China will strengthen its protection and management of intellectual property, accelerate the commercialization process, and help improve global IP protection practices and standards, officials said on June 5.
June 5 marks the 10th anniversary of the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy issued by the State Council, China’s Cabinet. The outline is the bedrock regulatory document for China’s intellectual property protection.
The anniversary came after the European Union lodged an intellectual property rights complaint against China at the World Trade Organization on June 1, just as Beijing is embroiled in a similar dispute with the United States.
Yan Junqi, president of the Central Institute of Socialism, said China has paid more attention to intellectual property protection in the past five years, and IP related industries are seeing unprecedented opportunities for growth.
In the past decade, the number of patents from the Chinese mainland grew from 96,000 in 2007 to 1.3 million in 2017, ranking it third in the world behind just the US and Japan, according to the State Intellectual Property Office.
Shen Changyu, director of the office, said China’s intellectual property protection mechanisms have seen overall improvement and greater transparency.
In the last five years, China has investigated and dealt with more than 190,000 cases of patent infringement and 170,000 cases of trademark infringement. China also established specific courts to deal with intellectual property rights.
As more Chinese patents and companies compete on the world stage, China’s intellectual property protection will become stricter, more comprehensive and responsive, as well as better-coordinated across different agencies, Shen said.
China will devote more resources to producing high-value and influential brands and patents, and participating in the global governance of intellectual property to help it become more inclusive, balanced and efficient, he said.
Wang Yong, an IP rights lawyer at the Jincheng Tongda and Neal law firm in Beijing, said China needs to educate the public about the importance of IP protection and their role in fueling national and social development.
At the same time, Chinese industries should be more innovative and create original work. “If China can produce more valuable and influential IP, companies will inevitably want to protect it more vigorously.”