Founded in 1992, Dacheng Law Offices ( Dacheng) is one of the first and largest partnership law firms in China.
From 2004, Dacheng has developed towards large-scale, standardization, professionalization， branding and internationalization, committing to exploring and reforming in the transition from individual job to the team work.
Dacheng Law Offices is home to more than 4,000 licensed attorneys worldwide. Headquartered in Beijing, Dacheng has established not only a national network but also an extensive global legal services network covering the significant cities all over the world.
Its well-designed online network management platform enables Dacheng to share integrated legal services and resources including project information, specialized knowledge, business experience, professional talents and social relations with both its home and overseas institutions on a global basis.
During the winter holiday，we were honored to attend a trial on environment issue and got acquainted with Mr. Licheng Lin, a lawyer from Dacheng Law Office in Beijing. We introduced our project to him and raised several legal questions concerning environmental protection, then he invited us to visit his office and answered our questions with great patience. Mr.Lin’s reply enabled us to have a deeper understanding of legal provisions about environment protection, and we really appreciate his support and help.
Questions and AnswersQ&A
- 1. Has China promulgated any laws related to the plastic pollution currently?
No. Now we only have the Environmental Protection Law of the People''s Republic of China, which came into official enforcement as of January 1, 2015. It is the cardinal law for environmental protection in China. This Law is formulated for the purpose of protecting and improving people's environment and the ecological environment, preventing and controlling pollution and other public hazards, safeguarding human health and facilitating the development of socialist modernization. It shows that our nation shall encourage the development of education in the science of environmental protection, aim to strengthen the study and development of the science and technology of environmental protection, and raise the scientific and technological level of environmental protection and popularize scientific knowledge of environmental protection.
- 2. What result has been achieved by enforcing relevant laws and regulations?
With the introduction and enforcement of the environmental protection law, our citizens' consciousness of environmental protection has gradually enhanced and deepened, contributing to the improvement in our environment. As the Environmental Protection Law is called as ‘the strictest law in the history’ by the public，it also has the strongest enforcement. Now many citizens know that all units and individuals shall have the obligation to protect the environment and shall have the right to report on or file charges against units or individuals that cause pollution or damage to the environment. Meanwhile, the people's government gives awards to units and individuals that have made outstanding achievements in protecting and improving the environment.
- 3. Have there been any disputes over environmental issues in China at present?
Yes. Recently, environmental crime is getting increasing attention from the public. With the deteriorated pollution situation in China, the number of environmental disputes is increasing year by year at a high speed. The environmental dispute is complicated, full of uncertainty, and it involves much public interest. Especially in heavy industrial districts, environmental problems have caused much inconvenience, even some serious health threats to local residents.
- 4. In China, what＇s the severest punishment for environment pollution?
No specific items are defined in environmental laws at the moment, but if the circumstances are serious enough to constitute a crime, the offender's criminal responsibility shall be investigated and dealt with according to law. The newly revised criminal law has added the stipulation on the ‘crime of undermining environmental and resources protection’, providing an effective legal base for intensifying law enforcement and punishing crimes related to environment. The penalty works better than other methods in environment crime domain, however, it produces some negative effects at the same time, so it is important to be cautious before determining guilty and investigating criminal responsibility.
- 5. As our research topic right now is to increase the efficiency of biodegradation plastics, what should we do to apply for a patent if we succeed in development?
If inventors tend to have a fast and safe procedure of patent application, they may choose to entrust professional patent agents. The application mainly has the following steps: inquire about whether your creation is in conformity with the requirement of patent application; if it is, then figure out the patent type; sign the agency agreement and clear the obligation; determine the application; prepare application documents; verify and approve.
- 6. Is the patent admitted in China still applicable in USA?
No. The first thing to clarify is that the exercise of patent is limited to only national sovereignty so that when applied in mainland (except Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), the right can`t be extended to USA due to its regionalism. On condition that patent owners hope to get protection in USA, they should submit applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 6 months from the day they file the patent application in China based on the priority of this Chinese application.
- 7. What should we do to safeguard our rights and interests if our intellectual property is infringed?
First, ascertain the number of suspected infringing goods and the scale of operation at the crime scene. Obtain evidence from the same scene for several times. If your evidence can prove the large amount of the infringing goods and the operation scale and your repeatedly forensics can prove the operator sells the infringing goods continually, you may obtain much indemnity.
Second, ascertain the operator`s business information to avoid influencing the lawsuit efficiency due to the litigant`s own problems or other procedure matters.
Third, save the defendant`s website, propaganda materials or information kept at the relevant departments as the preliminary evidences to claim for compensation, for example, the data about their business scope, sales volume, or profits, which defendants profess and submit to some departments.
Fourth, search for the source of the infringing goods proactively and stop the infringement at the origin. In this way, you may obtain more indemnity at the same time.