Ex­perts: China making progress in IPR pro­tec­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai

zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

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.

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