40 years of trials and hardships passed with one snap of the fingers. Exceptional advantages as “the province of thousands of lakes”, “a province rich in science and education” and “the thoroughfare of nine provinces” make Hubei a more innovative place. “The kingdom of Chu, the home of talents” – these are characters hanging over the Memorial Archway of the Wuchang Examination Hall. Science and education are traditional advantages of Hubei with the core of creation, protection and application of IP. However, as a province rich in science and education, Hubei once faced the difficulty of inconsistency between scientific research and economy, and a great many innovations failed to go from laboratories to enterprises and the market. How to deeply integrate IP with the socio-economic development of Hubei? Hubei exerted forces on both “breaking” and “making”, and increased the impetus of innovative development.
With the high attention of provincial Party committee and provincial government of Hubei, the Outline of Hubei Province Intellectual Property Strategy, Interim Measures for Strengthening Patent Creation, Application and Protection, Hubei Province Patent Regulation, Opinions on Accelerating the Building of a Powerful Intellectual Property Province, and Implementation Plan of the Building of a Powerful Intellectual Property Province were released and implemented successively, providing strong supports to Hubei for taking the lead in entering the list of innovative provinces. Governments of Wuhan, Xiangyang, Jingmen, Huanggang and Xiaogan improved IP policies with combination of their own characters and accelerated the building of powerful IP cities; and various departments of the province effectively implemented all measures, and gradually gathered great strength for the building of a powerful IP province.
Hubei Intellectual Property Bureau tightly integrated IP work into the big picture of economic development of Hubei and into the “development strategy of unity system and different levels” and construction of “five Hubei”. The Bureau, focusing on the mission of building Hubei to the important strategic pivot for the rising of Central China and regarding implementation of IP strategy and building of a powerful IP province as the main clue, actively served the development of key regions, pillar industries and key enterprises, ceaselessly raised the level of IP creation, application, protection, management and service of the province, and made rapid progress in the cause of IP. As of 2017, the total number of patent applications of Hubei exceeded 100,000 for the first time, the number of applications for patent for invention exceeded 50,000 for the first time, and the number of patents for inventions owned by each 10,000 head of population reached 6.87; around the province, 1290 international patent applications were filed with Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), ranking 7th in the country; in the Chinese Intellectual Property Development Evaluation Report released by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), IP protection and development index of Hubei ranked 8th in the country and 1st in the central China; and in China's Report on Patent Power Scorecard in 2017, Hubei ranked 6th in the country and 1st in the central China in terms of patent protection power, and made positive contribution to the healthy and rapid socio-economic development of the province.
With a series of favorable policies and innovation incentives, IP consciousness of Hubei enterprises was gradually increased and the level of IP application enhanced ceaselessly. The first IP-featured town of China launched in the Daijiashan Science and Technology City, Jiang’an District of Wuhan; the first Graduate Innovative Undertaking of Help Center for IP Protection of China was born at the right moment; 1159 patent-intensive IP demonstration enterprises with over 1000 patent applications emerged in Hubei; through organization and implementation of high-value patent cultivation, transformation and industrialization projects for enterprises, a batch of enterprises including Yiyantang (Yingcheng) Healthy Salt Co., Ltd., Vinda Paper (China) Company Limited, China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited and Wuhan Huagong Laser Engineering Co., Ltd were encouraged to open the market and consolidate competitive edges with the application of IP; Hubei Integrated Service Platform for Patent Investment and Financing signed “Cooperation Credit Agreement” with nine financial institutions successively, and for the past five years, the amount of patent pledge loans of Hubei enterprises exceeded 8 billion yuan.
To give full play to the advantage of science and education resources, East Lake High-tech District of Wuhan formed a multi-level IP talents cultivation mechanism, carried out IP continuing education and distance education, explored to implement order-oriented talents cultivation mechanism of IP services, and built an IP service talent cultivation base. Relying on the Thousand Talents Program of China, Hundred Talents Plan of Hubei, Yellow Crane Talents Program of Wuhan and “3551” Guanggu Talents Program Platform of East Lake High-tech District, Hubei gathered a large batch of top IP talents.
The seasons change fast and 40 years have passed in a twinkling; the great China is opening a new chapter. The times still evolve and innovation never stops. Standing at the new historical starting point of the reform and opening-up, we have reasons to believe that the cause of IP will add impetus to the new round of reform and opening-up, and drive the great ship of innovative development of Hubei into the torrent, and to ride the tide. (Translated from SIPO Website Chinese Version)