China is to set up a special fund to help domestic enterprises apply for technology patents overseas, a senior official who is responsible for intellectual property rights said Thursday.
The move aims to further support the industrialization of high-tech research results and protect China's major enterprises and institutions on the fiercely competitive global market, said Jiang Ying, a commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), at a national conference on speeding up technology innovation by using patents, which opened in Shanghai Thursday.
Jiang did not give the exact dates for the release of the fund, but said it would be brought into operation as soon as possible.
Some domestic enterprises and research institutes have, in the past, developed advanced technologies, but failed to have them recognized in international markets because they did not apply for patents in foreign countries. This issue has, to some extent, hindered cooperation between Chinese enterprises with their foreign counterparts, according to Jiang.
To further improve the awareness of patent protection among enterprises and research institutes, China will work out relevant regulations to ensure patent holders are correctly protected.
Enterprises that are developing technologies that they plan to have patented will enjoy preferential funding and taxation policies to help them release their patents on the market, said Jiang.
She said that intellectual property rights play an increasing role in the rapid development of technology throughout the world. The range of patents has also widened with the production of new technologies.
The United States, for example, has started to protect patented know-how concerning genetic products and the Internet.
Intellectual property rights are now an aspect of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) work and have become an important part of international trade.
China must brave this challenge before joining the WTO, Jiang stressed.
Although China has scored remarkable achievements in patent protection since it implemented the Patent Law in 1985, economic, scientific and business circles and the public still lack awareness of intellectual property rights and their protection, Jiang said.
SIPO statistics indicated that Japanese companies apply for thousands of patents abroad each year, whereas China applies for only 300 patents a year abroad. This lack of patent applications is a major obstacle to the competitiveness of domestic firms on the world market, she said.
Jiang urged regional patent administrations to weave patent protection into technology innovation projects to help reinforce enterprises' competitiveness.
(China Daily 11/03/2000)