More focus on intellectual property needed: Officials (2011-12-29,China Daily)
Firms must raise investment to obtain more international patents
BEIJING - More enterprises are enjoying the benefits of China ' s innovation-friendly environment as the volume of funds invested in research rise .
However , the quality and global influence of the country ' s industrial innovations still need to be improved , officials and experts said .
" There are 20 percent more companies benefiting from the incentives they can earn by investing in innovation than in 2010. And China is seeing research investment grow by 20 percent year-on-year ," said Zhang Xiaoqiang , vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission ( NDRC ), at a forum sponsored by Economic Daily in Beijing on Wednesday .
Zhang said investment in 2011 will be equivalent to 1.83 percent of China ' s GDP , which will equal approximately 795 billion yuan ($125.7 billion ) if the world ' s second-largest economy grows by 9.2 percent this year .
Since 2006, many companies have boosted investment in research and development ( R & D ) after China vowed to build an " innovation-driven country " and issued more than 80 incentive measures for innovation .
According to an NDRC report , companies contributed more than 70 percent of the funds for R & D in 2010. And China has the world ' s largest number of research personnel , with 2.55 million people working to facilitate industrial upgrading .
China also became the world ' s top filer of patents in 2011, overtaking both the United States and Japan , according to Thomson Reuters .
Published applications from China ' s patents office have risen by an average of 16.7 percent annually , from 171,000 in 2006 to nearly 314,000 in 2010. That has seen Chinese companies outpace foreign businesses in the patents boom , the report showed .
However , Zheng Xinli , vice-president of the government think tank China Center for International Economic Exchanges , said there is still room for improvement and the country should play a bigger role in the patents market globally .
Even with the 20 percent rise in numbers and attractive incentives , fewer than 50 percent of all Chinese businesses engage in R & D work on their products , Zheng said .
Liu Shijin , deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council , said that many businesses have moved away from the manufacturing sphere and are addicted to investing in the financial and property markets , where there is a higher rate of return . Both markets should be subject to greater regulation , he said .
" Also , the government should not interfere too much with the innovation process ," Liu said .
In the meantime , compared with a boom in the overall number of patent applications , overseas applications are more difficult to obtain and therefore , should be given a higher priority , said Zheng .
" The number of international patents filed by the US is still 3.6 times higher than in China ," Zheng said , adding that the gap will not be closed before 2015.
Patents filed by companies in Japan and the US accounted for 34 percent of the Chinese market in 2010, but China ' s share in overseas markets is almost negligible , he said .
Private businesses currently contribute 68 percent of Chinese applications for overseas patents , and Zheng urged State-owned enterprises to become a major force in future growth .
" The authorities should consider granting certain allowances to companies applying for overseas patents , as in Shenzhen ," Zheng said .
Shenzhen , where more than 60 percent of local output is generated by high-tech industries , was awarded the " most innovative city " by the Economic Daily .
Two of the city ' s leading companies , Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp , jointly contributed 28 percent of China ' s overseas patents applications last year .
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China seizes 46 mln copies of illegal publications in first 11 months (2011-12-28,Xinhua)
Chinese law enforcement officials confiscated more than 46 million pieces of pirated, pornographic and illegal publications in the first 11 months of this year, according to the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publication.
The latest figures revealed by the office showed that in a major move to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), authorities seized over 39 million copies of publications for IPR infringement between January and November this year.
Among the confiscated pirated items were 31.5 million audio and video items, 6.6 million books and 988,000 electronic publication copies, according to the office. During the same period, authorities investigated a total of 9,463 cases of IPR infringement.
The figures also indicated that more than 1 million copies of pornographic publications were seized by law enforcement officials across China, and 1,490 related cases were investigated in the first 11 months of this year.
Meanwhile, in a crackdown on illegal newspapers and magazines, media organizations and fake reporters, China investigated 275 related cases and confiscated more than 4 million copies of illegally-published newspapers and magazines during the same period.
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Official : Patent licensing grows with innovation (2011-12-28,People's Daily)
As more innovation is developed and available , patent licensing is expected to show strong growth in China , according to a senior official at the State Intellectual Property Office ( SIPO ).
Cao Donggen , vice-director of SIPO ' s patent administration department , told a conference in Beijing on Dec 22 that an increasingly active licensing trade has emerged due to new patent alliances and IP firms in big cities like Beijing , Shanghai and Guangdong .
In 2007, just 118 patent licensing agreements were filed with SIPO . The number has surged to around 10,000 annually since 2008.
The growing capability of companies to use the intellectual property system , as well as the rising number of applications and improved patent quality , have laid the groundwork for the licensing trade , Cao said .
SIPO received more than 391,000 patent applications last year as China moved to second place globally .
International patent filings from China under the Patent Cooperation Treaty comprised 7.6 percent of the world ' s total , fourth following the United States , Japan and Germany .
Internationally , patent royalty and licensing fees increased from $2.8 billion in 1970 to about $180 billion in 2009, outpacing growth in global GDP , according to " The Changing Face of Innovation ", a report released by the World Intellectual Property Office in mid-November .
" There is far less data on domestic IP transactions , but selected company information confirms this trend ," the report says .
The explosion in patent applications in China will help the country become the world ' s second largest patent market after the United States , Yuan Jiann-Jong , a senior IP consultant from Taiwan , said at the meeting .
Just as raw materials are necessary for production , entrepreneurs should accept that it is normal to pay for patents as a needed component , he said .
" While research institutions explore frontier studies , generating patents that are licensable as a business needs a clear view of customer needs ."
And like antique experts who can distinguish the true article from a fake , venture capital funds undertake due diligence to recognize what patents are marketable and worthy of investment , he noted .
Firms focused on investing in patent portfolios are like " arsenals " that provide " useful resources ", Yuan said , adding that patents can serve as " a bargaining chip for commercial competition and market position ".
Different from intermediary firms specializing in IP , industrial companies are more concerned about how to incorporate IP assets into their routine production .
Global technology powerhouse IBM Corp has made more investment in intellectual property than for tangible assets in the past decade , said Zhang Yan , legal director of IP affairs for IBM ' s Asia-Pacific operations .
IBM ' s IP tactics are at the core of its strategic development plans , Zhang said .
The company earns $1 billion a year from intellectual property , including patent transfers , licensing , and joint research and development programs , she added .
China ' s telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies has just set off in that direction and is generating millions of dollars yearly in patent revenue , said Fan Zhiyong , vice-director of the company ' s IP department .
Huawei seldom had patent deals before 2009 unless other companies came to its door seeking cross licensing .
But the attitude has now changed .
" We are now more active in exploring cross-licensing probabilities , and establishing patent pools to increase transparency and control costs ," Fan said .
He cited Huawei ' s participation with South Korea in a transnational patent pool for wideband audio to illustrate benefits that patent operations have brought to the company . Huawei received the largest royalties of any licensing company in the program .
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Software deadline gives IPR big boost (2011-12-22,China Daily)
All government departments at , and above , county level will use licensed software by the end of 2013 in the latest move to protect intellectual property rights ( IPR ).
Industry insiders predicted that the move will create a wave of business opportunities for software providers , especially for foreign brands .
A source from the Ministry of Commerce said all government departments in 600 cities and 2,900 counties will use licensed software by the end of 2013, while the 31 provincial-level governments will promote the use of licensed software by the end of next June .
The move came after 135 central government departments , including all ministries , completed installing licensed software at a cost of more than 140 million yuan ($22 million ) in May .
This is a demonstration of the government ' s strong commitment to protecting IPR and improving the business environment amid criticism over the use of pirated and fake goods , experts said .
The agreement to have licensed software installed in all local government departments was struck at a meeting of the China-US Joint Commission of Commerce and Trade held in Chengdu , Sichuan province , last month , the source said .
During the two-day meeting China said it will make IPR protection a national long-term task .
Vice-Premier Wang Qishan promised to create , and lead an office , on IPR protection .
" The Chinese delegation said the nation will strengthen efforts and increase investment on advancing software legalization in government departments ," the source said .
China ' s foreign business environment has been criticized in recent years by some foreign enterprises .
Their concern focused on three main areas - IPR protection , government procurement and market access .
" Software legalization is a major concern for foreign businesses in China so the plan is a significant move that demonstrates the country ' s determination and sincerity ," Zhou Shijian , a senior expert on China ' s economy and trade at Tsinghua University , said .
" It also means that China will have to spend huge amounts on the project ."
China initiated a six-month campaign in October last year to combat pirated goods and protect patents , trademarks and copyright for a wide range of domestic and foreign goods , including books , videos and software .
The State Council said in November that provincial governments will complete the software legalization by the end of June next year .
" We ' re encouraged by China ' s statements and increased efforts in legalization and enforcement ," said a spokesperson for Microsoft China , who declined to be identified .
" We see lots of opportunities for continued improvement on intellectual property protection in China and we are hopeful they will lead to meaningful and lasting results ."
Foreign enterprises enjoy advantages and are favored in government procurement but domestic companies are optimistic .
" The volume ( of government procurement ) is high but profit margins are not big ," said Wang Zhantao , marketing director of Beijing Rising International Software Co Ltd , China ' s leading anti-virus software maker .
" Foreign counterparts generally are more competitive and can usually win more orders as they have a wider range of products than domestic players ," he said .
Statistics showed that from 2007 to 2010 government procurement of software , including database , operating systems and anti-virus software , was worth 1.07 billion yuan .
The majority of software orders went to foreign brands , including Microsoft , Oracle and IBM .
Only in anti-virus software did the domestic company , Rising , get more than half of the orders .
" I am concerned whether the preference ( choosing foreign brands ) will continue , but I strongly suggest that the government turn to local brands ," Ni Guangnan , a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Engineering , said .
" As long as they have good quality and are competitively priced , domestic software should be a good buy . We needn ' t blindly give preference to imported software ," he said .
Vice-Premier Wang said recently at a meeting of representatives from foreign businesses in China that foreign enterprises still enjoy preferential policies .
" In terms of government procurement , products made by foreign companies are favored in many of the deals made , especially by local governments ," Wang said .
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Chinese courts handle over 52,000 new cases of IPR infringement (2011-12-20,Xinhua)
Chinese courts heard 52,708 new cases of intellectual property right infringement from January to October 2011, up 42.2 percent from the same period of 2010, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
The number of IPR infringement cases heard by the courts nationwide has risen significantly since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, from 5,265 in 2001 to 42,931 in 2010, with an annual increase of 26 percent, according to Sun Jungong, spokesman for the SPC.
"China has made great progress in the protection of intellectual property during the past 10 years." Sun said. "As the status of intellectual property has increased in national development, its judicial protection has become an indispensable part in the national development strategy."
In the field of new economic sectors, the judicial judgment on intellectual property will play an important role, such as setting up conduct standards and development guidance for the industry operators and even the industry orientation, Sun added.
In this regard, the SPC on Monday published a directive on better displaying the role of judicial judgment on IPR protection and promoting national cultural and economic prosperity.
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Tudou to sue Youku over online series (2011-12-19,People's Daily)
ONLINE video website Tudou plans to sue arch-rival Youku . com in Beijing and will demand 150 million yuan ( US $23.6 million ) in compensation for infringement of patented contents .
Tudou has said Youku is illegally airing the entertainment program series " Kangxi is Coming ," whose exclusive online broadcasting rights on the Chinese mainland were granted to Tudou by Taiwan ' s TV station CTI Television .
" Kangxi is Coming " updates one episode every day and Tudou ' s one-year exclusive broadcasting right started from December 1.
Earlier this week , Youku also filed a lawsuit against Tudou in Shanghai , alleging Tudou is broadcasting more than 50 other TV series whose patents are owned by Youku .
Tudou , however , refuted these claims and said it already owned the broadcasting rights of these contents , or had deleted links to some of the episodes for which it didn ' t have patents .
Sources close to Tudou revealed that patent fees for " Kangxi is Coming " is about 10 million yuan .
Yu Bin , vice president of Tudou , said : " The amount of compensation is based on the number of times these pirated contents were played on Youku and an estimated advertising income derived from these contents ."
Youku attached banner advertisement and short commercial clips ahead of each episode of " Kangxi ".
Youku was still broadcasting " Kangxi " as of yesterday afternoon .
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U.S. initiates probe into Chinese products for patent infringement (2011-12-17,Xinhua)
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) Friday launched a probe into certain products from China after several U.S. companies alleged their patents were infringed.
The products in question include televisions and Blu-ray players produced by Haier Group of China and Vizio Inc. under Taiwan-based Amtran Technology Company and sold in the U.S. market, the USITC said.` Five U.S. technology companies filed a complaint with USITC last month, saying those products violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by infringing their patents.
Meanwhile, they requested the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order against those products from China.
The trade panel is scheduled to set a target date for completing the investigation within 45 days after institution of the probe. If the complaint is approved, the agency will ban importation of those products.
The U.S. move came at a time when protectionism is making a comeback in the United States amid sluggish economic recovery.
It is widely believed that such actions would only hurt U.S.- China trade relations that are increasingly critical to global economic recovery.
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World should fairly evaluate China's IPR protection efforts: commerce official (2011-12-13,Xinhua)
A senior official said Tuesday that China has made remarkable progress in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection during the past 30 years and that he hopes foreign media will report on China's IPR protection efforts fairly and objectively.
Li Chenggang, director of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference that the country has always taken a firm stance in protecting IPR and made continuous efforts in combating IPR infringement.
"If foreign countries don't evaluate China's efforts in a fairly and objectively manner, they will not have confidence in us," he said.
Li said China should strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries in the area of IPR protection in order to boost understanding.
Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Zengwei said China has set up IPR cooperation mechanisms with several countries, including the United States, Japan, Russia and Switzerland, over the past 30 years.
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Top Chinese official says nation 'serious' on IPR protection (2011-12-10,
China is "taking a serious stance" on improving protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), said the country's top IPR official amid recent criticism from Western media and business.
Tian Lipu, commissioner of China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said China is fully committed to bring its IPR law and administration up to international standards at the opening of the first-ever UK-China IP Symposium on Thursday.
Admitting that IPR infringement and piracy in China remains a concern, Tian said the Chinese government is "taking a serious stance on cracking down these illegal activities".
"As a developing economy with a short history of IPR enforcement, China still has a long way to go. However, China's serious efforts and achievements cannot be ignored," he said, adding that the growing number of foreign companies willing to file their patent applications with SIPO demonstrate their trust in China's IPR system.
China's patent laws were introduced in 1984. Amendments were made in 1992, 2000 and 2008, bringing them closer to international standards.
Recognizing a growing need for Britain and China to cooperate on IPR protection amid increasing economic ties, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed a symposium was needed at their meeting in London in June.
But an opinion article published on Wednesday in the British newspaper The Times caused a stir.
In the commentary, James Dyson, founder of the British technology company Dyson Ltd, claimed that his company has been waiting for three years for a patent to be approved in China, "compared with nine months for domestic applicants".
Dyson won a case in January against the Chinese company Yongkang Yixuan for design infringement. Dyson claims it is also currently pursuing 15 patent disputes in China.
"Dyson's case represents a small minority. The feedback we receive from most Western businesses has been very positive," said Tian, adding that Dyson's claim of patent approval discrimination against foreign firms is untrue, because processing time for all companies requires a minimum of 18 months.
Since its establishment, SIPO has received a total of 1.07 million patent applications from foreign companies, the majority of which are submitted by developed economies. While the first 500,000 patents took 20 years to accumulate, the rest took only 5 years.
The United Kingdom and China, who both "have plenty of innovation must have good and reliable trade underpinned by proper intellectual property rules", said Lord Howell of Guilford, minister of state at Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
"Maybe not all of (the Western media's criticism of China's IPR protection) is justified, but there are certain areas where I think everyone, including the Chinese government, recognizes that there can be improvement," he said.
To assist British businesses with IPR-related issues in China, Britain will dispatch its first IPR attache to China on Dec 14. Tom Duke, the appointed attache, is the former head of the IP Centre at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in South Korea.
Tian welcomed the announcement, adding that China will continue to improve protection of intellectual property.
Baroness Wilcox, Britain's Parliamentary under-secretary for business, innovation and skills, said that the announcement shows that the British government "is listening and acting on the intellectual property concerns being raised by UK businesses".
Data from the World Intellectual Property Office shows 12,337 patent applications filed in 2010 came from China, an increase of 56.2 percent compared with 2009. That figure ranks China fourth in patent applications after the United States, Japan and Germany.
"The dramatic increase in registration of IPR in China in recent years shows that innovative Chinese companies and individuals have begun to recognize the value of intellectual property," said Wilcox.
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China calls for international cooperation in IP protection (2011-12-09,Xinhua)
China on Thursday called for international cooperation in a proactive and constructive manner in creating a favorable global environment for intellectual property (IP) protection.
The remark was made by Tian Lipu, Commissioner of China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) while attending the Britain-China IP Symposium, the first in its kind held between the two countries.
The two side made frank, open, practical and professional exchanges at the meeting. Tian said in an interview with Xinhua that the symposium has provided a platform for the two countries to promote mutual understanding.
He called for further cooperation between the two countries in intellectual property protection.
Noting that some of the media coverage on China in this field was marred by distortion, Tian said that China, as a country with a short history of IP enforcement, has done a lot of work in the field.
