National People's Congress
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
Deputies in Brief
Meeting Agenda
The Ninth National People's Congress begined from March 5, 2002.
The CPPCC begined at the Great Hall of the People from March 3, 2002.
Advisors Urge for Enhancing IPR Awareness
China needs to enhance society's awareness of intellectual property rights (IPR) to promote the growth of its economy, officials, entrepreneurs and economists believe.

Wuhan city's vice-mayor Gu Shengzu said China must solve urgent problems with its IPR system to meet challenges arising from its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"Without our own technology and IPRs, it's hard for us to win in international competition," he said. China is in an obviously disadvantaged position compared with the West as IPR is concerned, he said.

Surveys show that the number of patent applications by Chinese enterprises is far smaller than that by foreign firms since China established its patent licensing system in 1985.

Chinese enterprises gained fewer foreign patents than a single multinational did.

At the same time, China is facing an appalling drain on IPRs, experts said.

It is estimated that 130,000 Chinese inventions were taken by others free of charge over the past 15 years as they had not been put under IPR protection.

In the development of traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese enterprises lost rights to more than 900 of their own inventions in a patent war, which means a great loss of profit in the world market.

Yin Mingshan, an entrepreneur from Chongqing city in southwest China, said the quantity and quality of IPRs is a major indicator of national strength and a powerful tool in market competition.

"If the current situation continues, Chinese enterprises could hardly have substantial growth, let alone competing with advanced counterparts in the international market," he warned.

In the crucial hi-tech fields, China is already in a siege by foreign enterprises, experts said.

In computer technology, foreign enterprises accounted for 70 percent of the invention patent applications received in China between 1994 and 1998.

The figures for pharmaceutical and biological fields are 61 percent and 87 percent, respectively.

Several economists with the September 3 Society have called in a proposal to the ongoing annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top advisory body, for the government to improve China's IPR system.

The economists called for reforms to the country's scientific awarding system, reduced patent transaction costs, increased spending on research and development, among others.

(People's Daily March 8, 2002)


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