City moves ahead with protection for intellectual property rights

Li Qian
Shanghai hopes to set up a new intellectual property rights protection center this year.
Li Qian

Shanghai hopes to set up a new intellectual property rights protection center this year, according to Rui Wenbiao, head of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.

In 2017, the city’s first center of its kind was officially set up in Zhangjiang, the Pudong New Area. It provides a “green channel” for faster patent application process and better IPR protection. Now, the city is working to expand the services to 15 districts. 

Shanghai also hopes to establish the China (Shanghai) IPR Protection Center this year, offering one-stop services, from quick review to verification, for enterprises, Rui said in a forum held at the Shanghai Science Hall.

Strong government supports and boosts innovation, increases domestic companies’ competitiveness and assists them to develop on the global stage, while overseas companies can feel safe to develop in China, Rui said.

This year's agenda of the city’s people congress includes drafting Shanghai IPR protection rules.

“We will explore how to protect IPR in new technologies such as artificial intelligence and block chain,” Rui said. “We hope to create a ‘Shanghai model’ and promote ‘Shanghai experience’.”

Asia is gradually making its voice heard in the global innovation landscape, and emerging innovation powers especially China have a growing sense of IPR protection.

Statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization show that in 2019 China applied for 58,990 patents via the Patent Cooperation Treaty, for the first time exceeding US and becoming No. 1 in the world.

According to the 2019 edition of WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Report, Shanghai ranks sixth and Beijing eighth of the top 10 metropolitan hotspots where most international collaboration takes place.

Chen Yajuan, head of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, said overseas companies like to file cases in Shanghai when they have IPR disputes with domestic companies.

“Between 2015 and 2019, foreign-invested companies filed 1,069 IPR disputes in my court. Big names include BMW, Boss and Disney,” she said.

Professor Wang Qian from the East China University of Political Science and Law added: “Shanghai doesn't handle a large amount of IPR disputes, but local judges are skilled and professional to make decisions. Some have become ‘first’ cases in the country. I think Shanghai has the potential to become the IPR protection center of the Asia-Pacific region.”

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