Invented something? Now flaunt it here
SHANGHAI: Calling budding inventors. If you think you've got something good to offer the world, now there is a place to show it off and perhaps get the cash to see it sell.
The city government has opened China's first patent exchange centre to promote inventions and sales of patents.
The number of patent applications has rocketed in the last few years, in keeping with the growth of China's economy.
There were more than 20,000 last year alone.
However, many individual patent applications did not come to fruition because of a lack of cash or a lack of knowledge. The new centre should help solve these issues.
The building, in Yangpu District, has a patent exhibition hall and will provide a platform for the exchange and use of patents, copyrights and trade marks, said Xu Zhanglin, deputy director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Administration.
A special exchange network would open in June and link inventors with investors. Then products may actually reach the shops.
"The centre will also help firms reinforce their management of intellectual property and in so doing sharpen their competitive edge both at home and abroad," said Li Yaoting, director of the centre.
Yesterday's inauguration of the centre was part of a citywide campaign to protect IPR, and also echoing World Intellectual Property Day which falls today.
"Setting up the centre will give an impetus to the invention of more patents and their efficient use," said Xu.
Over the past four years, the city has received 1 million patent applications, equal to the amount it had between 1985 and 2000. In 1985, the city had only 806 applications, whereas last year saw 20,471.
Gu Yonghua, a spokesman for the Shanghai IPR Administration, said 70 per cent of the applications came from enterprises and 30 per cent from individuals.
"This is because Shanghai has more foreign-funded ventures and provides a favourable policy environment," Gu said.
About 80 per cent of the enterprise patent applications have been implemented, but only 10 per cent of the individual patents were because the owners lacked funds and did not know how to implement then.
IPR experts said the city should reinforce efforts to further raise people's awareness of patent protection and use by making the patent system better known.
In the past 20 years, the administration has handled 407 patent cases, 93 per cent of which have been settled.
(China Daily 04/26/2005 page3)