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Protection spurs growth, officials say

Updated: Oct 24, 2019 China Daily Print
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China has pledged to enhance intellectual property protection in a bid to create a world-class business-friendly environment, according to a senior official from the IP sector.

In recent years, China has achieved a series of highly recognized achievements in IP development, said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the National Intellectual Property Administration.

"China is embracing the world and moving toward the future with a more open attitude," he said. "Strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights is an important aspect of shaping a business-friendly environment and also a major effort to promote high-level opening-up."

Shen made the remarks at the opening ceremony for the 16th Shanghai International Intellectual Property Forum, which opened on Oct 21.

According to Shen, the country has taken a series of effective measures in IP protection and utilization, such as better protecting the interests of right-owners including multinational companies, improving the quality and efficiency in handling IP filings and optimizing a punitive damages system.

So far, the country's efficiency in processing patent applications has been at the forefront of the world, and the examination quality has also steadily improved. The period for processing an invention patent filing in China is about 22.5 months, and for applications for high-value patents, the time has been reduced to 20.1 months. The average time of trademark registration is within five months, according to NIPA.

In a survey on social satisfaction of IP protection in China last year, carried out by the administration, the result hit a record high of 76.88 out of 100 points.

In the Global Innovation Index 2019, released by the World Intellectual Property Organization in July, China surged to 14th place, three places higher than in 2018. The country has become a leader among the world's mid-income economies.

Meanwhile, China's global ranking of its business environment jumped to 46th place, according to the Doing Business 2019 report released by the World Bank.

Francis Gurry, director-general of WIPO, said China has made outstanding achievements in IP protection. He also praised the country's intensive work on IP registration examination.

At the forum, eight enterprises and one university won the Shanghai Intellectual Property Innovation Award. It was jointly awarded by the Shanghai government and WIPO for the first time.

The award aims to commend and reward organizations that have made outstanding achievements in IP creation, protection and utilization. It supports creating a friendly environment for businesses, innovation and high-quality development, said Rui Wenbiao, director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.

"Although we are a young company, we have paid great attention to intellectual property since its establishment," said Xue Min, chairman and CEO of United Imaging Healthcare Technology Group, one of the award winners.

The company has a special department focusing on innovation and IP protection, Xue added.

"The healthcare industry is a knowledge-intensive sector, which needs a large number of professionals and advanced technologies," he said. "Only with core technologies can we become a world-class company. And this relies on innovation."

The company has invested heavily in research and development as well as IP protection.

Since its establishment in 2011, it has filed more than 3,800 patent applications, in which more than 80 percent target invention patents.

The company has also filed nearly 1,000 trademark applications at home and abroad, and about 600 of them have been approved. They cover more than 60 countries and regions.

"Long-term IP accumulation leads to an enterprise's constant progress. And it enables the enterprise to secure better protection during its development, especially for its overseas expansion," Xue said.

More advanced technologies will be used in future healthcare equipment, such as 5G and cloud platform computing. It means more innovation should be made, and in this course, IP's role will be more significant, according to Xue.

"IP is an important part for the city to improve its business environment," said Rui from the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.

"In recent years, Shanghai has focused on building itself into an IP hub in the Asia-Pacific region and a global science and technology innovation center. In this regard, IP development will play a vital role."

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