On April 22, Zhang Zhicheng, Director General of IP Protection Department of CNIPA, Wang Jiao' e, researcher of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, and Hao Qing, Director of China (Beijing) Intellectual Property Protection Center (hereinafter referred to as Beijing Protection Center), were invited to the online interview of people.cn to introduce to the public the situation of IP protection center construction and targeted services provided amid the epidemic. This was an important part of the National IP Public Week 2020 events.
Scientific layout to achieve remarkable results
In November 2019, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, which has provided the fundamental principles and guidelines for IP protection work. CNIPA has firmly implemented the important decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and is devoted to promoting strict, extensive, rapid and equal IP protection. According to Zhang Zhicheng, in order to significantly change the situation that right holders find it difficult to protect their rights because of difficulty in collecting evidences, prolonged trials, high costs, or low damage compensation, provide more convenient, efficient and low-cost services for the public and create a favorable innovation, startup and business environment, CNIPA improves the IP cooperative protection mechanism, supports the construction of local IP protection centers and aims at competitive industries of various provinces and cities to provide one-stop service integrating quick examination, quick right confirmation and quick right protection for enterprise and public institutions within the areas under administration.
Positive attention and responses have been received from local governments to the construction of IP protection centers. Currently, there are 31 IP protection centers distributed in 17 provinces (districts and cities), covering two dozen industries including new-generation IT, high-end equipment manufacturing, biomedicine and new materials, etc.
Why are IP protection centers so well-received? According to Zhang Zhicheng, the construction of IP protection centers combines with the layout of local advanced characteristic industries, the construction of local IP protection systems and IP examination work. At the same time, it dovetails with the construction of pilot free trade zones, comprehensive innovation reform pilot zones and demonstration bases for entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as key IP protects, which forms the superimposed effect of policies. “In order to further optimize the regional and industrial layout of IP protection centers, CNIPA commissioned professional agencies to conduct researches on the development status of economy, industries, science and education and IP of various provinces and cities and gave overall consideration to regional equilibrium and policy factors to form the regional and industrial layout schemes of IP protection centers, thus providing the basis for scientific layout,” said Zhang Zhicheng.
Wang Jiao' e and her team undertake the researches on the layout of nationwide IP protection centers. She said that the establishment of these centers could support local competitive industries, effectively promote the innovative development of local industries and economy and strengthen the aggregation of innovation resources in relevant industries and form the scale effect, thus guiding and driving other relevant production factors and talents to flow and aggregate to local places and further improving the competitiveness of local industries and strengthening economic development vitality.
Beijing Protection Center is the representative of the 31 of its kind nationwide. According to Hao Qing, since commencement of official running in April 2019, Beijing Protection Center carries out patent pre-examination, quick right protection, cooperative protection and paten navigation work specific to the fields of new-generation IT and high-end equipment manufacturing.
Quick examination to facilitate epidemic prevention and control
Pre-examination is one of the core businesses of IP protection centers, which is the core support for quick examination, quick right confirmation and quick right protection. “IP protection centers provide public service of quick patent pre-examination for enterprises and public institutions within the areas under administration, examine and preliminarily retrieve the application texts and issue pre-examination reports. Such service can help applicants to eliminate text errors and defects before formally submitting patent applications and improve the quality of application texts. The pre-examination report is an important reference for follow-up patent examination.” As introduced by Zhang Zhicheng, after pre-examination by IP protection centers, the examination period of patent applications is largely shortened and infringement disputes can be solved more quickly. By February 2020, IP protection centers totally assisted in handling 9,038 cases, average settlement cycle of patent infringement disputes under their assistance was 7 days, and the authorization rate of patent applications submitted after pre-examination was much higher than the national average level.
In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, local centers all issued targeted policies and measures to help with the fight against the epidemic. “During the epidemic, IP protection centers optimize handling modes and streamline procedures to provide better service.” As introduced by Zhang Zhicheng, IP protection centers in Nanjing and Guangdong developed and opened the special databases of COVID-19 to provide free information and data for enterprises and research institutes. By online reservation, online handling, green channels for industries related to epidemic prevention, accelerated pre-examination, process streamlining and extension of time limits, IP protection centers in Beijing, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Shenyang and Nanjing step up efforts to guarantee the smooth operations during the special period and provide strong support for enterprises and public institutions in work resumption and scientific research innovation.
Hao Qing introduced the services provided by Beijing Protection Center targeted at the epidemic. “During the epidemic, Beijing Protection Center has significantly shortened the patent pre-examination filing and examination cycles. While meeting the requirements, applications are filed and examined on the same day. The Center has helped 13 institutions in Beijing related to epidemic prevention with quick registrations, and helped with the quick pre-examination of 34 patents related to epidemic prevention, 6 of which have been authorized. It has strengthened hotline service and advocates online handling and reservation. Currently, it has provided consultation service for more than 9,200 people via QQ, WeChat and telephone, and handled more than 1,184 transactions by reservation in non-rush hours.” According to her, Beijing Protection Center is now stepping up efforts to help enterprises resume work and has held three online training courses on IP financial aid policies, patent pre-examination service, quick right protection and commercial secret protection of Beijing, attended by a total of more than 270 people. (Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version)