Innovation and Competition: IP Trends and Challenges

Intellectual property law is vital to incentivize new ideas. Implementing it is often challenging, however, especially when it comes to paradigm-shifting technologies such as AI. Join us to hear about its applications in China as well as across other countries.

Coming up with intellectual property laws is hard. Creations of the human intellect are, after all, a fuzzy thing, they cannot be measured, they cannot be counted, and often remain as intangible as a rainbow in the sky. Think about it: A landowner can install security cameras, put up a wall around his land and hire security guards to protect his property. A novel or a piece of music, however, can be downloaded and copied by anyone almost immediately – with its inventor unable to intervene.

In order to incentivize creators to come up with ideas in the first place, intellectual property (IP) laws are needed. They try to protect ideas and allow creators to receive a reward for their labor. IPs make it worthwhile for the novelist to spend countless nights fleshing out his characters, and for the musician to sweat blood and tears to create his new album. There is a danger, however, of defining intellectual property too broadly. Doing so would  prevent society from adapting and benefiting from the new information.

Now, balancing intellectual property rights is hard enough within a country, it becomes even more challenging when multiple countries are involved. Our first speaker, Dr. Ming Xu, will talk about cross-border e-commerce trade and explain intellectual property protection of Chinese e-commerce platforms and share relevant experience for entities engaged in cross-border trade.

Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Picht will put a spotlight on the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence, a key technology of digitization and a hot topic in politics and media. He will argue that artificial intelligence must be handled in an appropriate legal framework to balance out opportunities, risks, costs and benefits of such a powerful technology. He will address the current legal framework and discuss potential developments at the intersection of AI and intellectual property.

Last but not least, Melvin Mei will delve into IP challenges presented to brand owners today. Challenges that stem from conventional legal issues but also from changing competitor and consumer behaviors, culture barriers and, of course, the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This Science Diplomacy webinar is organized by Swissnex in China in collaboration with SwissCham Shanghai.

Event Rundown

16:00                          Webinar Starts


16:00-16:10               Introductory remarks

(Sabine Neuhaus – Attorney at Law, Associate, Kellerhals Carrard; Board Member, Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce)


16:10-16:20               Intellectual property protection of cross-border e-commerce in China
(Dr. Ming Xu – Associate Professor, Shanghai International College of Intellectual Property, Tongji University)


16:20-16:30               Artificial Intelligence and IP law
(Prof. Dr. Peter Georg Picht – Chair for Business and Commercial Law, Center for Intellectual Property and Competition Law – CIPCO, University of Zurich)


16:30-16:40               IP challenges faced by brand owners and how they respond
(Mr. Melvin Mei – Associate Trademark and Patent Attorney Lusheng Law Firm)


16:40-17:00               Q&A and Conclusion


In collaboration with




The Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce, separately registered in Mainland China and Switzerland, and the Swiss Chamber of Commerce Limited in Hong Kong (SCCHK) are a network of three private associations. Their common goal is to gather the main actors of the Sino-Swiss business community in order to strengthen the political and economic bonds between the two countries, stimulate interaction and develop business opportunities.

  • SwissCham