If the IP protection has been so inadequate in the country, "I could hardly imagine that any foreign companies would be willing to file their patent applications and make investment and technology transfer in China," said the official.
In fact, the implementation of IP system has brought tangible profits to companies of different countries. They not only profit from royalty fees for patent, trademark and copyright, but also obtain enormous additional profits from branding and technology added value by producing in China and exporting back to their home countries.
Tian admitted that China still has a long way to go in terms of IP protection. The IP system still needs to be further improved, as public awareness is still not satisfying and intellectual property infringement and abuse remains a serious issue in some regions and sectors as well as for some products.
The Chinese government has never shunned the problems, and will continue the efforts in cooperating with other countries to provide quality and efficient services and protection to innovators and rights holders around the world.
China has made unremitting efforts to solve the problems and has achieved much progress. In October 2010, it initiated a special rectification operation against intellectual property right infringement and counterfeiting, and achieved notable results. The country has announced the establishment of a long-term mechanism for IP protection.
In the past decade, annual applications for invention patent filed by China and other 147 countries have grown 22 percent on average, five times the global average. From January to October this year, SIPO received 395,000 applications for invention patent, rising 33 percent year on year, and granted 140,000 invention patents, up 23.8 percent year on year.
China received 1.07 million trademark applications in 2010, an annualized rise of 29.1 percent. The number of applications designating China for territorial extension and under the Madrid system was 30,889. At the same time, Chinese applicants filed 1,090 applications under the Madrid System, a rise of 46 percent year on year.
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China 's patent applications hit new high (2011-12-07,People's Daily)
The number of patent applications filed in China reached nearly 1.24 million during the first 10 months of the year , an increase of more than 16,300 from the roughly 1.22 million applications submitted last year , according to statistics from the State Intellectual Property Office . The number of patent grants totaled about 7.7 million during the period .
Meanwhile , the number of patent grants for inventions reached nearly 139,500, an increase of 4,371 from the total number of last year . In addition , the number of patent grants for utility models and designs reached more than 334,700 and nearly 295,000, respectively .
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Opportunities in Chinese market beckon Western high-tech firms (2011-11-25,
High-tech companies will see opportunities in the Chinese market amid the West's sluggish economic recovery.
Experts at the International Capital Conference in Paris also pointed out on Wednesday that those in the renewable energy and environmental protection sectors will probably see the most opportunity in China because the country sees the urgency for green growth.
Hu Rongqiang, chairman of the United World Chinese Association, said that the economic downturn in the West could mean that high-tech Western businesses will further invest in China through partnerships with Chinese companies.
"Innovation can be achieved through cooperation between different countries. Working together with Western businesses, we can promote Chinese strength, but we can't do it alone," Hu said, adding that many commercial opportunities exist in China's renewable energy and creative industry sectors.
But for existing investors in the Chinese market, there are not just opportunities, but also challenges.
"Sometimes, from the initial plan to the full-scale innovation, it can take a year in China, but in Europe it would be many years. If you innovate in China with your Western process, the timing will be wrong," said Olivier Delabroy, group vice-president of Air Liquide SA, a global gas supplier.
The French company has had a presence in China since 1916, but its investments have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2004, it had eight mid-sized and large plants in China, and today there are 59.
This week, Air Liquide secured a new contract to supply gaseous oxygen and nitrogen to the Maoming branch of Sinopec Corp, China's largest oil refiner. This contract will result in new investments at Air Liquide Hangzhou, the company's engineering center in China.
Air Liquide also formed a partnership with Zhejiang University to develop new solutions for cleaner and more efficient coal combustion using oxygen, which started this March.
According to Delabroy, business risks are particularly prominent in high-tech industries because the fast-changing technology makes it impossible to accurately calculate the profitability of projects with existing business models. In addition, market demand does not materialize quickly enough to make initial investments profitable.
"We want to make long-term investments, but it is important for Western companies to know that their intellectual property (IP) is fully protected in China," Delabroy added.
Although IP protection has historically been a concern for Western businesses in China, the situation has improved in recent years.
According to the World Intellectual Property Office, 12,337 patent applications were filed from China in 2010, an increase of 56.2 percent over 2009. This makes China the fourth-largest patent applying country after the United States, Japan and Germany.
"Apart from IP protection, it is also important to ensure that a Western company's technological know-how is not transferred to a third party outside the collaboration between the Western company and Chinese partner," said Delabroy.
Delabroy said that the transfer of know-how is difficult to restrict by regulations and relies on the establishment of mutual trust in the partnership.
"I have no problem transferring the know-how to the partner," he said.
China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), released in February, outlined the country's intent to upgrade its manufacturing sector, accelerate the growth of the service sector, and build a modern energy industry, all of which could benefit from collaboration with private-sector Western businesses.
Technological innovation is "badly needed to help Chinese businesses implement environmental protection measures", said Liu Xiaoguang, chairman of Beijing Capital Land Ltd.
"Energy consumption is very high in China, and some of the green technologies currently used in the West would be very helpful if brought to China," Liu said.
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New technology enables use of sandy Yellow River for drip irrigation (2011-11-24,
New filtering technology has allowed water from the sandy Yellow River to bring life to west China's arid farms, it was announced Thursday, paving the way for the system's use to become widespread.
The Gansu Provincial Bureau of Science and Technology said technology developed by Ruisheng-Yamit High-Tech Agriculture Co. Ltd. has tackled the problem of using the Yellow River's water for "drip irrigation," a method which allows water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, and which is therefore commonly used where water is scarce.
The local authority's appraisement makes way for the roll-out of the technology and makes way for China's sandy ground water to be used for drip irrigation, which otherwise should use clean underground water.
Zhang Jiewu, chairman of the board of Ruisheng-Yamit, a Sino-Israeli joint venture, said the company obtained a patent for the technology from the State Intellectual Property Office earlier this year.
He said farmers in west China had until now been restricted to using underground water for drip irrigation because solids contained in the region's unusually sandy ground water can block the pipeline. However, by installing sand-separating settings to drip-lines, the ground water can be filtered before free-flowing to the pipelines.
The company has seen the facility applied on 35,000 hectares of farmland in Gansu as well as Ningxia Hui, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions since the product was launched last year.
Zhang said the company has received orders from 11 Chinese provinces and regions for the patented drip-line facilities.
An official with the Gansu science bureau said that many irrigation facilities by the river's bank in the northwestern region are left unused because of the sand problem.
Ruisheng-Yamit is a joint venture between the Gansu Yasheng Group and Israel Yamit Ltd. of Filtration and Water Treatment.
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Competitors come calling after Aigo prevails in patent (2011-11-23,
The victory by Chinese high-tech company Aigo Digital Technology Co Ltd in a lawsuit against international electronics giant Toshiba over its USB Plus patent changed the attitude of a number of foreign companies , according to Aigo ' s intellectual property supervisor Huang Jing .
Before the case , many overseas electronics makers ignored Aigo ' s patent , said Huang .
" The logic was like this : I have occupied your house , but you can ' t sue me , and whether I stay or leave , it ' s none of your business ," he said . " They just don ' t realize it ' s actually your house ."
" Many foreign companies have a strong stereotype of China - linking it only with piracy and commercial espionage ," said Li Dong , Aigo ' s chief engineer and solution center manager .
But the trial got the attention of Aigo ' s foreign rivals .
" In the past , we had to go to them with a proposition ," Huang said . " But now they send high-ranking executives to us to talk about cooperation and licensing ."
Last month , a Xi ' an court in Shaanxi province ruled that Toshiba had illegally used the USB Plus technology developed by Aigo and levied 200,000 yuan ($31,360) in compensation to the Chinese company . The court also banned the sale in China of two types of Toshiba computers using the technology .
Aigo also sued HP over the technology at the same time , but the case was delayed because an HP retailer , as a co-defendant , " disappeared ". Huang claimed it was " HP ' s scheme to win some time ".
The USB Plus technology is up to six times faster than in commonly used USB 2.0 devices . It can be used for portable hard drives , flash memory and computers .
The USB Plus has become a de facto standard with more than 100 million laptops and 10 million desktop computers in the world using the technology , according to Li .
" We are proud to see that such a widely accepted standard was developed by a Chinese company ," he said .
" Suing other companies is not our purpose ," Huang said . " The USB Plus technology is a good thing for consumers , and we ' d like to promote it to a wider public . But when computer makers use the technology , they must show some respect to our intellectual property rights ."
The two Aigo executives also called for more confidence from Chinese people in home-developed products and technologies .
Li said because most international brands have transferred their manufacturing sector to China , Chinese professionals have had more access to front-line R & D , and only long time in such work can help generate innovative ideas that lead to patents .
" Chinese people never lack good ideas ," Li said . " But without a proper patent application , encouragement and protection system , an idea is nothing ."
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AmCham Shanghai Welcomes JCCT Outcomes (2011-11-22,
The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) applauded China's pledge to ensure a fair and level playing field for US companies competing in China's "strategic, newly emerging industries", and the new energy vehicle market. China will also continue a high-level program to improve intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement.
Commitments were made at the 22nd US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) held in Chengdu, captial of Southwest China's Sichuan province. At the meeting, China also confirmed a 10 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion) investment over the next five years in targeted sectors focusing mainly on clean energy and clean energy technology, according to media reports.
"Clearly, there is more work to be done but implementing commitments made this time, and those of previous JCCT meetings, will help ensure US companies have free and fair access to the China market, which will create American jobs and contribute to China's own development goals,"said Brenda Foster, president of AmCham Shanghai.
The Chamber also welcomed China's pledge not to require US automakers to provide new energy vehicle technology to Chinese partners as a precondition to compete in China's new energy vehicle market, expected to reach 1 million vehicles by 2015 according to the US Department of Commerce.
AmCham Shanghai member companies were pleased to see positive steps taken in the development of improved protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights by making permanent the 2010 Special IPR Campaign. The new leadership structure, led by Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, will coordinate IPR enforcement across China. According to a recent survey by AmCham Shanghai, IPR remains a problem for American companies.
"Enforcement is the key,"said Foster. "We support the move to make China's campaign to enforce IPR permanent, and all other measures which would help ensure a company's IP is safe and secure. This is critical not only to US competitiveness in China but to China's own progress toward developing an innovation based economy.ˇ±
On their way to Chengdu, US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and other members of the US delegation stopped in Beijing for a roundtable discussion with more than 30 business leaders from AmCham Shanghai, AmCham-China, AmCham South China and the US-China Business Council as part of their preparations for the JCCT meetings.
"China is a market that all US companies, big and small, must either be in or have plans to be in," said Robert Roche, vice-chairman of AmCham Shanghai.
"The JCCT meetings that were held this week are a perfect example of how the US government can support business success in China. I'd like to congratulate US Secretary of Commerce Bryson, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack, US Ambassador to China Locke, US Trade Representative Kirk and the rest of the negotiating team for a productive JCCT session in Chengdu," Roche said.
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China's space docking technology granted 15 patent certificates (2011-11-22,
China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) on Tuesday conferred 15 patent certificates to the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), developer of the docking mechanism for China's first space docking mission.
Unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou-8's docking with space lad module Tiangong-1 on November 3 was considered a great leap forward for China's space program.
Led by the SAST, Chinese scientists developed the docking mechanism and ground-experiment systems for the successful mission. Forty five patent applications regarding the docking technology have been submitted to the SIPO.
China has been researching docking technology since 1994. The country plans to conduct two more space docking missions next year, one of them manned, and plans to complete a manned space station around 2020.
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Canton Fair wants US products (2011-11-16,China Daily)
An official from the Canton Fair, China's largest trade fair, is trying to entice more high-tech and green companies from the United States to be part of its next session.
"America's high-tech products, especially low carbon, environmental protection and green products are very welcome in China. We hope the US will export more such products to China," Wang Zhiping, vice-president and secretary-general of the China Import and Export Fair, renowned as the Canton Fair, told reporters Tuesday during a news conference promoting the fair.
The 111th session of the fair will be held from April 15 to May 5 in Guangzhou. It can accommodate about 58,700 stands. The International Pavilion will remain the size as the 110th session, which concluded earlier this month.
Wang said during the 110th session of the fair, Chinese enterprises were attracted to the high-tech American products on display. One example is the cell-phone-sized but fully functional Color Doppler Ultrasonic machine produced by General Electric Co that is used in the medical field.
Regarding intellectual property rights and product quality issues, areas where the US and European companies are mostly concerned, Wang said the fair has developed an advanced mechanism to prevent such violations.
A complaint reception center for IPR was created in 1999, and the about 20,000 companies attending the fair are carefully selected from more than 600,000 Chinese companies that have the qualifications to import and export.
"If a company is found to be promoting forged and fake commodities, it will be disqualified from attending the fair," Wang said.
Wang said the fair is not only a platform for Chinese companies to display their products for exporting but also for overseas companies to display their competitive products to be exported to China.
A US Pavilion was launched during the 110th Canton Fair to host American companies such as GE and Coca-Cola Co. More than 14,400 American businessmen and businesswomen came to the fair.
"China and the US have mutual needs in each other's products. The US needs China's cheap consuming goods, electronic products and small mechanical products, while China needs American high-tech and green products," Wang said.
"Although the US has a trade deficit with us, as long as we don't turn to trade protection we can achieve trade balance," Wang said.
Wang hopes to invite more US companies to the fair. During his promotional trip to the US, he plans on visiting the National Retail Federation and National Association of Manufacturers.
"Chinese manufacturers maintain an advantage in producing cheap and quality products," said Wang, who worries if the yuan appreciates too fast, manufacturers will be harmed.
According to Wang, the fair has conducted a survey of Chinese enterprises that show they are under pressure of the appreciation of the yuan.
"The price of labor and production materials will rise as a result, and the rise of the exchange rate will all intimidate the producers and traders from making long-term and large orders," Wang said.
"The exchange rate is a double-edged sword. We don't think it should rise too fast. And there is no reason to connect it with the unemployment rates in the US," Wang said. "If Chinese enterprises go bankruptcy, American consumers will be harmed too."
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China's R&D investment 2nd in the world (2011-11-15,China Daily)
China has overtaken Japan to become the world's second biggest spender on industrial research and development (R&D), trailing only the United States, a report by the United Nations (UN) said on Monday.
Chinese investment in R&D rose to 12.8 percent of the world total in 2009, up from just 2.2 percent in 1993, according to the report by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Investment into R&D, driven by China's businesses and its state-funded universities, easily outstripped money poured in by Germany, France and Britain, countries that were near the top of the list two decades ago.
Their shares all fell, according to the agency, which acts as a focus for the global patent and copyright system.
R&D is seen as a key driver of technology-based industries but spurs growth across all sectors.
The report also showed sharp rises in the number of Chinese applications for patents and trademarks, to protect innovations produced by Chinese research.
The United States held on to the top position in the global R&D rankings. But its share fell 3.4 percentage points to 33.4 percent, still more two and a half times larger than China's.
The public sector was the main funder of R&D in most middle income countries, predominantly in Latin American and Asia. Brazil now accounts for 1.8 per cent of the global total, said the agency.
The private sector carried out most research and development in China and other high income countries.
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Midea loses patent suit to Gree (2011-11-14,China Daily)
One leading home appliances manufacturer Midea lost a patent lawsuit to one of its archrivals , being ordered to stop the infringing act and pay a fine .
The Guangdong Provincial Supreme People ' s Court upheld the verdict made by the Zhuhai City Intermediate People ' s Court , settling the three-year intellectual property dispute between Midea Electric Appliances and Gree Electric , both being listed in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange .
Midea is also subject to a fine of 2 million yuan ($315,000), according to the supreme court ruling .
China ' s largest air conditioner producer Gree filed the lawsuit against Midea in 2008, after finding four models of Midea products copied its patented " sleep " function technology , an invention which helps adjust room temperature in users ' sleeps according to their preferences .
The Zhuhai intermediate court decided Midea guilty of the patent infringement in April 2011. Midea , however , appealed to the higher court .
During the litigation , Midea applied to the State Intellectual Property Office to revoke Gree ' s patent of invention , but failed in September 2009.
China manufactures more than 100 million air conditioners yearly , accounting for roughly 80 percent of the world ' s total output .
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China's patent applications surge (2011-11-10,China Daily)
China's patent applications will further increase this year as the number for the first nine months has been close to last year's total, said a patent official Wednesday.
Li Yuguang, deputy director of China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said at a seminar that the office had received 1.09 million patent applications by the end of September, 704,000 of which were granted.
"Patent applications have been growing rapidly since the government announced a strategic program concerning intellectual property rights in 2008," Li said.
The deputy director added governments at all levels have attached great significance to intellectual property rights, which has boosted the people's creativity and led to the rapid growth in patent applications.
In 2010, total patent applications filed to the SIPO climbed 25.1 percent from a year earlier to 1.22 million cases, according to data from the office.
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China to form national office for IPR fight (2011-11-10,People's Daily)
The central government is to establish an office to facilitate the crackdown on infringement of intellectual property rights ( IPR ) and counterfeit products , the State Council said on Wednesday .
China faces an arduous task fighting IPR infringement as well as the production and sale of fake products , so greater administrative and law enforcement efforts are needed , according to a statement issued after a State Council executive meeting .
The meeting highlighted demand for stricter supervision over manufacturers and inspection over the markets for food , medicine , cosmetics , agricultural materials , construction materials , machinery and electronics , and auto parts .
