China Patent/trademark News in the Second Half Year of 2015


NDRC opens consultation on the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines for IPRs (2015-12-31)

Red Bull founder mulls new model for growth (2015-12-31)

National Platform Launched Featuring the Trading & Management of Civilian and Military Intellectual Property (2015-12-30)

Opinion calls for expanding IP measures (2015-12-30)

China's companies look abroad as film prospers (2015-12-30)

Annual report on mass entrepreneurship and innovation (2015-12-29)

The bitterest pill for hepatitis C patients (2015-12-29)

Courting an international profile (2015-12-24)

CSU releases transparent smart TiWatch (2015-12-24)

TCM companies find gold in overseas markets (2015-12-24)

Alliance formed to grow shipbuilding sector (2015-12-23)

Awards encourage creativity, innovation (2015-12-23)

Huawei ships record-breaking 100m smartphones in 2015 (2015-12-23)

Jiangnan University wins national patent gold award (2015-12-23)

After decades of innovation catch-up, China moves to the fore (2015-12-22)

China vows better IPR protection (2015-12-22)

New cable to become lifeline for miners (2015-12-18)

Lingbao Apple valued as top 10 brand in China (2015-12-17)

An Internet power in the making (2015-12-16)

Science center in Shanghai to move ideas quickly from lab to market (2015-12-16)

Short-distance personal transport goes high-tech (2015-12-15)

Experts: China making progress in IPR protection (2015-12-12)

3D revolution in the making (2015-12-10)

Hong Kong cements lead as IP hub (2015-12-09)

Development gap is widening, expert says (2015-12-09)

Cheaper local pills stand tall in ED market (2015-12-09)

Alliance gives firms greater access on voice technologies (2015-12-09)

M&A deals to energize Chinese chipset makers (2015-12-04)

SAR set to lift its IP trading hub status (2015-12-04)

New tech to test effects of thunder on aircraft (2015-12-03)

Bank of China weighs legal options against US court ruling (2015-12-03)

Sino-European ties add to global system (2015-12-02)

China's market potential makes dental firms smile (2015-12-02)

U.S. Judge's "Contempt of Court" Ruling Unwarranted, Worrisome: Chinese Banker (2015-12-02)

China mulls harsher punishment for patent violations (2015-12-02)

Breakthrough low speed Chinese diesel engine debuts (2015-12-01)

Chinese firms to benefit greatly from EU's new patent system (2015-11-27)

Startup company aims to place smart robots in every home (2015-11-27)

Chinese state councilor meets EPO president (2015-11-26)

Salon addresses overseas systems (2015-11-25)

Trio of countries strengthen IP ties (2015-11-25)

5th BIP Asia Forum set for early December (2015-11-25)

Five knockoff Disney hotels fined in Shanghai (2015-11-25)

China, US pledge closer IPR cooperation (2015-11-24)

WIPO report illustrates China's strength in patent first filings (2015-11-18)

Leading group reveals counterfeit goods still rife (2015-11-18)

World to gain from China's 'better goods at lower prices' (2015-11-17)

Baiyunshan to spear the world with Jin'ge pills (2015-11-17)

Australian Made kangaroo raises profile (2015-11-17)

99% of Ultraman mobile games in China pirated (2015-11-15)

Shenzhen's 'peacock invasion' intensifies (2015-11-13)

China's IP protection lights up lighting industry (2015-11-13)

Intellectual property rights eduction to enter schools in China (2015-11-13)

Beijing E-Town in the vanguard of innovation (2015-11-12)

Report shows govt progress in IPR protection, anti-counterfeiting (2015-11-12)

Pending patent regulation puts more responsibility on platforms (2015-11-11)

Government supports unique intellectual property fund (2015-11-11)

Technological innovations key for economic growth: WIPO (2015-11-11)

Investment in R&D, education in China to increase growth, innovations: WIPO chief economist (2015-11-11)

Crackdown on counterfeits to help local firms (2015-11-10)

'No chance of settlement' between Alibaba and Kering: Jack Ma (2015-11-09)

Beijing IPR court accepts nearly 8,000 cases since operation (2015-11-09)

Nanofilm gains large share of China market (2015-11-07)

Entrepreneur invents stab-resistant fabric vest (2015-11-06)

China's design culture is kicking off: expert (2015-11-06)

More court cases following free trade zone's expansion (2015-11-04)

