The mechanism to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) will be implemented fully across the country this year, a top IPR official has said.
"The mechanism is vital for the improvement of the country's IPR system and spurring the economy and scientific development," State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) commissioner Tian Lipu said recently.
The mechanism was adopted in July 2005 with the aim of spreading IPR knowledge among the Chinese to enhance their awareness.
The government will set up about 40 service centers to help implement the IPR mechanism. The subsidized centers will offer consultations and financial support to people who cannot afford to apply for IPR protection.
Encouraging hi-tech development among enterprises will get priority under the mechanism, Tian said. And 17 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, including as Guangdong, Guizhou, Shandong and Shanghai have already issued regulations to develop independent hi-tech projects under IPR protection.
Domestic companies and research institutes submitted 5,401 applications for PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) last year, up 38 percent year-on-year, reflecting the growing awareness of IPR laws. And most of the authorized applicants were from the fields of traditional Chinese medicine and food and soft drink, according to SIPO figures.
China, of course, accepts IPR applications from abroad under the WTO framework, and the requirements for them are the same as those for domestic ones, Tian said. But the number of Chinese applying abroad for PCT is less than those from overseas applying in China. The number of applications submitted from abroad reached 92,000 last year, up 4.5 percent over 2006.