The office will be set up under the Ministry of Commerce .
Police are urged to establish a cross-regional enforcement system to facilitate investigations , according to the statement .
Huang Hua , a copyright expert with Beijing-based Wowa Media Company , said the recent food safety scandals and controversial events over Internet IPR may have triggered the measures by the central government .
" Since more and more individual copyright owners have been aware of defending their rights through legal suits , cases involving IPR have increased significantly in recent years ," Huang said . " Such a trend requires more market supervision and a perfect legal framework , and that is why government is anxious to enhance related legislation and its enforcement ."
In October 2010, the State Council launched a nationwide campaign aimed at patent violations , online piracy , pirated software and producing and marketing counterfeit products .
By the end of June , law enforcement officials in quality-supervision departments had filed 2,696 cases worth 1.2 billion yuan ($189 million ) with 1,233 counterfeit manufacturing sites uncovered , the announcement said .
In addition , a national conference was held in February in Beijing to help enforce the ban on unauthorized software in 147 central government departments .
All central government departments were urged to ban the use of unauthorized software by May .
On Sunday , 25 million pieces of counterfeit goods , including pirated and illegal prescription medicine , healthcare products , fake seeds and poor-quality auto parts were destroyed in 182 cities across the country . It marked the launch of the latest national campaign to crack down on fake and shoddy commodities .
The campaign was the second action of a mass destruction by the public security department since May 15, the beginning of a move to combat and prevent economic crimes .
Since November last year , police have seen positive results through trans-regional cooperation of police officers under unified command and supervision .
More than 28,000 criminal cases of infringement of IPR and selling shoddy goods have been cracked , and more than 6,700 criminal gangs who were involved in wholesaling and marketing the goods were destroyed .
" Such campaigns aimed at cracking down on IPR infringement have been held year after year and it seems it all ends up with just sound effects ," said Wang Qian , a professor at the Intellectual Property School of East China University of Political Science and Law . " But they were to cure the symptoms , not the disease ."
The State Council is looking to establish an effective mechanism to guarantee the smooth running of IPR protection , he said .
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China solves 28,000 IPR violation cases (2011-11-06,China Daily)
China's police have solved over 28,000 cases with 18 billion yuan ($2.84 billion) involved over the course of a year-long crackdown on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements and counterfeit goods.
If calculated in terms of the prices of the licensed products, total amount of money involved could top 500 billion yuan, said a statement from the Ministry of Public Security on Sunday (MPS).
From November 2010 to this October, police across the country have closed more than 22,000 illegal sites producing violation products and busted 6,700 criminal rings responsible for selling such goods, the statement said.
The police on Sunday kicked off a special campaign in the northern city of Tianjin to scrap the violation items seized in the crackdown campaign.
This campaign will be launched in 182 Chinese cities. It is estimated that more than 25 million fake luxury goods, pirated books and discs, and counterfeit medicines and foods will be destroyed, the statement said.
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China ' s Aigo wins patent suit against Toshiba (2011-11-01,People's Daily)
Recently , Huaqi Information Digital Technology Co ., Ltd . ( Aigo ), one of China ' s electronics giants won a lawsuit against Toshiba over a patent violation .
For the first time , a Chinese brand won the lawsuit against a foreign brand according to Chinese standards concerning intellectual property .
Aigo asked Japanese electronics major Toshiba to stop selling some of its notebook computers in China because they infringed on six Aigo patents for USB Plus , a storage port technology used in Toshiba ' s laptop and notebook computers .
In 2009, Aigo introduced its USB Plus , which had two inventive patents and six utility model patents . It was set as China ' s independently developed intellectual property standard . There are at least 60 million computers suspected of infringing the patent of Aigo last year .
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China confiscates 700 million pirated items in ten years: white paper (2011-10-27,Xinhua)
China's copyright administration organs at various levels confiscated about 707 million pirated copies during the period between 2001 and 2010, says a white paper titled "The Socialist System of Laws with Chinese Characteristics" issued on Thursday.
Moreover, the authorities delivered 93,000 administrative penalties and transferred 2,500 cases to judicial organs according to incomplete statistics, says the white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council.
The white paper says that China attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights.
By the end of 2010, the state had approved over 3.89 million patents of various types, and effectively registered over 4.6 million trademarks, including 670,000 trademarks from 177 countries and regions, it says.
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Sino-Japanese treaty for 'patent highway ' (2011-10-26,China Daily)
Under a new treaty signed by the patent administrations of China and Japan , companies in both countries will have much shorter waiting times for their patents to be processed .
The Patent Prosecution Highway ( PPH ) pilot program scheduled to start next month and last a year aims to accelerate procedures through sharing information .
By reducing replication in examination work , the system will help patent offices streamline their work .
Traditional procedures for processing patent applications can last as long as two or three years for a Japanese company to be approved by China ' s State Intellectual Property Office ( SIPO ). But when the new system takes effect , the wait is expected to shorten to only half a year .
According to the treaty , SIPO and the Japanese Patent Office ( JPO ) will exchange databases of English-version utility patent abstracts . China ' s database has been manually translated and checked for errors , but Japan will use machine translation because it does not currently have an English-language database .
" By building the highway , we want to provide convenience to Chinese companies when they are seeking patent protection in overseas markets ," said Yang Xing , a senior official at SIPO ' s patent examination administration department .
" Also , the program is a way to avoid repetitive work among patent offices in different regions and improve efficiency and the quality of work ," he added .
Yamaguchi Takashi , intellectual property manager for Japanese printer maker Epson ' s China company , told China Daily that the Sino-Japanese PPH program will have three major benefits .
" For the companies , the shortened examination period allows them to have their patents approved and enjoy the rights much earlier ," he said . " For patent administrations in both countries , their burden of examination can be reduced .
" Also , during the exchange of patent examinations , the two administrations can work out a unified standard .
" As the project is promoted , we can expect better utilization of patents . And the patent management system will make a greater contribution to the industrial development in both countries ," he added .
Japan signed PPH treaties with 16 organizations prior to the agreement with SIPO , including with the European Patent Office and patent authorities in the United States , South Korea , Canada and Mexico .
SIPO is considering establishing more PPH programs with other countries such as the US and South Korea , according to Yang .
In a meeting on Oct 18, the heads of SIPO and JPO shared views about patent examination automation and talent development , and planned a series of seminars and personnel training programs .
The annual meeting " has paved a way for patent exchanges for both sides , and provides more opportunities in cooperation ," said SIPO Commissioner Tian Lipu .
" International patent cooperation should not be like a kind of compromise ," said JPO Commissioner Yoshiyuki Iwai . " Rather , it requires us to seek a new path , one that can bring about mutual benefits ."
An increasing number of Japanese companies are applying for patents in China . They filed more than 28,000 applications in the first nine months of this year , an increase of 11.8 percent over the same period in 2010. Nearly 20,000 of the applications were granted .
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China continues IPR dialogue with US (2011-10-21,China Daily)
As it has been doing for the past 30 years, China will continue to work and communicate with the United States to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), government officials and trade representatives from both countries said at a forum in San Francisco on Monday.
The International Cooperation Forum on China's Intellectual Property, an important part of a series of IP events held outside China, and the run-up to the 22nd China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade scheduled for November in Beijing, drew around 100 attendees.
In his welcoming remarks at the one-day forum, Assistant US Trade Representative Stan McCoy emphasized the important role IPR protection has been playing in moving and shaking the US-China relationship, bilateral trade in particular.
Statistics from China indicate that bilateral trade in the first three quarters of this year reached $325.9 billion, a 17 percent increase year-on-year. At the end of August, US investors injected a total of $66.95 billion into 60,568 projects in China, and China imported $90.3 billion worth of commodities and technologies from the US.
"IP has always been a key topic for trade relations between China and the US, and the two countries share common targets and interests on IP protection," said Chong Quan, deputy China international trade representative at China's Ministry of Commerce.
The two countries started IP-related exchanges in the 1980s, and strengthened bilateral communications in 2004 by establishing the IP working group of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, Chong said. Besides consensus and success between the two sides, Chong acknowledged that there "has been disagreement".
In an overview, Chong detailed what the Chinese government has been working on to protect IPR: Raising the public's awareness on copyright, trademarks and patent laws through various approaches, especially since China's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.
During the past 30 years, China has already put into place a complete legal system to protect IPRs, which is "consistent with China's national conditions and in line with international norms", said Chong. It also has an IP law enforcement system that "links and combines administrative enforcement and judicial protection", he said.
In 2008, IP was elevated to the status of national strategy in China, with the Chinese government making and executing detailed action plans every year, according to Chong.
From October 2010 to June, in an intensified effort to protect IPRs, "we have deployed (within our judicial system) special operations against IPR infringement and counterfeiting", said Huang Weiping, deputy director-general from the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
"IP protection has become an inherent demand for China's own development," Chong said. "The Chinese government has always valued IP and is firm in its attitude and determination," he added.
As a way to solve existing problems, Chong suggested the US needs to respect different levels of economic development, historical and cultural traditions and social resilience in order to establish a harmonious and balanced international IP system.
Chong attended the forum leading a large delegation of officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Supreme People's Procuratorate, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, National Copyright Administration, and State Intellectual Property Office.
The forum also featured an interaction panel where trade representatives from various industries shared their opinions. Greg Frazier, executive vice-president of the American Movie Association, expressed his concerns regarding IP protection in the movie industry specifically. He called for more in-depth exchanges between the two sides in order to better address this issue in the future.
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China sets up award to encourage innovation on campus (2011-10-20,Xinhua)
The Chinese government will set up an award to encourage on-campus invention, a move believed to help boost the number of the country's international patent registrations.
In a bid to encourage universities and schools to put more resources toward encouraging invention, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) plans to display inventions by teachers and students at an annual conference on patents, which will run from Nov. 9 to 11, said Xu Fang, an official in charge of intellectual property rights (IPO) registration with SIPO, here Thursday.
The creators of these inventions will compete for the award.
The SIPO will recommend the top ten prize winners to take part in the Geneva International Invention Show in 2012, and sponsor them by providing free return-trip plane tickets and a booth for each invention at the show.
"Chinese universities should play a bigger role in invention and innovation," Xu said.
The number of China's international patents lags far behind that of the United States and Japan, Xu said.
The number of Chinese patents was only equal to 27.5 percent of that of the U.S., he said, adding that no Chinese university was listed in the world's top 50 universities holding the most international patents.
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Aigo prevails in lawsuit filed against Toshiba (2011-10-19,China Daily)
Chinese high-tech company Aigo Digital Technology Co Ltd has prevailed in an intellectual property lawsuit against international electronics giant Toshiba over its technology that enables faster linkage to external hardware .
The Xi ' an Intermediate Court in Shaanxi province ruled on Oct 10 that the Japanese company had illegally used the technology developed by Beijing-headquartered Aigo and ordered Toshiba to pay 200,000 yuan ($31,360) in compensation .
Two types of Toshiba ' s computers using the technology were also banned from sale in China .
In 2006, Aigo applied for a patent in China for its USB Plus and two years later unveiled its first product using the technology . It then registered international patents on the innovation in many countries .
Aigo ' s technology can provide data transmission speeds six times greater than commonly used USB 2.0 technology . It is suitable for portable hard drives , flash discs and computers .
The Chinese company said more than 100 million computers in the world are using the technology without license , many of them made by foreign giants including Toshiba and HP .
" Nearly every personal computer maker is involved in infringement except Apple ," said Gao Zhe , chairman of Aigo .
The company filed lawsuits in April last year against Toshiba and HP ' s China companies and their major retailers as " representatives of US and Japanese computer companies ", Gao said .
" Toshiba lost the case and we hope many other companies still violating our patents will change their mind so that we can talk ," he added .
The case against HP is still pending . Aigo asked for 1 million yuan in compensation from HP , while the US computer maker disputes Aigo ' s claims . One of HP ' s retailers , a co-defendant in the case , did not respond to a summons to appear in court .
Industry insiders say the outcome of the Aigo-Toshiba case is a " great triumph ", but Aigo ' s intellectual property manager Huang Jing noted 200,000 yuan in compensation " does not reflect the value of the patent violated in the case ".
Aigo now owns more than 1,000 patents and has a list of global IT companies that it plans to charge licensing fees , many of them Fortune 500 companies such as Dell , Sony and Samsung .
But Professor Zhang Ping from Peking University ' s School of Law said the company has a long way to go to reach that goal .
" The case against Toshiba was won in China ," Zhang said . " But if Aigo wants to charge global giants licensing fees , it must get ready for international lawsuits ."
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Tempest in a bottle : Coke says Nongfu copied its product (2011-10-19,China Daily)
It could be just healthy competition , but international beverage giant Coca-Cola says the Chinese brand Nongfu Spring copied its overall design and packaging for bottled vitamin water .
According to Zhai Mei , head of public affairs and communications at Coca-Cola China , Nongfu ' s Victory Vitamin Water " is visually very similar to Coke ' s Glacau Vitamin Water in bottle shape , size and logo design , which would easily confuse consumers ".
Zhou Li , spokesman for Nongfu Spring , denied the accusation and noted it has no legal backing .
He also demanded a public apology from Coca-Cola .
" To avoid legal risks , Nongfu Spring especially consulted lawyers before the product was marketed ," said Zhou .
" The designs of two products are obviously different in both label fonts and colors . We use horizontal words , while they have vertical . Our label is pure white - theirs has two colors ," said Zhou .
In addition , Zhou said that Coca-Cola cannot accuse Nongfu Spring of plagiarism because it has no copyright or patent on the design , although it launched the product earlier .
Yet Zhai said the product from Nongfu is illegal because package designs of well-known brands are protected by law .
Zhou noted that Nongfu " made some changes early this year on the basis of Coca-Cola ' s complaint ".
He contends the reason Coca-Cola is now accusing Nongfu of infringement a year after Victory Vitamin Water first went on sale is because " our beverage is far more popular with consumers than its Glacau product ".
A bottle of Victory Vitamin Water sells for 3.5 yuan ($0.55), about one-third the recommended price of a bottle of Glacau .
Both have about the same additives , so the price differential could be the reason Nongfu has 6 percent of the vitamin water market while Glacau ' s share is less than 1 percent .
" It is Coca-Cola ' s own responsibility that it overpriced its product , which resulted in a low market share ," Zhou said . " The drink is sold for a price deviating from its value , which has damaged rights of Chinese consumers . Coca-Cola must pay for that ."
Coca-Cola responded that pricing does not justify intellectual property infringement .
" We have a strict price management system and invested heavily in research and high quality natural materials ," Zhai said . " The drink targets the high-end market , so the price is relatively high , but not unreasonable ."
Coca-Cola will continue to communicate with Nongfu , but does not plan to take legal action .
" We have shown kindness and sincerity from the beginning and wish to solve the problem harmoniously ," Zhai said .
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China, US vow for co-op in medical IPR protection (2011-10-19,China Daily)
Medical representatives from China and the United States vowed on Tuesday to strengthen cooperation for enhanced medical Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection.
Medical professionals in China and the US will together strive for an improved IPR protection system for biomedicines, and provide more safe and effective drugs for patients in both countries, according to a joint statement signed by the China Pharmaceutical Industry Research and Development Association and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America on Tuesday.
The two sides have decided to hold a pharmaceutical industry summit periodically.
For years the US has been China's biggest trade partner in pharmaceuticals.
In 2009, the trade volume of pharmaceuticals between China and the US reached a record high of $9.8 billion, 2.7 percent of the Sino-US total trade volume, according to statistics from the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products.
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Great Wall says unaffected by Fiat patent ruling (2011-10-18.China Daily)
Great Wall Motor Co Ltd , China ' s top manufacturer of sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks , will not appeal an Italian court ruling that its GW Peri compact infringes Fiat ' s patent , saying the ruling would have no impact on it .
A court in Turin , Italy made a judgment in April banning Great Wall from selling of " Peri " brand automobiles in the territory of the European Union , saying the car too closely resembled Fiat ' s Panda . It also fined the Chinese firm 15,000 euro ($20,482).
But a Chinese court dismissed Fiat ' s patent infringement claim in December 2008 -- effectively making any patent decision made outside China unenforceable inside the country anyway .
Great Wall noted that it had never exported " GW Peri " to European Union member countries .
The Chinese company said on Tuesday its GW Peri model , which commenced production in January 2008, had ceased production in September last year .
" The directors expect that the judgment will not have any material adverse effect on the operation , business or financial conditions of the Company ," Great Wall said in the statement .
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Coca-Cola accuses Nongfu Spring of copying its design (2011-10-13,China Daily)
The famous Chinese beverage brand Nongfu Spring has recently been accused by Coca-Cola that its "Victory Vitamin Water" has plagiarized the idea and package design of its own "Glac¨¦au Vitamin Water", Zhejiang Morning Express reported on October 11.
According to the paper, Coca-Cola started to criticize Nongfu Spring's act of plagiarism as early as the start of 2011, the former even asking Nongfu Spring to revise the package design of their "Victory Vitamin Water".
However, Zhou Li, the press spokesman for Nongfu Spring told the paper that Coca-Cola's claim has no legal substance, as Nongfu Spring has already got a patent for the beverage's packaging.
