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Shanghai boosts IP efforts

By Wang Hongy iin Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2015-04-22 08:37

Shanghai will improve its intellectual property work with a series of efforts to build itself into an IP hub for the Asia-Pacific region, said the top official of the municipality's IP administration.

"So far, Shanghai has been actively working on developing itself into a technology and innovation center with global impact, in which IP plays a very important part," said Lu Guoqiang, director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.

"During the process, IP protection, credit systems, services and commercialization will be our work focus and emphasis," Lu said.

According to the work plan for 2015, the city will deepen IP reform in the Pudong New Area and Shanghai Free Trade Zone by building an integrated system of IP management and law enforcement for patents, trademarks and copyrights.

They will develop a diversified solution mechanism for IP disputes, including judicial protection, administrative supervision, arbitration and third-party mediation, said Lu.

"In this process, we will accumulate experience for the drawing of national IP administration norms that can be borrowed by other free trade zones in China," he said.

The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court was established last year, following courts in Beijing and Guangzhou. It was regarded as an important signal that the protection work of IP rights in the country has entered a new phase.

"In the next step, we will improve the mechanism of judicial IP protection in the Shanghai IP Court. Meanwhile, we will also promote the development of the Chinese Courts International Exchange Base for Judicial Protection of IP Rights," Lu said.

Shanghai also plans to promote the development of the IP service sector through a series of policies and measures. These will include the introduction of new IP financial services, especially on IP-backed loans and IP insurance, building the new Shanghai IP Exchange Center and establishing the National Tech-transfer (East) Center.

The city is working on the establishment of a public service platform for IP information.

"Compared with previous websites, this platform provides more information that integrates resources from different departments," Lu said.

According to a recently released white paper on the city's IP development, patent applications in Shanghai amounted to 81,664 last year, among which applications for inventions accounted for nearly half. The total number of granted patents was 50,488, an increase of 3.7 percent year-on-year.

The number of invention patents per 10,000 residents in the city is currently 23.7, with the target figure set at 26 by the end of this year, Lu said.

"Asia is emerging as a new hotbed for IP activities," said Leon Yee, managing director of international law firm Duane Morris & Selvam LLP in Shanghai. "Now East Asia has overtaken North America and West Europe in the number of applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which is used for the filing of patents in multiple jurisdictions.

"The progress is generating opportunities for Shanghai to position itself as an IP Center in China and Asia, in line with its vision to become an international and leading player in the financial, economic, trade and marine sectors, to play a coordinative and bridging role for regional and international transactions," he added.

Yee noted that China still faces many challenges, such as the lack of effective enforcement of IP rights and poor awareness of IP protection and rights among a variety of industries, especially the manufacturing sector.

Lu added that the city is now developing a working plan for IP protection for the Shanghai Disneyland project, with details expected to be unveiled later this year.

Shanghai boosts IP efforts

Trademarks of international companies are displayed at a museum in Shanghai. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 04/22/2015 page16)

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