As the world's top patent filer, China needs to develop more high-value patents that feature cutting-edge technology, market competitiveness and legal stability, industry insiders said at a seminar held last week as part of the China Patent Annual Conference 2017.
Li Cheng, deputy general manager of Intellectual Property Publishing House, a patent intelligence provider, said patent creation is the source of the entire patent industry.
However, "compared with those strong patent powerhouses around the world, China lacks basic, original and high-value patents, especially in some core sectors," he said.
Liu Huabing, head of the patent information department at the publishing house, said a high-value patent is the integration of high-quality technical solutions, a well-composed patent application, high-standard examinations and good market potential.
"The quality of patents in China needs to improve so that companies can find more value from technology," he said.
"A more urgent need is to commercialize many unused patents. But before commercialization, we have to analyze their value."
With two years' effort, Intellectual Property Publishing House has developed a system to recognize, analyze and develop high-value patents and patent packages. Its demo version was unveiled at the seminar.
Using big data technology, the system has identified about 46,500 patents in China as high-value patents. More than 630,000 patents could become high-value ones if they were further developed, and another 1.5 million patents or more "have some potential value", according to Liu.
The system's initial version is planned to launch by the end of this year, Liu said.
Shi Liangyan, IP director at China's leading wind power developer Goldwind Science and Technology, said a high-value patent must be "related to the necessary functions of a product".
"As technology advances quickly, the best solution yesterday may no longer be the best today, and we will no longer renew the patent," she said.
"In that case, the patent cannot be called a high-value one despite its high quality, because of its short life span."
Shi said the development of high-value patents in a company requires proper culture, systems and talent.
"We should have an environment that encourages innovation and tolerates failures," she explained. "We should also have incentive systems and build up professional teams of researchers and developers, as well as lawyers and market personnel."