Hunan plan says patents crucial to improved society

Updated: 2013-09-18 11:36

By Zhang Zhao (China Daily)

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A recently released plan by the Hunan provincial intellectual property office envisions "an information-based society with resource conservation and eco-friendliness" realized in part through integrating patents in the local government effort.

Patents will also be used to support urbanization by developing new industries and modern agriculture, said the plan.

A year after the State Council released the outline of national intellectual property strategy, in 2009 the Central China province unveiled its own strategies that includes six projects with 24 detailed tasks.

Organizations and individuals in the province filed 35,709 patent applications last year, more than 2.5 times the number in 2008. Over the same period, the number of granted patents increased nearly threefold to 23,212.

In the past year, 448 international patent applications from the province were filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, 7.6 times the number of 2008.

According to a provincial plan for socioeconomic development in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), Hunan was projected to have 1.6 valid invention patents for every 10,000 people by 2015, but the number already reached 1.96 by the end of June.

The government has integrated the law enforcement resources across the province to make it easier for IP protection personnel in different regions to share information and launch joint operations.

Law enforcement in Hunan investigated in nearly 25,000 cases of IP infringement in the past five years involving goods with potential total value of more than 200 million yuan ($32.7 million).

Seven large-scale wholesale and retail markets, nine industrial parks and 66 counties and districts in the province have been selected as pilots in IP protection with innovative analysis and management as well as policies that encourage patent commercialization.

Hunan plan says patents crucial to improved society

With the help of a website with patent information built by the provincial IP authority, more than 100 companies have established their own patent information databases.

The province also has a growing and increasingly competent team of IP talent. The provincial IP office has joined with Hunan University to found an IP training center, which was named the first State-level training base of its kind in 2009.

Many universities have started IP-related majors and lessons for graduate students. More than 400 PhDs and master's degree holders have now graduated in those majors.

The office have also organized more than 400 training programs and 300 lectures that involved a total of 100,000 people including many government officials.

Despite average annual growth rate of around 20 percent in the number of patent applications over recent years, the overall patent quality in Hunan still lags behind some advanced regions such as Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces, said Chen Zhongbo, director of the provincial IP office.

He suggested that patent applications should contain more technology and higher market potential in the future.

He also called for a better patent commercialization process and increased patent awareness among all people in the province.

"Patent awareness is like air and soil in which all IP grows," he said.

(China Daily USA 09/18/2013 page3)