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China Grants Over Half of Patents to Foreigners
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In 2006 China approved 58,000 patents with more than half being granted to foreigners, the State Intellectual Property Offices (SIPO) said Tuesday.


Applicants from overseas filed 33,000 -- 56.6 percent of all patents -- said SIPO spokesman Yin Xintian. The rise in overseas applications displayed that China's markets were getting attention from other countries since entry to the World Trade Organization, added Yin.


SIPO director, Tian Lipu, said although China had granted a large number of intellectual property rights (IPR) the country's domestic IPR competitiveness and innovative skills were still far behind those of developed countries. In fact around 99 percent of Chinese companies never applied for patents, said Tian.


Research and development investment of large and medium-sized Chinese corporations accounted on average for 0.71 percent of their annual turnover, Tian explained. This was much lower than the average 5 percent figure of developed countries.


"Domestic companies should strengthen their IPR awareness, continue to improve their innovative capacities and be active in patent applications both at home and abroad," he said.


(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2007)

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