In follow up to the Notice of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) on Deepening the “Blue Sky” Action and Promoting the Healthy Development of the Intellectual Property Service Industry (国家知识产权局办公室关于深化“蓝天”行动 促进知识产权服务业健康发展的通知) issued May 8, 2020, the CNIPA is now publicizing that local Intellectual Property Offices have fined 56 Chinese patent firms a collective 2,455,067 RMB for operating while unlicensed. The patent firms are located in Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi, Jilin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Hubei, and Guangdong. Fines usually included confiscation of illegal income and/or a penalty equal to a multiple of the illegal income.
The Blue Sky campaign has the following goals: cracking down on unlicensed patent agents and agencies (e.g., this announcement); continue to increase efforts to combat malicious trademark agency behavior (e.g., prior enforcement actions against trademark agencies for attempting to register coronavirus-related trademarks); actively guide network platforms to conduct intellectual property services in accordance with the law (e.g., intellectual property transfer pricing and information disclosure, etc.); continue to rectify illegal activities such as soliciting business by improper means; give full play to the role of information disclosure and credit supervision mechanisms (e.g., establish a patent agency information system that the public can search); and effectively strengthen industry self-discipline (e.g., via industry self-discipline standards).
The full list of sanctioned Chinese patent agencies can be found here (Chinese only).