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More inventors seek legal protection

Liang Kaiyan
Updated: Jan 17,2019 8:53 AM     China Daily

China saw rapid growth in intellectual property applications and its development at home and abroad last year, according to the China National Intellectual Property Administration.

Foreign applications of invention patents in China reached 148,000 in 2018, up 9.1 percent year-on-year. Trademark filings from foreign applicants were 244,000, an increase of 16.5 percent compared with the previous year.

Bi Nan, director of the planning and development department at the CNIPA, said at a news conference last week that the quantity of foreign applications indicates the strength of China’s IP protection and the country’s business environment.

“The increasing numbers showed the international community’s confidence in our country’s IP protection and market.”

With strict IP protection and broadened market access, transnational companies will see a better investment environment in industries such as manufacturing and services in China, she said.

“Our country’s market will attract more international capital and the international community will have confidence in our improved business environment and opening-up,” she added.

Hu Wenhui, spokesman for the CNIPA, said that Chinese companies have also increased their awareness in overseas IP distribution.

Government data show the number of Chinese companies that filed more than 100 international applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty reached 58 in 2018, up 14 over the previous year.

The number of international trademark applications filed via the Madrid system reached 6,594 in the same year, up more than 25 percent year-on-year.

Some 60,000 Chinese companies joined the ranks of patent filers in 2018. This contributed 73.2 percent to the growth in domestic applications for invention patents last year.

The country has made steady progress in several IP fields, Hu said.

Last year, the number of registered trademarks reached 5,007,000 and the average time of processing those filings was cut to less than six months.

Also, the number of invention patent applications reached 1,542,000. There were 432,000 invention patents granted last year, up 5.8 percent from 2017.

“The quality of invention patents in our country has been steadily improved,” Hu said.

In 2016, the CNIPA started a program to improve patents’ quality through policies, protection and other management.

Last year, the CNIPA took more measures such as adjusting indexes in the country’s patent rankings and got rid of inferior filings in a bid to create a higher quality IP system.

Zhao Meisheng, deputy director of the IP utilization promotion department at the CNIPA, said that the IP system has continued to improve.

In 2018, eight cities including Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Haikou were designated to promote the development of the IP service system, according to Zhao.

Last year, the CNIPA set up a new special IP platform in cities including Wuhan in Hubei province and Zhengzhou in Henan province. The international IP pilot platform in Shanghai has also started operating, added Zhao.