The pace of patent applications in China slowed down in the first quarter amid the financial crisis, State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Director Tian Lipu said here Thursday.
The number of patent applications rose 10 percent in the first quarter, down 11 percentage points from the same period of last year, Tian said during an online interview with the Chinese central government's official Web portal www.gov.cn.
"This shows that the financial crisis has taken its toll on patent application development, but the impact is limited and better than expected," he said.
It was not necessarily a bad thing as each financial or economic crisis usually heralded a new round of innovation, Tian said.
As of the end of March, China's patent applications have topped5 million, of which 1.2 million are valid patents. "That is a huge number and on the forefront around the world," he said.
What mattered more was if the patents could be applied in production and yield profits for companies. "We once polled 50,000 valid patents and the result turned out encouraging, as the transformation rate reached 70 percent," he said.
Intellectual property has become a core strategic resource for the nation and meant much for its long-term development.
"It's time to shift our attention to innovation and the development of IP industry with high added value, and stop solely relying on the consumption of labor, environment and resources to seek development," he said.