China has taken solid steps to protect intellectual property rights and improve its business environment amid ongoing efforts to spur innovation, promote fair competition and boost high-quality economic development, according to the country's top market regulator.
China has made remarkable achievements in the field of IPR protections, such as formulating and revising a set of laws and regulations, strengthening law enforcement in key fields, as well as cracking down on IPR infringements and counterfeiting amid the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic recovery, said Gan Lin, deputy head of the State Administration for Market Regulation.
Gan spoke on Tuesday, World Intellectual Property Day, during a news conference on the country's latest developments in IPR protections and business environment, held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing.
The nation always treats foreign-funded and Chinese enterprises equally and fairly in terms of IPR protection, said Gan, who is also director of the Office of the National Leading Group on the Fight Against IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting.
"In the next step, we will give full play to the decisive role of the market in the allocation of resources, step up IPR protection efforts and create a fairer, more transparent and predictable business environment for foreign enterprises," Gan said.
She added that the government has strengthened policy guidance over foreign investment, built platforms to bolster economic and trade cooperation, shortened the negative list for foreign investment access as well as made solid progress in enhancing antimonopoly work and combating unfair competition.
According to the Global Innovative Index 2021 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, China ranked 12th, up two places from 2020, surpassing developed economies such as Japan and Canada.
Gan added that IPR protections are closely related to fair competition, as the move to maintain sound market order is conducive to better safeguarding IPR and stimulating the vitality of market entities.
Zhang Zhicheng, head of the IPR Protection Department of the National Intellectual Property Administration, said a total of 696,000 domestic invention patents were authorized last year, with the number of trademark registrations reaching 7.74 million. The authority handled 49,800 patent infringement disputes in 2021, up 17.4 percent on a yearly basis, Zhang added.
In addition, the number of international patent applications submitted by Chinese applicants through the Patent Cooperation Treaty stood at 69,500, ranking first in the world for the third consecutive year. The PCT is a widely used indicator for innovative activity.
Liu Hua, director of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Office in China, spoke highly of China's work on IPR protections, saying innovation has become the core driving force for China's economic development, and IPR is playing an increasingly important role in China's innovation and entrepreneurship.
Liu called for more efforts to strengthen cooperation in artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain technologies to jointly build Asia into a new power of IPR protection and development.