China launches national pilot scheme of innovative trade secret protection

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on March 7 announced a national pilot scheme of innovative trade secret protection on its official website.


According to the top regulator’s statement, 15 to 20 city-level and county-level administrative units across the country will be selected as test areas where innovative trade secret enforcement and protection will be exercised for the duration of 3 years. Any Chinese local govenment is eligible to apply for the status as a test area to be conferred on the administrative unit it governs. The selection will be conducted by a panel of experts appointed by the SAMR and the results will be announced in June. The selected cities and counties will begin to function as pilot units since July and be required to make performance reports to the SAMR every June and December in the following 3 years.


The 3rd amendments to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People’s Republic of China (《中华人民共和国反不正当竞争法》) became effective in 2019. The full burden of proof has been shifted from plaintiffs to defendants and the thresholds for criminal enforcement have been lowered in the updated law. The new provisions have massively alleviated the challenge of bringing trade secret misappropriation infringers in China.


The full text is available here.