Intellectual property rights protection improving in China

08:08, September 06, 2010      

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China's intellectual property rights protection system is improving thanks to a cooperative project between China and the European Union, senior officials said.

At an event at the Belgium-EU Pavilion in the Expo Garden on Saturday, Benot Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office (EPO), said China has now become one of the world's most important countries in filing for patents among non-EPO entities.

Statistics from the EPO show that Chinese companies have increased their share of European patent applications filed with the EPO from 163 in 2000 to 1,621 in 2009.

The progress is partly due to cooperation over intellectual property rights between the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) and the EPO, Battistelli said.

"Cooperation between the EPO and the SIPO has been pivotal in the creation of a modern system of intellectual property rights protection in China and has also paved the way for larger intellectual property rights projects in the context of the EU-China cooperative programs," Battistelli said.

The project, coded IPR2, focuses on strengthening the enforcement of intellectual property rights by targeting the reliability, efficiency and accessibility of the intellectual property protection system in China.

As China becomes more reliant on innovation and less on production, the importance of intellectual property rights will continue to rise. The IPR2 project will enable China to set up and manage a modern and efficient system for the legal protection of technical inventions, he said.

The joint work plan for 2011 was announced at the pavilion on Saturday to commemorate 25 years of cooperation.

"The European Union has been consistently investing resources and funds in support of intellectual property rights protection in China. Businesses can use their intellectual property rights as a value-creating business tool," said Michael Pulch, deputy head of the EU delegation to China.

"We recognize the great efforts made by China in establishing the legal intellectual property rights framework and we are confident that, by strengthening our strategic cooperation, we will further enhance the environment for intellectual property protection and enforcement in China," Pulch said.

As a result of the successful deployment of the new intellectual property rights system in China, the SIPO has become one of the world's five largest patent offices.

The EPO and the SIPO are involved in a series of projects launched by the five largest patent offices, which attempt to eliminate the unnecessary duplication of work in patenting procedures and guarantee the quality of patents granted for the benefit of the economy.

"In the face of the new historic opportunities and challenges, the EPO and the SIPO will not only undertake more responsibilities assisting innovators, patent right holders and the public from both China and the EU, but also play a greater role in matters relating to global intellectual property," said Tian Lipu, head of the SIPO.

By Yu Ran, China Daily


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