According to the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the latest data, the year 2021 ended with 110,000 invention patents granted and 194,000 trademarks registered to foreign applicants, up 23.0% and 5.2% year-on-year respectively. U.S. applicants lay claim to more robust hikes with 32.1% and 17.3% in the said categories. Rapid advance of foreign companies taking stock of IPRs in China is indicative of their confidence in IPR protection and the general climate in doing business in China.
Strengthen IPR protection
"Qualcomm is confident with China's continuing actions on IPR protection, which is crucial for us to up the ante here," said Qian Kun, Global SVP of Qualcomm and GM of Qualcomm Technology Licensing Business in China at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE).
Form the shutout of IPR infringement complaints at both the CIIE and the China International Fair for Trade in Service (CIFTIS) to the public satisfaction over IPR protection climbing to 80.61 points, it is safe to conclude IPR protection came to fruition in the outgoing year. The entire IPR administrative system worked 49,800 patent infringement disputes, up 17.4%. Twenty-five protection centers/rapid enforcement centers were newly approved for operation while 50 national model areas for GI (geographical indication) products protection are being prepared.
In 2021, the Outline for Building a Country Strong on IPR (2021-2035) and the 14th Five-Year National Plan for IP Protection and Application were completed and issued. The newly revised patent law was implemented and the framework and contents of the geographical indication law were drafted to further construct a comprehensive protection work system. CNIPA released the 2021 National Work Plan for IP Administrative Protection: shaping an administrative protection technical investigator system to regulate technical investigators' involvement in administrative cases; bolstering IP credibility management by listing 'intentional IP infringement' onto aggravated violations of credibility; guiding IP dispute resolution organizations to interact with users online. These organizations would open 23,000 dispute resolution cases and finish with a 71.19% success rate.
Meanwhile, with an objective to crush those 'abnormal patent applications' which care little about innovation, CNIPA alerted local authorities a total of 815,000 such applications in four batches. In the special campaign 'Blue Sky' regulating patent professionals, CNIPA imposed severe sanctions, such as revocation of practicing license and suspension of representation service, on nine firms representing abnormal patent applications, organized local IP authorities to take a hard look at the 84 firms with patent application caseload per attorney five times or over above the industry average.
Warm pro-innovation climate
As the IPR protection context is being tweaked, the pro-innovation climate in China gets warmer. The 2021 Global Innovation Index (GII) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), released in 2021, ranked China No.12, which is two notches up over 2020 and a new historic high.
Quality of innovation in the country is also on the rise. The index 'high-value invention patents owned by per 10,000 population' aims to assess the quality of innovation development in China, ushering patents to focus on quality. As a prediction index, its development relies on market player's performance. The year of 2021 ended with every 10,000 Chinese population owning 7.5 high-value invention patents, up 1.2 examples. Statistics of 2021 suggests an increasing number of high-value invention patents are being added to China's patent collection while the constitution of the types of invention patents are being further optimized.
Chinese valid invention patents with longer life span are surging. Innovators work out better patent plans at oversea markets. By the end of 2021, China's mainland (not including Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan) was in possession of 323,000 valid invention patents with over 10 years of age, up 27.7% and accounting for 11.9% of all home-made patents (0.6 per cent higher than that of the end of 13th five-year plan period). Chins owned 83,000 valid invention patents belonging to patent families, up 21.8% and with company innovators in control of nearly 90% of them.
In the next step, China will continue going down the main road of heightening IPR protection, set the pace with innovation on high-level protection system, aim at intensifying protection over the whole chain, strengthen guidance on enforcement practice, deepen protection mechanism reform, enhance capacity in controlling IPR security risk and right enforcement overseas. All the measures will be executed by taking things one step at a time to seek better results.