With the emergence of a new wave of technical revolution, competition in the real economy is increasingly evident. It is seen in the rush of rivals to secure their intellectual property, primarily in the race for patents, China’s top IP official told a conference.
Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said that businesses related to IP, especially patents, are driving the real economy, and that their development is serving its growth.
He made the remarks in his opening speech at the China Patent Annual Conference 2017 on Sept 5.
Shen said many countries have unveiled policies to boost the development of the real economy, focusing on the manufacturing sector, and that patent-related efforts can promote the real economy, too.
“Improved IP creation and utilization will provide better technical support for the real economy,” Shen said. “China is making efforts to increase the quality of patents by developing core technologies and industry standards to improve its global competitiveness.”
Related authorities are encouraging the commercialization of patents, he said, adding that the central government has invested 3.6 billion yuan ($551.9 million) to establish patent operators and funds.
Last year, there were more than 170,000 patent transfers, licenses and pledges around China, increasing 20 percent from the previous year. The value of technology contracts nationwide totaled 1 trillion yuan for the first time in 2016, up 16 percent from 2015.
Shen said SIPO and some other administrations are cooperating to promote “stricter, wider, quicker and equal protection”.
Stricter protection refers to enhanced law enforcement and increased compensation so that IP rights violators will pay higher costs.
Shen said SIPO has called for higher ceilings for statutory compensation and the introduction of punitive compensation in the revision of the patent law.
Wider protection means that multiple methods will be used in IP rights protection, including administrative and judicial procedures, arbitration, industry self-discipline and social supervision.
Many IP protection centers have been established nationwide to achieve quicker protection, by reducing the costs and time required for people to acquire and defend their rights.
Shen said that China gives equal IP protection to all kinds of market entities and innovators, be they State-owned or privately owned, big or small, Chinese or from overseas.
The commissioner also called for broader global cooperation and exchanges in trade and technology, to make international IP regulations more efficient and balanced.
“We will improve the domestic IP protection and market environment to attract more overseas companies to invest in China, and on the other hand, we encourage Chinese companies to expand into the world market,” he said.
SIPO has signed 195 bilateral and multilateral treaties with the World Intellectual Property Organization and related governments, and has launched Patent Prosecution Highway programs with more than 20 countries and regions to reduce replication in patent examination work.
Yoshiyuki Takagi, WIPO’s assistant director-general, said China has achieved “enormous progress” in IP in less than 40 years — from the 1980s when it decided to create a modern IP system, to becoming the world’s largest patent filer, as well as the top trademark and design registrant, today.
The two-day conference attracted about 8,000 delegates and more than 80 IP service providers worldwide.