Auto IP alliance set up to help emerging new-energy sector (2015-11-04)

Xiaomi faces uphill climb in US: analysts (2015-10-29)

Graphene is shaping nation's high-tech dreams (2015-10-29)

Nubia announces first eye-scan smartphone (2015-10-29)

Key to future Alzheimer's treatment lies in the past (2015-10-28)

The new share market (2015-10-28)

IP training delivers more for SMEs (2015-10-28)

New rules address misuse of IP rights (2015-10-28)

First technical investigator assists at Beijing hearing (2015-10-28)

Patents take the spotlight at high-tech hub (2015-10-21)

E-Town emerges as China's leading hub of innovation (2015-10-19)

China's patent applications surge 22% (2015-10-17)

China ranks 4th in patent filings to European office (2015-10-14)

SIPO head: Strengthened laws will protect IP rights (2015-10-14)

China to better protect intellectual property (2015-10-12)

Innovation, Internet key to real economy (2015-10-10)

Unkind cut that transformed wholesaler into a lifesaver (2015-10-09)

Typical cases of IP courts of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (2015-10-09)

China's tech empire comes of age abroad (2015-10-07)

Facts and figures about China's economic restructuring 2011-2015 (2015-10-03)

Platform integrates smart healthcare services (2015-09-30)

Firms reap benefits of new intellectual property guidelines (2015-09-30)

China to cut admin fees to relieve firms, individuals (2015-09-29)

China, EU and 5G: Internet of the future (2015-09-28)

Beijing E-Town in the vanguard of innovation (2015-09-26)

Netizens accuse Didi of copying new logo (2015-09-23)

IP sector encouraged to take advantage of Internet, big data (2015-09-23)

IP service providers showcase product (2015-09-23)

Competition helps bring inventions to market (2015-09-23)

Qualcomm lends its weight to Chinese semiconductor firms (2015-09-17)

Inventec and Kingsoft launch dual-language Web dictionary (2015-09-17)

New Beijing IP trial committee hears first case (2015-09-17)

Experts call for standardization of IP services (2015-09-16)

WIPO head: Chinese increase in innovation is 'impressive' (2015-09-16)

How intellectual property protection boosts Chinese economy (2015-09-16)

China files 20 pct more int'l patent applications (2015-09-15)

China, Canada and US join EU's Designview IP database (2015-09-14)

China shaping up as 'even stronger powerhouse' (2015-09-10)

Firm on the brink of harnessing a robot brain (2015-09-10)

Nano-tech industry demands originality, further investment (2015-09-09)

Official campaigns for changes to build national IP powerhouse (2015-09-09)

Capital's innovation street shares its success stories (2015-09-09)

China must boost productivity: WEF expert (2015-09-09)

Xiaomi looking to the West for growth (2015-09-07)

Patented device cansave 75% fuel during starting and acceleration process of automobile (2015-09-07)

Sky's the limit for defense giants (2015-09-03)

Guidelines steer firms in the right direction (2015-09-02)

Shanghai IP court recruits experts, releases plans (2015-09-02)

Increasing requests for patent evaluation (2015-09-02)

Xiaomi launches online store in US (2015-08-26)

Rights protection plan aids global expansion (2015-08-26)

Calls to commercialize IP to stimulate innovation (2015-08-26)

Guangdong releases software to boost patent searches (2015-08-26)

Public service facilities drive innovation and training (2015-08-26)

Shanghai pushes to turn medical research into cures (2015-08-19)

China-made chips launched into space (2015-08-19)

Invention expo focuses on patent commercialization (2015-08-19)

Looking beyond the real horizon (2015-08-18)

Automation-gear maker ambitious (2015-08-18)

Consumers welcome tweaks to auto maintenance industry in 'disarray' (2015-08-17)

88 luxury goods seized by Xiamen customs on Amsterdam-Xiamen flights (2015-08-13)

Olympic Games expected to bring wave of innovation (2015-08-12)

Patent cases up 108 pct (2015-08-07)

Shanghai anticipates surge in IP cases (2015-08-07)

China's Silicon Valley reports rise in patents, R&D investment (2015-08-07)

Now, it's for the eyes (2015-08-06)

Partners jailed, fined for selling wine with fake labels (2015-08-05)

SIPO promotes IP knowledge among the general public (2015-08-05)

Strike up the brand (2015-07-31)

Making a mark is no small matter (2015-07-31)

