Commercial IP management is crucial to companies

Updated: 2011-09-30 08:16

By Hao Nan (China Daily)

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Even though China's intellectual property (IP) services have made lot of improvements in recent years, especially after an IP strategy was outlined in 2008, they still need to speed up their development, a government official has told the Zhongguancun forum.

Wang Jingchuan, president of the Patent Protection Association of China, made the remark at an IP session, where he added that, in addition to lacking the needed laws and policies, most Chinese companies and institutions engaged in IP services are small and have little influence.

They also lack international competitiveness and capabilities to open up new markets and there are "still more problems waiting to be solved", Wang said.

This session and five others were being held parallel to the Annual Conference of Zhongguancun Forum on September 29. They began at the same time as the forum, and are a place where experts and scholars discuss various issues involving brands and innovation, training talented people, the creative industry, technology financing, and emerging industries.

Wang also suggested that the central government encourage private capital to invest in the industry for further expansion, try harder to share IP service information, get companies to establish their own IP database, and strengthen management for more order in the industry.

The industry also needs to be enlarged, from IP agencies and legal advice to software development, data processing, patent searches, and analysis in depth, Wang noted.

Alex Hou Cheong Yu, founder of the K-STRATEGIAN LLP, a consultancy specializing in knowledge and IP, told participants at the session about how to use technology transfers and licensing to turn IP to money.

"Patents have no value until people put them into a business model or, in other words, commercialize them," Yu commented.

"Innovation develops so fast around the world, and invisible assets are more valuable than physical assets. So, having commercial IP management is crucial to companies," he noted.

"Large companies can transfer protected technologies to get revenue, while those who have no ability to commercialize their patented work can choose to license it to others to get paid."

According to Yu, good technology transfers and licensing require an effective IP strategy and supporting policies. But, the goal is to benefit the general public in the commercialization process and to reward the inventor, developer, and the licenser, because they pay a lot to bring the valuable technologies to the marketplace.

Meanwhile, as opposed to the traditional focus by IP management on technology controls, companies now see that cooperation and joint innovation are more important for survival and progress.

(China Daily 09/30/2011 page7)