Three things to know about China's reform on intellectual property rights management

China's State Council on Tuesday submitted a plan on reforming its institutions, including a reform on intellectual property administration, to the first session of the 14th National People's Congress for deliberation. 

What's the plan?

China will improve the mechanism for managing intellectual property rights (IPR) to enhance IPR creation, application and protection, according to the plan.

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), currently administered by the State Administration for Market Regulation, will be adjusted into an institution directly under the State Council.

However, the State Administration for Market Regulation will continue to undertake law enforcement duties in trademarks, patents and other areas under the guidance of the CNIPA, according to the plan.

Why reform?

Chinese law experts say that the reform would upgrade CNIPA's position, showing China's commitment to building the country as an IPR power.

Zhang Weijun, a professor of law in Zhejiang University, said the plan would be beneficial to the development of IPR. Noting that the law enforcement duties will remain under the State Administration for Market Regulation, Zhang said this would help the CNIPA focus more on improving the quality of granted patents and trademarks to better promote innovation and high-quality development.

The reform is also aimed at meeting the demand of building a country of innovation, according to the plan.

As China's science and technology industries continue to develop and breakthroughs continue to be made in the high-tech sector, expectations for IPR will certainly rise, said Zeng Xiangxin, a lawyer at the Shanghai Co-effort Law Firm.

China's IPR development

China aims to strengthen IPR protection to create an innovative environment, boost scientific and technological cooperation and promote breakthroughs in key technologies. In this regard, it released a 15-year plan (2021-2035) on the development of IPR on September 22, 2021.

The plan, which demands stricter IPR protection, a high level of public satisfaction, and greater market value of IPR by 2025, was released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council.

By 2035, China's IPR competitiveness will rank among the top in the world, according to the guideline.

The guideline maps out a number of key tasks, including the development of an IPR protection system that supports world-class business environment, an IPR market operation mechanism that encourages innovation and a public IPR service system that is convenient and beneficial to the public, besides stepping up participation in global IPR governance. 

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: The China National Intellectual Property Administration in Beijing, China. /CFP)

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