Beijing is set to step up its protections of intellectual property rights over the next few months as major trading partners complain about technology transfers.
Access to technology and the protection of intellectual property right lie at the crux of ongoing trade tensions between China and the US..
Both the US and the European Union have filed complaints with the World Trade Organization over the mater, with US Ambassador Dennis Shea accusing China of using unfair methods to pursue “forced technology transfer.”
Domestic media reports that China now plans to ramp up its intellectual property rights system, with the amendment of its Patent Law, the accelerated establishment of a compensation system for punishing infringements of intellectual property rights, and efforts to markedly increase the cost of legal violations.
In March the central government unveiled the “State Council Institutional Reform Plan,” which outlines a restructuring of the State Intellectual Property Office, while observers expect the amendment of the Patent Law to be completed before the end of the year, in tandem with a significant increase in enforcement levels.
Beijing is expected to release the “2018 In-depth Implementation of the State Intellectual Property Rights Strategy and Accelerated Establishment of a Great Intellectual Property Rights Nation Advancement Plan (2018深入实施国家知识产权战略加快建设知识产权强国推进计划) within the next few months, to serve as a new framework for the protection of intellectual property rights following the tenth anniversary of the “State Intellectual Property Rights Strategy Framework” (国家知识产权战略纲要).
One source who participated in the drafting of both the Plan and the Framework said to Yicai that after confirmation of institutional reform plans by the State Council at the end of this month, the release of the new Plan can be expected by as soon as July or August.
The Plan will serve as a continuation of the decade-old Framework, and will add phrases such as “provide strategic support to innovation drivers, provide excellent legal system protections to the commercial environment, and provide intellectual guidance to the Chinese economy’s transition from high-speed to high-quality growth.”
“Right now everyone knows that intellectual property rights are important and high-added value, as well as a weapon for enterprise competitiveness,” said the source. “This is a major step forward, but China still has a very long road to travel with regard to effective use of regulations, and the transformation of [intellectual property rights] into competitiveness and wealth.”
Li Mingde (李明德), a professor at the Intellectual Property Rights Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that China’s top policymakers had confirmed the need for protection of intellectual property to safeguard innovation and ensure that real innovators reap benefits.
According to data from the State Intellectual Property Office, of the end of 2017 mainland China had obtained a total of 1.356 million patents,