SCIO briefing on implementing the Outline of 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and accelerating the strengthening of intellectual property in China

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Guangming Daily:

My question is for Mr. Shen. The 14th Five-Year Plan has many arrangements regarding IPR. For example, high-value invention patents should reach 12 per 10,000 people by 2025. On April 15, data released by the National Center for Science and Technology Evaluation of the Ministry of Science and Technology shows that the trade volume of scientific and technological advances in 2019 decreased from that of 2018. The data also suggests that many high-value patents in colleges and scientific research institutions are inactive, and the scientific and technological achievements that they relate to have not been applied. Recently, academician Ouyang Zhongcan from the Chinese Academy of Sciences wrote a letter to Guangming Daily appealing for the application of scientific and technological advances to be emphasized in professional title appraisals. The application of scientific and technological advances is a systemic project. The NIPA has done a lot to promote work in this regard, like appraising the national model and pilot schools for IPR protection. My question is, during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, how will the NIPA cooperate with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education to meet the targets relating to high-value patents laid out in the plan? Thank you. 

Shen Changyu:

Thank you for your very important question relating to the 14th Five-Year Plan. The application of scientific and technological advances involves many departments. Regarding the NIPA, we have made continuous efforts in the application of IPR. This year marks the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan. The 14th Five-Year Plan makes clear arrangements about IPR work over the next five years, and the content is the richest among all Five-Year Plans so far. It fully shows the more prominent role that IPR work plays in national economic and social development. 

Specifically, first, "the number of high-quality invention patents per 10,000 people" has been included in the latest Five-Year Plan, replacing "the number of invention patents per 10,000 people" in the 12th and 13th Five-Year Plans. This new indicator will effectively promote the realization of transforming China from a large country of intellectual property introduction to a large country of intellectual property creation, as well as transform intellectual property work from the pursuit of quantity to the improvement in quality. Second, the chapter on innovation-driven development lists "improving the protection and utilization mechanism of IPR" as an individual section, and outlines major tasks regarding the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy. Third, other parts of the plan touch on IPR as well, including special arrangements for encouraging financial institutions to develop intellectual property pledge financing, strengthening the central government's responsibilities in intellectual property protection, and supporting Hong Kong to build a regional intellectual property trading center.

As for the work in the next stage, according to the arrangements and division of work in the 14 Five-Year Plan, we will strive to work with keen attention in the following aspects. First, we will do a good job in top-level design, including formulating and implementing the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy and a national plan for IPR protection and application in the 14th Five-Year Plan period. Responsibilities of the central government in IPR protection should be enhanced in a proper way, and we should dovetail our work with the 14th Five-Year Plan and implement the plan in a solid way.

Second, improve systems and mechanisms. We will implement a strict IPR protection system, especially the punitive compensation system. We will improve related laws and regulations, and speed up IPR legislation for new fields and new business forms including artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. We will improve the administrative law enforcement mechanism as well as the system for arbitration, mediation, IPR safeguarding and assistance.

Third, continue to deepen reform. We will further optimize the financial assistance and reward policies as well as the evaluation mechanisms for patents, highlight high-quality development, better protect and encourage high-value patents, and cultivate patent-intensive industries. Meanwhile, we will reform the ownership and rights and interests distribution mechanism for state-owned IPR, expand the authority of universities and research institutions to handle IPR, improve intangible asset evaluation, and promote the industrial application of patents. 

Fourth, strengthen infrastructure development. We will strengthen the development of information and intelligent infrastructure for IPR. We will accelerate the construction of the national IPR big data center, build a public service platform for the protection and use of IPR, and support Hong Kong to build a regional IPR trading center, etc.

By implementing these measures, we aim to further highlight high-quality development and push for a new stage in IPR protection, new breakthroughs in IPR use, and a new level for IPR service to better serve national economic and social development.

I will respond briefly to your question on the application of patents.

The application of patents is indeed an important issue and has been an important area of attention for a long time. And it involves many government departments. At present, there are indeed many "sleeping patents." One of the reasons is that there are two difficulties for patent application. One the one hand, it's hard for the patents of universities and research institutes to be discovered and used; one the other hand, it's hard for small and medium-sized enterprises to get the patented technologies they need. To address these two difficulties, the NIPA and the Ministry of Finance jointly launched a special program for patent application at the beginning of this year.

Under the program, efforts are being made in the following three aspects: first, broadening channels. We will promote the IPR rights and interests distribution reform to raise the enthusiasm of universities and research institutes to apply patents. Second, connecting supply and demand. We will build a promotion and application platform for patented technologies and set up an effective supply and demand matching mechanism to link universities and research institutes with small and medium-sized enterprises through a variety of online and offline events. Third, strengthening incentives. Provinces with outstanding achievements in patent application will be awarded. Thank you.

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