China upholds"equal IP protection"to boost high-level opening up

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      Recently,Shen Changyu,Com-missioner of the China National Intellectual Property Adminis-tration(CNIPA),hosted a roundtable meeting on IP protection for foreign enterprises in Beijing.Joined by key departmental officials,Shen engaged directly with representatives from eleven foreign enterprises,including Nidec Corporation,AstraZeneca,Bay-er,Boehringer Ingelheim,Phoenix Contact,Merck,Schneider Electric,Ford,LEGO,Tesla,and Siemens.The meeting focused on IP protection,gathering opinions and suggestions from foreign enterprises,and provid-ing immediate responses to related concern.Hu Wenhui,Deputy Com-missioner of the CNIPA,also attend-ed,detailing efforts to enhance IP pro-tection for foreign enterprises.

  "In May 2022,the CNIPA affirmed the validity of the patent rights for two formulations of a key product of Astra-Zeneca,which significantly bolstered market stability and the company's confidence in investing in China.This decision spurred the company to in-vest an extra 9 billion yuan in China."

  "Boehringer Ingelheim faced an in-fringement case involving its innova-tive diabetes medication-Linagliptin tablets during the online tendering process.This case was swiftly re-solved as one of the first major patent infringement disputes adjudicated by the CNIPA,safeguarding the patent holder's lawful rights and interests,and playing an exemplary role in re-solving pharmaceutical patent dis-putes."

  "Ford currently holds some 9,000 patents and 1,500 trademarks in Chi-na.China's fast-improving IP protec-tion environment has further promot-ed our innovative development.Ford's two R&D centers in China were upgraded to Ford China Product Centers in 2018.They now collabo-rate closely with Ford's other R&D centers worldwide,fostering a cycle of innovation that feeds back into the company's global development."

  Representatives from foreign-fund-ed enterprises highly commended Chi-na's efforts in IP protection.

  "Opening up is a fundamental na-tional policy of China.While sharing the benefits of China's development and achieving their own growth,for-eign-funded enterprises have also con-tributed to the efficient allocation of global resources,injecting strong mo-mentum into the high-quality develop-ment of China's economy.Chinese government has made a series of stra-tegic arrangements to strengthen IP protection,showcasing the its firm de-termination to comprehensively im-prove the business environment and safeguard the lawful rights and inter-ests of foreign-funded enterprises,"said Shen at the meeting.

  Shen noted that strict IP protection is crucial to fostering a favorable busi-ness environment and a top concern for foreign-funded enterprises.We should fully leverage the functional role of IP,to effectively solve the prac-tical difficulties and problems encoun-tered by foreign-funded enterprises in the IP field,offering more targeted services to create a favorable environ-ment for their development in China.

  At the meeting,the enterprises en-gaged in candid discussions,voicing their concerns and suggestions for IP protection.They focused on strength-ening IP at the source,advocating for the improvement of patent examina-tion standards and trademark examina-tion rules,the intensification of crack-down on malicious trademark registra-tions,and the reinforcement of well-known trademarks.They also ad-dressed the law enforcement of IP pro-tection,citing difficulties in fixing the value of products sold on e-commerce platforms and initiating legal cases,and called for enhanced online super-vision,as well as coordinated cross-departmental and regional law en-forcement efforts.Additionally,they emphasized the need to intensify IP protection in the pharmaceutical sec-tor,particularly in centralized procure-ment,thereby ensuring IP protection throughout the entire drug procure-ment process.Relevant functional de-partments actively responded to and clarified these issues on the spot.

  "The representatives have articulat-ed their IP concerns,and following the meeting,we will systematically address them with a targeted ap-proach.For matters that involve other departments'functions,we will utilize the inter-ministerial joint meeting mechanism for building a strong coun-try in IP to facilitate the resolution of these issues in coordination with rele-vant departments,"said Shen.

  In recent years,the CNIPA has consistently upheld the principle of equal treatment and protection for IP of both domestic and international business entities.It has made substan-tial efforts in enhancing top-level de-sign,refining management systems,strengthening law-based governance,improving protection efficiency,and deepening international cooperation.These efforts have significantly ele-vated the CNIPA's capacity and stan-dards in IP governance,fostering a fair competitive environment for en-terprises and innovators from around the world.

  Statistics indicate that in 2023,public satisfaction with China's IP soared to an all-time high of 82 points,with foreign-funded enterpris-es'satisfaction reaching 80.55,mark-ing a 1.44 point increase from 2022.IP applications,grants,and holdings from international sources have been rising rapidly year by year.In the pre-vious year,the number of valid inven-tion patents held by foreign applicants in China exceeded 900,000,represent-ing a nearly 5% year-on-year growth,while the number of valid trademark registrations topped 2.1 million,regis-tering a 3.4% year-on-year increase.These figures underscore the signifi-cant interest of foreign-funded enter-prises in the Chinese market and their robust confidence in China's IP protec-tion.

  Looking ahead,the CNIPA will continue to enhance the quality of IP protection by refining the IP protec-tion system,legal framework,and sup-portive mechanisms.It will focus on proactive measures at the source to foster a more conducive business and innovation environment.Additionally,the administration will deepen interna-tional IP cooperation,actively advo-cate for the improvement of global IP rules and standards,contributing to a more advanced open economy.(by Li Yangfang)


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