China Sees Continuous Improvement in IP Quality and Efficiency in 2019

China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently released statistics for the year 2019 on patents, trademarks, geographical indications (GI) and layout designs of integrated circuits. The numbers showed steady and gradual uptick of main IP indicators in 2019 and the quality and efficiency of IP has been improved constantly.

In 2019, 361,000 invention patents were granted to domestic users, 344,000 or 95.4% of which were service patents. Huawei (4,510), Sinopec (2,883) and OPPO (2,614) ranked top three in granted invention patents in China. As of the end of 2019, granted invention patents in China had amounted to 1.862 million. The number of invention patents owned by every 10,000 people reached 13.3. Beijing (132) ranked first in the number of patents owned by every 10,000 people, followed by Shanghai (53.5) and Jiangsu (30.2). In 2019, CNIPA received 61,000 PCT applications, up 10.4%; 57,000 of which were from local users, up 9.4%. Guangdong (24,700), Beijing (7,200) and Jiangsu (6,600) were the most prolific provinces. In 2019, the number of patent applications for invention, utility model and industrial design concluded were 1.023 million, 1.981 million and 744,000 respectively. The pendency for examination of higher-valued invention applications was shrunk to 17.3 months. User satisfaction rate on patent examination was 84.8 points. For patent reexamination, 55,000 requests were filed and 37,000 were concluded; 6,000 filed for patent invalidation and 5,000 concluded.

In 2019, 7.837 million trademark applications were filed in China. The number of registered trademarks in China was 6.406 million, 6.178 million of which were filed inside the country. As of the end of 2019, China had housed 25.219 million valid registered trademarks, up 28.9%. In 2019, Chinese applicants submitted 6,491 Madrid international trademark applications. As of the end of 2019, the valid Madrid international trademark applications from China were 38,000. In 2019, the concluded trademark applications were 8.253 million and the average examination pendency for trademark registration was curtailed below 4.5 months, exceeding the year's goals preset by the State Council. For trademark opposition, 144,000 requests were received and 90,000 were concluded; 361,000 for review received and 337,000 were concluded.

In 2019, CNIPA unveiled the unified GI logo. There were five products awarded GI protection, 462 GI trademarks registered and 301 businesses certified to use GIs.

CNIPA received 8,319 registered applications of layout designs of integrated circuits, up 87.7%; 6,614 were certified, up 73.4%.

In 2019, IP administrations across the nation handled 39,000 administrative cases for patent infringement dispute, up 13.7%; two infringement cases for layout designs of integrated circuits. In 2019, IP royalties generated in import and export exceeded 37 billion dollars. The volume of patent and trademark pledge financing amounted to 151.5 billion yuan, up 23.8%. The volume of patent pledge financing stood at 110.5 billion yuan, up 24.8%; securing 7,060 items as collaterals, up 30.5%.

According to experts, the statistics presented three features. First, the ability to protect IP from the start has been continuously strengthened and examination pendency for high-valued patents and average examination period for trademark registration have been curtailed, an important sign of notable progress in improving quality and efficiency of IP examination and enhanced capability of IP protection from the start. Second, IP policy is more in line with market demand, effectively stimulating the vitality of market entities and the vigor for innovation and entrepreneurship. Third, IP strongly supports a higher level of opening up, foreign patent and trademark applications in China have continued to increase, reflecting the confidence and vitality of foreign investment in China.

(Source: China IP News)