(April 25, 2007)
In 2006, important progress had further been made in the field of intellectual property (IP) in Hunan Province. With close collaboration of the various intellectual property administrative departments in the province, the IP protection mechanism was further improved and coordinated. Application for patents scored new high in history. Remarkable progress had been made in the protection of trademarks and geographical indications. Efforts for copyright protection had constantly been intensified. Protection for the new varieties of the plant had continuously been enhanced. Cracking down on IP crimes had constantly been deepened. Comprehensive improvement was made in IP judicial protection. Prominent effects were achieved in IP customs protection. And the social atmosphere of "respecting and protecting intellectual property" was gradually emerging throughout the province.
I. General Environment for IP Protection Became Better and Better
1. High importance attached to IP work by the CPC Provincial Committee and the Provincial Government
The CPC Committee of Hunan Province and the Provincial Government attach great importance to the IP work, creating a good social environment for IP protection in the province. Numerous important instructions and special written comments on intellectual property work were given by Zhang Chunxian, Secretary of the CPC Provincial Committee, Zhou Jiang, Deputy Secretary and Governor of the province and the leaders concerned from the CPC Provincial Committee, the Provincial People's Congress, the Provincial Government and the Provincial CPPCC Committee. In 2006, the 11th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Intellectual Property Undertaking was compiled by Hunan Province and the Plan was incorporated, for the first time, in the overall plan and the statistic communiqu¨¦ for national economic and social development of the province. Meanwhile, the formulation of the Program for the Implementation of Intellectual Property Strategy in Hunan Province was put on the agenda; the input from the Provincial Government finance for intellectual property work increased by a large margin; the high and medium-grade positional titles order for patent administration in the enterprises and institutions was established; the construction of the patent information platform for the province was initiated in an all-round manner; a working meeting on trademark for the entire province was convened and the Leading Group for the Work of Pushing Forward the Corporate Use of the Original Software in Hunan Province was established, with the Vice Governor in charge of the work as the head and the relevant units as members.
2. Constant enhancement of policy orientation for IP protection
In 2006, in order to effectively protect intellectual property, and on the basis of earnest implementation of the laws and regulations, e.g., the Patent Law, the Trademark Law, the Copyright Law and the Regulations of Hunan Province for the Protection of Patents and the Measures of Hunan Province for the Certification and Protection of Famous Trademarks, a batch of local regulations and normative documents for IP administration and protection were formulated and improved, establishing a distinctive policy orientation for IP protection in the science and technology and economic work. Because of the high importance and support attached to the intellectual property work by various departments, a strong joint force for IP protection was emerging.
3. Gradual establishment of the long-term effective administration mechanism for the coordination and protection of intellectual property
In 2006, the role of the IP coordination and protection mechanism in the province was further put into play and the Provincial Leading Group for the Coordination of Intellectual Property played an ever important role in terms of overall arrangement of intellectual property work in the province. The IP protection mechanism and the IP long-term effective administration mechanism for coordination and protection were gradually established. This was due to the further improvement in the concerted coordination, interaction as well as the administrative and judicial collaboration of the relevant departments. In February, a meeting was convened in Changsha by the Provincial Leading Group for the Coordination of Intellectual Property, at which, the work for IP protection was fully mapped out. With close collaboration and interaction of the relevant departments, an IP coordination and protection mechanism was actively explored.
4. Further deepening publicity and training for IP protection
In 2006, high tides emerged in the IP protection and publicity work in Hunan Province, in the process of which, a good social atmosphere of respecting knowledge and protecting innovation was emerging. Active efforts were made by the relevant departments, through publicity and education, to energetically raise the consciousness of the entire society for IP protection and a press conference for IP protection was convened, for the first time, in the name of the Provincial Government. Work on intellectual property training was carried out in a well-ordered way. "The WIPO IP High-grade Seminar in Central and Northeast China" and the intellectual property training classes for the department and bureau leading cadres were successively held,achieving obvious results. According to statistics, several hundred training classes, special topic forums (lectures) of various descriptions were sponsored by the member units of the Provincial Leading Group for the Coordination of Intellectual Property in the year to which, more than 10,000 trainees attended.
II. Overall Situation for IP Protection
1. High-speed increase in patent application and steady development in various kinds of work.
In 2006, the number of patent applications in the province reached 10249 pieces. By the end of 2006, a total of 82123 patent applications were accepted and 42059 of them were granted patents by the province, occupying the 9th and 10th place respectively throughout the country. The intellectual property pioneering and demonstration work was further deepened and the cultivation projects of the advantageous enterprises as well as the pioneering work of the enterprises and institutions were officially initiated. Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtang became China's intellectual property pioneering cities. Besides, Changsha and Xiangtang were listed in the ranks of China's 10 intellectual property demonstration and creation cities, 31 counties (cities) were consecutively listed as the intellectual property pioneering counties at the provincial level and Zhuzhou was listed as an industrialization base of the national railway transportation patent technology. And Changsha's application for the National Patent Technology Display Trading Platform was approved. According to statistics, a total of 127 illegal patent and dispute cases were accepted by the patent law enforcement authorities at different levels of the province in the year, of which 108 cases were concluded. A total of nearly 2000 law-enforcers /times were mobilized, 602 law enforcement inspections were carried out and more than 24000 patent products and commodities were inspected. On the other hand, the mechanism for the coordination of the patent administrative law enforcement between Hunan and other provinces in the Pan-Pearl Delta Region was further improved and coordination on law enforcement between the trans-cities (prefectures) in the province was constantly on the increase, achieving obvious results.