Moreover, Zhou added that the vitamin water of the Coca-Cola company is overvalued; and the intention of launching "Victory Vitamin Water" is to protect Chinese consumers' rights.
Right now, a bottle of "Victory Vitamin Water" sells for 3.5 yuan or 4 yuan, only about one-third of the recommended price of a bottle of "Glac¨¦au Vitamin Water". Zhou told the paper that their price is quite reasonable compared to the price of Coca-Cola's vitamin water.
According to 21st Century Business Herald, although Coca-Cola may have launched the product earlier than Nongfu Spring, it doesn't have the patent of the beverage's package design. Therefore, Coca-Cola cannot accuse Nongfu Spring of plagiarism.
The head of Coco-Cola's public affairs and communications department told the paper that they will continue to communicate with Nongfu Spring, but they won't engage in a law suit. She said that this kind of problem has occurred in the United States before, but it is the first of its kind in China.
A reporter from chinadaily.com.cn tried to contact Nongfu Spring for comment, but they could not be reached.
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Commercial IP management is crucial to companies (2011-09-30,China Daily)
Even though China ' s intellectual property ( IP ) services have made lot of improvements in recent years , especially after an IP strategy was outlined in 2008, they still need to speed up their development , a government official has told the Zhongguancun forum .
Wang Jingchuan , president of the Patent Protection Association of China , made the remark at an IP session , where he added that , in addition to lacking the needed laws and policies , most Chinese companies and institutions engaged in IP services are small and have little influence .
They also lack international competitiveness and capabilities to open up new markets and there are " still more problems waiting to be solved ", Wang said .
This session and five others were being held parallel to the Annual Conference of Zhongguancun Forum on September 29. They began at the same time as the forum , and are a place where experts and scholars discuss various issues involving brands and innovation , training talented people , the creative industry , technology financing , and emerging industries .
Wang also suggested that the central government encourage private capital to invest in the industry for further expansion , try harder to share IP service information , get companies to establish their own IP database , and strengthen management for more order in the industry .
The industry also needs to be enlarged , from IP agencies and legal advice to software development , data processing , patent searches , and analysis in depth , Wang noted .
Alex Hou Cheong Yu , founder of the K-STRATEGIAN LLP , a consultancy specializing in knowledge and IP , told participants at the session about how to use technology transfers and licensing to turn IP to money .
" Patents have no value until people put them into a business model or , in other words , commercialize them ," Yu commented .
" Innovation develops so fast around the world , and invisible assets are more valuable than physical assets . So , having commercial IP management is crucial to companies ," he noted .
" Large companies can transfer protected technologies to get revenue , while those who have no ability to commercialize their patented work can choose to license it to others to get paid ."
According to Yu , good technology transfers and licensing require an effective IP strategy and supporting policies . But , the goal is to benefit the general public in the commercialization process and to reward the inventor , developer , and the licenser , because they pay a lot to bring the valuable technologies to the marketplace .
Meanwhile , as opposed to the traditional focus by IP management on technology controls , companies now see that cooperation and joint innovation are more important for survival and progress .
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Global reputation for safeguarding exhibitor (2011-09-29,China Daily)
For decades , one fair in China has stood out from all the rest as a barometer of foreign trade growth , but now it is also becoming a measure of the growth in intellectual property rights ( IPR ) protection .
As if to prove this , when the China Import and Export Fair ( Canton Fair ) had its 109th incarnation this past April , the organizing committee handled 616 IPR infringement complaints from companies taking part .
More than 800 exhibitors were accused of infringements and 465 companies received disciplinary action , which in some cases meant being expelled from the fair .
Over the years , the Canton Fair has gained a global reputation for safeguarding the interests of its exhibitors and more recently , has taken a firm step in seeking international cooperation in this .
While the fair was going on in April , it held an international symposium on IPR protection involving Chinese and Japanese officials and experts .
The Canton Fair was one of the very first large Chinese trade fairs with a special administration that deals with IPR complaints . It has established an efficient IPR dispute settlement system with appropriate regulations and system of mediation .
There is even a special office for receiving complaints of IPR violations . The complaints are usually categorized in three ways : by patent , by brand , or by trade dispute . And the State Intellectual Property Office , Ministry of Commerce , and State Administration for Industry and Commerce can send a special task force to the fair to handle any arbitration .
In 2005, the fair adopted a system for handling IPR violations , and told all chambers of commerce and exhibitor groups to have special staff to deal with IPR issues .
There have been IPR regulations enacted by the organizing committee since 2001 and , in 2002, it began ordering companies to provide evidence to prove their innocence if it was accused of an IPR infringement .
Some of the harsher punishments for violations that have been meted out over the years run from being expelled to being permanent banned from the fair .
All exhibitors are required to sign a sort of oath saying they have not been accused of IPR violations previously before they are allowed to take part in the fair .
A special IPR database has also been set up to help companies track the progress any complaint they may file .
And , chambers of commerce and exhibitors are informed whenever a company is charged with having committed IPR infringement .
Any company that is found guilty of a serious infringement is now named and shamed during the fair to stop other companies from following suit .
This protection work of the Canton Fair has gained it central government recognition and , in 2004, the State Council itself issued an action plan for IPR protection that demanded that all trade fairs take a lesson from the Canton experience .
The fair also played an important role in getting the country to set up its first trade fair IPR protection regulations , in 2006.
It now considers IPR protection awareness to be a major part of each fair .
In fact , the State Intellectual Property Office and commerce bureaus arrange their IPR protection awareness activities to coincide with the fair , which is held twice annually .
Over time , more fairs across the country have adopted the Canton approach and have set up special departments to deal with IPR infringement .
And , on the softer side , while it is busy safeguarding the interests of exhibitors , the Canton Fair is also prompting its exhibitors to do more to develop new products and get their own patent .
The fair is held every spring and autumn , and has a 53 -year history . The first was held way back in 1957. Its large , comprehensive scale and many connections with overseas buyers give it the greatest business turnover of any fair in the country .
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ABT invents things - ' without innovations , we ' d die ' (2011-09-28,China Daily)
" Well , actually , we ' re not just a glass maker ," explained Zhao Qin , the general manager of a Beijing company that produces a special , patented switchable , transparent glass ( STG ), also known as smart glass .
What Zhao actually meant by " glass " was the stuff you see every day , the stuff you look through , ordinary glass .
What his company , the Beijing All Brilliant Technology Co Ltd ( ABT ) makes is a type of glass that can alter light transmission with the flick of an electrical switch . This allows the glass to function as a curtain , that is , a person can control the amount of light and heat that passing through a room .
The core technology , and the manufacturing , of switchable , transparent film ( STF ) is the property of just four companies , only one of which , ABT , is in China .
STF is a flexible , plastic film containing droplets of liquid crystal that can be placed between two layers of glass . When the power supply is switched off , the liquid crystals are randomly scattered and spread light in all directions , making the glass translucent . But when the power is on , the crystals line up in less than 0.1 second to make the film transparent .
ABT set up China ' s first STF production line in 2004 and has been giving its patent protection a lot of attention . It established an intellectual property rights office in 2008 to manage its technical data , and applying for patents .
It has applied for 35 patents since 2008, half of them for its inventions .
More than 80 companies in China now produce smart glass , but ABT uses its own inventions , and according to Zhao , " without innovations ", they " would die ".
The first-generation of STG had a width of only 90 centimeters , while the fourth-generation can be as wide as 180 cm , and every advance is the result of optoelectronics improvements that help cut costs . The latest product consumes only 3 watts of electricity per square meter meaning , less than 0.1 kilowatt hour a day .
The company ' s products account for more than 60 percent of the Chinese market , and are sold in more than 30 other countries . It had orders worth nearly 20 million yuan ($3.1 million ) overseas over the last two years and its smart glass has been used in 16 five-star hotels on the mainland and seven , overseas .
Nevertheless , Zhao has even more ambitious plans : to put his glass in every household . So , they are looking for a bigger factory to expand production .
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IPR court case gives company image a nice boost (2011-09-28,China Daily)
A Shenzhen-based company that was China ' s first to sue a US counterpart for an intellectual property rights ( IPR ) infringement , has said that it will keep on with its efforts to protect its rights in the future .
When Netac Technology was given a patent in China , in 2002, for its flash USB disk technology it said that it was the world ' s first . Two years later , it got a patent in the United States , and patents in Europe , South Korea and Singapore followed .
Then , in 2002, Netac sued Huaqi , a Chinese leader in the sector , and Sony in 2004.
In 2006, it took a US company to court over a patent dispute . All of these cases ended in a compromise , but gave the company ' s image a boost .
The company came out with a new series of USB flash drive this past Sept 21, called the guocui series , or ' national quintessence '.
Cheng Xiaohua , the company ' s president , said , " This product represents the leading USB flash drive technology and is proprietary ."
Cheng went on to say , " For innovative enterprises like Netac , inventions are only the first step .
" Protection follows but is crucial . Before we went public in 2010, we made some progress in IPR protection overseas , which gave us market confidence .
" But , it often takes a Chinese firm much longer to obtain a patent overseas than it does our foreign counterparts ."
Cheng said he is expecting a better climate for Chinese companies in applying for patents overseas , and a more " equal examination period and fairer treatment ".
In a previous interview , company insiders said that they expected to have patents in all the major countries by 2015 and that Netac had a professional team to handle IPR issues .
Every step of the way is examined by supervisors efficiently .
Cheng told China Daily that they will , for profits and growth in cloud storage and wireless storage , expect them to be a new departure area for Netac .
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World Media leaders emphasize intellectual property rights, enhanced cooperation (2011-09-28,Xinhua)
Leading figures from the world's most renowned media organizations met in Beijing on Tuesday at the World Media Summit (WMS) presidium meeting to discuss the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), the rise of "new media" and cooperation between international media groups.
Li Congjun, executive president of the WMS and president of Xinhua News Agency, said it was agreed at the meeting that media's role in IPR protection has become increasingly relevant in an era with advanced digital and cyber technologies.
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., publisher and chairman of the board of The New York Times, called for a better international system for protecting media's IPR, and legislation to protect the legal uses of stories and the rights of the original reporters.
IPR is extremely important, said Thomas Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press.
New media's rise was seen as an opportunity for enhanced cooperation among news organizations.
"New media not only affects traditional media but also provides more chances for cooperation," said Mark Thompson, director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Ringo Chan, Senior Vice President of Turner Broadcasting System, described the summit as an open forum for all media platforms to communicate frankly on key issues.
"The meeting is a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas and further discuss cooperation among different media organizations," said Ahmed Shaikh, editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera.
The members of the presidium meeting agreed that the next WMS will be hosted by ITAR-TASS in Moscow next year.
"A regular summit is quite necessary, and it should become a regulator between media and society," said Vitaly Nikitich Ignatenko, director general of ITAR-TASS. "The MWS held in Beijing two years ago exerted international influence."
The meeting was attended by leaders and senior members of Xinhua News Agency, the Associated Press (AP), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The New York Times, ITAR-TASS, Kyodo News, News Corporation, Thomson-Reuters, Al Jazeera, Google and Turner Broadcasting System (TBS).
The World Media Summit, launched by Xinhua and eight other major media organizations, was held two years ago in Beijing from October 8-10 and attended by about 300 representatives from more than 170 media outlets around the world. Al Jazeera and The New York Times joined the presidium in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
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Apple bites back with 40 patents granted in China (2011-09-21,
One of the most pirated brands in China now has more local protection after Apple was granted 40 design patents on Sept 9 by China ' s Patent Office .
The patents cover 37 of its products including the iPhone , iPad and MacBook Air , as well as the architecture of its three stores in Shanghai .
Most of Apple ' s new China patents relate to its mobile phones , including various user interface elements and even the speaker , according to Patently Apple , a blog by the company on its latest intellectual property ( IP ) news .
Apple was also granted three design patents on its iAd mobile advertising network , nine for its iPod nano and four on the MacBook Air .
Patent documents include actual photos , the designs in black and white , and graphics in a beige tone that match the color of the Asus Ultrabook , which is considered a copycat by Apple .
Experts surmise that extensive patent documentation on the MacBook Air might be the prelude to an IP infringement lawsuit against the Taiwan-based manufacturer of the upcoming Ultrabook .
The Ultrabook was first presented at the Intel Developer Forum in June . At the fall session of the industry forum that began on Sept 13, a new wave of Ultrabook designs were displayed that look similar to the MacBook Air .
Apple also patented its overall store designs with views from the side and top , and one exclusively for its glass panels .
After a blogger uploaded pictures of a fake Apple store in Kunming last summer , the story gained widespread coverage in the international media .
Subsequent investigations by Chinese IP officials found 22 unauthorized Apple stores in Kunming , three in Chongqing and one in Xi ' an .
Some Chinese experts said Apple ' s mass patent registration is a response to rampant counterfeiting of its products - most commonly fake iPhones - and unauthorized stores .
More than 220 million copycat mobile phones were sold on the Chinese mainland in 2010, according to a report in the Chongqing Times , with the figure expected to reach 250 million by the end of this year .
" It shows that Apple has started to strengthen its advantages and market competitiveness by using legal weapons in China since they may foresee the future of copycat designs ," said Wang Xiumo , director of the enterprise institute in Chongqing Academy of Social Sciences .
Li Guangdou , a Chinese analyst on brand competitiveness , said that with improvements in China ' s IP protection system , other famous phone brands might also file massive numbers of patent applications , which will leave less room for the copycat culture to survive .
Instead of pirating designs , producers of fake phones " can cooperate with the brands by using their existing equipment and technologies as supporting manufacturers ", Wang said .
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Zone will bring together institutes engaged in global technology transfers and innovative services (2011-09-16,
China is getting a new technology transfer center this October - the first it has cooperated with a foreign partner , in fact - at the high-tech Zhongguancun Haidian innovation zone , in Beijing , where it will connect science parks with high-tech companies .
The China-Italy Technology Transfer Center will be located in the Zhongguancun Dinghao Electronic Mall and will increase communications between China and Italy , as well as interactive development , according to Beijing ' s Technology Exchange and Promotion Center .
Italy and China expect the center to integrate education , research , and production to help them form a long-term cooperative mechanism . It will also support a creative alliance , joint R & D center , and laboratory , according to China ' s science and technology minister , Wan Gang , who spoke at the inaugural ceremony in April .
The center ' s major responsibility is to increase opportunities for tapping into each other ' s markets and Wan highlighted the help they had from small and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs ) in both of the countries .
He also emphasized the cooperation in intellectual property rights protection , which they expect , as well as the sharing of technology .
The bulk of the work is being shouldered by the Beijing science and technology commission and Italy ' s Innovation Technology Promotion Department .
Over next three years , the two departments will establish three ways to carry out technology transfers and sharing of information . They will also provide consulting services in IPR , investment , and financing for Chinese and Italian enterprises .
Some 100 Italian science organizations , such as science and technology zones , universities and SME incubators , have already been invited to visit China .
Another visit for 150 Italian SMEs will be arranged for October , according to the Chinese sponsor .
Meanwhile , also in Zhuangguancun , work on an International Technology Transfer Zone has begun , a Technology Exchange and Promotion Center department chief , Xia Wenhuan , has said .
It is scheduled for completion in two to three years , on a 20,000 -square-meter tract of land .
Xia explained that the international zone will bring together a group of institutes engaged in global technology transfers and innovative services .
" It is expected to attract 50 institutions by 2012, and many relevant foreign organizations have shown an interest , such as the Denmark Innovation Center and EU SME Center ."
The international zone will include a club for members and will have a number of novel project promotions and technology exhibitions .
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SIPO: Worldwide patent data crucial to China's innovation (2011-09-14,
Companies need to recognize the importance of patent documents as part of their development strategy and use those resources throughout the entire innovation process , Tian Lipu , commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office ( SIPO ), said at an annual meeting on patent information in Beijing last week .
The two-day seminar began on Sept 5 at the China National Convention Center .
" Efficient analysis and use of patent information helps to improve R & D , identify market trends , seize development opportunities and avert intellectual property ( IP ) risks ," Tian said .
" As China is now upgrading industries , we attach high importance to patent information as strong support to revitalize traditional sectors and develop emerging industries ," he noted .
SIPO will promote the growth of patent information services and encourage more institutions to join and meet the growing need , the commissioner said .
Randall Rader , chief judge of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals and also a law professor at George Washington University , told the seminar that his 120 -student class includes nearly 20 from China .
One of his Chinese students said a patent system is created for " information disclosure ", which Rader agreed is true because documents are written so other inventors , scientists or people skilled in the field know current developments .
" The documents may have a legal consequence , but they are really scientific documents ," he said . " They are written to convey information so that we promote swifter development of science ."
Fifty years ago , probably two or three research laboratories like Edison Lab could invent everything necessary around the world , but " that has changed ", Rader said .
" It is no longer possible for any corporation , any company or any research institution to alone develop new technology ," he said .
" In order to really advance technology , you must learn to cooperate ," he said .
During his recent visit to Microsoft , he said he found brilliant computer scientists there were not just " sitting together and trying to alone design the future ".
" Instead , they spent a great deal of time analyzing the world ' s advances ," he said . " The information alone justifies the creation of a patent system ."
An example of " magnificent international cooperation to advance technology and solve human problems ", the patent system allows scientists worldwide to collaborate , the judge said .
