China: 从证监会反馈意见看拟IPO企业知识产权法律尽职调查要点

Last Updated: 5 November 2019
Article by Gong Dongxu and Luo Yuanqing
Most Read Contributor in China, October 2019

"插座一哥"公牛集团IPO前夕陷专利诉讼被索赔十亿,冲击IPO遭阻,这一天价专利纠纷为各大企业敲响了警钟,亦引发资本市场各方对IPO企业知识产权风险的高度重视。事实上,已有多家拟上市公司因专利、商标等知识产权纠纷而导致企业IPO进程受阻,如"共享单车第一股永安行专利诉讼""苏州恒久事件"、"新大新材专利诉讼"、"乔丹体育商标纠纷"等。知识产权是拟上市公司的重要竞争力及资产,其权属的独立性、完整性、是否存在瑕疵或潜在纠纷、是否存在重大不利变化风险等是律师在核查工作中的重点关注问题之一,亦是证监会审核中重点关注问题之一。本文通过梳理证监会对IPO企业关于知识产权方面的反馈意见,并结合笔者以往法律尽职调查服务的项目经验,总结了知识产权法律尽职调查工作时需要注意的若干要点,希望对各位有所助益。

一、IPO关于知识产权的主要规定

(一)《公开发行证券的公司信息披露内容与格式准则第1号―招股说明书》(2015年修订)

第四十五条 发行人应列表披露与其业务相关的主要固定资产及无形资产,主要包括:(二)商标、专利、非专利技术、土地使用权、水面养殖权、探矿权、采矿权等主要无形资产的数量、取得方式和时间、使用情况、使用期限或保护期、最近一期末账面价值,以及上述资产对发行人生产经营的重要程度。

发行人允许他人使用自己所有的资产,或作为被许可方使用他人资产的,应简要披露许可合同的主要内容,包括许可人、被许可人、许可使用的具体资产内容、许可方式、许可年限、许可使用费等,以及合同履行情况。若发行人所有或使用的资产存在纠纷或潜在纠纷的,应明确说明。

(二)《首次公开发行股票并上市管理办法》(2018年修订)

第十条 发行人的主要资产不存在重大权属纠纷;

第二十六条 发行人应当符合下列条件:(四)最近一期末无形资产(扣除土地使用权、水面养殖权和采矿权等后)占净资产的比例不高于20%;

第三十条 发行人不得有下列影响持续盈利能力的情形:(五)发行人在用的商标、专利、专有技术以及特许经营权等重要资产或技术的取得或者使用存在重大不利变化的风险。

(三)《首发业务若干问题解答》

问题13、对于发行人的诉讼或仲裁事项,应如何进行核查和信息披露?

(4)涉及主要产品、核心商标、专利、技术等方面的诉讼或仲裁可能对发行人生产经营造成重大影响,或者诉讼或仲裁有可能导致发行人实际控制人变更,或者其他可能导致发行人不符合发行条件的情形,保荐机构和发行人律师应在提出明确依据的基础上,充分论证该等诉讼、仲裁事项是否构成首发的法律障碍并审慎发表意见。

问题15、对于发行人是否存在影响持续经营能力的重要情形,中介机构应当从哪几个方面进行核查和判断?

(9)对发行人业务经营或收入实现有重大影响的商标、专利、专有技术以及特许经营权等重要资产或技术存在重大纠纷或诉讼,已经或者未来将对发行人财务状况或经营成果产生重大影响。

二、证监会审核时对知识产权方面的关注事项

通过对证监会审核案例的反馈分析,在审核IPO企业时,证监会对知识产权关注的主要问题有:

(1)知识产权的取得方式、法律状态及应用情况,是否存在权利提前终止、宣布无效等异常情况;知识产权的来源和取得过程是否符合相关法律法规的规定;

(2)控股股东和实际控制人控制的企业、发行人实际控制人及其关系密切的近亲属等关联方是否拥有、使用与发行人业务相关的商标或专利,是否影响发行人商标等资产的独立性;与发行人业务相关的商标、专利等知识产权是否均已实际纳入发行人;

(3)知识产权的转让方、转让时间、转让价格及定价公允性,转让时是否存在权利上的限制或约束。转让方与发行人及其控股股东、实际控制人、董监高、其他核心人员以及本次发行中介机构及签字人员,是否存在关联关系或其他利益关系;

(4)发行人是否存在合作开发的情况,若存在则应说明研发协议,包括合作专利的开发背景、研发人员聘用、研发费用投入、研发成果归属等约定,说明目前进展情况及对发行人技术的影响;

(5)是否存在商标、专利等知识产权许可第三方使用,若存在许可第三方使用的原因、背景及合理性;《许可协议》的主要内容;商标许可使用费及其确定依据,是否公允;该等许可是否在商标局等主管部门备案;被许可方与发行人及其关联方是否存在关联关系,是否存在共同的客户或供应商或者可能导致利益输送的其他情形;

(6)核心技术对第三方是否存在依赖,如果该等许可使用授权被终止对发行人的具体影响;发行人核心技术是否存在被近年国际、国内市场上其他技术替代、淘汰的风险;

(7)发行人核心技术是否存在侵权的情形;发行人是否存在知识产权方面的尚未了结的诉讼与潜在诉讼情况,如有,应进一步披露该等诉讼与潜在诉讼对于发行人持续经营能力的影响,包括但不限于涉及专利和诉讼专利的产品及其销售收入、净利润金额及其占比情况;是否存在其他第三方侵犯发行人知识产权的情形及应对措施;

(9)发行人是否存在对核心技术人员的依赖,是否与其他机构或研发人员存在纠纷及潜在纠纷;说明专利、核心技术是否涉及相关技术人员在原单位的职务成果,技术人员是否违反竞业禁止的有关规定,是否存在违反保密协议的情形,是否可能导致发行人的技术存在纠纷及潜在纠纷;

(10)发行知识产权质押是否办理质押登记手续,未办理质押登记手续的原因、是否符合双方合同约定,发行人是否因此承担法律责任;质押知识产权对发行人生产经营的重要程度,所担保债权的情况、是否存在逾期无法偿还导致质押权被实现的风险,知识产权质押是否对发行人生产经营造成不利影响;

(11)发行人商誉是否属于无形资产,占比是否符合《首次公开发行股票并上市管理办法》的相关规定;

(12)发行人是否制定了保护知识产权、防范技术泄密的内部制度及其执行情况。

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