Remember the last time you were in the electronics shop and decided to buy the cheaper Chinese rip off instead? Well IP and business journals across the globe have been reporting for the last month or so about the revamped Chinese IP policy that hopes to forget the days of pirated goods in the hidden pages of Chinese history. The effort to enforce Intellectual Property laws in a far more efficient and manner better aligned to international (especially American laws) is the highlight of the policy.
In an article last month in the Wall Street Journal, suggestively titled "No more Chinese knock-offs", Mr. Wang Qishan (the Chinese Vice Premier) has stated that the enforcement of Intellectual Property has always been an extremely important goal in his country and that the same will be stregthened by the alignment with the United States laws very soon.
This new development has already started making waves, with
By Jia Hepeng for Intellectual Property Watch
The outline of the national IP strategy was enacted on 5 June by the State Council,
The long-term goal, the document states, is to develop
In the short run, according to the strategy, the number of patents owned by Chinese citizens should become among the highest in the world, and the weight of industries whose essential underlying IP rights belong to
Statistics of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) show that in 2007, among the 67,948 invention patents issued by the office, 53 percent were filed by foreign individuals or companies.
In order to reach the goal in creating and managing IP rights, the national strategy vows to revise laws on patent, trademarks and copyrights in a timely fashion.
SIPO officials say that the amended patent law will be submitted to the legislature for approval within this year. Revisions of the law of trademarks and the law of copyrights are ongoing.
According to SIPO head Tian Lipu, the previous patent laws are focused on protection, but new legal amendments will stress how to effectively use patents, how to share benefits from them and how to avoid patent abuses, though concrete articles are still unavailable.
Sun Guorui, an intellectual property law professor at Beijing-based Beihang University, said compared with concrete IPR laws, the national strategy will mobilise various government departments and research organisations to advance IPR governance in the country.
“In a big country like
For example, he explained, when Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) leaders are making policies for giving awards and promotions to top researchers, the number of patents produced by researchers could become one of the indicators to evaluate their scientific outputs instead of simply the high impact papers.
Sun added that by calling for intensifying of juridical and administrative protection of IP rights, the strategy also hints at an increase of the power of IP enforcement agencies such as SIPO and increase the number of IP sections at various courts. So far, only courts in metropolises like
This was echoed by a leading researcher at the Chinese Academy of Strategic Research on S&T Development, a think tank of MOST, who refused to be identified.
“Despite various IPR laws, some scientists still think filing patents are irrelevant to them and simply ignore this, but if IP issues become an integral part of science policies, they would pay importance,” said the researcher, who added that if the strategy is effectively implemented, the research policies could become more operable in terms of patent filing and management.
According to Ho, the review of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for China’s five-year WTO membership performance in 2007 confirmed that China has made progress in its legislative efforts in promoting IPR, but blamed law enforcement for being far from satisfactory.
“Enacting a law cannot ensure effective enforcement, so I think the newly revealed strategy could improve this aspect by pushing the government agencies to take actions,” Ho said.
But he cautioned, “The effect of the strategy will rely on concrete measures by the different Chinese ministries and departments in their follow-up moves.” "
What effects could this have on
Maybe this will infact help