Chen Luchang , director of the IP department at Sany Group , one of the largest Chinese machine and equipment makers , outlined his company ' s policies for using patent information .
The company has established its own IP website with a vast patent database , the majority of which is from the United States and Europe .
All the group ' s facilities worldwide have access to the database .
Chen said patent information plays a key role in various stages of production , from decisions on whether to start an R & D project and evaluating research results to tracing major advances by competitors and early warning about potential overseas IP risks .
To date , Sany Group has filed more than 3,000 patent applications . About one-third have been granted .
Compared with such large companies , small businesses are short of resources to use IP information .
Eiichi Yamamoto , deputy director of a planning department at the Japan Patent Office , said his operation offers companies access to a digital IP library that provides patent information and facilitates R & D by small businesses .
Founded in 1999, the online library with a free English version contains more than 80 million documents covering patents and trademarks .
Yamamoto said Japan values the combined services provided by the government and private sector .
The patent seminar also attracted scores of intermediary service providers , including those from Japan , South Korea , Britain , the US and Singapore .
The firms set up exhibition boosts outside the conference hall , where some presented their latest software .
With more than 70 million patents worldwide , professional intermediary organizations help to find the most valuable information and provide an abridged version , saving time for R & D staff , said Zhu Xinyu , patent information analyst at Intellectual Property Publishing House .
As well , analysis of patent information offers inspiration for further invention and aids innovation , Zhu said .
" A trend in the patent information industry is the increasing need for tailor-made services and segmented technologies ," Zhu said . " That requires an all-round information service team ."
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EU sees opportunity , urges access (2011-09-09,
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said on Sept 8 that the nation ' s goals of promoting innovation and the services sector offer fresh opportunities for European companies , while it also demanded greater market access .
The growth rate of direct investment from the European Union to China slowed in June and July . Davide Cucino , president of the European Chamber , said : " We aren ' t worried about this , and it ' s only temporary ."
" China ' s development goals outlined in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011 - 2015) were met with enthusiasm ... European companies have what is required to further contribute to China ' s development ," he said .
He also said that ongoing negotiations on a bilateral EU-China investment treaty are expected to boost European companies ' investment in China .
The EU is China ' s largest trading partner , but Europe ' s investment in China only accounts for about 3 percent to 4 percent of its global investment , so there ' s great potential for an increase , Cucino said .
To convey European companies ' views in China , the chamber on Sept 8 released its European Business in China Position Paper 2011/12, which includes more than 600 recommendations to Chinese and European officials .
China has made great headway in government procurement , environmental protection and the renewable energy sector , the paper said .
" We believe the government is taking into account what the companies are thinking . In the end , there will always be a compromise , which is good for the country , including what is good for foreign enterprises ," said Dirk Moens , secretary-general of the European chamber .
At the same time , the chamber called for greater access to sectors and urged improvements in regulatory efficiency and transparency in legislation .
Cucino said that the functions of different government departments often overlap in China .
China has set a target of 2 million patent registrations by 2015, but " the innovation-by-numbers approach has led to a race for quantity rather than an improvement of the quality of inventions ", Cucino said .
Separately , Chinese officials told EU business executives that the yuan will achieve " full convertibility " by 2015, Bloomberg News reported on Sept 8, citing Cucino .
" We were told by those officials by 2015," Cucino said , adding that a step-by-step process was outlined at a meeting held in the past several weeks .
The robust Chinese market has helped Europe recover from the global downturn , said Zhang Li , a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation , which is affiliated with the Ministry of Commerce .
" There ' s a pretty good chance for foreign companies to further explore the Chinese market as China is encouraging innovation and industrial upgrading ," Zhang said .
China has designated seven emerging strategic industries , including energy conservation and environmental protection , as key to the country ' s sustainable growth .
" China clearly said in the 12th Five-Year Plan it would nurture the strategic industries , which will provide a golden chance for high-tech companies like us that are focused on climate change and energy saving ," said Thomas Koniordos , president of Danfoss China , a Denmark-based supplier of mechanical and electronic components .
Emerging markets , including China , are the most attractive for his company , as Europe and the US face continued uncertainty because of their debt crises , Koniordos said .
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IPR BRIEF (2011-09-07,
Baidu software for Dell phones
Dell Inc , the world ' s second-biggest personal-computer maker , agreed to produce smartphones running Baidu Inc software for users in China , challenging mobile-device makers including Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co .
The phones will use the Beijing-based search-engine operator ' s Baidu Yi mobile platform , according to Theresa Shen , a China-based spokeswoman for Dell .
UniCredit opens China branches
UniCredit SpA , Italy ' s biggest bank , plans to open new branches in China , doubling its staff to increase revenue in Asia ' s fastest-growing economy , said General Manager Roberto Nicastro .
" We are inaugurating our second branch in Guangzhou and aim to open other branches in Beijing , in the coast and in the central western cities of Chongqing and Chengdu ," he said . " The Chinese market is crucial for us , we are ready to double our presence during the next few years ."
Experts discuss patent issues
Efficient analysis and use of patent information will help revitalize traditional industries and promote emerging sectors , said Tian Lipu , commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office .
The office hosted the country ' s annual patent conference from Sept 5 to 6. More than 1,000 experts , scholars , corporate executives and government officials from around the world discussed how to use patent documentation to improve innovation capacity , a " considerable rise " in numbers over last year , according to the organizers .
Tencent opens App Center
The Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd launched its application platform , called App Center , on Tuesday to compete with Apple Inc ' s App store .
The App Center has 3 billion applications , of which 550 million were provided by third-party application developers . Xie Pingzhang , vice-president of Tencent ' s Wireless Services Division , said the company hopes to increase the percentage of third-party applications to compete with Apple .
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Chinese companies showcase brands in the UK (2011-09-06,China Daily)
Nearly 200 Chinese companies took part in an annual event here to promote their brands and products in the European market.
Presenting newly-designed products and advanced technology, they joined the European Showcase for Brands of China, which is being held from Sep 4 -7 at the Autumn Fair in Birmingham.
The exhibits include more than 1000 Chinese products, the most in recent years, according to Wang Shouwen, Director of the Department of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Commerce, speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday.
The products cover kitchen utensils, house wares, textiles and garments, suitcases, toys, gifts, stationery, garden facilities and small electrical appliances.
The purpose of holding the European Showcase for Brands of China is mainly to provide a platform for the European business circles to learn about Chinese branded products, Wang said.
He also noted that, currently, China is Britain's second largest trading partner outside the EU.
From January to June this year, the volume of China-Britain bilateral trade grew up to $25.5 billion, an increase of 16 percent year-on-year.
Some Chinese exhibitors told China Daily that they are looking forward to extensive economic and trade cooperation with their counterparts in the European Union.
With the acceleration of economic globalization, Chinese manufacturing enterprises are playing an increasingly important role in the world manufacturing industry.
In 2010, China continued vigorously its implementation of a national intellectual property strategy, and made great achievements in IP creation concerning patents, trademarks, and copyright, with patent applications for invention amounting to more than 390,000, ranking second in the world. Besides this, China ranked first in the world in the number of accumulative registered trademark applications, trademark registrations and valid registrations respectively by the end of 2010.
The European Showcase for Brands of China has been successfully held eight times since 2004, and has contributed greatly to the maximization of trade, and further exploration of opportunities for cooperation and promotion of the economic and trade relationship between China and the European Union.
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China seizes 13 mln illegal publications in crackdown (2011-09-04,Xinhua)
Publication authorities across China seized more than 13 million illegal audio and video products and print publications in a high-profile campaign to protect intellectual property rights (IPR).
From October 2010 to June, law enforcement personnel also cleaned up 663 workshops, where pirated music and film disks, softwares, books and other print products were manufactured, according to the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP).
"Our campaign focused on print and copy businesses, online copyright infringement and piracy, supervision on the publication market and investigations into major cases," said Yu Cike, a senior official with the GAPP.
According to GAPP, 18 major video websites, including youku.com and video.sina.com.cn, have been ordered to report the IPR authorization status for all the films and TV series posted on their sites to supervision departments on a quarterly basis.
The high-profile crackdown was also joined by other central government departments including the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), National Copyright Administration and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
In late August, the MPS announced a fresh round of crackdown on counterfeiting businesses from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 after the country's police broke up more than 4,500 criminal rings and arrested about 10,000 suspects in the previous action.
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Ericsson hopes for lawsuit agreement (2011-09-01,China Daily)
Top mobile telecom equipment maker Telefon AB L . M . Ericsson hopes to reach an agreement with Chinese rival ZTE Corp over an intellectual property rights dispute that began in April , said Ericsson ' s president .
" The telecommunication industry is an industry ( in which ) we share technologies with competitors , customers and suppliers ... Hopefully we can get an agreement ( with ZTE )," said Hans Vestberg , president and chief executive officer of Ericsson . He made the remarks at a news briefing during a one-day business trip to Beijing .
Ericsson is the world ' s No 1 patent protocol holder in terms of wireless technologies . The company owns about 27,000 granted patents worldwide .
In April , Ericsson filed lawsuits against ZTE - the world ' s fifth-largest telecom equipment vendor by market share - in the United Kingdom , Italy and Germany , saying the Chinese company had breached its patents related to second - and third-generation wireless technologies known as GSM and WCDMA , according to a report in the Financial Times .
It asked the courts to ban sales of ZTE products that include technologies where the Swedish company ' s patents have allegedly been breached .
" We share the technology in order to get the lowest cost ... That ' s why a GSM handset can be sold ( at a price ) as low as $20 or $30," Vestberg said .
He added that Ericsson has agreements with basically all major infrastructure and handset vendors in the industry , including some Chinese vendors , and the company is always aiming to involve more and more interested parties to share technologies .
" We provide fair and reasonable licensing for new entrants ," he said , but did not reveal the specific charges for its patents .
ZTE could not be reached for comment on Wednesday .
Ericsson also announced on Wednesday it will open a new global network operations center ( GNOC ) in China . It currently has three GNOCs in Romania , India and Mexico .
The new center will initially have 300 staff , with the number growing to 500 within the next six months .
Ericsson is currently managing networks serving more than 800 million subscribers , and more than half of these subscribers are served through its GNOCs .
Founded in 1876, with its headquarters in Stockholm , Ericsson has more than 90,000 employees in 180 countries and generated revenue of $28.2 billion in 2010.
The company had a 20 percent share of the global carrier-network-infrastructure market in 2010, while Chinese rival Huawei Technologies Co ranked second at 16 percent , according to market research firm Gartner Inc .
Vestberg said he was " proud " that Ericsson was a player in the Chinese market , which it first entered in 1892.
Ericsson ' s relationships with China ' s three telecom operators are proceeding smoothly . The company joined the world ' s largest TD-LTE trial network deployment conducted by China Mobile in seven Chinese cities .
" We are determined to be a key partner with China Mobile on TD-LTE technology ," said Mats H Olsson , president of Ericsson China and North East Asia .
Ericsson won the biggest TD-LTE contract to date , worth $1 billion , from Australia ' s NBN Co in June .
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Innovation lights the way for only a few LED makers (2011-08-31,China Daily)
While the prospect of selling their products abroad seems dim to many domestic LED makers that lack patented core technologies , Fujian Wanbang Optoelectronic Technology Co Ltd could have a bright future due to " new breakthroughs " in chip-related research .
Results were recently announced that can " effectively " clear barriers that have long hindered the industry , said He Wenming , board chairman of the company .
The new technologies solve heat problems while lowering costs and improving the lifespan of products , He said .
Compared to conventional bulbs , LED lamps can reduce energy consumption by 90 percent and even offer further reductions of 50 percent over the energy-saving lamps on the market today , he added .
Yet high temperatures affect the lifespan of chips , so heat dissipation is a big challenge for LED encapsulation companies .
He said Wanbang has developed a hollow structure to help diffuse heat through convection .
The company also found a new material to replace silver-gilt brackets that are currently used in most LED lights , he said .
Traditional brackets often turn dark after pronged heat exposure , which then affects illumination . The new material can solve the problem , the board chairman said , though he refused to reveal details .
He said his company is now applying for patents - including more than 100 international filings through the Patent Cooperation Treaty - for the inventions . Before the patents are granted , he is cautious about revealing too much .
The Putian-based company has also refined the industrial glue used for encapsulation . The technology will be kept secret and not disclosed even through patent documentation , He said .
A veteran inventor with scores of patents , He said Wanbang ' s innovations are mostly due to the company ' s second-largest shareholder - Castech , a listed high-tech firm backed by the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter , a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences .
He said when Wanbang hits new technological problems in production , Castech joins the research .
The cooperation is " no doubt mutually beneficial ", he said .
With such a strong R & D team , He is optimistic about his company ' s prospects .
He said Wanbang will expand production , with Hong Kong ' s ASM Pacific Technology Ltd - the world ' s largest maker of LED production equipment - custom designing machines for the mainland company .
Another Putian-based LED company , Fujian New Century Electronic Material Co Ltd , has also focused on improving the thermal performance of LED components , for which it has filed more than 10 patent applications .
Its pursuit of new technology has won the trust of users . Liu Rongguang , president of the company , said New Century has secured orders from Apple , LG and Samsung .
It provides parts for the iPad2 and iPhone , said Wu Zhaojun , assistant general manager of the company . Orders for parts in the new iPhone5 were signed with New Century in July , Wu said .
Mainland companies are comparable to their Taiwan peers in technology and production facilities , said Wu , a management expert from the island , which is known as an electronics manufacturing center .
Yet there is still much room to improve in work attitude and production accuracy on the mainland , he noted .
Currently there are more than 3,000 LED companies in China . Most of them are involved in midstream businesses - such as encapsulation - or at the low end of the industry chain in lighting applications .
Globally , LED encapsulation products were valued at 85.8 billion yuan ($13.45 billion ) in 2010, according to a report by the Gaogong LED Industry Research Institute .
China produced 31 percent of the total , followed by Japan with a 26 percent share and South Korea with 14 percent .
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Eggshell Ru porcelain debut (2011-08-29,China Daily)
After thousands of experiments in four years, a new kind of eggshell porcelain has been created by Hu Zhongcheng, a porcelain artist of Henan province. The new Ru porcelain is 1.5 mm thin and as thin as an eggshell. Hu has already applied for a patent.
Ru porcelain, ranked the highest among the five most famous kinds of porcelain from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), together with Ru stones, transcribing arts and Ru calligraphic arts, are called the ˇ°three treasures of Ruzhou.ˇ± The Zhanggongxiang kiln site has been confirmed as the site of the official kiln of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).
Making Ru porcelain is a long and difficult process that is affected by temperature and pressure. What's more, the traditional Ru porcelain is thick and heavy.
In recent years, more than 60 porcelain factories have been established to burn the traditional Ru porcelain with ancient glazing colors and shapes. However, they have only a limited presence in China's marketplace.
ˇ°It is essential for Ru porcelain to enter common people's houses,ˇ± said Hu. Although there have been changes to production methods and materials used, craftsmen are able to retain the original beauty of Ru porcelain. Tea sets made in new Ru porcelain have proven to be very popular.
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Chicago law school opens Chinese IP research center (2011-08-24,Xinhua)
A Chicago law school Tuesday opened its Chinese Intellectual Property Resource Center, the first of its kind in the United States, aiming at promoting bilateral exchanges in the IP field.
The John Marshall Law School has played a noticeable role in promoting study and understanding of Chinese intellectual property law by sending American students to China and educating Chinese students here.
"The John Marshall Law School and the Chinese intellectual property community, particularly the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO), have enjoyed many years of successful cooperation," said Dorothy In-Lan Wang Li, co-director of the Asian Alliances Program at the John Marshall Law School.
"The Resource Center will provide a unique stage for IP dialogue between the U.S. and China in the years to come," he added.
Sharon Barner, former deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who has extensive experience in dealing with China's IP regulations, told Xinhua, "The establishment of the Resource Center is critical."
"It bridges the cultural and geographic gap between China and the U.S. Companies and students should all take advantage of the resources," Barner added.
A delegation of six people headed by Gan Shaoning, Deputy Commissioner of SIPO, attended the opening celebration.
"Over the past 17 years, we have sent a total of 170 students to the John Marshall Law School for extended period of studies. Ninety of them have obtained their law degrees," Gan told Xinhua.
"This center will provide a platform for American students and IP practitioners to learn more about Chinese intellectual property law. It'll help enhancing the mutual understanding and communication between the two countries," he said.
Professor Wen Xikai, a member of the Chinese delegation, gave a lecture on the implications of the third amendment to China's Patent Law that became effective on Oct. 1, 2009.
She also briefed the audience of nearly 100 students, faculty and IP attorneys from Chicago, providing them with the background of the three amendments implemented respectively in 1992, 2000 and 2008.
"I'm quite excited about the resources at the Center," said Jianchen Lu, a junior student at John Marshall Law School. "I'm looking forward to do research at the Center and be able to find materials both in English and Chinese in one place."
The John Marshall Law School started working with China's law schools and government agencies in 1994.
Today it not only accepts 10 Chinese students each year from SIPO for long-term studies, but receives many short-term students and scholars from China.
Over the past four years, the Law School has been running a "summer program." Twenty or so American students have the opportunity to study in China for a month. This year's program focused on the growing role of China in intellectual property law.
