Strengthening IPR Protection on China's Own Initiative
The State Council Information Office recently published a white paper titled "China and the World Trade Organization". It is the first time for China to publish a white paper on this issue. In the first part: "China Has Faithfully Fulfilled Its WTO Accession Commitments", the paper reveals that strengthening IPR protection is on China's own initiative. Strengthening IPR protection is the centerpiece for improving the property rights protection system, and it provides the biggest boost to the competitiveness of Chinese economy. It not only serves China's own development needs, but also helps to cultivate a business environment that is law- based, internationalized and business- friendly. China encourages technological exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises, and protects the lawful IPRs owned by foreign enterprises in China. At the same time, China hopes foreign governments will also improve protection of IPRs of Chinese interests.
When it comes to "Fulfilling Commitments on IPR Protection" part, the paper notes, since acceding to the WTO, China has formulated and improved its laws and regulations on IPR protection, set up IPR working mechanisms with many countries, drawn upon advanced international legislative practices, and built an IPR legal system that conforms to WTO rules and suits national conditions of China. It adds, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) was restructured lately. China strengthened administrative law enforcement on intellectual property protection and launched special campaigns targeting outstanding problems such as "Convoy Campaign" for protecting patent rights, which effectively protected IPRs.
As shown by the white paper, since 2001, intellectual property royalties paid by China to foreign right holders has registered an annual growth of 17 percent, reaching USD 28.6 billion in 2017. In 2017, China received 1.382 million invention patent applications, ranking the first in the world for the seventh consecutive year. Nearly 10 percent of the applicants were foreign entities and individuals. Invention patent applications filed by foreign entities and individuals in China reached 136,000, growing by threefold compared with 33,000 in 2001.