Asia's IPR heft benefits world, Boao Forum told

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Asia has become a global powerhouse of innovation and intellectual property rights, which has given a strong boost to the world economy, said the head of the China National Intellectual Property Administration at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province on Wednesday.

During the "Intellectual Property in Asia: Trends and Opportunities" sub-forum, Shen Changyu, the administration's head, highlighted that IPR, as a strategic resource for national development and enhancing international competitiveness, plays an important role in today's world.

Protecting intellectual property rights is protection of innovation, Shen said.

Li Baodong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia, said with the uncertain global economic recovery, innovation and IPR protection are important for sci-tech progress, industrial upgrading and sustainable development.

Asian economies have been making significant progress in the IPR sector in recent years, Li added, with the region emerging as a global innovation leader, providing multiple opportunities for regional and global economic development.

According to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, released last year, offices in Asia received around 2.2 million patent applications in 2020, representing 66.6 percent of the world total. In contrast, the combined figure for Europe and North America was just under the 1 million mark-less than half the total for Asia.

This was primarily driven by strong growth in filings in China, which accounted for 68.6 percent of all applications filed in the region in 2020.

WIPO's report showed that five Asian economies featured among the top 15 of the global innovation index last year, and China ranked 12th-the only middle-income economy in the top 30.

The Tokyo-Yokohama region boasted the top science and technology cluster worldwide, followed by Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing in the second and third spots respectively.

"At present, China's copyright industry is ushering in unprecedented historical opportunities," said Zhang Jianchun, vice-head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Last September, China issued guidelines on IPR development for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period to further optimize its IPR system in 26 key areas, including legal construction, copyright registration, international and domestic trade and social services.

In 2020, the added value of copyrights in China reached 7.51 trillion yuan ($1.17 trillion), accounting for 7.39 percent of GDP. Last year, the total number of registered copyrights reached 6.26 million, an increase of 24.3 percent year-on-year.

Copyrights for online videos, music and games have already grown into important innovative resources for the internet industry, and the market size of these exceeded 1 trillion yuan for the first time in 2020, up 23.6 percent from a year earlier.

However, Zhang said there are still various challenges in the IPR sector. The standardization of copyright protection law still needs to be improved, and there is still more that needs to be achieved for high-quality copyrights.

China is devoted to fully unleashing the capability and creativity of copyrights throughout society to drive high-quality development, Zhang said, adding that Asian countries should enhance multilateral communication and cooperation while actively building up the international copyright trading and information platform.

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