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Shanghai leads China in IPR strategy
By Chen Qide (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-23 02:40

Leading the pack, Shanghai initiated China's first local programme for intellectual property rights (IPR) strategy Wednesday.

"The strategy aims to help the city sharpen its competitive edge when competing with counterparts in the world market," said Chen Zhixing, director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Rights Bureau.

It is expected to take seven years over two phases to complete, with the programme being the first step.

The second step, which will start as soon as the programme is issued, requires government departments, district governments, industrial associations and enterprises to work out their respective action plans based on the programme.

"We want to establish an IPR working system suitable to China's socialist market economy as well as international practices," Chen said.

Local insiders said China is now confronted with serious challenges from overseas markets in terms of IPR.

Foreign patent applications accounted for 69 per cent of the total China received last year.

In joint ventures, some foreign investors try to replace trade marks of their Chinese partners with their own, through purchasing them or putting them aside.

"This results in the well-known Chinese trade marks disappearing in the market," Chen said.

The State is formulating the country's IPR strategy, he said.

According to Shanghai's programme, the city will have 150 patents and 8,000 registered trade marks per 1 million people by 2010.

The city government will make great efforts to push forward and develop the new copy rights industry with an eye on software network, creation, design and media.

The programme also involves integrated circuit design and new plant strains.

"However, it is not easy to reach the objective, which requires all-round co-operation of the city," Chen said.

At present, the city is still short of technology creation sources, has difficulty in patent transfers and lacks a satisfactory environment to protect IPR from being infringed upon, he said.

He called on the city to create a commercial market system with more intermediaries to promote the trading and application of IPR.

By 2010, the city will form its own IPR service network that will involve IPR agents, appraisal, trading and consultation.

The programme has required 100 local large conglomerates, including Baosteel, Shanghai Huayi Chemical Group and Shanghai Electric Corporation, to step up their own IPR action plans.

"They should have their own IPR to compete with their overseas counterparts if they want to get a firm foothold on the world market," Chen said.

"More attention will also be given to private firms, and small and medium-sized enterprises to help them work out their action plans."

The city will train 50 IPR senior managers in the United States in the next seven years to meet its market demand, he said.

The programme also plans to annually invest 2 billion yuan (US$240 million) in 29 projects to create its own IPR, starting this year.

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