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    Nation's big progress in IP to help advance tech ties





    China has become the first country in the world to hold more than 4 million valid domestic invention patents following a rapid growth in this regard last year, an official from the nation's intellectual property regulator said.

    Hu Wenhui, deputy head of the National Intellectual Property Administration, noted that China owned about 4.02 million such patents by the end of 2023, up 22.4 percent year-on-year.

    "High-value patents account for over 40 percent of the total, which shows that China has become a veritable IP power and has consistently contributed to global innovation," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

    The number of valid domestic invention patents does not include those held in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

    National high-tech enterprises as well as small and medium-sized tech companies hold 2.13 million of these patents, up 24.2 percent year-on-year, Hu said, adding that self-innovation has provided momentum for the high-quality development of these entities.

    Liu Bin, a lawyer with Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm who specializes in handling IP disputes, lauded the huge progress in the field of invention patents, and said "it means that China is becoming more powerful in the global technological competition".

    "It also demonstrates that our country's IP protection has become stronger, and public awareness on the matter has improved further," he said.

    Liu noted that the huge progress in the field will help advance international technological cooperation and promote economic development.

    He encouraged individuals and enterprises to apply for more invention patents for the greater good. "Many invention patents focus on services and products in healthcare, education and environmental protection, which help make our daily lives easier and better."

    High-value invention patents typically refer to patents that demonstrate significant innovation within a particular technological industry, Liu said, adding that the high proportion of such patents indicates the improvement in the quality of patent applicants in the country.

    "At the same time, it means that China has already taken a leading position in some technological fields," he said.

    Data released by the administration on Tuesday showed that China's efficiency in reviewing IP applications also improved last year. For instance, less time was spent on reviewing each invention patent.

    In addition, the administration revised specific rules for the implementation of the Patent Law. The revised rules were issued in December and will take effect on Saturday.