During 2013 China experienced continued growth in the number of applications filed for invention and utility model patents, but a slight drop in design patent filings. As at October 2013, the total number of invention patent and utility model applications filed stood at 594,390 and 689,971, respectively, representing a 23% and 22% increase on the 2012 figures. The total number of design patent applications filed by October 2013 dropped slightly, from 520,945 in 2012 to 519,858 in 2013. Overseas filings increased by 3%, while domestic filings increased by 16%. Of foreign countries, Japan was the top filer, followed by the United States.

Domestic trademark filings showed a 14% increase for the first three quarters of 2013. The total number of trademark applications received by the Trademark Office exceeded 1.2 million and more than 650,000 trademark registrations were granted.

China has also become more active in stamping out infringements. By September 2013, public security bureaux investigated 234,000 infringement cases involving goods valued at over Rmb24 billion. More than 35,000 people were arrested: charges were brought against 12,990 people and 10,566 were convicted. In the coming year, one of China's main enforcement targets is to combat online infringement.

To protect the rights of consumers, the Standing Committee of the State Council recently adopted an opinion on the publication of information on administrative actions taken against the sale of counterfeit and imitation goods. A platform will be created whereby the public can access information on actions taken by administrative authorities all over China against infringers, including any penalty imposed on them.

Mena Lo

This article first appeared in IAM magazine. For further information please visit www.iam-magazine.com