For the last 30 years, China has achieved magnificent results in its IP development and leading IP experts compare China’s IP development with the country’s economic growth. The President of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Ms. Pelosi evaluated recent IP development and improvements in China.
In her opinion, China has become one of the most important players in the IP sphere owing to the country’s efforts aiming at protecting and utilizing IP. Ms. Pelosi thinks, that China’s IP has improved due to the following factors – the growth of patent applications worldwide, continuous amendments of IP laws and reduction of processing time on patent examination.
According to the WIPO annual reports on indicators for 2018, the number of patent application forms applied by the Chinese IP governmental body had reached 1.54 million, which was 11.6% higher than in 2017. Ms. Pelosi supposes the growth of international patent applications by the Chinese filers is closely connected with this fact that the main Chinese filers are big Chinese tech companies like Huawei, OPPO, ZTE, which create innovations in the tech sector.
After China joined WIPO in 1980, China had to build a new legal framework in the IP sphere. Since 1980 China has been issuing several legal documents regulating IP questions including Trademark law, Patent law, Copyright law and Regulation on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. All the aforementioned legal documents are continuously revised because the IP sphere is constantly evolving in the world and the Chinese IP laws must be compatible with the rules of international agreements and treaties.
The reduction of processing time on patent examination also plays a key role in China’s IP improvement. The average time for high-value patent examination took 17.5 months, while the average time for trademark examination was significantly reduced to 4.5 months. However, one of the best improvements related to patent examination is the patent examination system has developed a digital and intelligent version. Moreover, the digital patent examination system helps to raise its efficiency.
Ms. Pelosi highly recommended China to implement further reforms concerned with IP rights. As legal practice shows, Chinese IP offices haven’t elaborated on the Madrid system, especially products’ and services’ identification in trademark applications.