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    Entities seek overseas IP protection


    By Cao Yin | China Daily



    China has seen a rise in the number of domestic applications for international patents and trademarks, and its ability to resolve overseas intellectual property disputes has also improved, according to the country's top IP regulator.

    Data released by the China National Intellectual Property Administration on Tuesday showed that from January to June, it accepted 33,000 applications under the global Patent Cooperation Treaty for international patents submitted by domestic entities, up 7.1 percent year-on-year.

    During the same period, it also received 3,024 domestic trademark applications under the Madrid system, up 12 percent year-on-year, the data said.

    Since China joined the Hague Agreement in May 2022, more than 150 international design applications have been submitted by Chinese applicants each month, ranking among the most in the world, according to the administration's data.

    "The figures have demonstrated that our domestic entities have become more active in applying for overseas IP rights," Hu Wenhui, deputy head of the administration, told a news conference on Tuesday.

    With more Chinese enterprises going global, the number of IP-related disputes involving such companies has also increased, "urging us to take measures to help them improve their ability to protect their overseas IP rights," said Zhang Zhicheng, head of the administration's IP protection department.

    Last year, for example, more Chinese enterprises were involved in a section 337 investigation initiated by the United States International Trade Commission, and the number of IP-related lawsuits filed by Chinese companies in the US also increased, he added.

    Section 337 concerns infringements on certain statutory IP rights and other forms of unfair competition in import trading. Most of these investigations involve allegations of patent or registered trademark infringements.

    To help Chinese enterprises enhance awareness of overseas IP protection and improve their ability to manage risks, Zhang said that the administration has set up 43 centers nationwide to offer IP-related services, with stronger guidance on handling IP-related disputes involving the information and communications technology and biomedical fields.

    "In addition, we've shared more information about overseas IP rights with domestic enterprises in a timely manner to meet their demand of going global," he added.

    On Tuesday, the administration also summed up its work in the first half of this year. It revealed China held more than 4.56 million valid invention patents by the end of June, up 16.9 percent year-on-year, and more than 44.23 million registered trademarks, up 9.1 percent year-on-year.

    Since June, the nation has been running a campaign to crack down on malicious trademark registrations, including some associated with the upcoming Asian Games and Asian Paralympic Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, as well as those related to the 31st FISU World University Games in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

    In the first six months of this year, it dealt with 249,000 malicious trademark registration cases, of which 204,000 were withdrawn and canceled by applicants, it added.