Cross-border patent applications went up as companies tap into overseas market
Chinese market entities have increased the protection of intellectual property rights mainly in the industries of digital technology and biotechnology, trying to ensure those rights can also be granted and protected overseas, an IPR official said.
"As more Chinese enterprises go abroad to participate in international cooperation and competition, cross-border protection on IPR has become a compulsory course for these innovative companies to expand into the international market," Ge Shu, head of the strategic planning department with the China National Intellectual Property Administration, told a news conference on Tuesday.
Last year, the number of invention patents applied for by Chinese enterprises and individuals as well as granted by major countries and regions in the world reached 46,000, up 14.1 percent year-on-year and also 2.4 times as many as that in 2016, according to Ge.
Among Patent Cooperation Treaty patent applications made and disclosed by Chinese companies and individuals last year, most focused on computer science, digital telecommunication and audio-video technology, he said, adding that those on biological materials and organic fine chemicals also grew rapidly.
Statistics provided by the European Patent Office showed that it received 17,000 invention patent applications from China last year, hitting a new record, and of those, Chinese companies, such as Huawei, ZTE, OPPO, Baidu and Tencent, were included in the top 50 list of enterprise applicants, he said.
"All the figures have indicated that our country's market entities are making more efforts in protecting their IPR overseas," he said. "We also hope all the applications can be reviewed, granted and effectively protected by overseas authorities in a timely manner."
While encouraging Chinese applicants to better use IPR knowledge to protect their patents overseas, China has also provided more investment confidence for foreign entities by intensifying trademark protection.
Hu Wenhui, deputy head of the administration, said that there were fewer than 2,000 trademark applicants from foreign entities in 1983, when the Chinese Trademark Law took effect. "But the number reached 258,000 last year," he added.
By the end of June, market entities from more than 200 countries or regions had registered and held trademarks in China, of which most come from the United States, Japan and Germany.
To continuously stimulate the market's vitality, he said that the administration has also paid close attention to regularly cracking down on improper trademark applications, including malicious trademark registration and trademark squatting.
As of June, China's valid invention patents had reached 3.9 million, up 17.5 percent year-on-year, and its valid registered trademarks were over 40 million, up 20.9 percent year-on-year, he added.