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Legal framework aids patent application
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-20 08:37

China's legal framework on intellectual property rights (IPR) is being credited for the mushrooming growth in patent applications, according to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).

The past four years have seen 1 million patent applications lodged - the same number tabled in the 15 years from 1985.

"The rapid growth indicated that IPR protection awareness has greatly improved among the Chinese people," said SIPO commissioner Wang Jingchuan.

 SIPO received 308,487 patent applications in 2003 alone. In sharp contrast, 1985 saw only 14,372.

Wang released the latest figures at a seminar on Friday organized by his office and the National People's Congress to mark the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Patent Law.

To further facilitate the process, SIPO officially launched an Internet-based patent application system last week. This makes China one of the few advanced countries in the world, following Japan and the United States, to use an electronic patent application system. Patent applicants or agencies can log on the website www.cponline.gov.cn to start the application process.

Wang Jingchuan said the Chinese Government is resolute in enforcing IPR protection in a bid to create a better environment for sustained economic development.

He called on regional intellectual property administrations to pay special attention to safeguarding IPRs related to international co-operative programmes and Sino-foreign firms.

China has seen a rising number of IPR disputes over the past two years, prompting the SIPO to team up with other government departments to jointly enhance IPR protection.

Wang said the Chinese Government has already listed IPR protection as a key area for regulating the market economy.

He said local protectionism still exists and has largely impaired the enthusiasm for innovation among researchers.

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