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Innovation, IP to Be Core Element of China’s Economic Growth

Innovation, IP to Be Core Element of China’s Economic Growth

According to a news feature published in Chicago on the September 28, 2010, Intellectual Properties resulting from Chinese innovations will emerge to be one of the major determinants for economic development in China, believes a famous legal expert. General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd, Mr. Richard L. Thurston, also believes that IP and innovations originating in the land of China would have a very important role to play in reforming the Scientific and Technological R&D of the country.

In an important address at the John Marshall Law School situated in Downtown Chicago, Thurston went on to explain that the key focus of Chinese IP Innovation is on assets. This is precisely the reason due to which this would end up being a key facilitator for the economic development of the nation, over the years. With the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd (TSMC) which is headquartered in Taiwan, being one of the market leaders in semiconductor manufacturing, Thurston’s views are definitely worth considering.

Thurston also went on to state that China has become immensely serious about its law reforms with respect to IPR protection. However, the reasons or the basis of protection is not the same as that of the US. He expressed faith that China would continue its endeavors towards legal reforms and enforcement of IPR related laws on the domestic front, even as it continues to modify its IP system concurrently. Thurston also predicted that companies of Chinese origin would lay its priorities on the development of an IP portfolio.

In fact, Thurston also remains hopeful that China would strive to become the world leader with respect to IP portfolios and would be successful in enforcing Intellectual Property Rights domestically and internationally. He also noted that China is enhancing its focus towards R&D and is showing immense commitment towards protection of its IP assets and the evolving Intellectual Property system. He also put forth certain specific statistics for supporting his claims and future predictions.

The expenditure on research and development in China, surged by almost 17.7% between 2008 and 2009, reaching a figure of 543.3 billion Yuan. Patent application trends during this phase were just as suggestive of his claims. Among the 976,686 patents filed through 2009, 877,611 were of domestic origin. And, of the 314,573 new innovations registered during this year, 229,096 were domestic again! By the end of the year, of the 1,520,000 patents that were registered in this country, 1,193,000 were domestic. Therefore, Thurston could easily conclude that these numbers were strongly representative of China’s unflinching focus on R&D activities that have picked up pace lately.

He also spoke briefly about the Chinese law reforms with respect to IP rights. He mentioned the new legal initiatives, such as the formation of brand new arbitration commissions in October 2008 and the Shanghai Arbitration Commission comprising 24 arbitrators and consultants. He asserted that Chinese legal reforms would be the instigator for enhancing the efficacy and efficiency required for administering the socio economic transformations that have been underway. He also stated that the Chinese rule of law was crucial to the nation’s inclination towards technological and scientific innovation. The facts put forth here were also supported by specific statistical data that were aptly representative of the strengthening Chinese Legal System. He stated that, as of 2009, China has about 190,000 judges in 3,558 courts. Besides, China also has around 14,741 law firms engaging 156,000 lawyers.

Specific data with respect to IP cases state that the number of cases that reached Chinese courts in 2009 amounted to 11.39 million. When IP cases are included, this number catapults to 30,509 which is a 29.73% increase from last year. He also touched upon the challenges encountered by the Chinese legal systems today. According to him, any legal evolution would take time and China requires a strong government with pervasive presence, for mobilizing the reforms through the existing system in order to achieve the desired compliance with international obligations.

He further emphasized the importance of a strong government for providing uniform protection to IP rights. He also stated that the rule of law in China would emerge as an important factor in modeling the country’s future, without aping the trends of the west. Thurston also observed that Western countries, such as America, need to be extremely patient and refrain from pressurizing China in a bid to force it to embrace the Western Rule of Law.

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The New Asia Innovation Team