's. However, due to the size and strength of government, as well as a general reluctance in the past to litigate, the laws have not been tested to a great extent. The legislature is in the process of developing broader privacy rights under a Civil Code.

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