Winter will eventually pass, and spring is sure to come. Despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic since last winter that hit the "pause button"on all walks of life in China, IP workers stand fast at their posts and join hands with various innovators to build a firewall for our health and safety. On April 20, the National IP Publicity Week 2020 with the theme of "Intellectual Property and Healthy China" was launched as scheduled. Different from previous years, the launching ceremony this year was held online. Representatives from WIPO, various ministries and commissions, business circles at home and abroad, teachers and students majoring in IP as well as IP service workers made their voices heard via the cloud platform.
"The COVID-19 epidemic makes us deeply realize how precious life and health is, and the significance of giving top priority to people's safety and health as emphasized by General Secretary Xi Jinping since the outbreak of the epidemic." CNIPA Commissioner Shen Changyu pointed out in his video message that the theme "Intellectual Property and Healthy China" was of special significance as it was determined in light of the current situation of the epidemic prevention and control and in combination with the theme "Innovate for a Green Future" of this year's World IP Day. To hold the launching ceremony online could reduce gathering of people and expand public participation, thus allowing more people to join to facilitate the building of healthy China and support public health and all-round well-being by using IP.
WIPO Director General Mr. Francis Gurry came to China for the National IP Publicity Week last year. Impacted by the COVID-19 this year, he sent his expectations on the Publicity Week events and wishes for the development of China’s IP cause in his video message. He said that China has long been playing a constructive role in international IP affairs over the 20 years and promoting green economic development through technological innovation. And he was looking forward to the future cooperation between WIPO and China.
"Protecting IP is protecting innovation, and it is a 'green screen' to facilitate the construction of public health." During the epidemic, China (Wuhan) Intellectual Property Protection Center, located in the core area of the epidemic prevention and control, slackened no efforts in IP work and made good use of IP in the fight against the epidemic. Other IP protection centers also made active responses and gave full play to their advantages in profession and resources to guarantee orderly patent pre-examination and right protection. At the launching ceremony, China (Wuhan) Intellectual Property Protection Center proposed respecting IP, strengthening IP protection, especially IP protection in the field of health, and improving IP service quality and efficiency, which inspired global IP workers.
"Strengthening IP creation, protection, application and service to facilitate building 'healthy China' is the responsibility of every IP worker," said Li Muzi, Deputy Director of China (Beijing) Intellectual Property Protection Center, after watching the whole video. China (Beijing) Intellectual Property Protection Center and China (ZGC) Intellectual Property Protection Center coordinated with each other during the epidemic, helped 13 institutions in Beijing related to epidemic prevention with quick registrations, and helped 14 institutions with the quick pre-examination of 25 patents related to epidemic prevention, 6 of which have been authorized. Various IP protection centers will join hands to contribute to promoting global public health and safety and building a community of shared future for mankind.
Amid the epidemic, large numbers of IP workers fight at the frontlines and have built an impregnable fortress in the war against the virus. Jiang Yizheng, an examiner of Patent Examination Cooperation Hubei Center of the Patent Office, CNIPA, is one of them. Having been working for two months in community epidemic prevention and control, he made time to send a video message to the launching ceremony on behalf of numerous colleagues to make their voices heard. "Now we are ushering in the spring when a positive trend has emerged as the epidemic prevention and control situation has seen steady improvement and the resumption of the order of work and life has been accelerating. With the coming of the annual festival for IP workers, I took off the protective suit and restarted the work to facilitate economic development with IP. Returning to our posts, we will bear in mind our mission and strive to fulfill our responsibility to do our part in building China into a country strong on IP," said Jiang.
The epidemic didn't stop China's IP protection work. Shen Changyu introduced at the launching ceremony that CNIPA released the IP-related facilitation and relief measures impacted by the epidemic to practically protect the legitimate interest of parties concerned; opened "green channels" for IP applications involving the epidemic prevention and control to accelerate handling; developed an online patent information sharing platform related to the epidemic prevention and control to publish patent information reports of related drugs and medical supplies and facilitate scientific research and drug screening; strengthened IP creation, protection, application and public service to help enterprises resume work; timely and legally turned down bad-faith trademark applications in connection with the epidemic for their potential to cause negative social effects, in order to create a sound environment for epidemic prevention and control…… All these have achieved positive effects and let the foreign-funded enterprises in China see the firm confidence of China in creating a favorable business environment. IP Director Liu Hongqiang of Bayer (China) Ltd. said that IP protection is essential for the pharmaceuticals industry and the theme "Intellectual Property and Healthy China" of this year's IP Publicity Week was a great encouragement for them. "In recent years, China has successively released a series of reform measures to guide the development of pharmaceuticals industry, which have further strengthened our trust in China's IP system and enhanced our determination to conduct business in China," said Liu.
Currently, the epidemic has been brought under primary control in China, and it is a major task for the whole country how to emerge from the epidemic and restart the normal economic and social development. In Xiamen where there is a good foundation for the health industry, to explore the IP value in the field of comprehensive health dominated by traditional Chinese medicine to promote the building of "healthy China" is the priority for the next step. "As is said by Commissioner Shen Changyu, we should reflect more thoroughly on the relationship between IP and human health and better protect TCM to give play to its unique role in medical treatment and disease prevention. China has offered a Chinese solution to global fight against the epidemic, and the comprehensive health industry has also drawn more attention from the society. We should give full play to the role of comprehensive health IP to accelerate work resumption, while also providing professional and systematic IP services for comprehensive health industry to accelerate its IP transformation, industrialization and internationalization, enabling TCM IP to benefit people, society and the world," said Lu Linbing, Director General of Xiamen Intellectual Property Office.
“The IP Publicity Week this year focuses on intellectual property and healthy China. Academician Zhang Boli emphasized that 'IP is absolutely necessary for building healthy China' at the launching ceremony. CNIPA examiners also appeal that 'it is the duty of all patent examiners to put the protection of TCM IP into practice'. All these have strengthened our confidence to intensify our R&D." Legal Director Zheng Yongfeng of Tasly Holding Group said that the innovative development of pharmaceuticals industry depends highly on IP, and the great importance attached to IP creation, application, protection, management and service by CNIPA is a great help for pharmaceutical enterprises to resume work.
The spring comes as expected and IP workers worldwide are gathering online for this big event. Let's embark on the journey of building China into a country strong on IP. (Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version)