China has fulfilled its commitments on intellectual property rights protection, according to a white paper titled "China and the World Trade Organization" released by the State Council Information Office last week.
Strengthening IPR protection is the centerpiece for improving the protection system as a whole, and will provide a great boost to the competitiveness of the Chinese economy. It will not only serve China's own development needs, but also help to cultivate a business environment that is law-based, internationalized and business-friendly, the report said.
China encourages technological exchanges and cooperation between domestic and foreign enterprises, and protects IPR owned by foreign enterprises in China. "At the same time, we hope foreign governments will also improve protection of Chinese IPR," the report added.
Since acceding to the WTO, China has formulated and improved its laws and regulations on IPR protection, set up working mechanisms with many countries, drawn upon advanced international legislative practices, and built an IPR legal system that conforms to WTO rules and suits specific conditions in China.
The country has continuously strengthened law enforcement of IPR protection. It has enhanced the dominant role of the judiciary in IPR protection to raise the costs for offenders and fully unlock the deterrent effect of relevant laws. The State Intellectual Property Office has been restructured to strengthen law enforcement.
China has set up three IPR courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and special judicial organs at 15 intermediate courts in Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Xi'an and other cities to handle cross-regional IPR cases, including those related to patents, according to the white paper.
The country has also strengthened administrative law enforcement of intellectual property protection and launched special campaigns targeting outstanding problems, which increased IPR protection.
Thanks to these efforts, notable results have been achieved. Since 2001, intellectual property royalties paid by China to foreign right holders has registered annual growth of 17 percent, reaching $28.6 billion in 2017.
Last year, China received 1.38 million invention patent applications, ranking it No 1 in the world for the seventh consecutive year. Nearly 10 percent of the applicants were foreign entities and individuals.
Invention patent applications filed by foreign entities and individuals in China reached 136,000 in 2017, growing considerably over the past few years. In 2001, China filed just 33,000 invention patent applications.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, 51,000 patent applications filed from China through the Patent Cooperation Treaty were accepted in 2017, second only to the United States.