The John Marshall Law School, located in downtown Chicago and founded in 1899, is a private school with nearly 1,500 students.
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Innovation : China ' s new frontier (2011-08-23,China Daily)
In November 2010, the State Intellectual Property Office of China outlined broad economic objectives and specific targets to be attained by 2015 through the use of new patents . The document , titled " National Patent Development Strategy (2011 - 2020)" revealed China ' s intention to power the development of its economy not through low-cost manufacturing , as it had in the past , but through the use of a new tool ¨C innovation .
This is not a new strategy . At the recent ASEAN Regional Entrepreneurship Summit , US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton pinpointed the innovation and creativity of young entrepreneurs in Indonesia can help the government solve the problem of providing jobs to the 75 million Indonesians currently under the age of 18 . What makes the notion of innovation as an economic lever interesting is that it represents a substantial change in traditional Chinese economic planning .
Only ten years ago , Asia was the world ' s hinterland , merely a secondary market to North America and Europe . The rise of the twin powerhouses of China and India , as well as the explosive growth of other developing economies has brought renewed attention to the region . Asia is the hub of new technological developments like the focus on cloud technology , driven by the changing face of the Internet and the rapid uptake of mobile phones in Asia . Businesses in Asia , particularly technology businesses , are reaping the benefits of Asian receptiveness to technology and early adopter mindset , particularly in countries like Korea , Japan and Singapore .
For China to target innovation is a great step in a very different direction , for a country whose greatest strength was once its ability to manufacture goods cheaper than any other . And this will be a great shift ¨C there were 300 thousand patent filings in China in 2009, but the new plan calls for this number to rise to 2 million per year by 2015 . China ' s recent patent filings in the United States also match this strategy for national development , in fields that China has declared as priorities , including solar and wind energy , information technology and telecommunications , and battery and manufacturing technologies for automobiles .
Other commentators have also noted this shift in China ' s strategy : in its August report titled " Patented in China : The Present and Future State of Innovation in China ", ThomsonReuters ' Eve Y . Zhou and Bob Stembridge concluded that " an epic industrial revolution has brought China to its current state of development , but it will be China ' s intellectual revolution that will carry it forward ".
But will pressuring its people to create more patents be enough ? Forbes ' Bill Fischer describes the limitations of the innovation strategy , saying that a nation ' s firms must not only innovate , they must capture the economic value of innovation . That task includes creating the infrastructure to support innovation , as well as enabling companies ( including both startups and established enterprises ) to research , develop , and bring viable innovations to market .
Not an easy task , when China is located amidst a raft of other countries who are also banking on innovation . Take Thailand , not traditionally known for its computer science wizards , but where the enterprise applications market grew at 13.7 percent year on year in 2010. This is following 20.6 percent growth in 2009 according to IDC ' s Asia / Pacific Semiannual Enterprise Applications Tracker . At this rate , the enterprise applications market in Thailand is expected to be worth US $187 million by 2015, assuming a five-year compound annual growth rate of 12.5 percent . With an enviable 15percent market share , Thailand is the third largest market for enterprise applications in ASEAN , behind Singapore and Malaysia .
It is realising the value of innovation that will be China ' s greatest challenge , as it races to take advantage of the massive innovation potential in Asia . Creating an entrepreneurial culture could be a substantial challenge , but China has faced such challenges before . It took only two decades for China to go from being a poor economy to the manufacturing giant that it is today , and now , only a decade since , China is poised to reinvent itself yet again . The problem may not simply be one of incentivizing the creation of new products and services , but of making the right connections . Startups and other innovators will need to identify venues and opportunities to show off their ideas , in the hopes of attracting sufficient funding to help mature those ideas and bring them to a market-ready state .
The world is already looking towards Asia for the next big thing . Dell announced in July that it was opening a Singapore Solution Center , its first in of four such facilities planned for Asia , and part of twelve solution centers that will be built globally . These Centers will serve as showcases for Dell ' s technologies , and will help enterprises to test-bed new concepts . Other companies are bound to follow suit , bringing their resources to the region . This , naturally , represents a major opportunity for China , whose young companies can do a great deal to attract partnerships and investment , since venture capitalists and investors , in particular are shopping around to find the right projects to back . These new entrants will have to find a venue where they can be exposed to new ideas , to evaluate and decide which ones are worth the investment .
Finding occasions where entrepreneurship and investment cross paths can be difficult but fortunately there are ways and means to bring the two together . Trade shows , industry roundtables , specialist conferences , and other events organized specially by industry associations and other bodies are all excellent opportunities . These venues let startups meet and greet peers and other stakeholders , as well as build a network of contacts .
Then there is DEMO , a one of a kind platform for technology , where companies are given six minutes on stage to demonstrate their world-changing innovations , without the use of presentations or PowerPoint slides , and which also includes pavilions where entrepreneurs can present their wares to interested parties . As a specialised venue for the sharing of ideas , DEMO is the perfect starting point for China ' s young startups looking to make their way to market .
To make the best use of the talent and potential of its innovators and entrepreneurs , China ' s business minds are surely looking for some way to make the connection , to attract the venture capital that will be crucial to further development . This is the next challenge : making the connection between the ideas and the investment . For China , this change of direction will involve a great deal of internal adjustment , but it can be one that will pay off in the long run . It is innovation , after all , that propelled the American economy to its great heights , a feat that Chinese entrepreneurs may match or even outdo . Innovation is the new frontier for China , one that will need both creative minds and considered investment to realise the potential economic value for China ' s ongoing growth and development .
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China's FAW rolls out first batch of new energy vehicles (2011-08-22,Xinhua)
Major Chinese automaker First Automobile Works (FAW) on Monday launched the first batch of its independently-developed new energy vehicles.
The first 20 new-energy vehicles include the company's Besturn plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and pure electric vehicles (EV).
Xu Jianyi, FAW chairman, said FAW will stick to the strategy of developing both hybrid and electric-fueled vehicles in the future.
"The company will invest 9.8 billion yuan (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the next five years to develop and build eight new-energy vehicle production platforms," Xu said, adding that FAW has planned to develop 13 new-energy passenger car models and three commercial vehicle models during the period.
The company's production line will be soon able to realize a yearly production capacity of 10,000 units of new energy vehicles this year, he said.
The Besturn PHEV model, which has obtained patents in both China and America, can consume 60 percent less petro than a traditional car. It can drive 70 km on a single charge using only the electric motor, said FAW engineer Li Jun.
The Besturn EV model can run 170 km on a single charge, he said.
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Toy story shows quality and value can be successful (2011-08-19,People's Daily)
When Hu Lantian launched her toy bears in Shenzhen seven years ago , she knew her product had to be vastly superior to the millions of other toys being produced in the southern manufacturing hub .
" About 90 percent of the toymakers here are involved in low-cost manufacturing . But we are part of the remaining 10 percent that deal with innovation ," said Hu , an executive at Shenzhen PP Bear Industry Investment .
Hu ' s bears , which interact with children by imitating human expressions , have proved to be a hit with Chinese consumers . One year saw the company bring in more than 20 million yuan ($3.1 million ) and it sold up to 300,000 of the bears in 2008 alone , when other toymakers in the area were facing a tough business climate .
US entertainment giant Disney approached her for opportunities to work together but she refused , Hu said . " We knew we had to create a niche for ourselves and have a brand of our own if we wanted to stay competitive and be higher up on the value chain ."
Her company holds more than 20 patents , including a crucial one for the microchip that controls her bears ' actions . Hu employs about 20 people to design , research and market her bears , outsourcing production to factories in the region .
" We are ' created in China ', not just ' made in China '. It ' s a matter of using your brain and not just relying on manual labor ," she said .
A list of challenges
Hu is an example of what authorities and businesses are offering to solve the problems facing Guangdong province ' s Pearl River Delta region . The delta became an engine of China ' s economic growth over three decades through its low-cost , labor-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing in industries such as textile , toys , electronics and plastics . Industry figures show that , including Hong Kong players , the region ' s toymakers account for more than 70 percent of global toy production .
Shenzhen , which borders Hong Kong , became a special economic zone following the country ' s reform and opening-up in the late 1970s. Guangdong ' s data are impressive : 104 million people ; exports that account for more than a quarter of national total trade volume ; growth in gross domestic product exceeding 10 percent a year for three decades ; $21 billion in foreign direct investment last year , one-fifth of the total for China .
But the factors behind that economic success have also fueled concerns that the Pearl River Delta needs to upgrade to survive the next stage of development .
Industries in the coastal region are facing challenges that include the rising costs of labor and raw materials , a shortage of workers , calls for better worker welfare and benefits , industrial impact on the environment , a shift of focus to domestic consumption to avoid an overdependence on exports and exposure to the vagaries of the global market , and policies to move growth from the coast to poorer inland areas .
Analysts and businesses say that many of the delta ' s economic changes must be considered together with the country ' s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011 - 2015), a central economic blueprint that trickles down to the provincial and local levels . What happens in the prosperous province is often also a bellwether for other areas nationwide .
According to the central government ' s plan , new strategic and high-tech industries should be developed and supported by policies to wean the economy away from previous production models . The focus should also be on developing products and brands with international stature .
To that end , Guangdong ' s authorities have set specific targets in their own five-year plan . These include increased expenditure on research and development for science and technology , a 36 percent increase in patent filings and expansion of high-tech manufacturing . Industries targeted for growth include information technology , biomedicine , new energy , LED and new materials .
Provincial capital Guangzhou as well as Shenzhen , Zhuhai and Dongguan have also been earmarked to set aside sites for national high-tech industrial bases .
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Shanghai Pharma eyes major overseas acquisition (2011-08-16,China Daily)
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, China's second-largest distributor of pharmaceutical products, plans to make a landmark overseas acquisition within the next 6-12 months, Reuters reported, citing the China Securities Journal on Tuesday.
Citing comments made by Chairman Lu Mingfang at a results conference, Shanghai Pharma said it was mainly targeting overseas patent drug makers and hoped a successful acquisition would increase its portfolio of new drugs and raise its competitiveness.
The firm had earlier formed a team to sniff out opportunities and said that it was now going through the list of companies.
Given the size of its own balance sheet, Shanghai Pharma said the potential target would likely be a mid-sized US or European firm owning patent drugs.
Shanghai Pharma, which listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange on May 20, reported net profit for the six months ended June 30 jumped 65.7 percent to 1.3 billion yuan ($203 million), as revenues rose 36 percent from a year ago to 25.21 billion yuan.
The firm has said its full-year net profit would be at least 2.1 billion yuan.
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US wireless patent giant files legal actions against China ' s Huawei and ZTE (2011-08-10,China Daily)
A US company with a massive wireless patent portfolio has lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Commission ( ITC ) against Chinese telecom equipment giants Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp alleging unfair trade practices .
The complaint by InterDigital Inc alleges the companies import and sell 3G wireless devices in the US - including mobile phones , USB devices , mobile wireless hotspots , tablets and components - that infringe on several of its patents .
In conjunction with the ITC complaint , InterDigital filed a suit in US District Court in Delaware alleging the same infringements .
The complaints also name Finnish telecom and cellphone company Nokia Corp for alleged infringements unrelated to the Chinese companies .
The ITC filing asks for an exclusion order that would bar entry of the infringing 3G wireless devices and components into the US .
It also seeks a cease and desist order on the sale of such products that have already been imported into the country .
" Over the past 30 years , InterDigital has invested nearly $1 billion in the development of advanced digital cellular technologies , creating important innovations and helping to drive an industry creating billions of wireless connections ," said Lawrence Shay , president of InterDigital ' s patent holding subsidiary , in a statement on the company ' s website .
" During that period , we have signed dozens of license agreements with manufacturers , giving them access to a patent portfolio of approximately 19,000 issued patents and patent applications - among the largest wireless portfolios in the world ," Shay added .
" The vast majority of our agreements have been reached without the need for litigation .
" However , despite having engaged in good faith efforts to license our patents to Huawei and ZTE , we have not been able to reach an acceptable resolution .
" As a result , to protect our intellectual property and the interests of our licensees , we made the decision to bring legal action against these parties ."
Huawei and ZTE said they will respond to the complaints positively and make " huge efforts " to protect their interests .
Huawei , China ' s largest telecom equipment maker , is now studying detailed documents in the legal actions .
" One of the world ' s leading intellectual property owners , our company has maintained a good record in respecting the intellectual property rights of others ," said a representative at the company ' s headquarters .
ZTE also made an announcement saying the company respects and values intellectual property rights , and " will take effective measures to protect their legal rights ".
Experts at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation said the US leads the world in innovation and high-tech , so products that are banned from entry would also be difficult to sell in other overseas markets .
Liu Chuntian , director of the intellectual property research center at Renmin University , said the case was not only about profits and business integrity , but also an important experience in dealing with international disputes .
" Though the final result is hard to predict now , I believe the two giant companies have capabilities to develop the patented technologies involved in the case ," Liu noted .
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Meeting the EU formula to market herbal medicines (2011-08-10,China Daily)
Makers of Chinese herbal medicines need to pay greater attention to intellectual property rights , trademark registration and patent applications to promote their products on the global market , said delegates at an international summit last month in Lanzhou , capital of Gansu province .
The forum on European registration of traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM ) property rights aimed to help modernize the sector to " let it become an international medicine and serve the health of all humankind ".
More than 100 industry insiders and officials from a number of countries including Japan and Sweden took part in the summit .
Annual trade in herbal medicine has now surpassed $40 billion globally and is growing at 10 percent a year , but China only has about 3 percent of the market . More than 80 percent of global sales are by Japanese companies .
" Only by mastering proprietary intellectual property and brands can Chinese herbal medicine companies improve their international competence and enlarge their share of the global market ," the declaration of the summit noted .
Europeans have used herbal remedies for more than 700 years and the European Union is now the world ' s second-largest market for traditional medicines following China .
Chinese herbal medicine was long exported to Europe as a food additive , but the EU issued a directive in 2004 to regulate all herbal medicines . Products already on the market were allowed to be sold until last April .
A company must now demonstrate a herbal medicine has been in use for at least 30 years , including 15 years in the EU . It must also get a certificate that it meets standards for quality and safety .
In the seven years following adoption of the regulation , none of the 350 newly authorized herbal medicines came from China .
Hoping to become the first Chinese herbal medicine registered in the EU , Gansu-based Foci Pharmaceuticals applied for authorization in June for its Nongsuo Danggui Wan - condensed pills made from the angelica root - from the national drug administration of Sweden .
Foci Vice-President Sun Yu noted the product has been used in Europe for 30 years and meets the new requirements .
With more than 1,000 species , Gansu is a major grower of medicinal herbs . Local officials believe international markets offer " a key step to change the province from a material supplier to a manufacturing center ".
" TCM sales in European and US markets is profoundly important to the national strategy ," said Xian Hui , vice-governor of the province in northwestern China . " It is also a promotion of TCM culture ."
Chinese herbal medicine has been more welcome in Sweden than most other European countries , said Chen Mingming , former Chinese ambassador to Sweden .
The northern European nation is respected in medical circles in Europe and the world , so approval there would offer a " breach " in barriers to Chinese herbal medicine , he said .
China had nearly 4,700 herbal medicine companies by the end of last year with annual output worth 1.2 trillion yuan ($186.5 billion ).
But despite the large numbers , most China ' s herbal medicine companies " have a small scale and low profit ", noted Fang Shuting , head of the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine . " So internationalized development is very important ."
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Goodbaby and Mattel line up in battle over baby strollers (2011-08-03,China Daily)
The Chinese baby stroller maker Goodbaby Group is planning to file a lawsuit in the United States against legendary US toy maker Mattel Inc claiming it infringed on patents for more than seven years .
The case centers around a multifunctional baby tricycle unveiled by the Jiangsu province company in 1997. It was later patented in many countries and regions including the US , Britain , Japan , Canada and Russia .
But in 2006, Goodbaby President Song Zheng found a three-in-one baby tricycle on sale in the US that has " similar designs " to his company ' s product .
Later Song learned that the tricycle made by Mattel had been on the US market for three years previous to his discovery , at a time when Goodbaby " already had an invention patent granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office for five or six years ", he said .
Goodbaby ' s lawyer wrote letters to Mattel asking for cessation of the alleged infringement , but received no reply .
" Infringement in the US may be enough to cause a company to go bankrupt ," said Wei Yaochang , manager of Goodbaby ' s legal office . " Chinese companies face many difficulties in defending their intellectual property rights .
" It ' s a high risk as they have to invest a great deal of time and money ," he said . " The litigation expense alone will cost $2 million and total costs will reach at least $10 million . This is , without doubt , a heavy burden that young Chinese companies cannot afford ."
Goodbaby was even more surprised in 2007 to find that Mattel ' s baby tricycle was on sale in a number of Chinese cities including Beijing , Shanghai , Guangzhou and Nanjing .
The Chinese company filed suit in Nanjing the following year and won all nine trials that ensued .
The Beijing High People ' s Court made a final verdict in May , ruling that Mattel infringed on Goodbaby ' s patent and must pay 1.5 million yuan ($232,950) in compensation to the patent owner .
Goodbaby insists it will " fight on to the end to defend itself , although the difficulty is huge ", Wei said .
He noted there are still deficiencies in China ' s intellectual property rights protection because " self protection costs so much , while infringement costs much less ".
