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Firms encouraged to be patent-minded
By Cui Ning
Updated: 2005-02-28 09:38

As of this year, intellectual property rights (IPRs) will be a recognized criterion for evaluating technological achievements of companies, the Ministry of Information Industry has announced.

The move aims to stimulate domestic IT firms to develop more independently created technologies under IPR protection, according to the ministry's Electronic IPR Service Centre.

With the progress of economic globalization, domestic companies, especially IT firms, are facing tough competition from their foreign counterparts, China Intellectual Property Rights News quoted the centre's official Zhang Heteng as saying.

Lack of self-developed technology invariably puts domestic producers in an embarrassing position. They must upgrade their competitiveness, Zhang said, and enhancing the awareness of intellectual property rights is crucial to that.

In order to deepen IPR awareness among domestic companies, the ministry set up the IPR threshold and list it as the first benchmark. Companies which fail to pass this threshold will be excluded from further technological evaluation.

Starting this year, companies must obtain patent or copyright registration before they take part in technological evaluation, he said.

In China, some ministerial or provincial-level departments regularly hold evaluation and awarding activities to encourage companies or individuals who have an excellent invention and technological development track record.

Zhang said some companies have performed well in developing patented technologies and protecting intellectual property rights.

The Lenovo Group, for example, has applied for dozens of patents for its Shenteng super computer system. But many others still ignore IPR protection.

The Ministry of Information Industry will prioritize support to companies who hold IPR-based technologies, he added.

The State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, has also been actively promoting IPR protection, said Zhao Meisheng, an official with the State Intellectual Property Office.

 "If all industrial sectors incorporate intellectual property rights in technological development plans, their inventions will be greatly propelled," said Zhao.

For a long time, the country's IT industry has been developing at the cost of large amounts of capital and resources, said Ni Guangnan, a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences. At the same time the industry has been troubled by IPR disputes. It is very important to develop self-created technology under the umbrella of intellectual property rights, said Ni.

In recent years, basic software products and domestically made computerized database have greatly improved, and China is no longer totally reliant on importing those products from overseas, added Ni.

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