The flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party has run a headline news story on its official website reiterating Beijing’s commitment to the protection of intellectual property rights.
The article entitled “Intellectual Property Rights: In 40 Years China Covers 100 Years in Europe and America” (知识产权保护：中国40年走过欧美100年) highlights President Xi Jinping’s opening keynote speech at the recent 2018 Boao Forum for Asia, where he flagged the strengthening of intellectual property rights as one of the four key measures for expanding the country’s economic opening.
“[Intellectual property rights] are a product of reform and opening as well as a support for reform and opening,” said the article.
“It’s not only foreign invested enterprises who demand intellectual property rights, the demand for intellectual property rights amongst Chinese enterprises is also becoming increasingly urgent.
“China’s future development will inevitably be established on the foundation of the strict protection of intellectual property rights.
“In his opening speech at the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi Jinping said that this year we will reorganise the State Intellectual Property Office, improve enforcement capability, expand enforcement strength and markedly raise the costs for legal breaches.”
The article arrives as access to technology and property intellectual property rights stand as key bones of contention for escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.
The People’s Daily touts China’s accomplishments with respect to improving protections for intellectual property during the past several decades of the reform and opening era.
“Europe and America had more than 100 years to gradually improve their intellectual property rights systems, but China has already achieved a similar shift within the space of just several decades.
“In terms of the legal system, China’s intellectual property rights protections are gradually improving. The National People’s Congress discussed and approved the Trademark Law in 1982, the Patent Law in 1984, and the Copyright Law in 1990.
“In terms of judicial protections, China has specifically established three intellectual property rights courts to effectively raise the level of professionalism of intellectual property rights adjudication, and improve judicial protective mechanisms for intellectual property rights.
“Song Xiaoming (宋晓明), the chief judge of the intellectual property rights court of the Supreme People’s Court says that China is one of the countries with the briefest handling times for cases involving intellectual property rights, citing data from overseas statistical organisations indicating that Beijing’s intellectual property rights court processes foreign-related cases within four months on average.”
The People’s Daily also points to the need for stronger protection of intellectual property rights to serve domestic interests, as Chinese companies emerge as more influential players in scientific and technological research and development.
“Cynical outside opinion always argues that China’s push for intellectual property rights is the result of international pressure, but this is in fact not the case.
“As China increasingly becomes a great innovation nation, the protection of intellectual property rights has become a rational choice for China’s national interests.
“Just as President Xi Jinping said in his opening speech at the 2018 Boao Forum, the protection of intellectual property rights is the biggest incentive for raising the competitiveness of the Chinese economy.
“In 2017, China’s patent application volume reached 1.382 million, making it first in the world for the seventh year straight.
“The number of processed international patent applications that China has submitted via the channel of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has reached 51,000, putting it in second place globally.
“China had three enterprises successfully enter the list of top ten global patent applicants in 2017 as compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, with Huawei first, ZTE second and JD.com seventh.
“We have reason to believe that in future, China’s environment for the protection of intellectual property rights will become even better.”