" Many US companies pay great attention to patent protection for their own products , but often disregard infringement filings by companies from developing nations like us ," said Song . " That ' s because they think the high litigation expense and long legal procedures will deter us ."
Song also said it was expensive to apply for international patent protection and file international cases , but " we still insisted on doing it ".
The company now has more than 2,200 patents , many of them granted abroad .
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ChinaJoy experts advise on gaming IPR (2011-07-31,China Daily)
Du Bin , chief executive of Beijing-based YOKA Games , publishes an add-on package to its board game , Sanguosha at this year ' s China Digital Entertainment Expo and conference ( ChinaJoy ), hoping to further differentiate itself from Sanguozhan .
Sanguosha ( Killers of Three Kingdoms ) and Sanguozhan ( Thrillers of Three Kingdoms ) sound like twins on the same gaming product line , but they are not . Bianfeng . com , parent company of YOKA , is in the process of suing the latter for intellectual property rights violation .
KTK is currently the most popular board game in China , occupying 80 percent of the market share of 30 million board game players . Named after Chinese classic novel , The Romance of the Three Kingdoms , it is one of the first original card-based role-playing games with Chinese elements , where each card / role is given distinct skills , weapons and personalities as described in the novel . It has won millions of fans among Chinese worldwide , ranging from 10- to 60 -year-olds .
" TTK showed up one year after KTK ' s debut in 2008. The former highly resembles the latter to an extent of 80 percent , and it is encroaching the latter ' s market share and profit by running similar game rules ," said Lin Hua , legal representative of Bianfeng . com .
The Message , or Fengsheng in Chinese , is another board game that has suffered from piracy . Its business has been hit hard by a number of followers who mimicked its name and game rules ever since its debut in Guangzhou .
" It is difficult for gaming companies to find support from current Chinese legal regulations to protect their business models or game rules ,ˇ± said Tao Xinliang , dean of Institute of Intellectual Property Rights with Tongji University .
" The best way for KTK to defend its rights might be through suing TTK according to the Law Against Competition by Inappropriate Means ," said Yuan Zhenfu , deputy director of Shanghai Research Institute of Intellectual Property Rights .
" In Europe , game companies are investing a lot of money in transitioning to online . When games become services instead of content , and there is no way you can copy an experience ," said Ivan Fernandez Lobo , director of Gamelab Conference , a Spanish games association based in Madrid .
" An idea by itself is worthless . The important thing is how good you can implement it , and that is something one cannot copy ," added Lobo .
" Besides appealing to media and legal system , we are fighting against piracy and IPR violations by giving our customers more added-value experiences and building an inter-active community ," said Pan Enlin , chief executive of Bianfeng . com .
Pan says when a customer buys a set of KTK cards , he or she is given the privilege of better experience online , which is not available from competitors . Bianfeng is planning to build its own Instant Messaging ( IM ) system with better user application software , where over 10 million of its active registered users can exchange ideas and experience .
" A copier cannot duplicate a community of this size , and this is how we will win ,ˇ± said Pan .
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Chinese courts give tough sentences for IPR infringements (2011-07-29,People's Daily)
Chinese courts have handed out sentences ranging from six months to six years to 18 people involved in 10 cases of intellectual property rights (IPR) violations, the latest move to show the country's determination to combat piracy.
The 18 people were convicted to sell or print a large number of pirated textbooks, movie copies or discs with obscene content, according to a statement released by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications Thursday,
The office is cooperating with the Supreme People's Court, the Ministry of Public Security and the General Administration of Press and Publication to crack down on piracy.
In one case, Zhang Xinfeng was found to sell more than 30,000 copies of textbooks, including more than 20,000 Tibetan books, to 25 schools in 19 Tibetan cities and counties between September 2009 to September 2010.
Zhang received a five-year jail term and was fined 100,000 yuan, according to a ruling by a Lhasa court in June this year.
In another case, Zhang Lin and Li Chunlei, who were found to have made90,000 unauthorized copies of Chinese director Jiang Wen's movie ``Let the Bullets Fly'' and other porn discs, received a four-year and one year jail term, respectively.
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EU and China's tech rise (2011-07-28,China Daily)
The US policy of scientific containment will prove as futile and economically harmful as its efforts to constrain Beijing ' s military modernization drive , according to Oliver Br ? uner , a researcher in the China and Global Security Programme of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI ), in a blog on the website of The Diplomat magazine on July 26, 2011.
According to Brauner , China is catching up quickly in terms of technological innovation and indeed is on the verge of becoming a global leader , which has sparked increasing concern over the future of Western leadership in science and technology .
While the US is trying to limit scientific cooperation with China over security concerns , Europeans have turned science and technology cooperation with China into one of the pillars of the so-called strategic partnership , said Brauner . In addition to economic considerations , most Europeans believe that " by engaging China on a broad range of issues , they can help to further open up China and steer its social and economic development in a direction that ' s desirable for both sides ".
This policy has been quite successful , said Brauner . " Economically , EU companies have reaped great financial benefits . EU-China science and technology cooperation is another success story , and indeed is one of the few areas where the strategic partnership offers some real substance ."
For Beijing , the EU has become its largest source of technology imports . Actually , China is striving hard to lessen its technological dependence on foreigners by strengthening its indigenous innovation capacities , said Brauner , but for the time being , transfers of foreign technology remain essential to China ' s economic modernization efforts . " According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce , the EU accounted for 30 percent of China ' s overall technology imports in 2009."
China ' s relentless efforts to become a global leader in innovation seem to be paying off , Brauner opined . China ' s output of research publications has grown more than four-fold between 1998 and 2008 and ranks second only to the United States by annual output . Reuters expects that Chinese patent filings will overtake Japan and the United States this year ( having surpassed Europe in 2005), making China the global innovation ' leader '.
In an era of technological innovation , Brauner concluded both the EU and the United States should meet this challenge by " improving their own innovative capabilities , instead of following a policy of scientific containment ".
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China police raid over 13,000 dens for IPR violations (2011-07-27,People's Daily)
Chinese police had raided more than 13,000 dens as of Tuesday since the Ministry of Public Security launched a campaign to halt the production and sale of counterfeit goods last November.
Officials with the ministry said in a tele-conference Tuesday that police had detained nearly 29,500 suspects and broken up more than 4,900 wholesalers or groups involved in intellectual property rights (IPR) violations.
During the period, police solved more than 15,800 IPR violation cases, which involved a total value of 13.11 billion yuan (2.03 billion U.S dollars).
In the later half of this year, police will press ahead with a concerted crackdown on fake products in the agricultural sector, counterfeit medicine, adulterated food and copying of famous brands, according to Liu Jinguo, vice minister of public security.
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Right recipe for recycled cooking oil (2011-07-27,China Daily)
With the world ' s largest population and a native cuisine noted for its use of oil as an ingredient , China consumes about 25 million tons of cooking oil each year , about one fifth of the global total .
Yet what to do with used oil and how to tap its commercial value have long posed challenges to inventors and researchers .
A recent KLM Royal Dutch Airlines ' search for cooperation with Chinese companies to collect used cooking oil and make aviation fuel has again triggered calls for China to have similar technologies to make better use of the waste .
Chinese scientists began researching how to transform used oil into something valuable nearly 10 years ago .
The first patent filing for using waste oil came in 2003 when applicants created a process to make fuel for industry that has more latent energy than diesel oil .
To date , 94 applications for invention patents and 22 for utility patents to use waste cooking oil have been filed in China , and some mature technologies have been patented , according to the State Intellectual Property Office ( SIPO ) patent database .
" Though research in the field started late in China , some breakthroughs have already been made , especially in processing the oil into biofuel ," said Wang Qunhui , a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering , Beijing Science and Technology University .
Yet " few scientists and scholars now want to research it because this kind of technology is hard to commercialize as it can barely create a profit ", she noted .
Biofuel made from waste cooking oil sells for about 5,000 yuan ($775) a ton , nearly the same as the cost of processing it , which is 4,000 to 5,000 yuan a ton , said Wang .
" And there is no effective and convenient channel to collect used oil for recycling , which has deepened the difficulty in commercialization ," she added .
One technology that can be commercialized is equipment to detect unsafe used oil .
According to industry watchdogs , about 10 percent of the cooking oil consumed in China each year is an unsanitary recycled product made by shady businesspeople that is mostly used in small restaurants due to its low cost .
" The oil looks clean , but poses a serious health risk and can even cause cancer ," said Zhao Xiaolian , a food safety expert and general manager of Jin Kun Biology Co Ltd .
" Authorities have cracked down hard on the illegal product and imposed harsh penalties , but there are still people taking the risk because of the lure of money ."
Yet he noted " research on detection of unclean oil is on the rise ".
Nine patent applications on used oil detection technologies can now be found in the SIPO database , all filed in 2010.
Zhao said the Jin Kun company " created a detection instrument last year that can tell whether the oil is processed from used oil or not ".
In addition to more advanced technologies and measuring instruments , experts have also called on various levels of government to strengthen management and regulation of recycled kitchen waste to control the source of oil used in recycling .
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Blogger sparks hunt for fake Apple stores (2011-07-24,People's Daily)
An American blogger who stumbled upon a near flawless fake Apple Store in China has become an Internet sensation after her post went viral and triggered a feisty debate about piracy.
The 27-year-old, who goes by the name "BirdAbroad", said her blog had attracted nearly 1 million hits over the past three days after it caught the imagination of the world's media.
A search on Google showed nearly 1,000 media outlets picked up the story and pictures of the fake store, with the topic one of the most talked-about subjects on Twitter and Chinese Internet sites.
"I originally put the post up not because it was news that Western brands get ripped off in China, but because these Apple stores had taken the fakery up a serious notch to the point where it's practically a work of art in itself," the blogger, who works for an international health organisation, told Reuters in an email.
She wrote in the post that she found the store while strolling down a street with her husband a few blocks from their apartment.
Complete with the white Apple logo, wooden tables and cheery staff who appeared to genuinely believe they worked for the iPhone maker, the store looks every bit like Apple Stores found all over the world.
But Apple has no stores in Kunming and only 13 authorized resellers in the city.
"I did actually email the blog post to Steve Jobs when I first put it up, purely for fun. Sufficed to say, he has not responded," she said.
Not just in China
After the stir provoked by her first blog, titled "Are you listening, Steve Jobs", the woman invited readers to send their photographs of fake Apple stores worldwide - and has received responses from place including Costa Rica, Caracas and Vietnam.
"You just made me realize, I, too, have been in a fake Apple Store without knowing it! While I was living in Bogot, Colombia last year I found an Apple Store in the middle of a very trendy area of the city," wrote a reader named Laura.
"I swear to you it looked like any store I've been to in the States. But nowhere does it show on the Apple website that there is a store in Colombia, nor did I find any authorized resellers there. This is too funny!!!!"
The blog also has a picture of a fake Apple store in Hanoi.
Apple, which was slow to establish its brand in China, has just four retail outlets in Beijing and Shanghai, and plans two more this year.
But the immense popularity of its iPads, iPhones and MacBook computers has spurred a bumper crop of resellers with dubious credentials.
The blogger has been flooded with interview requests from journalists and hundreds of others keen to repost her article and pictures.
"Some Chinese people have written to me very upset that so much abuse of intellectual property right (IPR) happens in China, others have written to me saying that they believe IPR is basically irrelevant here - and a small group have even said that Apple deserves to get ripped off because their products are too expensive and they're made in China anyway!"
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Four-year EU program boosts IPR enforcement (2011-07-20,China Daily)
The nearly 13,000 filings received from China by the European Patent Office ( EPO ) last year was an increase of 54 percent over 2009 and an " astounding " 96 percent surge over 2008, according to EPO Vice-President Raimund Lutz .
Lutz attributed the growth to increased cooperation between China and the European Union , and the national intellectual property ( IP ) strategy unveiled in 2008 that shows the Chinese government ' s " reinforced effort to shift the trade from products made in China to technologies developed in China ".
His remarks came at a ceremony on July 15 summarizing a long-standing EU-China partnership to better enforce intellectual property rights .
The initiative - known as the IPR2 project - followed a first phase from 1999 to 2004 that promoted international standards in Chinese legislation .
IPR2 began in 2007 with about 16. 3 million euros ($23 million ) in joint funding from the EU and Chinese governments . It will conclude in September .
" When looking at IPR2' s significance , we see a milestone in the EU-China partnership ," said Carmen Cano , minister counselor of the EU delegation to China and Mongolia .
" Enhancing an IPR-friendly environment in China that guarantees fair competition between Chinese and European industries will have a beneficial effect for both economies ," she noted .
The EU is China ' s largest trading partner and the top source of technology imports into the country , according to data from the Ministry of Commerce .
Bilateral trade surpassed $479 billion in 2010, up 31.8 percent from 2009.
Nearly 1,700 new European-funded companies were established in China last year with a combined investment value of $6.58 billion .
Lutz cited the Chinese government ' s commitment to IPR protection as a " fundamental element " to realizing the benefits of the IPR2 project .
" This commitment has been evident through the engagement of all authorities in the implementation of programs ," he said .
More than 200 technical assistance and training efforts have been mounted across China since 2007 " over a great diversity of IP fields " to improve the reliability , efficiency and accessibility of the IP protection system in the country , he noted .
" Such results would not have been possible without the very close and fruitful cooperation between all partners involved ," Lutz said .
The number of criminal cases settled by courts across China and those convicted for IP violations over the past four years grew by double digits , illustrating the improved capacity to fight infringement , said Wu Handong , professor of law and also president of the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law .
" It is a result of systematic and intense training of enforcement staff ," Wu said . More than a million people participated in training organized by the IPR2 project .
The effort provided the governments and industries of China and the EU to exchange opinions and share information on IP issues over a broad range , which will " no doubt have a far-reaching influence on China ' s IP protection ", he said .
Li Mingde , director of the Intellectual Property Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences , said some European expert opinions have been adopted in China ' s revised laws and administrative regulations , as well as in judicial interpretations by the Supreme Court that instruct judges how to apply laws and provide guidelines for rulings by lower courts .
China ' s IP legal framework has been influenced by the United States , Japan and the EU .
Yet " before the joint project , EU ' s influence seemed limited " compared to other regions , Li said .
Revision of cornerstone laws in the IPR framework began in 2006, with the latest taking force in 2009.
The trademark law underwent its third revision in 2003, with yet another draft now on the table at the State Council ' s Legislative Affairs Office .
European experts offered advice for consideration by Chinese policymakers and legislators , said Andrea Di Carlo , deputy director of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market , which is responsible for providing European trademark and design expertise to the joint project .
His team explained how unconventional trademarks such as colors and sounds are protected in Europe and the reason for protecting them , which partly prompted a proposed change in the law now under revision .
Providing information on common market practices to facilitate the protection of rights is also one of his office ' s goals , Carlo said .
Carlo Pandolfi , IPR2 technical assistance team leader , said both Chinese and European companies have benefited from the project , as it tried to create a similar business environment .
" Companies go different places , yet want to do business in the same way ," he said , so a huge difference could deter investment or trade .
" We hope to harmonize protection systems ( in various economies ) and create a level field for companies ."
Pandolfi said two important IT tools developed by the IPR2 project - a database with free access to legal references on IPR protection in the EU and China , and an online library of training materials contributed by Chinese and European experts - will be handed over to an IT center affiliated with the Ministry of Commerce after the project .
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New seeds of innovation needed for flower growers (2011-07-20,China Daily)
While China has the greatest combined plantation area for flowers in the world, few of the varieties grown are native to the country or have domestic intellectual property rights, according to industry experts.
"China has held three world horticultural expositions over 12 years indicating that it has huge potential in the floral industry," said Li Feipeng, executive deputy director of Yunnan-based Jinyuan Flower Co Ltd, one of the country's largest companies growing and selling flowers.
But "due to lack of innovation in developing new varieties, Chinese flower companies are in a weak position in international markets", he said.
While 145 new varieties had been cultivated in Yunnan province by the end of 2010 - more than 80 percent of the nation's total - only three met the standards needed for international protection.
China now has about 1.5 million households that make their living by planting flowers, but "most of the varieties they plant are imported", Li added.
As a result, flower growers have to pay royalties to foreign companies, part of fees paid for seedlings.
"Of the cost of each foreign carnation seedling, 0.06 yuan ($0.0093) is charged as a royalty, and 0.1 yuan for each rose seedling," said a businessman in the Kunming Dounan flower auction market.
"As one of the largest in China, the Dounan market sells nearly four to six million flowers a day. The total royalty is considerable," he added.
Despite the enormous number of flowers sold - about 2 billion yearly - most varieties grown in China are old. Some have even been phased out in foreign countries, so most Chinese flower companies are at the low-end of the industry chain, experts said.
Now "they realize how innovation can make significant differences in the traditional sector".
Authorities in several Chinese provinces and cities have accelerated the innovation of new flower varieties through expanding investments.
Kunming's proprietary flower varieties are projected to account for more than 15 percent of the total sold in the city by 2015, according to a city industry development plan.
"Jinyuan has established a flower R&D department with more than 20 specialists. To date, 23 new varieties with intellectual property rights have been created, making the company a leader in the field," said Li.
"These varieties will help Chinese companies reduce their dependence on imports," he added.
"As long as we keep up in research and innovation, China's floral industry will have stronger competitiveness and attract more attention in the global market."
