China’s strengthened IP protection enhances confidence of foreign investors
By Pan Xutao, Chen Ming
The major indicators of China’s intellectual property (IP) services grew in a stable manner and the quality and efficiency of China’s IP services have been improved over the past year, according to data released by the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) at a press conference on Jan.14.
In 2019, more than 1.4 million invention patent applications were filed in China. A total of 453,000 invention patents were authorized, and 361,000 of them were authorized to domestic applicants.
Hu Wenhui, spokesperson of the NIPA, said the period for high-value patents examination and the average time for trademark registration have been shortened, adding that country is seeing improving efficiency and quality in intellectual property review and strengthening source protection for IP.
About 22.3 percent of industrial enterprises above designated size have filed patent applications, according to statistics. Last year, enterprises accounted for 65 percent of total domestic invention patent applications, up 0.6 percentage points from the previous year. The average number of trademarks owned by market entities steadily increased.
“These data fully show that the creation of intellectual property has become more market-oriented, and that intellectual property policies have effectively stimulated the vitality of market players and released the endogenous motivation for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Hu said.
In 2019, the number of invention patent applications filed in China by foreign applicants reached 157,000, up 6 percent from the previous year; and the number of foreign trademark applications in China reached 255,000, an increase of 4.7 percent year-on-year.
Market entities from 186 countries and regions applied for patents and trademarks in China in 2019, 12 more than those in the previous year.
The continued growth of foreign IP applications shows that the Chinese market has become increasingly appealing to foreign investors, and it is closely related to China’s progress in IP protection and business environment, said Ge Shu, a senior official with the NIPA.
Since 2019, China has successively issued the Foreign Investment Law and relevant implementing regulations, made public a regulation on optimizing business environment, and released a guideline calling for intensified protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). The country has kept improving the quality and efficiency of IP review, strengthened IP protection, and granted equal IPR protection to domestic and foreign companies.
The level of social satisfaction with IPR protection in China climbed from a score of 63.69 in 2012 to 78.98 in 2019, statistics indicated.
Ge believes that China’s increasing protection of IPR has further strengthened the confidence of global market players to invest in China. “We will further make use of the intellectual property system to protect and encourage innovation, so as to create a better environment and stage for fair competition among domestic and foreign market players, and facilitate the full flow of innovation sources.”
In 2019, China actively participated in the global governance of intellectual property rights and accelerated the construction of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). The number of PPH partners of the NIPA has increased to 29 so far.
Source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition