China saw a rapid increase in applications of patents and trademarks last year, while imposing harsh punishment against intellectual property rights breakers, the country's top IP regulator said.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration issued a white paper on 2022 IP protection on Friday, in which it shows that the number of valid invention patents was over 4.21 million last year, up 17.1 percent year-on-year.
The figure of valid trademarks had reached 42.67 million by the end of last year, up 14.6 year-on-year, read the paper.
In addition, applications of geographic indications and new varieties of plants also increased in 2022, it added.
"Those numbers show that IP-related registrations in our country have continued to go up, and the efficiency of reviewing the applications has also improved," Zhang Zhicheng, spokesman for the administration, told a news conference on Friday.
While witnessing the increasing applications, meaning a sustained vitality of the market, China has also given stronger administrative and judicial protection for IP rights owners, according to the paper.
Tong Bo, an official from the State Administration for Market Regulation, cited data as showing that market supervision agencies across the country dealt with 43,500 cases of infringing upon patents and trademarks in 2022, making contributions to building a better environment for innovators and safeguard legitimate rights of IP holders.
"For problems that are mostly complained among public, such as those on people's health and safety, we have paid greater efforts in inspection and fight, with harsher punishment against counterfeits producers and those faking patents," she said.
In addition, Chinese courts accepted 526,165 IP-related disputes in 2022, with a rise of lawsuits involving patents and technical contracts, Ding Guangyu, deputy chief judge of No 3 Civil Adjudication Tribunal with the Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, said while explaining the paper.
"Courts nationwide fully protected IP rights and business secrets, so as to promote the development of core technologies and innovation in major and emerging industries as well as to serve economic growth," he said.
Since last year, courts across the country have also been required to increase criminal punishments to people damaging IP rights concerning seeds, with intensified combat against offenders who made use of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and the internet of things, to infringe upon IP rights, he added.