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Flexible strategies enhance intellectual property value (2011-07-19,China Daily)
The phenomenal economic growth in China has brought with it a stronger focus on intellectual property ( IP ) as Chinese companies increasingly develop their own IP and recognize the importance of protecting their valuable intellectual assets .
Indeed , China is now the world ' s fastest growing market for IP and one of the top filers of international patents . According to the World Intellectual Property Organization , China ' s international patent filings grew by around 56.2 percent in 2010, ranking the country the fourth largest filer in the world after the US , Japan and Germany .
In the US , filings are estimated to have dropped 1.7 percent , but it is still the largest international filer with an estimated 27.5 percent of total patent filings in 2010, compared with China ' s 7.6 percent .
That imbalance is certain to change as China ' s growth in IP continues to accelerate . A number of major Chinese companies are already leading the way on the global stage . Telecommunications companies ZTE Corporation and Huawei Technologies , for example , are the world ' s second and fourth biggest patent filers respectively .
Chinese companies are also quick to protect their IP , bringing an increasing number of cases against infringers of their IP rights both in China and overseas . For many observers , there is a great irony in this " poacher turned gamekeeper " transformation , with Chinese companies , so often accused of infringing the IP of others , now being the ones who are being infringed against .
This " build and protect " IP strategy is a common approach among Chinese companies , and , indeed , many other corporations around the world . Companies build up their IP portfolios to safeguard their innovation , and take swift action against anyone infringing their IP rights .
However , as patent portfolios mature and new technologies are developed , there comes a time when companies realize that , in addition to protecting their most valuable intellectual assets , they could create greater value for the organization by making some of their less important patents work harder for them - through licensing or selling them to third parties and saving on high renewal costs .
Through a comprehensive patent portfolio review process , companies can gain important insights and make informed strategic decisions about how to best protect and leverage their patents , addressing questions such as :
Which patents are business critical and need to be protected ?
Which patents are potential future strategic assets that may become more valuable to the company over time ?
Which patents can I sell or license for profit ?
Which patents in my portfolio should be pruned ?
Armed with answers to these questions , companies are able to evaluate how they can :
Better protect their prized IP assets to enhance the company ' s competitiveness .
Encash non-critical assets .
Reduce costs associated with maintaining patents that are no longer of use or of little value to the company .
It also helps to know what the competition is up to . Making an assessment of competitors ' patents will help companies ring fence their own innovations , benchmark against the market , track the evolution of fledgling inventions , and identify potentially lucrative opportunities for monetizing patents .
While a particular invention may be of value now , it could be susceptible to being overtaken within a relatively short period by a new technology . A detailed review of the relevant IP landscape might lead a company to take full advantage of that value while it still can , and generate short-term revenue by selling the relevant patents or through third-party licensing .
This , in turn , can lead to opportunities for strategic alliances and collaboration between companies , with mutual licensing of patents to help fill potential gaps in their respective technologies .
In any patent portfolio assessment , the input of the company ' s research and development team is vital in order to provide the technical perspective . But it is also important for companies to gain an independent view , helping them to value their IP assets from an objective , market standpoint . Together with the insights gleaned from within the company , this will create a more accurate assessment of the value of a company ' s patent portfolio and how that value can best be realised .
For IP-rich Chinese companies , a more flexible approach to their IP strategy represents an opportunity to maximize the value of their intellectual assets , while , at the same time , continuing to demonstrate to the world the increasing strength of Chinese innovation .
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EU, China report successful cooperation on IPR2 (2011-07-16,People's Daily)
The EU-China cooperation project on the protection of Intellectual Property Rights held a closing ceremony Friday, commemorating the successful completion of over 200 technical assistance and training activities across China.
The closing ceremony included a handover of 500 expert materials and information tools developed by the Project from 2007 to 2011 to the Chinese authorities.
Raimund Lutz, vice president of European Patent Office, told reporters at the ceremony that the office received 13,000 applications from China in 2010, up by 96 percent compared with the number in 2008.
The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Project Phase II (IPR2)was launched in 2007 by the European Union and the Chinese government with 16.275 million euros in joint funding.
IPR2 aimed at improving the reliability, efficiency and accessibility of the Intellectual Property protection system in China, and establishing a sustainable environment of Intellectual Property Right enforcement in China.
The project is a partnership between the European Union and China on the protection of intellectual property rights in China.
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China eyes higher global ranking for innovation over next five years (2011-07-14,People's Daily)
China will raise its global innovation ranking over the next five years, according to a newly issued national scientific and technological (S&T) blueprint.
The blueprint, issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday, maps out the country's S&T development goals for the coming five years. The blueprint's objectives include significant growth in innovation capacity, greater international influence in the S&T sector and more breakthroughs in the research and development (R&D) of crucial technologies.
The blueprint also specifies that China's global innovation ranking will be raised from 21st to 18th in the world, citing rankings released by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) in February.
The CASTED ranking surveyed the innovative capacity of 40 countries with an edge in technological research.
Other specific goals outlined in the blueprint include increasing the amount of money spent on R&D, boosting patent ownership, improving the added value of the nation's high-tech industries and increasing the number of active R&D personnel.
The blueprint was issued after two years of studies, opinion surveys and amendments.
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Courts to do more for IPR protection (2011-07-13,China Daily)
The Chinese government has pledged to strengthen the courts' role in cracking down on infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR).
"The current protection of IPR relies heavily on administrative measures, which are fast and efficient but need to be improved," Jiang Zengwei, vice-minister of commerce, said on Tuesday at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.
"In the future, China will draw lessons from Western countries and place more emphasis on dealing with these cases in court. We will simplify the process and make it more efficient while cutting the cost."
Jiang said Chinese police have arrested 9,031 suspects in a nine-month campaign aimed at cracking down on piracy and other infringements of intellectual property rights.
He said China is showing a great resolve to protect such rights because that is "what must be done by every country that wants to develop technology and become a stronger competitor".
In the campaign, police closed 12,854 underground factories that had made pirated and fake products and broke up 4,904 gangs that had sold such goods, said Jiang, also a senior leader of the special campaign.
Other administrative agencies across the country have meanwhile investigated 156,000 similar cases, in which the money involved came to nearly 3.43 billion yuan ($540 million). They have also closed more than 9,130 illegal plants where pirated and counterfeit goods had been produced.
Even so, the "grave" battle against infringements of intellectual property rights, as the vice-minister described it, has elicited mixed comments from senior officials in foreign chambers of commerce and from experts.
Ted Dean, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said the campaign was well-conceived and that he looks forward to helping China achieve its commitments.
"For the enhancement of the business environment as well as China's own innovative capabilities, IPR is fundamental to fair treatment of our IPR-intensive industries and services, as well as to innovation and the future growth of China's economy," he said.
Legal experts agreed that courts should play a greater role in fighting infringements of intellectual property rights.
Feng Xiaoqing, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, noted that taxpayer money would have to be spent if administrative agencies were left to fight infringements of intellectual property rights. Courts, on the other hand, can cover their costs by collecting fees from litigants, making it fairer to rely on them to protect individual rights.
"Although our judicial system has a huge backlog of civil and criminal cases to deal with and is perceived as being inefficient and slow at dealing with IPR cases, reinforcing the system's role is a step in the right direction."
During the recent nine-month campaign, China's courts were presented with 2,492 cases involving intellectual property rights and adjudicated 1,985 cases, Jiang said.
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Chinese Premier vows to combat IPR violations, counterfeiting (2011-07-12,People's Daily )
Premier Wen Jiabao said that the government will crack down on violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the production of counterfeit goods in a message delivered during an IPR-related exhibition held in Beijing on Monday.
Wen said that scientific and technological progress will function as economic pillars during China's continued development and restructuring, and that these areas will require better IPR protection if they are to grow and prosper.
The exhibition Wen's message was delivered at is intended to illustrate the achievements China has made in its ongoing battle against IPR violations.
An anti-piracy campaign spearheaded by the State Council, or China's cabinet, took place from October 2010 to June 2011.
Wen said that the State Council approved the exhibition in the hopes of demonstrating the Chinese government's firm stance regarding IPR protection and raising public awareness of IPR laws and regulations.
The Chinese- and English-language exhibition will be open for three months.
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China confident about intellectual property rights of high-speed railways (2011-07-11,People's Daily)
Some Japanese media recently expressed doubts about the intellectual property rights of China's high-speed rail. They believe Chinese high-speed railways copied the Shinkansen of Japan. Reporters interviewed related parties to learn the truth.
Focus one: Does Chinese high-speed railway copy the Shinkansen of Japan?
Response: China grasps the intellectual property rights of Chinese high-speed railway, and the technical level has surpassed that of the Shinkansen of Japan.
According to sources, the CSR Corporation, Ltd. cooperated with the Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 2004 to introduce trains with speeds of 200 kilometers per hour. Seven years later, CSR mastered the design, manufacturing and verification technologies of trains with speeds of 200 to 250 kilometers per hour through jointly designing research experiments and implementing the localization with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and also independently established the design, manufacturing and verification system of trains with speeds of 350 kilometers per hour.
Ma Yunshuang, deputy general manager of the Sifang Corporation, Ltd. under the CSR Group, said that the CSR has taken an innovative path of introduction, digestion, absorption and re-innovation. China's national conditions decided that Chinese enterprises could not copy foreign technology.
The train's engine car is an important symbol of the independent innovation of Chinese high-speed trains. "Both the graphic design and technical design of the engine car of the CRH380A trains have been completed by ourselves," said Wang Yongping, spokesman of the Ministry of Railways, on July 7.
In fact, the current technical level of the Chinese high-speed railway has surpassed Japan's Shinkansen. Data shows that compared with the CRH2 trains that were introduced and jointly produced by the Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the power of China's CRH380A trains increased from the previous 4,800 kilowatts to 9,600 kilowatts, and the sustained speed increased from 200 to 250 kilometers per hour to 380 kilometers per hour.
The aerodynamic drag of the head has been reduced by more than 15 percent and the aerodynamic noise has been reduced 7 percent. The bogie realized "tread contact stress" 10 percent to 12 percent lower than the European standard. The airtight strength of the train's body increased from 4,000 Pascals to 6,000 Pascals to ensure the structural safety and reliability of trains when intersecting inside the tunnel at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour.
Furthermore, many technological indicators used by China's high-speed railways are the best in the world, including the minimum radius of curve, maximum gradient, track gauge and tunnel clearance of the high-speed railways linking Beijing to Tianjin, Wuhan to Guangzhou, Zhengzhou to Xi'an, Shanghai to Nanjing, Shanghai to Hangzhou, and Beijing to Shanghai.
"A verbal spat is meaningless, and we should let the facts speak for themselves. The intellectual property rights of China's high-speed railways are undoubtedly mastered by China itself," Wang said.
Many Japanese reporters spoke highly of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. For example, a Japanese reporter from the Tokyo Broadcasting System, who was a passenger on a Beijing-Shanghai bullet train, admitted that the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway is very advanced and has adopted many technologies that Japan's Shinkansen failed to adopt. In addition, the Shinkansen often takes detours, while China's bullet trains can consistently run at high speed.
Focus Two: Why has China's high-speed rail technology developed so fast?
Response: Because the Chinese government has provided strong support, and a large number of talented researchers have devoted themselves to the development of high-speed rail technology.
Wang said that the Chinese government has played a guiding role in the development of high-speed rail technology and has established a re-innovation platform integrating production, education and research. It is no wonder that the country has made three significant achievements in this field in less than six years.
He Huawu, chief engineer with the Ministry of Railways, said the organizations and individuals that have participated in the government-sponsored research and development high-speed rail technology include 25 key universities, 11 first-class research institutes, 51 state-level labs and engineering research centers, 63 academicians, more than 500 professors, more than 200 researchers and more than 10,000 engineering personnel in China.
"Up to now, China's high-speed railway has possessed a full set of independent technical standard systems, which covers aspects such as project construction, high-speed train, train control, railway station construction, system integration, operation maintenance and environmental protection standards," He Huawu said.
He Huawu said that, taking the train control system as an example, as a core technology of high-speed railways, it is the "brain" for the safe, efficient and orderly operation of the train. China's train control system is closely connected with China's actual railway transportation situations and its existent signaling equipment mode. It cannot be a copy of any other system of the same kind.
Focus Three: Will China's overseas patent application be challenged?
Response: The overseas patent application of China's enterprises is right and legal.
According to a report issued by Japan's "Asahi Shimbun" on July 5, Tadaharu Ohashi, president of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. said, "If the content of the overseas tenet application of China's high-speed railway contravenes the Shinkansen Line technology export contract signed by China and the Kawasaki Heavy Industry, Japan will have to accuse China."
Regarding the report, Wang said, "It is right and legal that China's enterprises apply tenets for their related high-speed railway technologies. The application is for better promoting the innovation, transfer and spread of the high-speed railway technologies and for better serving the entire human race. We are legal and confident."
Wang also said China currently has established more than 100 high-speed railway construction standard specifications, covering the six important systems of public works and projects, traction power supply, communication signal, system device, operation control and passenger service, and possessed a set of internationally-advanced high-speed technical standard systems and integrated engineering technology kits.
According to preliminary statistics, China's high-speed railway has already successfully applied 1,900 tenets and is applying 481 tenets. China's high-speed railway has never had any intellectual property right disputes with any foreign company.
It is known that U.S.-based General Electric and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. conducted wide exchanges on the establishment of a joint venture and technical cooperation last year that did cover technology. GE's legal team concluded based on massive research that there was no obstacle to applying China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.'s technology in the U.S. market. Both sides signed an agreement on December 2010, under which, China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. will transfer its independent EMU train technology to its joint venture with GE in the United States.
Three basic factors determine whether China has independent intellectual property rights in EMU trains: innovation, independence and patents. "China's EMU trains have its unique features and come with independent intellectual property rights, particularly in major techniques," said Zhou Li, deputy director of passenger car department of the transportation bureau under the Ministry of Railways.
Wang said that similar to Japan's success in the past in doubling the train speed to 200 kilometers per hour based on the technology introduced from Europe, today's China has raised the speed level of the world's high-speed train technology from 250 kilometers per hour to 350 kilometers per hour, both of which are significant improvements in global railway development.
Both improvements were made based on the tenet of the intellectual property rights clauses in the international law ¨C desiring to reduce distortions and impediments to international trade, and taking into account the need to promote effective and adequate protection of intellectual property rights, and to ensure that measures and procedures to enforce intellectual property rights do not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade.
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China rejects Japan's rail patents claims (2011-07-08,People's Daily)
The Ministry of Railways has rejected a Japanese claim accusing China of violating intellectual property rights concerning high-speed rail technology. The accusation came after China submitted applications for international patents.
Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said on Thursday that China had developed the technology, that it was applying patents for, independently. The Japanese accusation displayed a "lack of confidence", he said.
His remarks came after Tadaharu Ohashi, chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, said last week that the company would take legal action if China's high-speed train patents violated contracts signed between Japan and China.
In an online chat with netizens at www.news.cn, the Xinhua website, Wang said that China CNR Corp Ltd and the China Academy of Railway Sciences had been filing patent applications abroad since 2009.
Li Jun, director of the general affairs office at the ministry's transport bureau, told China Daily earlier that China has filed 21 applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
The applications concern train assembly, hulls and bogies (part of the suspension system), and they have been filed in the United States, Brazil, Europe, Russia and Japan, according to Li.
"All the high-speed rail patents that China is applying for abroad have been developed independently, and they do not infringe on other countries' high-speed rail patents," he said.
"China will not claim anything that does not belong to it. However, it will not give up the right to patent its innovations because of irresponsible remarks by others," he said.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries transferred the technology for a 200-km/h train to China in 2004. The CSR Corp Ltd's Qingdao Sifang Co Ltd, in partnership with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, produced the train, called CRH2, in China.
CSR later developed, on its own, a 300-350 km/h train and the CRH380A train with a designed top speed of 380 km/h.
"The strong reaction of some Japanese, without even knowing exactly what patents China is filing for, shows a fragile state of mind and a lack of confidence", Wang said.
Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto also mentioned the issue to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on July 4. Yang made it clear that the technology China filed patents for are "China's own innovations", Wang said.
He said China absorbed foreign technology but also innovated.
Compared to the CRH2 train, produced with technology imported from Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, the CRH380A train for the Beijing-Shanghai route operates at much higher speeds.
Among other differences, the CRH380A has a derailment factor of only 0.13, compared to 0.73 for the CRH2, and air resistance at the front of the train is more than 15 percent less, Wang said.
"The facts and data can speak themselves."
It is ridiculous, he said, for some Japanese to say that China pirated technology from the Shinkansen, Japan's bullet train.
"The Shinkansen and the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway are on two different levels. There are huge differences in terms of speed, comfort and technology."
Countries should continue to improve technology to become leaders in the field, he added.
"What China did in boosting rail speed from 250 km/h to 350 km/h is important and similar to progress made when Japan raised train speed, enlightened by European technology, from 100 km/h to 200 km/h," he said.
The two achievements both followed international law on intellectual property rights. China is now applying for patents to facilitate innovation and the transfer of high-speed rail technology, Wang said.
China is willing to offer technological help to Japan, according to international laws and trade rules, as Japan plans to build five high-speed lines totaling 870 kilometers, he added.
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