Turn back the hands of time to exactly a year ago. “In this lovely season of early Summer when every living thing is full of energy”, on May 14, 2017, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in the National Convention Centre, Beijing, comprehensively elaborated on the fruitful achievements of “Belt and Road” construction, and pointed out cooperation directions in the future.
Great cause needs great practice. As a key element in the Belt and Road construction, the important role of IP cannot be ignored. Over the past year, along with the further increase of quality and speed and intensive cultivation of the Belt and Road construction, China’s cause of IP has also been ceaselessly deepened in the Belt and Road construction. China has voluntarily played its role as a major country in the international arena, coordinated IP systems of nations alongside the Belt and Road, actively devoted itself to the reform and construction of IP international rules, improved IP system with the philosophy of innovative development, and came up with Chinese approach in coordination and solution of IP-related problems.
Significant Achievements in Cooperation
Statistics released by the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) at the beginning of 2018 indicated that in 2017, 5,608 patent applications of China were published in nations alongside the Belt and Road (China excluded), increased by 16.0% year-on-year. Therein, 1,354 patent applications were published in Russia, and the patent application there begun to take shape. In 2017, nations alongside the Belt and Road filed 4,319 patent applications in China, increased by 16.8% year-on-year, and 41 nations filed patent applications in China, increasing by four nations compared to 2016. Li Shunde, researcher of the Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, remarked: “This reflects that Chinese enterprises have made contribution to the advancement of technical innovation level in nations and areas alongside the Belt and Road; international cooperation of IP is also beneficial to the further improvement of IP system alongside the Belt and Road, and provides important development opportunity to developing countries and areas alongside the Belt and Road.”
In the context of the Belt and Road IP international cooperation, China and Cambodia started a new voyage of IP cooperation. On March 2, 2018, SIPO held a news briefing and announced that application for acceptance of Chinese effective invention patents in Cambodia would be officially launched. This is a milestone in Sino-Cambodia IP cooperation as well as a breakthrough of the Belt and Road IP cooperation. In this way, Chinese patentees of invention patents may avoid redundant procedure of substantive examination, save filing costs, and obtain patents and relevant protection in Cambodia in a rapid and convenient way, while Cambodia can significantly increase efficiency and save costs of examination.
In addition, SIPO signed with WIPO the Agreement on Enhancing Belt and Road IP Cooperation in Beijing. This is the first document related to the Belt and Road IP cooperation China signed with international organizations. Signing of the document indicated that SIPO and WIPO would develop comprehensive and deep cooperation on the Belt and Road construction, and promote the IP development of nations and areas alongside the Belt and Road.
Enterprises Set Sails
“Under the Belt and Road Initiative, more and more enterprises are taking advantage of favorable policies and IP strengths to take the spotlight in ‘going out’.” Li Shunde remarked.
In 2017, the global business of Haier Group grew by 46%, and developed from single brand layout to diversified layout of six brands around the world. At present, Haier Group has altogether 45 manufacturing centers and 108 manufacturing plants, and is truly providing speedy service to global brands and consumers. Relevant leaders of Haier Group thought that only products manufactured by globalized R&D resources can lead the world.
Along with the acceleration of pace of “going out”, BYD Co., Ltd. has expanded to six continents of the world with more than 30 production bases. By now, BYD Co., Ltd. owns 12,000 granted patents. Relevant leaders of BYD remarked that BYD would respond to the Belt and Road Initiative with more open attitude, and make contribution to problems related to pollution and traffic congestion resulted from China’s urbanization through innovation.
Looking back to achievements of the year since the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, we are happy to see that China has made efforts to promote international rules of IP to an inclusive, tolerant, balanced and effective direction. “China’s innovation” has also contributed “China’s wisdom” to the world economic develop through the Belt and Road. Li Shunde expressed: “In the globalization of knowledge-based economy today, development of Chinese IP system is of vital importance. All countries should pool their wisdom and develop hand in hand; only in this way, can the active role of Chinese IP system be given better play, so as to vigorously promote the global innovative development and make innovation benefit all human beings.”
(Translated from SIPO Website Chinese Version)