Charges dropped against Chinese woman formerly accused of seed-theft (2015-07-30)

An edge in innovation is the key (2015-07-30)

China strives to take lead in 5G technology (2015-07-30)

IP protection system fails to keep up with entrepreneurship wave (2015-07-29)

Michael Jordan Loses Legal Battle Again in Beijing (2015-07-28)

China develops vaccine against super bacterium (2015-07-28)

China's image stems from Chinese brands (2015-07-28)

Shenzhen's ambition for a global innovation hub (2015-07-25)

Optimizing Layout of Innovation Factors for the Promotion of Regional Economic Growth (2015-07-23)

Are they safeguarding rights or breaking laws? (2015-07-23)

White paper grapples with increasing online IP crimes (2015-07-22)

Innovator's persistence pays off at coal plant (2015-07-20)

Konruns Pharmaceutical drives technological innovation (2015-07-17)

Vice premier vows strict punishment on counterfeit products (2015-07-16)

City and magazine battle for trademark (2015-07-15)

China¡¯s innovation ability steadily improves (2015-07-10)

Clean Icelandic fuel draws Geely (2015-07-10)

"Robot supermarket" to open in south China (2015-07-10)

Phone firms dial into smarter world (2015-07-10)

For some Chinese universities, it is all about the name (2015-07-09)

Nation no longer a 'wasteland' for entrepreneurs (2015-07-07)

Guangzhou Knowledge City starts to take shape (2015-07-04)

Big Pharma looks to long term in China (2015-07-03)

Intellectual Property laws get acted out (2015-07-03)

Expo Milano uses Nuctech security kit (2015-07-01)

Annual awards recognize brand protection efforts across China (2015-07-01)

Can US SMEs afford to log on to Alibaba? (2015-07-01)


NDRC opens consultation on the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines for IPRs (2015-12-31,China Daily)

China published a draft of its first Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights on Thursday and started soliciting public opinion.

The consultation period is from 1 until 20 January 2016, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The commission leads the drafting work of six sets of anti-monopoly guidelines, including abuse of IPRs, anti-monopoly issues of the automobile industry and leniency rules of monopoly agreements, based on the work plan of the Anti-Monopoly Commission under the State Council.

The drafting work of the IPR guidelines officially started in June 2015. The drafting of the Guidelines is pursuant to the legislative principles of the Anti-Monopoly Law, which aims to establish guiding rules for anti-monopoly scrutiny of abuse of IPRs, improves transparency of enforcement, provides the market with clear and reasonable expectations, and guides business operators to exercise IPRs in a proper way.

The Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the NDRC set up the drafting team, commissioned research projects, organized workshops and seminars, conducted surveys, summarized enforcement experience relating to abuse of IPRs, and drew lessons from the rich experience of other jurisdictions, according to the bureau.

The drafting team comprehensively considered the opinions and suggestions from the relevant parties within and outside of China, in particular the feedback on questionnaires and formulation of the draft guideline.

The guidelines clearly state that the Anti-Monopoly Law does not apply to the proper exercise of IPRs but does apply to conduct that eliminates or restricts competition and thus impedes innovation.

The main text of the guidelines cover antitrust issues related to joint R&D, patent pool, cross licensing, standardization, price restrictions, exclusive grant-back, no-challenge clause, exemption of agreements, unfairly high royalty fees, refusal to license, tying, discriminatory treatment and injunctive relief.

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Red Bull founder mulls new model for growth (2015-12-31,China Daily)

The creator of Red Bull confirmed it is negotiating for the "right" structure and method of cooperation with Thai-Chinese property developer, the ReignwoodGroup, the company distributing the energy drink in China, as demand for the product continues growing.
Thailand-based TC Pharmaceutical Industries Co Ltd was reacting to reports that had suggested the distribution agreement would be ended when it expires soon.

But instead TC Pharma CEO Saravoot Yoovidhya has insisted the two are now discussing how they can continue working together to reinforce Red Bull's share of the booming Chinese energy drinks market.

Created in 1965, TC Pharma invented and remains the sole owner of the Red Bull trademark globally.

Figures from Euromonitor International showed the brand is now considered the world's most popular energy drink, with a commanding 43 percent global market share in 2014. It also led the segment in China, selling more than 5 billion cans of the drink.

"We are discussing what is the right structure and the right method of doing business together, in the future as a partnership," said Yoovidhya.

