China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) brings a sense of urgency for Chinese to improve their understanding about intellectual property rights and patents, said Tian Lipu, deputy director of State Intellectual Property Office at the Eighth China Yangling Agricultural Hi-tech Fair early November in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
A lot of foreign-funded companies will apply for patent registration and open more business in China's post-WTO market, which will challenge Chinese enterprises since their awareness of patent application is so weak, he said.
Statistics show that from 1994 to 1998, foreign patent applications accounted for a large proportion in China's high-tech industries, including 70 percent in computer industry, over 70 percent in pharmacy making industry, 87.3 percent in biological industry, 92.4 percent in telecommunications, and 90 percent in semiconductor industry.
In fact, China is not lacking in high-tech technologies. The problem is that owners of the technologies have no awareness of patent application.
Chinese scientists always value dissertations as a proof of their high level research but do not aware that dissertations also divulge their technological secrets which contain their hard work and wisdom.
Meanwhile, few Chinese enterprises applied for patents in other countries. During past 15 years, the enterprises from the Chinese mainland applied less than 200 patents in the country.
The patent amount of China in United States is merely equal to that of Liechtenstein, a small European country with a population of 30,000.
(People's Daily November 14, 2001)