An intellectual property salon was held last week in Beijing, to introduce the IP environments and systems of Japan and Europe to Chinese companies with business in those markets.
The daylong event attracted more than 120 experts, attorneys, officials and corporate representatives. It was organized by worldip.cn, an overseas IP information portal set up by China Intellectual Property News.
"Encouraged by the pragmatic moves of China's Belt and Road Initiative, an increasing number of Chinese companies have started to tap into overseas markets," Cao Donggen, head of China Intellectual Property News, said at the salon. "However, most of them have been plagued by IP disputes when going global, especially those in the photovoltaic, LED and smartphone industries."
Mao Jinsheng, an inspector with the State Intellectual Property Office's protection and coordination division, said that, as of 2014, China was one of the countries that encountered the most US Section 337 investigations for 13 consecutive years.
"IP challenges in overseas markets are mainly caused by the lack of information channels, language barriers and inadequate knowledge of IP laws and systems in foreign countries. About 70 percent of export-oriented companies do not fully understand the IP environment and patent approval procedures of their target countries," Mao said.
At the salon, Jin Yilin, an attorney with German law firm Grunecker Patent, said Germany deals with the most patent lawsuits in Europe annually, because German courts support the widest scope of IP rights protection and have easy procedures for issuing temporary injunctions, which is one of the most powerful weapons against patent infringements.
The United Kingdom receives fewer patent lawsuits annually, only about 50 cases, due to its longer procedures and more expensive costs, Jin said.
Jean-Baptiste Barbier, IP counselor at the French embassy in China, encouraged Chinese companies to make more investments in France because the country could serve as a springboard to enter Europe.
France has abundant experience in the IP field and also many advantages in patent application and protection for foreign companies, Barbier said.
If a Chinese company, for example, applies for a patent in a European country within a year after it applied for the same patent in China, the patent examination procedure can be finished in about two years in France and it is easy to get an approval. The procedure lasts about eight years in Germany if applicants do not apply for an accelerated examination, and four years in the UK, said Clemence Vallee-Thiollier, a French IP lawyer.
Long Xiang, founder of a Beijing-based IP consulting firm, encouraged Chinese companies to buy US patents from Japanese companies to enrich their overseas patent pools.
Japanese companies have a large number of high-quality US patents. Currently, due to the shrinkage and transformation of several industries in Japan, many of its companies wish to sell their US patents, Long said.