China to enhance IPR protection to improve business climate, boost tech innovation
China will further strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights as part of efforts in effectively protecting the lawful rights and interests of all types of market players, fostering a more enabling business environment, boosting technological innovation, and deepening international cooperation, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on July 17.
The Chinese government takes the protection of intellectual property rights very seriously. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that stronger protection of intellectual property rights can best bolster the sharpening of China’s economic competitiveness. He stressed the need to strengthen the ranks of law enforcers, step up the enforcement of law, significantly raise the cost for offenders, and see that the law fully plays its deterrent role. Premier Li Keqiang said that strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights is a consistent position of the Chinese government, all companies registered in China, domestic and foreign-invested, will be treated as equals, and the lawful rights and interests of foreign businesses will be safeguarded. Strengthening intellectual property protection across the board was clearly set out in the Government Work Report this year.
Recent years have seen China’s notable progress in IPR protection. Since 2012, the National Intellectual Property Administration has commissioned a third-party survey every year inviting the public to rate government performance in IPR protection. Results show the level of public satisfaction has been going up year after year. In the Global Innovation Index published by the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2018, China moved up in the rankings, from No 22 in 2017 to No 17, making its way into the world’s top 20 for the first time.
“Further enhancing the protection of intellectual property rights is crucial to improving our property rights protection system. It is required by scientific and technological innovation and essential for China’s greater opening-up,” Premier Li said.
The meeting decided to intensify IPR-related law enforcement and stressed that all types of market parties must be treated as equals. Efforts to formulate and improve the criteria for determining, checking and verifying infringements and counterfeits of patents, trademarks and copyrights will be accelerated.
Special campaigns against violations of IPR-related law will be further carried out, and severe punishment involving hefty fines will be meted out to combat all IPR infringement. International cooperation on IPR protection will be enhanced to make it easier for companies to seek IPRs and their protection overseas.
The process of revising the Patent Law and the Copyright Law, a new round of comprehensive revision of the Trademark Law, and the revision of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law will be advanced. The costs for breach of law will be significantly raised.
The quality and efficiency of IPR examination will continue to be improved, it was required at the meeting. The smart system of patent examination and trademark registration will be developed at a faster pace. The goal is to shorten, by the end of this year, the time required for reviewing applications of high-value patents to within 17.5 months, and the average review period for trademark registration to within five months.
“Greater efficiency is needed in patent and trademark examinations, and a greater number of patents in core areas and with high value will be promoted. It is particularly important to increase the patent commercialization rate, which is relatively low at the moment,” Premier Li said.