2. Remarkable progress in the protection of trademark and geographical indications.
In 2006, there were 27000 applications for trademark registration and more than 11000 were approved by the province. There were a total of nearly 50000 effective trademark registrations, of which, 6 were certified as well-known trademarks of the year. The province had had a total of 26 well-known trademarks, maintained the first place in China's central and western regions and listed in the 10th place throughout the country. In the year, 203 trademarks were certified as famous trademarks and the province had a total of 599 famous trademarks. At present, 5 farm products in the province were granted geographical trademarks and two more had gone through the preliminary examination and public announcement procedures, pending the granting of farm product geographical trademarks; 4 products were granted protection for national geographical trademark products and 37 enterprises were granted the exclusive trademark rights for the protection of geographical indication products. According to statistics, about 10000 law enforcers /times from the branches of the Administration of Industry and Trade in the province were mobilized and 1845 trademark violation related cases of different categories were investigated and dealt with (of which, 12 were foreign-related trademark cases), involving an amount of RMB 23.4508 million.
3. Intensification of efforts in copyright protection.
In 2006, the copyright supervision and administration field had constantly been expanded. The copyright administrative authorities at different levels, while collaborating with the press and publishing and the public security organs, launched a number of campaigns including: the "Special Crackdown on Illegal Pre-installation of Computer Software", the "Special Crackdown on Illegal Discs Duplicating Enterprises", the "One-hundred Day Action against Pirated-editions" and the "Special Crackdown on Internet Infringement and Piracy", achieving obvious results. More than 37310 inspectors/ times were mobilized in the province, in the process of which, 3454 publications markets/times were investigated, more than 3 million pirated audio and video products were seized and 400-odd cases of pirated audio and video and computer software were investigated and dealt with. While intensifying the efforts in cracking down the pirated-editions, the work for the promotion of the original software in the province was also constantly pushed on. In the year, the number of copyright registration was steadily on the increase. And a total of 240 pieces of voluntary registration for works, 230 pieces of computer software registration and 160 pieces of contract registration for the publication of foreign books were processed in the province. Besides, the copyright service system was also in the process of constant innovation. And [www.zhipr.com] was smoothly opened in Changsha City.
4. Continuously strengthening the protection of new varieties of plant
Last year, provincial agricultural and forestry departments continued to strengthen protection of new varieties of plant. According to statistics, there were 17 applications for new agricultural plant variety right, and 3 of them granted. At present, such applications aggregated to 128, with 17 of them granted new variety rights; there were 7 applications for new forestry plant right, with 6 of them granted, the plantation area of tea-oil tree, Loropetalum, etc., and the quantity of varieties hold the leading position in the country.
5. Constantly deepening the crack-down on intellectual property crimes
In 2006, the special action on cracking down the "Eagle No.2" intellectual property infringement crimes had been deepened, achieving great social impacts. According to initial statistics, since the launching of the special action, 185 intellectual property cases were initiated by the public security organs at different levels of the province, involving an amount of RMB 58.0806 million, of which, 37 cases were initiated on intellectual property infringement crimes, 148 cases were initiated on production and sale of counterfeit and shoddy commodities crimes and 195 cases (inclusive of the cases accumulated over the year) were cracked and 221 suspects were arrested and RMB 12.557 million of economic loss was recovered. And 182 joint law enforcement actions and 140 major united special actions were carried out by the public security organs and the administrative law enforcement authorities of the province, and 80 clues for the cases were transferred by the administrative law enforcement authorities.
6. All-round strengthening of IP Judicial Protection
In recent years, the province's courts have attached high importance to the intellectual property trial work, intensified their efforts in IP judicial protection, raised the overall intellectual property judicial level and concluded a batch of IP cases having social impacts according to law. Consequently, the overall judicial role of protecting intellectual property was put into full play and the good international image of IP judicial protection in China was established. According to statistics, in the year 266 civil dispute cases of first instance were newly received by the courts in the province. There were 56 court cases of long standing. And 266 cases were concluded. In addition, 4 intellectual property criminal cases of first instance (involving 7 suspects) were newly received and there was 1 court case of long standing (involving 2 suspects). And 5 cases (involving 9 suspects) were concluded. A total of 42 different kinds of intellectual property cases of second instance were heard by the Provincial Higher People's Court, of which, 37 cases were concluded. Meanwhile, compared with 2005, the rate of appeal for the cases of first instance decreased by a large margin, while the rate of maintenance for the cases of second instance increased by a large margin and the cases of revising the judgment and the re-trial rate decreased drastically.
7. Prominent effects in IP customs protection
The Changsha Customs Office had constantly intensified its efforts in the importation and exportation links of intellectual property border protection. Special action on cracking down the intellectual property infringement acts via mail service and EMS channels were launched. The examination, supervision and management of IP rights relating to OEM engaged in manufacturing trade was enhanced. According to statistics, a total of 11 cases of infringed intellectual property goods and articles for importation and exportation were initiated and dealt with by the Changsha Customs Office in 2006, in the process of which, 319378 pieces of pirated audio and video discs and counterfeit infringed goods for importation and exportation were detained, valued at RMB 268,400, and a fine of RMB 22,100 was imposed. The city's customs office implemented border protection for 128 copyright, trademark and other rights.
2006 was the first year of the 11th Five-Year Plan, and also the crucial year in the province for serving as a link between the past and the future in terms of intellectual property work. In this year, intellectual property protection work in independent innovation had been strengthened comprehensively, making active contribution to promoting of science and technology innovation as well as economic development. We are fully convinced that in 2007 along with the formulation and implementation of the intellectual property strategy in the province as well as the all-round unfolding of the IP cultivation projects of the advantageous enterprises as well as the county (city) and urban intellectual property pioneering work, the IP protection work in Hunan Province will reach a new level and its intellectual property undertaking will also enter a new historical period of development.