A business representative (left) introduces a welding robot to a visitor at an international patented technology and product fair in Dalian, Liaoning province in August 2018. Liu Debin / For China Daily
Major reorganization of system coincides with other key events
China's intellectual property entered a higher level with its reconfiguration within the country's management and operation system last year, according to Shen Changyu, commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration.
"The year of 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the national IP strategy, and the reform of IP institutions," Shen said at an annual assembly of local IP administration heads from across the country on Monday in Beijing.
Last year, the central government reorganized the CNIPA, combining the administration of trademarks, patents, geographical indications and layout designs of integrated circuits, and incorporating IP into the market supervision system.
The CNIPA has increased its management efficiency, Shen said. "Our country's comprehensive IP strength has entered a new level."
By the end of 2018, the number of invention patents in the country topped 1.6 million, up 18.1 percent year-on-year.
"IP plays an important role in creating a sound business environment," Shen said.
"We should deepen exchanges in business, culture and science through non-discriminatory IP protection - in a bid to build an open economic system and realize common prosperity and development."
To this end, the head of the CNIPA put emphasis on work to combine market supervision and IP protection, to highlight its market attributes. "China has always been an open participant in international cooperation in IP and provides equal policies to both Chinese and foreign companies," he said.
In the past year, the CNIPA took part in the global governance of the IP sector and made significant achievements, Shen said.
According to official data, the import and export volume of IP royalties exceeded $35 billion in 2018.
The number of international filings from China via the Patent Cooperation Treaty reached 55,000 last year, an increase of 9 percent year-on-year, and the number of international trademarks applications filed via the Madrid system surpassed 6,000, an increase of more than 25 percent over the previous year.
China has extended cooperation with countries including Cambodia and Laos and the members of the Patent Prosecution Highway pilot program have increased to 28, according to Shen.
IP protection has been further strengthened over the past year, Shen said, adding that the patent agency ordinance is scheduled to come into effect in March, which will further facilitate patent protection and promote the provision of patent and trademark agencies, Shen added.
In addition, the CNIPA has opened its trademark database to the public and has set up 166 local service windows for trademark registration, part of its push to deepen reforms of IP administration.
"The IP system has been improved, along with the country's reform and opening-up," Shen said, adding that this year marked the beginning of the CNIPA after its reforms.
The administration would push forward with innovative development in the new era in such areas as creations' quality, protection efficiency and management levels, he added.