"After years of brutal growth, the intellectual property industry seems to have come to a crossroad", said Zhou Peng, IPRdaily Founder and Chairman at the opening ceremony. "Especially this year, the policies and regulations, business ecosystem, technological means, and competitive landscape are all changing. How to transform and upgrade to stay profitable comes to be an urgent concern of the industry. Judging from the overall situation of the industry, IP services overseas is increasingly becoming the direction of future expansion. Then, how to establish new channels and models for these services? How to extend the foreign service chain and win customer loyalty? How to strengthen international service capacity? We are facing still more profound questions. We will start from PCT today.” Zhou Peng’s speech also brought up the theme of the summit - the PCT collaboration.
This summit features four major topics: the latest trend and steps of international patent application under the PCT; the changing demands of professional overseas IP services; product derivatives and business cooperation; and personnel training and capacity building.
Ryan McCarthy, partner of Fish & Richardson P.C., gave his insights on how Chinese enterprises file for patent applications when they enter the European market and the factors behind the process under the background of trade frictions. He emphasized that long-term intellectual property strategies should not be affected by short-term trade. Thus, enterprises have to take the initiative and explore the market amid trade frictions or changing markets.
Song Jianfu, head of CPA Global's China operations, described some of the challenges companies have to face after entering Europe compared with other countries. He mentioned 3 problems: Firstly, upon submission of patent applications to EU in Europe, companies have to consider whether they are effective in dozens of countries; Secondly, the patent would often expire if enterprises decide to file the patent application in European countries based on their market strategies, resulting in failure to exercise their patent rights; lastly, Europe's multinational nature, linguistic diversity and complexity also pose great challenges to patent applications.
Xie Yulong, General Manager of Juqun International Patent and Trademark Law Office, gave a brilliant speech on how to prepare the application documents at home and abroad to obtain more proper protection. He came up with 5 proposals: 1. Cultivating patent experts who understand related rules and regulations in various countries; 2. Establishing an exchange mechanism for people specializing in patent drafting in different countries; 3. Assisting the clients in writing the original patent application to get the best patent protection coverage; 4. Preparing different versions of application documents for different countries when there are no international priorities; 5. Calling for close cooperation among experts from various countries.
Kevin Patariu, a partner with Perkins Coie LLP, shared cost-and-time-saving strategies for international patent applications. He mentioned that one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to do this is to communicate directly with customers and offer them advice.
Zhang Jie, Chairman of Sunshine Intellectual Property Group also gave his thoughts on the topic. He mentioned that enterprises should carry out overseas IP due diligence and early warning analysis, prepare for risk control and develop coping strategies in advance when dealing with IP litigation in the target market in the early stage of R&D, patent application and granting. These stages are for IP service institutions to make a difference.
Yu Gang, Chairman of Kangxin Partners. P.C., elaborated on the benefits of independent drafting for patent application at home and abroad. He said that instead of hiring foreign talents to do domestic cases, it is better and more direct to start from patent drafting for application in China and training potential talents for patent applications at abroad.
Zhang Ming, director of Huanan Patent & Trademark Office, raised two questions for discussion. First, American and European law firms should learn how to provide Chinese companies with cost-effective services in European and American markets; second, with the launch of the “Belt and Road” initiative, there will be cases such as the trademark is registered preemptively in Zambia and then resold in India. In these underdeveloped countries, we should think about how to cooperate with them.
Kong Junmin, Chairman of CIPRUN Group, expressed his viewpoints on domestic and foreign business cooperation, such as how to assign the roles and divide service content: First, enterprises should give full play to their advantages according to their expertise to realize high-quality cost accounting; then, they should break down regional barriers and leverage advanced tools.
Hao Chuanxin, General Manager of Scihead IP Group, pointed out the necessity to "educate senior management" when speaking about how patent application derives service products and further serves customers. "There is no way for us to think about other issues if the top management of a company fails to understand how to do patents", he said.
Cao Xinghai, Senior Director of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, introduced the advantages of intellectual property rights in Singapore and the strategies of cultivating talents for IP services overseas. First, developing international systems; second, being sensitive to market changes and adapting to every trend change in a faster manner; and third, encouraging both the Chinese and foreigners to do R&D with special government fund.
When speaking about talent cultivation, Hu Jie, managing partner of Advance China IP Law Office, opined that from now on, we should train talents with technological expertise in certain fields, so that professional agencies or industry-leading technology companies could communicate on technical issues on an equal basis. If the agent is not very familiar with the field, and the other party's technology is very advanced, it would be difficult to write a patent that meets the quality requirements.
WTOIP Group co-founder and Senior Vice President Zheng Ziqun believed that the intellectual property industry lacks a systematic talent training system. The industry calls for a more refined and professional talent training system to develop talents with technology and law background, and experience as professional agents in some key fields. And the service capability building should be divided into two parts: the building of professional service capacity and the service capacity throughout basic procedures.
With regard to deepening business cooperation or establishing international service team outside the headquarters, Zheng Ziquan also shared WTOIP’s experience and practices - “In terms of serving clients overseas, we do not set up a local team, instead, we choose to work with foreign agencies or firms. Currently, we have international staff in more than a dozen countries attending our international business. It is an inevitable trend to set up international service teams, especially local service teams. This is also a choice we must make for further business expansion and development.
Mr. Wang Zhenkai described his own work experience when it comes to cooperation at home and abroad. In the selection of law firms, he chose partners that match his company's size and recognize its corporate value for mutual development. Companies should work with agencies on the first year of their establishment. When their business expands into other countries, they should cooperate with agencies in foreign countries, and unify the service standards of the partners at home and abroad. Therefore, companies should pick institution partners according to their business layout abilities no matter they join hands with domestic or overseas firms.
Speaking about brand building, Wu Dajian, Chairman of Yuhong IP Law Firm, said that many enterprises only do brand building for its own sake. Therefore, all employees are required to be equipped with three basic capabilities: first, they should have great writing skills to minimize the loopholes in the patent response; second, they should have sufficient legal knowledge; third, they must meet the strict quality standards. If they really care about quality of the patent application documents, they won't have to worry about whether the applications will be approved.
At the end of the meeting, the observers also expressed their views and impressions on the G40 summit. Then, the 2019 G40 Asia-Pacific IPR Leaders Closed-Door Summit officially wrapped up.
As Mr. Zhou Peng said at the end of the summit, the main purpose of holding this event is to form a joint force through non-governmental forces and inter-industry communication, so that people can feel the warmth in the economic environment. This also fully reflects our original aspiration of "connecting IP people around the world".
Highlights of the activity
Let's meet again at 2020 G40!
Brief introduction to previous G40 summits
The G40 Asia-Pacific IPR Leaders Closed-Door Summit been held for four years consecutively since 2016. It is the first invitation-based closed-door conference organized by more than 40 superior intellectual property service organizations or industry groups.
The 2016 G40 Asia-Pacific IPR Leaders Closed-Door Summit with the theme of "The Next Future" was attended by more than 40 industry leaders.
The 2017 G40 Cross-strait IP Leaders Closed-door Summit that themed “Connecting Cross-strait Intellectual Property” invited more than 80 IP leaders across the strait.
The 2018 G40 Cross-strait IP Leaders Closed-door Summit was attended by more than 100 leaders of superior intellectual property service organizations from the United States, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN and the countries along the Belt and Road. They discussed foreign service issues under the theme of "New Thinking on Foreign Intellectual Property Services".
Let's meet at 2020 G40!