Experts: China making progress in IPR protection
China has achieved remarkable results in the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) ever since the implementation of the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy in 2008, according to industry experts.
Lu Wei, a senior research fellow and director-general of the department of technoeconomy at the Development Research Center of the State Council, noted that more than 15 IP-related laws and regulations have been passed and revised since 2008 by the National People’s Congress and the State Council.
She added that the introduction of more severe punishments, such as increasing the upper limit of infringement compensation from 500,000 yuan ($78,000) to 3 million yuan, have also helped deter people from breaking the law.
According to Lu, law enforcement mechanisms have also been improved throughout the country via stronger judicial and administrative enforcement capabilities, while special tribunals to handle IP leading Chinese brands in mobile communications, have emerged. They now take up two of the top five seats in the world with regard to the number of patents protected by the Patent Cooperation Treaty,” she said.
Wang Jingchuan, chairman of the Patent Protection Association of China, added that despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy, the number of applications for trademark registration have risen by more than 21 percent last year, with those pertaining to computer software copyrights growing by 33 percent.
“China has entered an active period of innovation and the percentage of its expenditure on research and development in GDP has grown continuously in the past years,” said Wang, who also serves as director of the advisory committee for the State Intellectual Property Office.
“China’s research and development expenditure now account for 20 percent of the world’s, while the number of scientific research personnel in the country make up 19 percent of the total around the globe,” said Wang.
He pointed out that this longterm investment in science and technology, as well as efforts in IPR protection have in turn brought about notable achievements, referring to the emergence of the country as a world leader in sectors such as the manufacturing of high-speed railways and extra-high voltage products.
Despite the progress made, Lu believes that more can still be done — such as hiring more elite talents for the scientific research and high-end technological industries — as she said that the country is still a huge importer of technology and IP. According to statistics from UN Comtrade, an international trade statistics database, the amount of imported tech in China in 2013 stood at 71 percent, still a high figure despite it being a 10 percent drop from 2001.
Wang added that the protection of intellectual property rights will be a constant challenge as hi-tech sectors and new business models continue to emerge, saying: “Online piracy and IP violations enabled by digital technologies and Internet applications have shown new characteristics and law enforcers must take them into account and come up with new solutions,” he said.