On January 10, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) held a regular press conference for the first quarter of 2019 in Beijing. It is CNIPA’s first press conference in 2019, focusing on the annual statistics of patents, trademarks, geographical indications, and layout design of integrated circuits.

The statistics showed that the overall strength of China's intellectual property rights reached a new level in 2018.

In terms of patents, in 2018, the number of patent applications for invention in China was 1.542 million. A total of 432,000 invention patents were granted, of which 346,000 domestic invention patents were granted. In the domestic invention patents, the number of the service invention was 323,000, accounting for 93.3%; the number of the non-service invention was 23,000, accounting for 6.7%. In 2018, the top three domestic (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) companies for the number of the granted invention patents were: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (3,369), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (2,849), Guangdong OPPO Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. (2,345).

By the end of 2018, the number of domestic (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) invention patents were 1.602 million, and the number of invention patents per 10,000 people reached 11.5. The top three provinces (municipalities) in China for the number of invention patents per 10,000 people were: Beijing (111.2), Shanghai (47.5), and Jiangsu (26.5).

In 2018, a total of 55,000 PCT international patent applications were received, a 9.0% increase year-on-year. Among them, 52,000 applications were filed by domestic applicants, a 9.3% increase year-on-year. The top three provinces (municipalities) with more than 1,000 PCT international patent applications were: Guangdong (25,300), Beijing (6,500), and Jiangsu (5,500).

In 2018, a total of 808,000 invention patent applications, 1.874 million utility model applications, and 667,000 design applications were examined. The examination period for high-value invention patents was reduced by 10%, and the patent examination complaints fell by 52% over the same period. The number of reexamination requests was 38,000 and the number of the closed cases was 28,000. The number of invalidation requests was 5,000 and the number of closed cases was 4,000.

In terms of trademarks, in 2018, the number of trademark registration applications in China was 7.371 million. The number of trademark registrations was 5.007 million, in which the number of domestic trademark registrations was 4.797. By the end of 2018, the number of domestic effective trademark registrations (excluding foreign registration in China and Madrid registration) reached 18.049 million, and the number of trademarks per 10,000 market entities reached 1,724.

In 2018, the number of China’s applications for international registration of Madrid trademarks was 6,594. By the end of 2018, the effective number of international registrations of Madrid trademarks by Chinese applicants was 31,000, a 23.5% increase year-on-year.

In 2018, a total of 8.043 million trademark registration applications were examined, and the average examination period for trademark registration was shortened to less than 6 months. A total of 322,000 cases of trademark review were received, and 265,000 cases were closed. The time for the trial of a review of refused trademark was reduced to less than 7 months.

In terms of geographical indications, in 2018, 67 geographical indication products were approved, 961 geographical indication trademarks were registered, and 223 enterprises authorized to use geographical indication products were approved. By the end of 2018, 2,380 geographical indication products had been approved, 4,867 geographical indication trademarks had been registered, and 8,179 enterprises had been approved for the use of special marks.

In terms of layout design of integrated circuits, in 2018, CNIPA received 4,431 applications for layout design registration of integrated circuits, a 37.3% increase year-on-year, and 3,815 layout designs of integrated circuits were certificated, a 42.9% increase year-on-year.

In terms of intellectual property protection and exploitation, in 2018, the total number of patent administrative law enforcement cases in China was 77,000, a 15.9% increase year-on-year, of which, the number of patent dispute cases was 35,000 (including 34,000 patent infringement dispute cases), a 22.8% increase year-on-year; the number of cases of passing off a patent investigated and prosecuted was 43,000, a 10.9% increase year-on-year. 31,000 trademark violation cases were investigated and prosecuted, with a case value of 550 million yuan. The first case of infringement dispute for the layout design of integrated circuits was investigated.

In 2018, the total amount of import and export of intellectual property fees exceeded $35 billion. The total amount of patent and trademark pledge financing reached 122.4 billion yuan, a 12.3% increase year-on-year. Among them, the amount of patent pledge financing reached 88.5 billion yuan, a 23% increase year-on-year, and the number of pledge projects was 5,408, an increase of 29% year-on-year.

According to the report, the statistics in 2018 mainly show the following five characteristics.

First, the inventive level of China's intellectual property rights is steadily increasing.

Second, the international community has increasing confidence in China's intellectual property protection continues to increase.

Third, the status of innovation in domestic enterprises is further raised.

Fourth, the consciousness of international intellectual property rights of Chinese enterprises is continuously strengthened.

Fifth, the quality of invention patents in China shows a steady and increasing trend.