Survey Says Startups, Graduates Lag Behind in Rights Awareness

Source: China Daily

Young business owners do not make the most of available services, legal protections

College students' awareness of intellectual property needs to improve in order to form a healthy innovation and entrepreneurship environment, according to a report released in late September.

China Youth Daily and the Hubei provincial government surveyed 132 local startups to learn about their awareness and usage of IP.

Most of the companies were founded between two and five years ago by college graduates in industries such as high technology, creative culture, modern agriculture and manufacturing.

About half of the young entrepreneurs' understanding of IP was limited to trademark registration and patent applications.

For small and microenterprises, intellectual property not only attracts investment, but also brings in profit, for example by selling their patents, according to the Wuhan Intellectual Property Exchange.

However, only a few sought consultation on those topics, it said.

Since startups put most of their energy into surviving the competitive market environment at the early stage, they feel their limited assets and human resources cannot be spared for intellectual property-related issues, the report found.

Graduates are the main force of innovation and entrepreneurship, but they underestimate the importance of their patents, said the Chinese Communist Youth League Committee of Hubei.

According to the report, companies in advanced industries, such as computer sciences and new materials, pay more attention to intellectual property, laying the foundation for their development.

Incubators have helped to provide agency services, consultancy, training and financing for intellectual property, the report said. A total of 96 sampled enterprises said they would seek administrative or legal protection if confronting IP violation.

The report found that more than 70 percent of those surveyed agreed that formal education plays an important role in improving awareness of intellectual property. But, about 60 percent of the young entrepreneurs did not learn about intellectual property at their universities.

Construction of a proper curriculum should be the focus for IP education in higher education institutes, the report advised.

About 60 percent of the companies surveyed expected an improved legal system and strengthened judicial protection.

Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, has the most college students in the country. It kicked off a campaign to attract more than 1 million postgraduates to launch their business or find work in the city this year.

Now, major industrial parks and incubators in Hubei province have introduced IP consultancy service organizations. An IP protection assistance center is also under construction in Wuhan to better serve college students and recent graduates.

 

2017-09-28