Optimizing support will aid both people and enterprises, experts say
People and enterprises will be given easier access to more optimized intellectual property public services, thanks to a series of new requirements set by China's top IP regulator.
They include diversifying IP service providers, increasing service supply, offering services in emerging areas, enhancing digital support and promoting talent education.
The measures were contained in the Plan for the Implementation of Intellectual Property Public Service Project (2023-25), which was issued by the China National Intellectual Property Administration last month.
"Such a plan makes IP public services more open and accessible, ensuring more people, especially innovators, can enjoy the benefits of the services more easily and conveniently, so as to strongly advance the country's creativity-driven strategy and further improve its high-quality economic development," said Wang Peizhang, director-general of the administration's Public Service Department.
Optimizing IP public services is a vital task promoted by the central leadership and a key step in the application, protection and management of IP rights, he added.
Under the plan, China's coverage rate of IP service institutions at the city level is required to exceed 50 percent by 2025, and the number of its national-level service outlets, including technology and innovation centers and service stations in universities, should surpass 550.
The coverage rate of city-level IP service institutions has reached 45.6 percent, and 348 national-level service outlets have been set up nationwide, Wang said at the 12th China Intellectual Property Annual Conference held in Jinan, Shandong province, on Sept 20. A total of 18 specialized patent databases and 336 trademark service stations have also been established.
The plan calls for more workshops and public service centers to be set up in industrial parks and pilot zones to help enterprises prevent IP risks and better understand related policies. More related online services to improve work efficiency when dealing with patent, trademark, geographic indication and integrated-circuit design issues are also promised.
To improve the development of emerging fields and new technologies, the plan urges IP agencies to explore service systems for the metaverse, artificial intelligence and 6G telecom that require stronger service support for agricultural industries and rural vitalization.
A national IP digital service platform will be basically established by 2025 through a number of specialized IP databases, including those for big data, artificial intelligence and gene technology.
"The plan requires us to optimize IP public services, in a bid to catch up with the pace of technological reforms and meet the new demands of innovators," Wang said.
A mobile platform for people and enterprises to search IP registrations and relevant information, which has more than 100,000 views per month, has already been established, he added.
To achieve the goals set out in the plan, IP departments have been instructed to continue introducing and explaining related policies to the public. People from more walks of life are also being encouraged to join IP agencies in a bid to make services more diverse and professional.
To ensure online services can be easily found and fully applied in areas of innovation, IP agencies have been urged to strengthen their efforts to raise public awareness on how to use and access online platforms.
Li Chang, deputy head of the administration's Trademark Department, said his department will provide easier and quicker channels for market entities to handle trademark matters.
"We'll innovate work methods and upgrade services to help the public and trademark applicants understand how to apply and protect trademarks, making every effort to create a sound business environment and serve economic growth," Li said.
The 336 trademark service stations China has established since July 2016 had dealt with more than 1.65 million trademark applications as of August this year, he said.
Xu Shengquan, an associate professor at Nanjing University of Science and Technology's School of Intellectual Property in Jiangsu province, welcomed the plan.
He said it is a crucial move to facilitate technological creativity that will bring more benefits for people and enterprises if it is well implemented.
IP rights are valuable and relevant to everyone, and optimizing IP services will benefit all, Xu said.
"The plan focuses on the optimization of the services, and it takes a number of measures to reach this goal through institutional efforts, technological support and talent education," he said.
"I'm looking forward to seeing more service stations established in the country, but I hope they can be well planned before their establishment and be set up in grassroots areas."
In addition, the service stations should be more diverse to meet the different demands of venues in an industrial park, such as museums, archives, bureaus and technology museums, he added.