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Protection Advances Supply-Side Reforms

Number of visits: Date:2016-09-26

  Intellectual property provides a primary guarantee for advancing supply-side reforms, said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, at a patent conference in Beijing on September 19.

  IP boosts supply-side reforms, which "is of significance to China's new normal economic growth and also promotes the development of the global economy", Shen said at the Patent Information Annual Conference.

  "IP - especially patented technologies - is a strategic resource for development and a key to sharpening competitiveness," he added.

  Annual invention patent filings from China reached 1.1 million in 2015, marking the first time in the country's history to surpass the 1-million benchmark and ranking it above all other countries for five consecutive years.

  In the same year, the number of valid invention patents in the country exceeded 1 million, enabling China to become the third country that has joined the 1-million club after the United States and Japan.

  "How to tap into such a rich patent resource is our major concern," the commissioner said.

  Meng Fengchao, chairman of the Patent Protection Association of China, called on Chinese companies to improve patent quality.

  "Patents matter for industrial competition and innovative development," Meng said. "IP competition comes down to the rivalry for patent quality."

  He called for an optimized patent environment and popularized IP management system certification.

  "Many of our association's members are large State-owned companies, which are a major force in campaigning for building China into a strong IP powerhouse," said Meng, who is also the chairman of the board of directors at China Railway Construction Corp.

  Chinese companies going abroad need to deploy their patent resources and strategies in advance, he said, suggesting that high-value patents be developed in key technological fields in advanced manufacturing and emerging industries.

  Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, noted the importance of a transparent, fair and effective patent system, which is "just right".

  Such a sound system helps to create high-quality patents, which provide significant inventions as technological solutions, rather than trivial exchanges, he said.

  A patent's protection coverage should not be too broad. Otherwise, it would affect future inventions, he added.

  A weak patent system would only leave a bleak landscape where few want to invest in inventions, while a too strong one would also impair technological progress, with litigation-riddled businesses in the patent-crowded markets, he said.

  SIPO Commissioner Shen said the Chinese government has decided to further reforms in the IP sphere in a bid to increase IP use and protection.

  One focus is "to promote patents' industrialization for increased profits and expanded development", he said.

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