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Progress in IP system as more patents granted

Updated: Jan 23, 2020 Xinhua Print
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China achieved stable progress in the intellectual property field, especially in filing quality and efficiency over the past year, according to the National Intellectual Property Administration.

In 2019, the number of invention patent applications topped 1.4 million. There were 453,000 invention patents granted, up 4.8 percent year-on-year.

The proportion of domestic companies' invention patent applications reached 65 percent, 0.6 percentage points higher than 2018, said Hu Wenhui, NIPA spokesman, at the administration's news conference last week.

Among them, telecommunications giant Huawei had 4,510 invention patents granted, ranking first on the Chinese mainland. They were followed by Sinopec with 2,883 and smartphone maker Oppo with 2,614.

By the end of 2019, China had 13.3 patents per 10,000 people. The total number of effectively registered trademarks surpassed 25 million. On average, every 4.9 market entities owns one registered trademark, according to NIPA.

These figures showed that IP protection had increased and IP policies are more in tune with market demand, Hu said.

In 2019, the total amount of loans using patents or trademarks as collateral surpassed 150 billion yuan ($21.8 billion), a record high.

Lei Xiaoyun, director of the IP utilization promotion department at NIPA, said the achievements were partially the result of NIPA's efforts in policy support, service supply and cooperation with relevant organizations.

To date, IP-collateralized financing has expanded to 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, Lei said.

Song Jianhua, head of the treaty and law department at NIPA, said: "With improvements to the economic system in our country and an increase in technologies, innovators and market players have more requirements for processing patent and trademark filings."

In 2019, the time dealing with a filing for a high-value patent was cut to 17.3 months, gaining a social satisfaction score of 84.8. More than 8.25 million trademark registration applications were handled. The average period for trademark registration was cut to four and a half months.

Online trademark applications accounted for 94 percent with the adoption of intelligent technologies in the examination last year, according to Song.

In 2019, NIPA released the unified identification system for geographical indications. By the end of last year, a total of 2,385 GI products and 5,324 registered GI trademarks were approved.

In addition, international applications filed via the Patent Cooperation Treaty reached 61,000 last year, up 10.4 percent compared with 2018. There were 157,000 foreign invention patent applications and 255,000 foreign trademark applications in China, up 6 percent and 4.7 percent year-on-year, respectively.

This continued growth in foreign IP applications illustrates the allure of the Chinese market as well as China's progress in IP protection and business environment, said Ge Shu, head of the planning and development department at NIPA.

"We will continue to use IP systems to encourage innovation, strengthen IP protection and thus to create a better environment for fair competition among market players at home and abroad," Ge said.

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