As mankind enters into the 21st century, the inevitable march of globalization and its concomitant demand of free trade is indeed a development that most countries have more wholeheartedly accepted rather than avoided and rejected. With the emergence of knowledge-based economy and the globalization of economy, we can even say that it is knowledge, especially IP-protected knowledge that forms the future asset base of a nation on which to build future growth and reap economic growth
In response to emerging challenges posed by the new developments, not only developed but also developing countries realize and attach primary importance to the acquisition and administration of intellectual property.
Domestic Background and Development Tendency
China is a nation with a long tradition of high spirit for invention and innovation. After more than 20 years' opening and reform, China has made considerable achievements in economic developments and has also gradually established an IP system which covers all major fields of IPR including patent, trademark, copyright and related rights, computer software, plant varieties, topography, unfair competition, law enforcement and etc.
With the rapid development of economy, the restriction of such factors as energy, water, minerals, land, transportation, environment protection and ecology on the development of economy and society has become more and more prominent. The economic development mode which relies only on cheap labor forces no longer adapts to the needs of long-term and sustainable development of P.R. China and the requirements of building China into a well-to-do and rich country. In order to address all these challenges, according to the scientific concept of development, China has decided to take the developing mode of making herself into an innovation-based country. And it is a scientific choice for China to attach much more importance to IP---the most important factor of production in the modern society, create a sound IP environment and start to formulate the national intellectual property strategy.
Organization Pattern of the National Intellectual Property Strategy -Formulation Work
In January 2005, the State Council approved the establishment of the Leading Group for National Intellectual Property Strategy Formulation of P.R. China. WuYi, deputy premier of the State Council, heads the leading group. Ministers from almost 30 ministries are members of the leading group. The Leading Group for National Intellectual Property Strategy Formulation of P.R. China is the leading organ of the strategy-formulation work, which is in charge of making decisions on important issues that come up during the course of the strategy-formulation process. Such issues include orientation of national intellectual property strategy, guiding ideology and work scheme of national intellectual property strategy formulation, the overall planning and coordination of national intellectual property strategy, and the examination and approval of all final research results.
There is an office under the leading group (NIPSO), which is responsible for undertaking the day-to day routine work. The agency was located in SIPO. Its main duties include: putting forward suggestions about the implementation of the strategy-formulation work, undertaking day to day work assigned by the leading group, monitoring the implementation of the decisions made by the leading group, coordinating national intellectual property strategy -related matters among related ministries.
Main Contents of the National Intellectual Property Strategy and its Progress
The main contents of the national intellectual property strategy include not only analysis of macro issues such as the impact of IP on economic and social development but also some case studies of some typical industries that are mostly influenced by IP. Generally speaking, it is comprised of two parts, the outline part and the special topics part. The national intellectual property strategy outline is intended to guide China' IP work in the next 15 to 20 years across the country. It is formulated to facilitate the implementation of the three national strategies as the Strategy of Revitalizing the Nation through Science and Education, the Strategy of Building a Powerful Nation Based on Talents, the Strategy of Sustainable Developments and to provide strong support for the realization of the goal to elevate China to the status of an innovation-based country. It' expected to be a formal statement of the principles, objectives as well as guidelines of our intellectual property system and infrastructure building up. It shall analyze the international and national IP situation faced by China, illustrate the importance of the formulation and implementation of the national intellectual property strategy, clarify the orientation, guiding ideology, basic principles, main objectives, essential measures and the key missions of the IP protection system in China in the future years. The special topic part consists mainly of the following: IPR related macro-issues, such as the influence of IP on economic and social development; a general analysis on the role of the main types of IP, such as patent, trademark, etc; analysis of how to further improve the IP legal system and enhance IP protection environment; key links in the chain of the administration of IP management; the current status and future envision of IP of some specific industries.
The above-mentioned topics are all for the fostering of IP consciousness of the whole society, the facilitating of the creation of IP and its industrialization, the enhancement of enterprises' ability in dealing with IP disputes, the perfect of IP-related laws and regulations, the strengthening of IP protection, the promoting of China' international competitiveness in the IP field, the increase of the dissemination of IP information, the facilitating of the construction of intermediary service system and the fostering of IP talents, etc. So, the formulation of national intellectual property strategy addresses such important development related issues as legal system, talents training, mechanism improvement and platform development, etc.
On June 30, 2005, WuYi, head of the leading group presided over the first plenary session. Ministers of the member ministries and related government organizations attended this meeting. Related issued on the strategy-formulation work such as organizational structure, operation mode, key matters and others were all discussed and made decisions in that meeting.
Deputy premier WuYi made a speech at the meeting. She pointed out that formulation of national intellectual property strategy was the objective need of the reform and opening policies as well as the economic and social developments now underway in China. It is also China' right choice to address and adapt to the challenges of the changing international IP rules. The national intellectual property strategy of P.R. China will focus on facilitating the creation of a sound market environment, which aims to encouraging competition, strengthening our inventive power and increasing the number of independent IP belonging to ourselves. Deputy Premier WuYi also required that all related government organizations should abide by the scientific concept of development, have a clear understanding of the current situation and a good envision of the future. She called on all related government organizations to go all out to take part in the strategy-formulation work, and to facilitate the overall development of our building-up of a well-off society.
According to the work plan of the strategy formulation, the whole process is divided into four phases: the preparation phase, the substantial research phase, public opinion and comments-soliciting phase and the final phase. Now that most research groups have concluded their substantial research work, they are considering of soliciting comments from related government agencies, enterprises, etc.
The whole process of strategy-formulation is open and transparent. The national intellectual property strategy attach much importance to referring to international IP experiences and listening to the opinions and suggestions of other countries on national intellectual property strategy - formulation work. On January 12, 2006, national intellectual property strategy held a meeting to solicit comments on China' National Intellectual Property Stratergy Formulation Work from foreign embassies in Beijing. From February 23 to 24, 2006, national intellectual property strategy organized a international seminar on China' national intellectual property strategy formulation. On July 13, 2006, national intellectual property strategy held a meeting to listen to opinions and suggestions from foreign enterprises in China. And ever since the beginning of the national intellectual property strategy -formulation work, NIPSO has established a specific governmental web-site (www.national intellectual property strategyo.cn) to disseminate related information and collect views and opinions from people of various circles.