"Respect knowledge, preach innovation, be honest and obey the law, compete fairly - all these essential IP culture concepts underpin the building of an IP powerhouse country," the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) briefed the press for the first time on its work of shaping an IP culture and future plans on March 30.
CNIPA's years of investment in shaping an IP culture and outreach has paid dividends from the public's rising awareness in respecting and protecting IP to innovators' honed skills in using IP to their advantage.
Shaping an IP culture
Both the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council have given prominent positions to IP culture shaping in a number of their documents. In the Outline of Construction of an IP Powerhouse Country (2021-2035) released last September, 'Shaping a humanistic and cultural environment friendly to quality development of IP' is one of the six key tasks with a clearly-defined objective 'formation of the entire public's awareness of IP culture by 2035'. In another recent revealed important document - the 14th Five-Year National Plan for IP Protection and Use, 'Promoting IP education and culture shaping to build bases for future work' is one of the five must-do missions.
According to Heng Fuguang, CNIPA spokesperson/Deputy Director General of General Affairs Office, CNIPA has employed a vast range of measures: branding culture promotions, regular press conferences and interviews, official accounts on social media platforms, release of documentaries in Chinese and English, publication of relevant books, set up of expert advisory committee, promotion of IP education at elementary/high schools, organization of international seminars, sharing of experience in using IP to lift from poverty, all of which obviously has caused changes: ever-improving IP culture environment, growing impact of IP culture brands, constant expansion of IP culture dissemination channels, increasing additions of IP culture products, all-around enhancement of IP education, sharing of experience in IP culture development with the world.
On top of palpable results in IP culture shaping, IP cultural concepts are evolving with socioeconomic development. In the part on IP cultural concept in the Outline, 'compete fairly' is a new addition to the preexisting 'respect knowledge, preach innovation, be honest and obey the law'. Heng says that the addition of 'compete fairly' is to execute IP's fundamental role in inspiring innovation, give high predictability to the market and open the door further to the outside by adopting the punitive damage system and tightening IPR protection. In parallel, protection shall be inequitable and reasonable, shall effectively curtail acts of gaining improperly by abusing IPRs, uphold fair competition environment, prevail in both inspiring innovation and defending public interests, and ultimately provide solid IP cultural support in the country's quality economic development.
Grooming a larger group of talents
IP talent is the most fundamental, essential and key element for the development of IP work and building an IP powerhouse country. The 14th Five-Year Plan for IP talent, issued last year, defines an objective of one million IP talents in the country by 2025. According to Feng Zhaolong, Inspector of CNIPA's Human Resources Department, the latest number of IP talents in the country is 690,000.
As of now, over 50 Chinese universities host a dedicated IP school, over 100 universities offer IP disciplines and 26 national IP training bases are operational. In 2020, IP as a discipline was officially included into the economic discipline qualification exam. "It is estimated by the end of the 14th five year, the number of middle level or higher IP attorneys will hit 20,000," Feng adds. "CNIPA is keeping a close eye on the developments of reforms on professional titles of economic disciplines and is prepared to make according changes if necessary."
Young people are the future of the country and the 'reserve army' of IP talents. As of now, China has recognized 165 elementary/high schools as IP education templates. IP education is given to nearly two million students in over 1,400 elementary/high schools. "Our work has received warm remarks from the international society, rating us 'a late starter with fast development and evident results'," Sun Wei, Director General of the China Intellectual Property Training Center, says. "The future IP education for young people will employ new modes, ways and methods: new normalcy of Internet plus training, outreach programs on social media platforms such as bilibili, design of IP education objectives, standardized contents, infrastructure, joint programs with WIPO's Worldwide Academy and other organizations."