SCIO briefing on development of China's intellectual property rights in 2019

The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Beijing on Thursday to brief the media on the development of China's intellectual property rights in 2019. April 24, 2020

Xinhua News Agency:

The theme of this year's National IP Publicity Week is "IP and a healthy China." What measures can be adopted to build a healthy China in the area of intellectual property rights? Thank you.

Shen Changyu:

Thanks for your question, and also thanks for your attention and support for the campaign. The theme of this year's campaign is "IP and a healthy China," a theme with special significance that was decided based on the current situation of pandemic prevention and control, as well as the theme of the World IP Day 2020 — "Innovate for a Green Future." The theme also shows the important impacts that the protection of IP has on public health. Our work will be carried out in the following aspects: First, we will strengthen IP protection to boost innovative development in the medical sector, develop more new drugs and sophisticated medical devices  and improve the ability and level of treatment. In this regard, we are accelerating amendments to the patent law, and we are establishing a compensation system for the duration of drug patent protection. Second, we will better protect Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to leverage its unique role in medical treatment and disease prevention and control. We have been enhancing the protection of TCM patents and also cooperating with relevant authorities to roll out regulations to protect TCM knowledge. Third, we will boost the geographical indications industry, cultivate more plant species and create more famous brands to ensure food safety. Fourth, we will step up efforts to protect trademarks, copyrights and special symbols to boost cultural and sports industries and enrich people's spiritual and cultural lives. Regarding the IP of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games, we have achieved all-around, comprehensive protection for the relevant patents, trademarks and special symbols. Fifth, we will protect human genetic resources to build a special shield for people's health. The State Council issued a regulation last year on the management of human genetic resources that went into great detail on the protection of said resources. We will step up efforts to protect IP in terms of the above-mentioned aspects to ensure the development of a healthy China. Thank you. 

Insight China magazine,

The IP operation system is an important guarantee supporting IP utilization. What new progress was made in building China's IP operation system in 2019? The year 2020 will see the completion of the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Does the NIPA have any plans for the next step? Thank you.

Shen Changyu:

Thank you for your questions. As you just said, IP operation is an important part of our IP-related work, which includes IP creation, protection, utilization, management and services. We often say that creation is the source, utilization is the goal, protection is the core, and management is the key. IP utilization mainly aims to realize the value of IP and promote innovative economic development. Statistics show that China's comprehensive IP development index continues to improve, and IP utilization has achieved remarkable progress. 

In 2019, patents were transferred, granted and pledged all over China a combined 307,000 times, up 21.3% compared with the previous year. The pledge financing of patents and trademarks amounted to 151.5 billion yuan, up 23.8% year on year. The turnover of all technology contracts involving IP reached 928.69 billion yuan, up 137.7% year on year. We also accelerated the construction of a group of projects and platforms for IP operation. By the end of 2019, a total of 26 cities had been given priority to building a service system for IP operation. The nine national-level platforms for IP operation housed 121,000 IP registrations, and the number of registered users reached 284,000. Therefore, we have achieved new progress in building the IP operation system.

Next, we will continue to focus on these major cities and promote the common development of operation platforms and pilot projects. We will improve the IP operation system, and promote the realization of the IP value so that it can better support economic and social development. Thank you.

China News Service: 

Mr. Shen mentioned several times just now that China ranked first globally for PCT international patent applications in 2019. My questions are: How will the NIPA consolidate and maintain the No.1 position in the future? And how will we strengthen IP protection overseas? Thank you.

Shen Changyu:

Thank you for your interest. Last year, China filed the highest number of PCT international patent applications, which also aroused worldwide attention. This was the first time that China ranked first. According to the WIPO's annual report released on April 7, China filed a total of 58,990 international patent applications under the PCT System in 2019, ranking top in the world. We attribute this achievement to the country's guidelines on implementing its innovation-driven development strategy and IP strategy. The whole society's innovation capacity and awareness of IP protection continue to improve, and enterprises are also attaching more importance to their IPRs overseas.

China has been a member state of the PCT since 1994, and is also a major participant in the PCT. In the future, China will continue to promote innovative development, expand its opening-up, and further implement relevant programs to improve the quality of patents. 

You also asked how we will help enterprises with IP protection overseas. To this end, we will encourage them to develop global patents portfolio, make further improvements in their PCT international patent applications in terms of both quantity and quality, and promote worldwide innovative development. In order to help enterprises safeguard their rights, we have also established the National Guidance Center for Handling Overseas Intellectual Property Disputes. The center offers guidance to Chinese enterprises on resolving overseas IP disputes. Of course, it also helps them to better understand local IP laws and regulations, and carry out relevant overseas work involving IP.

Xi Yanchun:

Today's press conference is hereby concluded. Thanks again to the speakers, and thank you all. 

Translated and edited by Liu Qiang, Zhou Jing, Duan Yaying, Li Huiru, He Shan, Huang Shan, Wang Wei, Zhang Jiaqi, Wang Qian, Yang Xi, Gong Yingchun, Lin Liyao, Zhang Junmian, Laura Zheng, David Ball, Scott Rainen. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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