Chaleo Yoovidhya, the founder of TC Pharma, and Chanchai Ruayrungruang, a Thai-Chinese entrepreneur, established the Reignwood joint venture in Beijing in 1995 to introduce Red Bull to China.

"We introduced everything£­the production system, the flavors, the concept of our product, even the formula, using local teams," Yoovidhya said.

"It has been 20 years now, and the market has changed a lot in that time. We need to make some adjustments for the future."

TC Pharma's business expansion model is based on forming joint ventures globally, in which the Thai firm always holds a majority stake.

According to business informat provider Nielsen, sales of such so-called functional drinks in China grew 24 percent last year, compared with an average 5 percent for fast moving consumer goods.

Liang Mingxuan, a food researcher from Shenzhen-based CI Consulting, said as the Chinese market becomes more health conscious and household incomes keep rising, the functional drinks market will keep rising too, most likely at the expense of fruit juice products.

The most obvious sign of that already happening, he said, are the growing number of brands now available, and companies already realize profit margins are higher for functional than any other drinks groups.

Yoovidhaya claimed Red Bull has effectively led that part of the Chinese market for two decades, but he admitted it is now becoming tougher, as more products flood the shelves and Chinese consumers become increasingly sensitive about price.

"We've had a long run in China, and it will continue to be an important market for Red Bull," he said.

Surprisingly for many, the carbonated version of Red Bull, introduced in other markets as far back as 1987, only arrived in China two years ago, as tastes here continued to track those in the West.

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National Platform Launched Featuring the Trading & Management of Civilian and Military Intellectual Property (2015-12-30,People's Daily)

According to our correspondent Jiang Zhaojun, on December 17, 2015, the "National Civilian & Military Intellectual Property Trading & Management Platform" was formally launched at the Summit on the Trading and Management of Both Civilian and Military Intellectual Property, held in Xi'an High-Tech Industries Development Zone (or the High-Tech Zone for short). Zhang Daohong, Deputy Governor of Shaanxi Province, and Liao Tao, Deputy Director of the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (or the SIPO for short), jointly unveiled the plaque to mark a milestone for China's IP industry. Among those who attended the ceremony were Li Jing, Deputy Mayor of Xi'an City, and Xing Xin, Deputy Director of the Management Committee of Xi'an High-Tech Industries Development Zone.

In 2014, according to the overall plans laid by the Party Central Committee and the State Council, the Ministry of Finance and the SIPO decided to launch a series of pilot projects to provide services for organizations engaged in the trading and management of intellectual property in a market-driven fashion. It had since been decided that three national IP trading and management platforms would be set up in Beijing, Guangdong Province, and Shaanxi Province. The platform hosted in Shaanxi Province will process both civilian and military IP, and will bring national defense industry IP resources from Shaanxi Province and other western Chinese regions together, with a view to promoting the transfer of these technological achievements as IP from one entity to another and their conversion into a usable form and improving the ability to apply IP; moreover, sticking to the principle of "letting the government not only take the lead in a joint effort by multiple parties to operate the platform in a market-driven fashion but also guide that effort by introducing policies, promoting the sharing of resources, and fostering innovation in the way that platform is managed," the platform aims to build itself into a premier IP trading and management platform that encourages the sharing of civilian and military scientific and technological resources, the matching of the supply and the demand sides in both civilian and military fields of technology, and the mutual development of both civilian and military industries, and help transform the advantage in scientific and technological resources into innovative, industrial, and economical advantages; as a result, the platform is expected to help the State find a path to converting national defense industry IP and technological achievements and results into tangible things, and therefore make contributions to China's effort to build itself into an innovation-driven country.

According to sources, the platform in Shaanxi Province is expected to be basically built up by 2017 and when completed, will attract and bring together more than 100 domestic and foreign IP service providers; by 2020, the platform will have generated RMB 10 billion in IP transactions; furthermore, it is expected to attract more social capital to the transfer and conversion of patented technological achievements and help over 50 major civilian or military patented technologies become industrialized, thus resulting in an annual increase of over RMB 20 billion in revenues. All parties involved will make a concerted effort to build the Xi'an-based platform into a first-class center that serves not only western China but also the rest of the country and even the world, and where all sorts of IP gather and are traded and managed.

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Opinion calls for expanding IP measures (2015-12-30,China Daily)

The State Council issued an opinion last week to accelerate the construction of an intellectual property power that will have "great practical and far-reaching historical significance" for China's future IP development, said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office.

