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Overseas applicants' registered patents in China grow 23% in 2021: CNIPA

2022/1/13 14:05:08   source:Global Times

The number of patents registered by overseas applicants in China surged by 23 percent in 2021, while the number of registered trademarks also rose, a government official from the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) said, mirroring the improvement of China's intellectual property rights (IPR) system, as well as the expansion of overseas enterprises now operating in China.

In 2021, overseas applicants were licensed 110,000 patents for their inventions in China, up 23 percent on a yearly basis. They also registered 194,000 trademarks, up 5.2 percent year-on-year, Hu Wenhui, a spokesperson for the CNIPA, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

In particular, the number of licensed patents and registered trademarks heldby US nationalsincreased by 32.1 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively, on a yearly basis in China, Hu said.

He attributed the phenomenon to the "firm confidence" that overseas companies have in China's IPR protection and the business environment.

Zhao Zhanling, legal counsel at the Beijing-based Internet Society of China, said that the rise of overseas companies' licensed patents in China was partly due to the expansion of China's economic size, which had prompted overseas companies to attach greater importance to the Chinese market.

"Some companies are applying for patents and trademarks out of awareness to protect their IPRs. Some are looking to apply for government subsidies by means of patents application, and some are thinking of patent authorization to outside companies to gain competitive advantage," Zhao told the Global Times.

On the other hand, it also reflects the improvement of China's IPR system, as China's IPR laws are enhanced, while implementation has also improved, Zhao said.

Data revealed a rising trend in China's IPR applications in line with the country's economic growth. At the end of 2021, domestic companies held 1.98 million valid invention patents, up 22.6 percent on a yearly basis. Of those patents, about 1.2 million were held by high-tech companies.

Information technology management, computer technology and medical technology are three areas where China's patents have grown the fastest, Hu said.

He also noted that the number of China's high-value patents is rising, as by 2021, there were 7.5 high-value patents for every 10,000 people, up 1.2 compared with the previous year.

Zhao noted that the rising proportion of high-value patents shows that China has become a global patent power, as companies no longer just seek large numbers of patents, but are also attaching more importance to the quality of their patents. 

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