By Gu Yekai, People's Daily
China has ranked first in the world in terms of the number of international patent applications for a third consecutive year, said a recent press conference.
According to the press conference, last year, the country granted a total of 696,000 invention patents, approved registration of nearly 7.74 million trademarks and accepted 3,979 applications for rights for new plant varieties
China has constantly encouraged local governments to improve relevant policies, cancelled subsidies for intellectual property right (IPR) applications, and strengthened the support for translation, administrative protection and public services of IPR, shifting its focus from quantity to quality, said Shen Changyu, head of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).
Over the last year, China has witnessed prominent improvement in the quantity, quality, and benefits of utilization of IPR.
The average ownership of high-value invention patents reached 7.5 per 10,000 people, up 1.2 from a year ago. Chinese applicants submitted 69,500 foreign patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), ranking first in the world for a third consecutive year.
Last year, China's patent and trademark pledge financing hit 309.8 billion yuan ($47.29 billion), up 42 percent year on year, benefiting more than 15,000 enterprises. The import and export volume of intellectual property royalties reached 378.3 billion yuan. In particular, the export volume was 76.02 billion yuan, rising 27.1 percent year on year. A total of 219,000 contracts about IPR were inked, totaling more than 1.4 trillion yuan in transaction value. Besides, the country released 42 intellectual property-backed securities that totaled 9.5 billion yuan.
In 2021, China has further enhanced efforts on IPR protection. It cracked down upon 50,100 cases of patent and trademark infringement, made 49,800 administrative adjudications on patent infringement and disputes, and launched mediation for 64,800 IPR disputes. In addition, the country also investigated 2,957 counterfeiting crimes and deleted nearly 1.2 million copyright-infringing links.
According to an investigation report, the public's satisfaction with intellectual property right protection in China grew to 80.61 points.
In terms of the protection of digital IPR, which attracts wide social attention, the CNIPA has started pilot programs in Zhejiang province, Shanghai and Shenzhen, to gain replicable experiences in IPR legislation and certification, and lay a foundation for future institutional design.
He Zhimin, deputy head of the CNIPA, introduced that the administration cracked down upon 482,000 cases of malicious trademark registration. It rejected 60,400 applications aiming at malicious hoarding of trademarks, as well as 1,628 maliciously registered trademarks that harmed social and public interests. The administration vetoed on 30,000 maliciously registered trademarks in reviewing procedures and declared 1,729 trademarks invalid, five times of those in the past decade.
So far, IPR-related public service organizations have been established in all provincial-level regions and sub-provincial cities. Eighty-eight public service stations of IPR and 50 support centers for technology and innovation have been newly built.
The country opened access to 10 types of IPR data, and for the first time, the layout design data of integrated circuits have been opened to the public. It also launched an enquiry system for EU trademarks and a campaign promoting IPR services, which benefited more than 300,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises.
According to statistics, since the China-EU Geographical Indications (GIs) Agreement came into effect in March 2021, 244 China-EU GIs have been mutually recognized and protected. Last year, Chinese enterprises filed 8,596 patent applications in Belt and Road countries, a year-on-year increase of 29.4 percent, and 4,711 were authorized, up 15.3 percent from a year ago.
Besides, China has officially joined the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. Both of the accessions are expected to come into force on May 5 this year.