During 41 years' of reform and opening-up, China has been striving to inspire innovation from within and building up its IP system. Number of IPRs has been constantly setting record-highs while IPR protection has been constantly strengthened. In the background of continuous expansion of opening-up, the determination for foreign businesses to invest in China was assured with tightening of IPR protection. On the other hand, Chinese firms were exporting more energy into high quality IP creations, rendering Bring in and Going out.
Foreign firms' confidence on Chinese market comes form the strengthened IPR protection in China. To create a more friendly business environment, to provide more effectively protection for IPR, China strives to inspire innovation from within and continuously optimizing its IP system. China is amending the Patent Law, elevating statutory damages for patent infringement to 100,000 to 5 million yuan and ordering Internet service providers to take joint responsibility. China also passes Foreign Investment Law to enhance IPR protection and ensure free technology transfers. China revised the PRC Anti-Unfair Competition Law, which featured trade secret protection and raised fines and damages for unfair competition acts. China's Trademark Law is also amended to effectively crack down on malicious applications and to impose more powerful penalties on trademark infringements.
According to statistics from China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), 148,000 invention patent applications from foreign applicants were received in 2018, up 9.1%, marking at the highest since 2016. Foreign applicants filed 244,000 trademark registration applications, up 16.5% and showcasing a sharp hike.
In parallel, while building a sound innovation and business environment, and strictly protecting legal enterprises IPRs, Chinese firms were accelerating intellectual property mapping overseas, and showcasing vigorous energy in international competition. According to statistics released by WIPO, in 2018 Chinese applicants filed 53,345 PCT applications, ranking the second in the world. Data from CNIPA shows that 58 Chinese firms filed 100 or more PCT international patent applications in 2018, 14 more than that in 2017. China saw 23.5% up in Madrid System trademark international registrations, ranking the 3rd in filed Madrid System trademark applications in the Madrid Union. As shown by USPTO, Chinese firms obtained 12,589 patents in the US in 2018, up 12%, becoming the 5th country in obtaining US patents, after the US, Japan, South Korea and Germany.
"I appreciated the impressive achievements China has made. Over the past 40 years, China has established a high-level IPR protection system, making intellectual property rights as the driving force of innovation and economic development, while treating Chinese and foreign enterprises in an equal way. I believe that China's progress will continue," noted Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
As President Xi Jinping said on the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, China will spare no efforts to build a business environment that respects the value of knowledge, fully improve the legal system for IP protection, set up law enforcement, strengthen protection of the lawful rights and interests of IP owners, completely eradicate mandatory technology transfer, improve protection of trade secrets, and crack down hard on IP violations in accordance with law.
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