Monday, February 23, 2009

Measures for the Registration and Administration of Import and Export Technology Contracts

On February 1, 2009, the Minister for China's Ministry of Commerce signed into law the Measures for the Registration and Aministration of Import and Export Technology Contracts. (in Chinese) ("Technology Contract Measures")  This is a ministry level administrative regulation, and it will become effective on March 2, 2009.

To summarize, the Technology Contract Measures include the following important provisions:

1. Definition:

Technology contracts are defined as: patent assignment contracts, patent application assignment contracts, patent implementation contracts, trade secret contracts, technology service contracts, and any other contracts involving the import or export of technology.

2. Content of the Registration Document:
a. Contract Serial Number: the regulation sets forth a standardized coding system to identify each technology contract within the purview of the Technology Contract Measures. [合同号]
b. Title of the Contract. [合同名称]
c. Provider of the Technology. [技术供方]
d. Receiver of the Technology. [技术受方]
e. User of the Technology. [技术使用方]
f. Summary of the Contract. [合同概况]
g. Monetary Amount in the Contract. [合同金额]
h. Method of Payment. [支付方式]
i. Term of the Contract. [合同有效期]
3. When to Register the Contract?  Within sixty (60) days from the date when the contract becomes effective. 
4. Where to Register?  There is a central on-line registration system designed by the Ministry of Commerce, just like the registration of commercial franchises.  The web address is:  But, before the on-line registration, the local commerce bureaus have jurisdiction over the administration of contract registration.  Application materials, including a copy of the original contract, a copy of the contract translated into Chinese, documents evidencing the contracting parties respective authorities (to determine whether the contract is valid in the first place), must be submitted.
5. Filing Amendments. Any subsequent changes, amendments and or rescions of contracts must be timely filed.
6. Other Laws: Where foreign parties invest technology as capital in joint ventures or foreign-owned entities, other laws governing such investments apply.