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China boosts patent system with focus on expertise and efficiency

By Cao Yin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-12 22:09

China's intellectual property regulator is ramping up efforts to support innovation by promoting patent attorney services and improving patent review standards.

Officials from the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) see patent attorneys as a crucial link between inventors and the administrative process. "They play a vital role in transforming innovative ideas into patents," said Wang Peizhang, head of CNIPA's IP Utilization Promotion Department.

Wang spoke at a forum hosted by the All-China Patent Attorneys Association, highlighting the growth of the industry. "China now has over 76,000 qualified patent attorneys, with more than 34,000 actively practicing," he said, representing a 70 percent increase since 2019.

Wang urged attorneys to prioritize high-quality patent applications, emphasizing the importance of clear technical descriptions. This focus, he believes, will drive the industry towards excellence.

Another CNIPA official, Wei Baozhi, emphasized the equal importance of patent examiners in fostering innovation and safeguarding intellectual property rights. "China has continuously strived to improve the efficiency of patent review," Wei noted, "achieving an average processing time of 16 months last year, ranking among the world's fastest."

With over 16,000 examiners, China granted a record number of patents in 2023: 921,000 invention patents, 2.09 million utility model patents, and 638,000 design patents.

Recognizing the rise of emerging industries, Wei stated that CNIPA prioritized enhancing patent examination standards in fields like big data, artificial intelligence, and gene technology throughout 2023.

"By continuously refining both efficiency and standards," Wei concluded, "We aim to empower China's innovation-driven growth and solidify its position as a global intellectual property leader."

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