V. Patent Administration

1. Transfer of new functions assigned to SIPO

Pursuant to the State Council-approved "Regulation on Functions, Internal Structure, and Staffing for the Ministry of Science and Technology (No.89,issued by the General Affairs Office of the State Council in 1998) and "Regulation on Functions, Internal Structure, and Staffing for the State Intellectual Property Office(No.61,issued by the General Affairs Office of the State Council in 1998),the functions and responsibilities of the Office of the State Council's  Working Conference on Intellectual Property Rights, formerly affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology, were transferred to SIPO. During the transfer process, SIPO consulted and cooperated closely with the Ministry. An official notice was issued on 23 February 1999 announcing the completion of the transfer, after which SIPO reviewed the work of 45 IPR trial enterprises and assumed responsibility for supervising and guiding the IPR work of the said enterprises. The review yielded good results.

2. Model Projects for the Industrialization of Patented Technologies

In 1999,SIPO held a National Working Conference on Implementing Model Projects for the Industrialization of Patented Technologies, during which the Model Projects' activities over the previous year were reviewed. After being screened by an expert panel, 105 projects were chosen and placed either under the management of SIPO or local patent administrative authorities. To assist the enterprises, SIPO conducted extensive research on patent strategies and completed six research reports. In addition, eleven types of information service were also provided to the enterprises. Carrying forward with the said Model Projects, activities will focus on developing self-owned technologies and corresponding independent intellectual property rights, thus paving a new path to domestic industrial development.

3. Administration of Patent Contracts

China's Contract Law went into force on October 1,1999. To meet the requirements of the law, SIPO carried out studies on the implication of the law on the administration of patent contracts. Furthermore, SIPO discussed with the State Council Legislative Affairs Office the possibility of promulgating regulations on the registration of patent contracts.  At present, coordination on this issue is on going. Work related to the registration of patent mortgage contracts and issuing certificates for patent advertisement progressed smoothly. With more lenient loan policies for science and technology development, more importance was attached to patent mortgage practices.The certification system for patent advertisements played a positive role in standardizing market behaviors and order.

4. Coordination

After organizational restructuring, SIPO strengthened its links with other departments and ministries under the State Council. Working together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Forestry Bureau, SIPO drafted and submitted to the State Council proposals on sharing responsibility for the implementation of "Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants". The proposals were approved by the State Council, dispelling inconsistencies in the protection list.

5. Working Conference on the Work of Patent Trial Cities

After reviewing the previous stage work in patent trial cities, the 1999 Working Conference prepared proposals for carrying out a new round of work in the same cities. Proposals were based of experiences in the previous stage, and included recommendations for further amplifying patent administration, promoting technological innovation, and contributing to the booming economy in these cities.

Guidelines for patent trial cities were also formulated.In essence, the Working Conference aimed at combining patent work with technical innovation and with efforts to develop an innovation framework in cities that can lead to a local economy boom.

6. Patent Asset Appraisal and Specific Research

To standardize patent asset appraisal work, SIPO invited experts and scholars to carry out research on parameters for patent asset appraisal. Using research results, SIPO published guidelines on the use of the parameter system for patent asset appraisal, to be followed by all members of the patent asset appraisal profession.

In order to assist enterprises and other organizations in their patent strategy research, SIPO initiated in 1999 targeted research on reference curve diagrams for macro-research on patent strategies. The research results will provide practical guidance and help for enterprises and other organizations' research on patent strategies.

While making policies for enterprises and guiding their patent strategy research, SIPO also provided very concrete and tangible support to them, Lucky Films Co. being a typical example. Based on the factory's actual situation, SIPO helped establish a color negative database, which supported its R&D, production, and overall competition in the marketplace.