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China Gets Serious about Intellectual Property

China Gets Serious about Intellectual Property

This article titled, “China Gets Serious about Intellectual Property” by Jeff Lindsay bears an account of how China has been steadily emerging from its shadow of being a copier of IP in the West and developing strong IP systems on its own. The article goes on to elaborate the specific progresses made by China in the field of innovations and intellectual properties. However, can we reckon this development as comprehensive and sustainable?

It is a popular belief that China is indeed a copier that has been rampantly exploiting the intellectual properties of the West and has always been ignorant about intellectual property rights. The reality, however, is quite different from what is being portrayed. Today, China has registered fast and steady progress towards structuring an IP system that enforces respects and protects IP rights. As a result, companies operating in the Chinese markets are successfully protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights in this country. Their experiences pertaining to successful enforcement of intellectual property rights in China has propagated consumer product firms to assume heightened seriousness regarding protection of their innovations in China and also in the other countries they are in operation.

Chinese companies have now joined the race for creating robust IP portfolios in the country and way beyond. The tax incentives provided by China and its structured patent system has contributed significantly to this progression. In fact, substantial R&D investments and growing emphasis on creativity and technical competence has made Chinese intellectual properties vulnerable to infringement from the western countries. Quite understandably, China is all slated to become the number one patent filer in the world after overtaking Japan in the 2011. China has also emerged as the world leader with respect to the volume of patent related lawsuits being debated in the local courts and the number of judgments awarded in favor of patent protection.

There are several areas in which Chinese innovators have made remarkable progress in patent filings. A case in point could be the bio-fuels patents, where China emerged as the largest source of IPs related to this sector and other bio-products. The universities of China are increasingly filing more and more patents and have also been enforcing them successfully. Therefore, China has clearly adopted a comprehensive stand for progressing towards developing into a major source of global innovations and IP.

The newspapers are abuzz with the recent developments as well. The China Daily edition 13th July 2011 carried a story titled, “Courts Do More for IPR [Intellectual Property Rights] Protection.” The article went on to elaborate that the Chinese government is most keen on gathering more knowledge pertaining to the protection of IP rights from its western counterparts. This knowledge when clubbed with the lightning fast turnaround schedules Chinese courts function on could truly create wonders. The article also went on to state that 9,000 arrests were already registered through the last two thirds of the year, which as a clear repercussion of the legal enforcements against IP rights violations and piracy. Through these 9 months, the courts received 2,492 cases among which 1,985 have been adjudicated.

The 17th page of the same issue also carried remarkable news items related to the IP related developments that took place across the country. These included, the proprietary noise reduction technology for subways that was being installed on the capital’s new line 10, the phenomenal growth registered by the LED industry in China, the solar water heater that was developed and is being patented by its inventors who developed it on extremely low costs and the Yuchai Group diesel design which now boasts of 6000 patents and happens to be the pioneer of “green power” in China today.

It also had a report detaining the prison terms and associated fines applicable for producers dealing in counterfeit liquor. It also had an article on a national innovation exhibit that showcased grass root level innovations and also a write up on educating the children of China for boosting the spirit of innovation in their formative years. Together, it carried loads of matter on IP as well as innovation related affairs, suggesting the importance and relevance of these topics in China today.

In an age where the western countries are continually restricting the accessibility of patents and making them less valuable, thus stifling innovative brilliances in the process, China has adopted a directly opposite path. The Chinese government is striving to build stronger systems for intellectual properties, making them more valuable. They are continually inspiring innovations and creation of intellectual properties. Naturally, innovations are growing at a healthy pace in China. Newer firms are becoming keener on protecting their innovations from the west rather than trying to emulate them for creating new technologies and models. Clearly, China is gradually assuming commanding position with respect to IP rights, the world over.

Note: The preceding is a summary of an article found though our research, and is provided here with editorial comment for members only. Please see the full article at the following link:

The New Asia Innovation Team