The number of patent and trademark applications by foreign applicants have continued to grow in the first half of the year, showing that China’s efforts in improving intellectual property protection (IPR) have gained more recognition worldwide, an official from National Intellectual Property Administration said.
Gan Shaoning, the administration’s deputy director, said on Thursday that in the first seven months, foreign applicants have filed 92,000 patent applications, up 8.3 percent year-on-year, and 149,000 trademark applications, an increase of 13.1 percent year-on-year.
“It represents that China’s active efforts in building a good environment for intellectual property rights protection has been recognized,” he said.
He added that China will strive to build a more comprehensive IPR protection system with stricter regulations and law enforcement, faster access to applications and better equality enjoyed by applications of all kinds.
Gan made the remarks at a meeting at one of the administration’s patent examination centers in Beijing. It was the first time that an office of the administration was open to domestic and foreign press.
China in recent years has geared up its work in IPR protection. In April, President Xi Jinping stressed in his keynote speech at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will strengthen its international cooperation on IPR protection and strive to create a business environment that respects the value of creation and original knowledge.
According to Gan, China is accelerating amendments to IPR laws that will significantly increase the cost of infringement.
For example, the newly revised trademark laws, which will take effect on Nov 1, has set the compensation for malicious infringement of trademarks at up to five times the amount of actual losses and raised the upper limit of compensation from 3 million yuan ($421,620) to 5 million yuan, which Gan said is “comparatively high in the world”.
He also added that the administration and other departments are jointly promoting a credit system linked to intellectual property which will punish those who engage in dishonest behaviors.
In recent years, China’s IPR protection system has earned a good global reputation. According to Doing Business 2019, a flagship publication by the World Bank that measures the overall business environment, China was ranked 46 among 190 economies in ease of doing business, up from 78 in 2017.
The 2019 member survey by the US China Business Council also showed that nearly 60 percent of respondents reported improved IPR protection in the China market.
Zhang Zhicheng, director of the administration’s IPR protection division, said these figures show an increasing satisfaction on China’s IPR protection from foreign applicants.
He said China will continue to improve the legal system as well as its law enforcement and arbitration mechanism to protect foreign IPR holders in China and provide more convenient access for them to file applications.