During the 40 years of reform and opening up, China has been striving to inspire innovation from within and building up its IP system. Number of IPRs has been constantly setting record-highs while IPR protection has been constantly strengthened and IPR use has been constantly optimized.
IP Creation Boosts both in Quality and Quantity
Number of patents has achieved massive development, with patent structure and portfolio continuing to optimize. Since the implementation of China's Patent Law in 1984, China has maintained a rapid growth in patent applications received. In terms of invention patent applications filed, which is the best demonstration of a country's innovative power, China has surpassed Europe, South Korea, Japan and the United States of America in turn, locking the first place for seven consecutive years since2011. Percentages of invention patent applications filed by and patents granted domestic companies have grown rapidly, making up 63.4% and 63.8% of the totals in their respective category in the first half of 2018. China's own army of prolific patent users such as Huawei and Sinopec are emerging. In 2017, Chinese applicants have filed 48,882 international applications via PCT, ranking No.2in the world for the first time.
In terms of patent examination, China National Intellectual Property Administration is committed to providing high-quality and efficient examination services to applicants by improving examination capacity and curtailing pendency. The pendency for invention patents is shrunk from 68 months at the end of the Eighth Five-Year Plan to 22months at the end of 2016, down by 68%; utility model nine (2006) to six months (2016), down 67%; design six (2006) to three months (2016), down 50%.
China has been becoming a global leader in innovation and brand. After 40 years' of reform and opening up, the number of registered trademark has increased from 27,459 in 1979 to 15.641649 million in2017. As of July of 2018, China housed 17.1815 million valid registered trademarks, one trademark owned by every six market players. There were 755,8,685 and 30,562 Madrid international trademark applications from domestic applicants in 1998, 2008 and 2017 respectively after China acceded to the Madrid Agreement for International Registration of Trade Marks on October 4,1989. Chinese applicants took the third place in number of applications filed in the Madrid Union in 2017.
China received 2,048 international trademark applications for territorial extension in 1990, and this number reached 731,783 in 2017, ranking the first in the world for 13 consecutive years since China became the member of the agreement. This fully demonstrated that China's investment and business environment has been attracting foreign businesses to anchor down here.
In 2001, geographic indication (GI) became protectable under trademark law in China. In 2007 and 2017, 301 and 3,906 GI trademarks were registered respectively.
Protection of GI products delivers. After20 years' trial-and-error, a national GI product protection system featuring Chinese characters and in line with international practice has come into shape since its debut in 1996. China has signed MoUs with EU, France, Italy, Thailand and Mexico, and collaborated with relevant authorizes of the UK, the US, and Japan. In a bid to promote international protection and coordination of GI products, China has joined hands with EU to hold symposiums on protection of EU-China GI products several times. As of the end of 2017, there were 2,283national GI products under protection, 2,222 of which were domestic and 61 were foreign. National GI products protection demonstration areas were established in 21 locations. More than 8,000 businesses were certified to use GI products, with a total value of over 1 trillion yuan, benefiting over 10 million people. The protection of GI products has played a vital role in protecting national brands, upholding traditional culture, preserving original quality and promoting targeted poverty alleviation.
IP Protection Creates Sound Business Environment
During the past 40 years, China has formulated and revised its laws and regulations including trademark law, patent law, copyright law and anti-unfair competition law multiple times. An IP law system, extensive and in line with international rules, has come into shape, providing strong support for beefing up IP protection. In parallel, China continues to improve judicial and administration protection mechanism and step up IP protection by establishing specialized IP courts and tribunals and cracking down upon IP infringement and counterfeiting goods. In 2017, public satisfaction on IP protection was 76.69 points, up 4.31 over last year and up13 points over 2012. Foreign businesses in China are becoming more and more satisfied with IP protection in China with their satisfaction points higher than the national average in the past three years.
Rapid and coordinated protection and activities in right enforcement have been accelerated. As of now, China has approved 19 IP protection centers, 19 IP rights rapid enforcement centers, 76IP aid centers, and more than 900 brand centers and work stations to better meet the need of innovators and market players, thus providing IP services for innovation-driven development and creating a sound innovation, investment and business environment.
IPR Use Supports Innovation-Driven Development
During the 40 years, development of structural reform of allocation of equity, IP commercialization system and IP intensive industries has greatly boosted socio-economic development.
China has facilitated IP financing and pledging. Companies have secured loans of 300 billion yuan by pledging their IPRs from 2008 to 2017. Number of trademarks registered for pledging increased from 749 in 2008 to 7,962 in 2017. Bank loans and guarantees were 59.8 billion yuan in 2008 and 358.3 billion yuan in 2017, which is one of the effective ways to ease the financing difficulty of SMEs and micro business, and facilitate their innovation-driven development via IPRs.