A major part of the nation's IP efforts in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the opinion sets out guidelines to implement the national IP strategy, deepen IP reform in key sectors and introduce more stringent protection measures.

It also sets goals for the 13th Five-Year Plan: By 2020, decisive results must be achieved in reforms to IP across a number of important fields; IP licensing and law enforcement systems must be improved; and the environment for innovation and entrepreneurship must be optimized to create new IP advantages internationally.

China leads the world in trademark registrations since its implementation of a national IP plan in 2008. It also ranks first worldwide in the number of invention patent applications from 2011 to 2014. Still, it does not have strong IP protection measures. Problems such as inadequate protection, rampant infringement and increasingly high corporate overseas IP risks are major challenges.

The opinion states that China should continuously adhere to an innovation-driven development strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative, to enhance the nation's abilities in IP creation, use, protection, management and service.

It said the country must continue to implement the national IP strategy and give full play to IP systems to stimulate innovation and the sharing of the latest achievements; strengthen innovation; and integrate international and domestic resources and manpower to nurture IP demonstration regions.

Important measures the opinion contains include improving management systems for IP rights, allowing local IP authorities to carry out reforms, establishing IP appraisal systems for major economic activities and realizing online filing and registration and paperless examination and approval of IP rights.

According to the opinion, China should enact harsher punishments for IP infringements, improve administrative enforcement and judicial protection approaches, include intentional IP violations on corporate and individual credit records, and create an environment for innovation, entrepreneurship and business that features fair competition and supervision.

The opinion also states that research on IP protection in the Internet, e-commerce and big data sectors should be strengthened and that more just and equitable international IP rules should be constructed to expand diplomatic channels related to IP protection. China should also improve its overseas IP early-warning systems.

In addition, the country should gradually integrate IP products and indices into the national economic accounting system and the national economic and social development plan, and explore the establishment of an evaluation model of State-owned enterprises that pays equal attention to business performance, IP rights and innovation.

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China's companies look abroad as film prospers (2015-12-30,Xinhua)

This year has been historic for China's film industry.

As of Dec 3, China's total box office sales for 2015 reached a record high of 40.05 billion yuan ($6.18 billion), according to statistics from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

Notably, with the domestic film market flourishing, trademarks of some of China's major private film companies, such as Wanda and Huayi Brothers (HB), can be seen in several Hollywood blockbusters released over the year, including "Southpaw" and "Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation."

Having taken the country's film industry to the next level, it is becoming clear that China's film giants are looking to explore the global film market.

From films to companies

Chinese films have a long history of being exported. Some of them succeeded overseas with awards at prestigious international film festivals, while others drew a solid fanbase abroad.

Despite recently signed agreements with 13 countries on film co-production, many Chinese films failed to make a big global impact and most of the overseas audiences are actually Chinese, according to Luan Guozhi, deputy director of the film board of the SARFT.

In order to improve the situation in recent years, several major private film companies in China have joined Chinese films going abroad, seeking to cooperate with companies in Hollywood.

Companies like Wanda and HB have resorted to taking part in film production, investing and others, a report published by Peking University (PKU) on film industry showed.

For example, HB co-produced a couple of reputed films such as the thriller "The Gift" with major film companies in the United States. Alibaba Pictures, which is affiliated to e-commerce giant Alibaba, invested in the latest "Mission Impossible" movie.

"Hollywood is more keen on working with those in the film industry after all," said Yu Dong, CEO of Bona Film Group, another major Chinese film company. "They know better how to make it in the business."

Strugglling to march on

Despite the initial honeymoon period for companies pairing with foreign counterparts, the future remains rocky.

"We still find it hard to make foreign audiences understand what's behind our films," Luan from the SARFT admits. "More co-produced films make it easier, but we need to have more say in it."

Luan is referring to the huge differences between Chinese film companies in terms of scale, experience, creativity and others.

According to the PKU report, these differences are what make Hollywood more hesitant when cooperating with some companies.

"Money is crucial, but that's just one part of the story," said Chen Shaofeng, the PKU professor who led the research. "A bigger international talent pool is also required as it's the basis of any cooperation between us and Hollywood."

As for the future, Yu Dong believed as Bona gets stronger with more money and talent, hard work will pay off and the foreign market will open further.

