Changsha in Hunan Province Leads the Way in IP Protection
Updated: 1 11,2021

The booth introducing intellectual property rights protection at the trade in service fair in Beijing, on Sept 9, 2020. [Photo/VCG]

Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province, has been on the forefront of China's intellectual property rights protection, with all-in-one measures taken in judiciary, law enforcement and public service sector, which further optimize the business environment for innovative enterprises, and pushes forward high-quality development of local economy.

In 2018, the first judicial organ specialized in IP in Hunan province - Changsha intellectual property court - was set up on March 1. It deals with disputes on trademark, copyright, unfair competition, technical contracts and other cases related to IPR infringement.

With over a total of 6,000 trials annually, the court has tried 1,708 patent cases in three years after establishment, strengthening the protection of technological achievements in core technologies and frontier fields.

Changsha, the engineering hub in central China, and home to global giants of heavy machinery industry, such as SANY Group, Sunward Group and Zoomlion, requires a higher standard of IPR protection in fields of unmanned driving, intelligent terminal and smart manufacturing.

To crack down on trademark infringements such as counterfeiting, stealing and imitation, 3,982 cases on branding disputes have been handled via IPR court since 2018.

Besides, it also attaches great importance of copyrights on TV programs, unfair competition and monopoly, in a move to create an open market environment based on order and standardization.

"We give equal protection to the innovation achievements of enterprises, whether they are state-owned or privately-managed, whether they are from home or abroad," said Zhang He, chief judge of Changsha intellectual property court.

Changsha police investigates IPR infringement crimes based on the big data analysis system. Photo by Zhao Shiyue

In terms of law enforcement, the Intellectual Property Criminal Investigation Division under Changsha Public Security Bureau plays an indispensable role in combating illegal and criminal activities related to IP infringement.

Based on big data and AI-backed smart information platform, the police team has helped over 80 enterprises in one and half year, especially on trademark counterfeiting of cosmetics, medical equipment and luxury brands.

As Hunan province embraces free trade zone this year, the IPR protection is expected to have wider international reach. "The investigation division will deepen cooperation with Changsha customs, with focus on import and export goods to fight against cross-border IPR crimes," said Li Chao, the political commissar of the Intellectual Property Criminal Investigation Division.

To set up an all-in-one IPR protection system, the Changsha government established the Intellectual Property Protection Center two years ago, offering public services including patent examination, IP inquiry, copyright registration, legal mediation and infringement complaints. The patent examination period has been shortened from 22 months to 2-3 months.

Besides, Changsha is giving full play of IPR as the stimulus of economic growth by encouraging SME's IPR patent pledge financing process, which helped firms raise more than 4 billion yuan in three years.