IPR development in national plan

By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-31 07:17

An intellectual property rights (IPR) development program has for the first time been incorporated into national planning.

The 11th Five-Year Plan includes an IPR plan, highlighting IPR's role in promoting social and economic growth.

The draft of the IPR development program for 2006-10 has been submitted to the State Council for approval, and will be made public soon, according to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).

Related readings:
IPR Special
Expo organizers promise safe IPR environment
IPR violation involving foreign firms on the rise
Court weighs in on IPR violations
Int'l laws applied in local IPR cases
IPR violators face tougher sentences
Stricter penalties for IPR violations
Beijing outlines new IPR plan
China, U.S. launch film contest to promote IPR protection
SIPO spokesman Yin Xintian said the program puts more emphasis on the quality of China's intellectual properties, rather than their number, given that the numbers of patents and trademarks are already the top in the world.

Statistics from SIPO show that the number of patent applications filed to the office, including invention, utility, model and design, reached 573,000 in 2006, jumping 20 percent year-on-year. The number of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications, or international applications, reached 3,826 in 2006, soaring 57 percent from that of 2005.

Patents top 3 million

It is expected that the number of patent applications in China will maintain their annual growth rate of 10 to 20 percent over the next four years, Yin told reports at a press conference yesterday in Beijing.

Yin said that by the end of 2006, the accumulated number of patent applications topped 3.33 million, among which, 1.1 million were invention patents.

"It took nearly 15 years for China to reach its first one million patent applications, following the introduction of the Patent Law in the mid-1980s," Yin said. "It then took about four years to reach the next 1 million, but it only took two more years to reach the three million mark."

However, the spokesman pointed out that though the growth of patents is much faster than in the rest of world, the quality of domestic patents lags far behind the leading IPR countries.

Yin said the national IPR strategy, which has been discussed by more than 20 ministries for nearly two years, will be finally agreed by June this year.

China's Vice-Premier Wu Yi heads the team that oversees the strategy, assisted by senior officials from SIPO, the Ministry of Commerce, the National Copyright Administration and the Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Yin said research into 20 projects under the strategy has been finished and the reports will be sent to a panel of experts for deliberation next month. The outline of the strategy is expected to be finalized by February.

Plans to help domestic businesses be more IPR-savvy are included in the strategy, Yin said. The drive to encourage domestic companies to develop IPR portfolios of their own comes as more and more businesses find themselves on the wrong end of IPR lawsuits.

"The friction over IPR between domestic and overseas enterprises is on the rise at present," said Yin. "But the pressure can help Chinese business people have a better understanding of IPR, and make IPR an integral part of their business strategy."

(China Daily 01/31/2007 page2)

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours