The nation’s intellectual property policy is intended to ensure market fairness, and it is not biased against foreign companies, a senior IP official said.
He Zhimin, deputy commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said that China opposes the abuse of IP rights and will clamp down on companies that use their IP advantages to gain “monopolistic and unjustified profit”.
He, who is also a deputy of the National People’s Congress, made the comments in an interview with China Daily ahead of the opening of the top legislature’s annual meeting.
The remarks came after the National Development and Reform Commission imposed a record fine of $975 million on the United States-based chipmaker Qualcomm Inc for abusing its market dominance to charge “unfairly high” patent royalties from Chinese companies.
The penalty on Qualcomm, the highest fine levied by Chinese authorities on a foreign company, has rippled through foreign technology companies, signaling possible tougher regulation in the Chinese market.
He said that the nation’s IP right-related standards are in line with international practice and all companies, both domestic and foreign, are treated the same without any bias.
The purpose is to build a balanced and inclusive IP system that takes into account the interests of different parties and the disparities between China and developed countries, he said.
He said that the SIPO will assist Chinese companies to defend their interests in foreign markets where they are facing a growing number of lawsuits over IP disputes.
“Some foreign markets tend to use the IP rules to contain Chinese enterprises,” He said, noting that some disputes are also due to companies’ lack of knowledge about the IP law and practice in foreign markets.
China has seen the largest number of US investigations involving alleged patent and trademark infringement over the past 10 years.
The country will carry out a comprehensive overhaul of the Patent Law to better regulate and protect IP rights as Beijing has become increasingly serious about IP issues in recent years.
Analysts said that better regulation and protection of IP rights is essential for China to transform its growth model toward an innovation-driven one.
The amendment of the law, one of the key subjects to be discussed at the NPC meeting, will involve better administrative and judicial protection of IP rights, higher compensation and tougher punishment for infringement, according to He.