Business / Industries

'Tough path' lay ahead for China's IP sector

By Wang Xin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-10 10:08

While nation excels in creation and filing of patents, it is falling short in its law enforcement

The State Intellectual Property Office released a comprehensive report in Beijing on Thursday on the latest development trends in China's intellectual property sector.

The report analyzes trends from 2010 to 2014 in IP creation, utilization, protection and environment.

"China posted a continuous, steady growth in IP creation, utilization, protection and environment over the past five years," said Han Xiucheng, director of SIPO's Intellectual Property Development and Research Center, which was tasked with compiling the report.

SIPO received 928,000 applications for invention patents in 2014, a 12.5 percent rise from a year ago. International filings through the Patent Cooperation Treaty increased 14.2 percent to 26,000 last year.

Trademark applications surpassed 2.88 million, an increase of 21.5 percent over 2013, copyright registrations reached 992,000 and more than 2,000 applications for new plant varieties were filed in 2014.

But while the growing numbers are impressive, improving IP quality is just as significant and requires more joint efforts, Han said.

Patents, for example, involve high-level inventions, professional documentation by agencies, efficiency in the processing of filings, sound market competition and public respect, he explained.

The growing number of IP creations has brought about a boom in IP-collateralized loans.

Patent-collateralized loans surged 92.6 percent to 48.9 billion yuan ($7.88 billion) nationwide last year, while trademark-collateralized loans reached 51.9 billion yuan, up 29 percent year-on year.

While three IP-dedicated courts opened in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2014, administrative enforcement officials increased their protection efforts. They investigated more than 94,000 IP infringement complaints across the country, about 24,000 of them related to patents and 67,400 of them involving trademark disputes.

Guangdong topped all 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the Chinese mainland in terms of its IP comprehensive development index, a measure of how the IP sector is expanding in each region.

Beijing ranked second in the rankings and Shanghai took third, followed by Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.

The top five rated regions are all situated in the eastern part of the country and scored more than 80 out of 100.

The report said the country shows a marked difference between its eastern and western regions in IP development because of a development imbalance in local economies, market growth and the uneven distribution of industries.

Of 12 western provinces, autonomous regions and a municipality, four were above the benchmark score of 60.

For the first time, the report added international comparisons in its analysis, Han said, to cover Singapore, 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.

The countries together contributed to more than 98 percent of global R&D expenditure and at least 89 percent of invention patent filings worldwide. Their combined GDP accounted for approximately 88 percent of the world's total.

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