China will improve its policies and protection systems to better shield intellectual property rights, said the nation's top IP officials at last week's annual meetings for the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.

Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said IP protection is a "basic support to innovation and entrepreneurship".

He said SIPO will issue stricter IP systems and help the National People's Congress revise the Patent Law, focusing on current challenges in the defense of rights, such as difficulties in collecting evidence, high costs and overly lengthy procedures.

He Zhimin, deputy commissioner of SIPO, said the average compensation in patent lawsuits is less than 80,000 yuan ($12,296), but the amount often "fails to cover the cost of initiating lawsuits, not to mention the actual loss of the patent owner and the illegal income of the infringer".

"Sometimes you win a lawsuit but lose the market," he told China Intellectual Property News.

He said law enforcement has been increasingly efficient in recent years, with quick-response centers built for a number of industries and online complaint reception systems to help streamline patent dispute cases.

Many startups have called for diverse patent protection mechanisms that can reduce costs for patent owners.

In December 2015, the State Council issued a series of guidelines that said the judiciary will take the lead in protecting IPR while improving administrative law enforcement.

However, He said the current Patent Law does not specify what actions administrative law enforcement departments can take upon investigating patent infringements and collecting evidence.

"Without spelling out what means law enforcement can take, it is difficult to stop infringements on time," he said, "The improved patent enforcement system should grant the power of investigation and collection of evidence to law enforcement departments, clarify the effectiveness of conciliation to resolve disputes quickly, and allow active investigation against mass infringements and repetitive infringements."
He also suggested building high-quality enforcement teams.

Commissioner Shen vowed to increase the efficiency and quality of patent examinations to "guarantee high-quality patent applications and protection from the beginning".

In addition, there will be more quick-response IP protection centers across the country, Shen said.