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Patent Applications Grow in China, but Global Quality Gap Remains

Number of visits: Date:2018-08-01

  A total of 751,000 applications for invention patents were handled in China in the first half of 2018 as strong growth in the area continued, according to the State Intellectual Property Office.

  By the end of June, more than 1.47 million valid invention patents were held on the Chinese mainland, equivalent to 10.6 for every 10,000 people, said Hu Wenhui, spokesman for SIPO, at a news conference on July 10.

  Chinese applicants submitted more than 23,000 applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty through SIPO in the first six months of 2018, an increase of 6.3 percent year-on-year, Hu said.

  Nevertheless, Bi Nan, director of planning and development at SIPO, said the quality gap between Chinese patents and those from abroad is obvious, especially in some core technology fields including optics, electrical machinery, audio-visual technology, medical technology, transportation and computer technology.

  Bi said that by the end of June, domestic patents outnumbered those from overseas in 32 of a total of 35 technical fields set by the World Intellectual Property Organization. But for patents that have maintained their validity for more than 10 years, there are fewer domestic patents than overseas ones in 28 of 35 technical fields.

  This shows that the quality of the patents filed in core technology sectors and patent strategies need to be continuously improved, Bi said.

  In a third-party social satisfaction survey SIPO conducted in 2017, about 70 percent of respondents said they felt patent quality had improved, said Zheng Huifen, head of SIPO's patent examination affairs department.

  The examination period for trademark applications is expected to be cut to six months by the end of the year, and will be further shortened to four months by 2020, said Cui Shoudong, deputy director of the China Trademark Office.

  The office has taken various measures to meet the challenges of dealing with the increasing number of trademark filings and the large trademark application backlog. The number of trademarks filed in China this year is expected to reach 8 million, Cui said.

  To increase efficiency and optimize the application process, the China Trademark Office has set up comprehensive law enforcement teams to supervise the market and harness greater technology support, Cui said.

  Patent law enforcement has strengthened, providing an innovative and sound business environment, according to the news conference. In the first half of the year, up to 19,900 patent cases were concluded in China, up 23.3 percent year-on-year, Hu said. Of those cases, 12,400 involved patent disputes, while 12,100 related to patent infringement, he said.

  SIPO has also strengthened the protection of geographical indications, which is significant for improving the competitiveness of protected products, protecting consumers' rights and promoting real economy development, said Zhang Zhicheng, director of the protection and coordination department at SIPO.

  China approved 46 products with geographical indications in the first half of 2018 and had protected a total of 2,359 landmark patents, Zhang said.

TypeInfo: Industry trends

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