China Steps Up Protection For Intellectual Property Rights

China Tech Industry
FILE PHOTO: A labourer works inside an electronics factory in Qingdao, Shandong province, China January 29, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/William Hong/File Photo)

China is moving to enhance regulations surrounding intellectual property rights (IPR) as it was announced on Wednesday that the government will support the call to strengthen this particular aspect of tech and innovation in the country.

According to Xinhua, Premier Li Keqiang explained that enhancing IPR protection will help improve the tech business environment in China. He added that the Chinese government is fully supportive of plans to protect the interests of both domestic and international firms.

Beijing has been working to protect IPR over the last few years. The National Intellectual Property Administration has been holding third-party surveys on an annual basis for the past seven years.

As part of the scheme to improve IPR protection regulations, Beijing has been requesting comments and suggestions from the masses. Since 2012, the level of confidence and satisfaction in China's IPR protection standards has increased.

"Further enhancing the protection of intellectual property rights is crucial to improving our property rights protection system. It is required by scientific and technological innovation and essential for China's greater opening up," Li explained of the scheme.

Fines and punishments will be carried out accordingly to violators, the plan stated. For international companies, the government will work with global regulators to make sure rights are protected appropriately based on Chinese and international IPR laws.

Furthermore, patent filing applications will be hastened. While the period of examining patents will still depend on the item and regulations or standards revolving around the product, the ultimate goal is to shorten trademark registration waiting time.

The new scheme was announced amid growing concern over how Chinese tech companies will fare in global circles following the recent blacklisting of Huawei in the U.S. Huawei is China's leading tech firm but it became subject to scrutiny and is believed to have been dragged by the U.S. into the trade war.

Aside from improving China's IPR protection laws to crack down on violators, it was announced last week that the government will promote IP pledge financing. This involves companies pledging copyrights and trademarks for financial assistance.

As part of this initiative, the NIPA will collaborate with China's Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission to encourage financial institutions to improve and workaround on their IP pledge loans for applying enterprises.

The initiative is focused largely on assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they try their luck in the world of patents and protected material. Industry experts believe the move was initiated in line with Beijing's "Made in 2025" project that is centered on innovation and technological advancements that will propel China forward.

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