White Paper: Intellectual Property Protection of Hubei Province in 2020

Nearing the 21st World Intellectual Property Day, Hubei Intellectual Property Office launched the IP Publicity Week focusing on the theme of "Enhancing Intellectual Property Protection Comprehensively, Striving to Build the New Development Paradigm", and released a white paper on the status of the province's IP protection on April 25.

In 2020, Hubei implemented the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, focused efforts on improving the IP protection policy system and the protection efficiency, continuously strengthened IP creation and utilization and accelerated the construction of a province strong on IP to boost its post-epidemic revitalization and high-quality development.

The IP protection policy system of Hubei was further improved in 2020, according to the white paper. Last year, Secretary Ying Yong of the CPC Hubei Provincial Committee and Governor Wang Xiaodong of Hubei Province presided over the meeting of the Standing Committee and the executive meeting of the provincial people's government respectively to arrange the IP protection work and defined relevant requirements. General office of the CPC Hubei Provincial Committee and General Office of Hubei Provincial People's Government released the Several Measures for Further Strengthening Intellectual Property Protection of Hubei Province, asking Party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels to enhance strict protection, coordinated protection and equal protection and make breakthroughs at key points by through comprehensive application of legal, administrative, economic and technical means as well as social governance, in a bid to build Hubei into a national IP protection hub. In addition, the Provincial People's Government held the Joint Meeting for Implementing the Intellectual Property Right Strategy to further identify the responsibilities and duties of various members of the Meeting and form a collective force for IP protection.

IP protection efficiency was significantly improved in 2020. Provincial Court of Hubei gave full play to its IP adjudication function to enhance juridical protection. Last year, courts of the province totally accepted 9,974 IP-related cases, while 9,235 cases were concluded, a concluding rate of 92.6%, increased by 4.7% on a year-on-year basis. Provincial Procuratorate earnestly fulfilled its procuratorial work to crack down on IP-related crimes, and approved to arrest 112 suspects involved in 44 IP-related crimes. The Provincial Public Security Department took operation "Kunlun 2020" as leverage to keep a tough stance and long-term deterrence against IP infringement and the production and sales of fake and shoddy commodities, and a total of 487 IP infringement crimes were cracked. The Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs supported 125 applications for new varieties of agricultural plants submitted by market players, 49 of which were granted. The Provincial Administration for Market Regulation and Intellectual Property Office jointly launched the operation "Iron Fist" to crack down on infringements on trademarks, patents and GIs, and a total of 707 administrative punishment cases involving trademarks and patents were investigated across the province, with total value involved of 27.3285 million yuan and fines and forfeits 14.5166 million yuan. IP authorities handled a total of 1,320 patent infringement disputes and cases in e-commerce, a year-on-year growth of 10% and a concluding rate of 98.1%.

IP creation and utilization levels were steadily increased in 2020. Last year, Hubei granted 110,000 patents, increased by 48.91%, and 17,600 were new inventions, a year-on-year growth of 23.82%. The number of international patent applications filed under the PCT exceeded 1,000 for three consecutive years, an annual average growth of more than 20%. By the end of 2020, Hubei's number of invention patents per 10,000 people was 12.41, increased by 23.6% compared with that of the previous year. 665,000 trademarks were registered, a year-on-year growth of 21.63%. 33 new GI trademarks were registered, a year-on-year growth of 26.92%. The number of copyright registration was 50,474, a year-on-year growth of 12.12%. The year also saw 49 newly patented varieties of agricultural plants, a year-on-year growth of 44.12%; and the accumulative number was 339, a year-on-year growth of 16.9%. Also, 6 varieties of forestry plants were newly patented, a year-on-year growth of 50%; and the accumulative number was 21, a year-on-year growth of 28.57%.

IP protection environment was continuously optimized. The Provincial Intellectual Property Office organized a series of events to encourage innovation and vitality of market players, such as Hubei Patent Awards, Hubei Geographical Indications Competition and "My Favorite Brands in Hubei" TV Contest. IP publicity activities were carried out in response to the "March 15 World Consumer Rights Day", "April 26 World Intellectual Property Day", "May 10 China Brand Day" and "China Patent Week". IP-related trainings were also launched in the forms of tours and expert lectures to improve the consciousness of right holders to safeguard their rights. As a result, the public's awareness of respecting and protecting IPRs was significantly enhanced.(Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version)