At a press conference sponsored by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday Zhang Qin, deputy commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), discussed the introduction of China's intellectual property protection in 2005.
According to Zhang, 2005 saw a sharp increase in patent applications and approvals. Patent applications continued to rise rapidly with the average annual growth rate being 20 percent over the past five years and representing an increase of 34.6 percent over 2004. The growth rate of applications for 'invention' patents from China was also much higher than those being received in other countries. Enterprises have been identified the main drivers behind the increase in patent applications.
In 2005 Chinese authorities investigated and completed 49,412 trademark cases, including 6,770 involving foreign companies -- 23 percent more that the number in 2004, Zhang said.
The growth rate of the molecular design register applications was also 9.8 percent higher than last year, he added.
Zhang also explained that trademark applications continued to grow rapidly in China totaling 838,000 cases -- a 10 percent jump on last year. China's cumulative applications for trademark registration had now reached 4.22 million.
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) had strengthened administrative law enforcement and investigated a large number of major trademark cases which had the potential to seriously harm people's health and safety. This was also against the national interests and social and economic order. Statistics show that in 2005, SAIC investigated 49,412 trademark cases, destroyed more than 7,346.75 tons of illegal products and 342 million yuan was paid in fines. Around 235 cases involving 215 suspects were transferred to judicature departments for further investigation.
In 2005 the National Copyright Administration developed a series of initiatives to stem the flood of pirated music, audio-visual material and the protection of internet copyright. Meanwhile administrative departments at various levels continue to strengthen day-to-day market supervision.
Last year copyright management departments accepted and heard 9644 cases in total. Of these 9380 were concluded. In excess of 107 million pieces of pirated goods were confiscated. In addition the state council's IPR and Sino-US trade working groups, the National Copyright Administration and Ministry of Information Industry have constituted measures to protect internet copyright.
Last year Customs scored a number of major successes as China further enhanced IPR protection. To the end of 2005 there were 6307 successes recorded by Customs. So far this year 1610 articles applied to be IPR registered and of these 1469 were approved.
(China.org.cn April 19, 2006)