China to Step Up IPR Protection

China will better protect intellectual property rights (IPR) to improve the business environment and attract more foreign investors, a top IPR official said Tuesday.

China treats IPR owned by domestic and foreign companies alike, and gives them equal protection, Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, said at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office.

He said China adopted the Anti-unfair Competition Law last year and the country’s IPR protection has won recognition from American media and experts, who consider it a leader among middle-income countries.

In 2017, Chinese courts settled 203,000 IPR related cases, up 38.38 percent from a year earlier. A total of 7,157 people were charged. Police also investigated 17,000 cases related to IPR violation or making and selling counterfeit products, involving a combined sum of 6.46 billion yuan (about $1.02 billion).

Society’s approval rating of the state’s stricter IPR protection rose to 76.69 out of 100 last year, Shen said, citing a survey.

In 2017, China made 1.38 million invention patent applications, leading the world for the seventh year. It made 51,000 Patent Cooperation Treaty patent applications, ranking the second in the world. It also made 4,810 Madrid Protocol trademark applications, ranking the third in the world.

Shen said China strengthened IPR protection not just because it is an international obligation but also because it is a demand of the country’s own development.

He said IPR protection will improve in areas including rights authorization, administrative enforcement, judicial protection, arbitration, and sector self-regulation.