Matchmaking held for Fujian companies, outside IP agencies
By Hao Nan (China Daily)
Updated: 2015-11-11

A matchmaking activity between companies in Fujian and intellectual property agencies outside the province was held last week in the provincial capital of Fuzhou.

Organized by the State Intellectual Property Office, the event attracted about 150 representatives from IP agencies nationwide, as well as local IP administrations and State-owned and private companies.

It aimed to build a partnership and exchange channel between high-quality service providers, and introduce advanced IP service theories and experiences to Fujian to better support its construction of a free trade pilot zone and a core area of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, local officials said.

Fujian now has 22 IP service agencies covering fields such as trademark registration, patent evaluation and trade, but they are "small and lack high-end services like patent early warning systems and overseas IP rights protection", said Lin Bode, director of the province's IP office.

He said he hoped local IP agencies could establish partnerships with their large and more experienced counterparts through the activity.

The two-day event included several lectures given by law firms, patent and trademark agencies and also an expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He Chong, a partner in the Guangzhou Advance China IP Law Office, introduced some major patent organizations along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and compared three methods for obtaining foreign patents.

He also analyzed some cases to highlight the importance of patent early warnings before companies participate in overseas exhibitions.

Li Judan, an expert from CASS, compared IP environments in the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and suggested Fujian companies pay more attention to analyzing the IP laws in those countries to minimize risks. Singapore, for example, has strict IP enforcement and a strong protection system, she said.

"Companies should understand and respect the local customs and religious beliefs to avoid political risks," she said.

"The Fujian government has continuously implemented its IP strategy in recent years and launched 10 measures this year to promote patent commercialization in companies," Lin Bode said.

During the first three quarters this year, companies and individuals in Fujian filed 61,000 patent applications, an increase of 57 percent from the same period last year, including 12,000 invention patent applications, up 37 percent. As of September, the province's ownership of invention patents per 10,000 people reached 4.3, ranking 10th in China.

Most of the applications were filed by companies in the city's high-tech zone.

Matchmaking held for Fujian companies, outside IP agencies

Li Yongxiang, executive deputy director of the Fuzhou High-Tech Industrial Zone's administrative committee, said the zone would "take this activity as an opportunity to further improve its science and technology service mechanisms and innovation environment".

Established in 1991, the zone was among the first batch of State-level high-tech zones and now has two national corporate technology centers and 16 academic and postdoctoral work stations.

In November 2014, construction of the SIPO patent examination Fujian center began in the zone. It is scheduled to open in 2017 and hire some 700 patent examiners by 2022 and forecast to deal with 35,000 invention patent applications annually.

To date, SIPO has set up patent examination centers in eight cities and provinces including Beijing, Tianjin, Henan and Hubei.

Liu Jufang, a senior official from SIPO, said they have organized such activities since October last year to break the barriers of information asymmetry in the IP service sector.

In addition to the Fujian activity, SIPO has also organized activities in Tianjin, Shaanxi, Guizhou and Heilongjiang, attracting a total of 400 companies and resulting in over 10 cooperation projects.

(China Daily 11/11/2015 page17)

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