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Growing patents show better IPR protection

By CAO YIN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-09-07 10:05
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China's increasingly strong protection of intellectual property rights over the past decade has attracted more foreign enterprises to do business in the country, contributing greatly to opening-up, an IPR regulator said.

"In the past 10 years, we've strengthened efforts in protecting IPR nationwide, and we've always given equal protection to every enterprise, no matter whether it is Chinese-funded or foreign-funded," Zhang Zhicheng, spokesman for the China National Intellectual Property Administration, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Last year, the number of invention patents applied for by foreign entities and authorized by Chinese IPR administrations saw a 23-percent increase year-on-year, while trademarks registered by foreign entities also increased by 5 percent compared with that in 2020, he said.

"The figures fully demonstrate that our IPR protection environment has been approved by those foreign entities," he said.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, government agencies, including the administration, have attached great importance to IPR-related affairs, with various measures taken in IPR protection.

The awarding of punitive damages to those who have their IPR infringed upon has been highlighted in the country's Civil Code, a fundamental law for regulating civil activities, and punishments for IPR violators have been increased in the revised Criminal Law.

A few laws focusing on IPR, such as the Patent Law, the Trademark Law and the Copyright Law, have also been amended in recent years.

"These moves mean our country has been strongly protecting innovators and deterring violators through legislation," Zhang said.

In the past decade, the State Administration for Market Regulation has intensified supervision of IPR violations, organizing its branches nationwide to strictly inspect infringements involving trademarks, patents and geographical indications.

Last year, the branches dealt with more than 50,000 cases regarding trademark or patent infringements, "which contributed a lot to protecting the legitimate rights of IPR owners and building a better innovation environment", said Wang Songlin, an official responsible for IPR inspection from the administration.

Considering counterfeit goods are more frequently discovered online, he said the administration will increase inspection in cyberspace and coordinate with more stakeholders to combat IPR infringements.

"We'll provide more training for our workers to improve their professionalism and quality in handling cases," he added.

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