"I'll fly to Los Angeles more often in 2016, and hopefully our growing strength will play a big part," Yu said.

"Respect comes from the strength of our companies, which is even more significant than the cooperation itself," Chen added.

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Annual report on mass entrepreneurship and innovation (2015-12-29,China Daily)

China saw an upsurge in mass entrepreneurship and innovation in 2015. This year, scientist Tu Youyou won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine; the number of newly registered enterprises reached 11,600 a day, meaning that every minute, eight new enterprises emerged on average.

Mass entrepreneurship and innovation promotes income distribution reform and social equity, providing young people with more opportunities.

In 2015, the State Council released a series of policies on mass entrepreneurship and innovation, with local governments releasing over 2,000 support policies. To encourage undergraduate students to start their own business, the State Council issued a guideline for a more flexible education system. Migrant workers were also encouraged to return to their hometowns to start businesses. At a State Council executive meeting, it was decided to set up a 60 billion yuan fund for the development of medium and small sized enterprises.

Since 2013, the State Council has canceled and delegated 537 items of administrative approvals ¨C accomplishing the goal that this government promised two years ahead of schedule. In the first three quarters of 2015, the number of newly increased market entities reached 10.655 million; newly increased registered capital exceeded 20 trillion yuan; the number of applications for patents rose to 709,000, from 583,000 the same time last year.

China¡¯s innovation-driven development corresponds to the world¡¯s new round of reform in technology and industry, which provides opportunities to China. Much of the work done by this government involves employment, entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, local governments and ministries have been adjusting policies to give more importance to market rules.

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The bitterest pill for hepatitis C patients (2015-12-29,China Daily)

The current standard treatment is unsuitable for about 50 percent of people diagnosed with the virus, but China's lengthy drug approval system means many look overseas for medication, as Shan Juan reports.

At least one in 10 of the global population with hepatitis C lives in China. However, despite being available in most parts of the world, drugs known as "direct-acting antivirals", or DAAs, which can cure at least 95 percent of cases, are not available in the Chinese mainland.

Hepatitis C affects the liver, and 80 percent of patients develop a chronic infection, according to medical experts.

Initially, many patients display minimal or even zero symptoms, but chronic infection can lead to cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, which can develop into liver failure or cancer over the course of 20 to 30 years.

In China, the current standard treatment for Hepatitis C is a combination of Ribavirin and Interferon, antiretroviral drugs that keep the level of infection low. However, only about 50 percent of patients can endure the severe side effects the drugs provoke.

A recent survey conducted by 28 Chinese hospitals concluded that Interferon is unsuitable for about 50 percent of patients, mainly because of serious adverse reactions, according to Wei Lai, a senior hepatitis specialist and vice-president of Peking University People's Hospital in Beijing.

"All stakeholders including the drug authorities, patient organizations and pharmaceutical companies should work together to bring the new drugs to Chinese patients. It's a race against death," he said.

Currently, several types of DAAs are undergoing the mandatory clinical trials required to obtain approval from the China Food and Drug Administration, a process that usually takes more than five years.

'Fake, illegal drugs'

Some patients, such as Bai Fengshan (not his real name) can't wait that long. Bai decided to look overseas to purchase DAAs, which he said are regarded as "fake, illegal drugs," by the CFDA. Illegal or not, the decision saved his life.

With the help of an online agency, Bai bought the DAAs in December last year, and finished the course of treatment in May.

Thanks to the treatment, Bai has now been clear of hepatitis C for more than 30 weeks, and has been declared cured by medical experts. Survival didn't come easy or cheap, though.

The 50-something Beijing resident was infected during a blood transfusion administered during cardiac surgery in 1989. Chinese blood centers didn't begin routine screenings for hepatitis C until the early 1990s.

When he was diagnosed with the virus in 2003, Bai was put on a combination of Ribavirin and Interferon, which caused serious side effects, such as high temperatures, fatigue, loss of weight and skin rashes.

"I had rashes all over my body, except for my face and hands. I couldn't wear shorts in summer or stay at a hotel. Flakes of dead skin and fluid from the rashes always stained the bed linen," he said. In addition, the medication made Bai so weak that he couldn't perform commonplace tasks, such as driving or bending over to tie his shoelaces.

The "unbearable" adverse reactions resulted in Bai only taking the medication intermittently. "I felt desperate when I injected myself with Interferon near my navel," he recalled.

As the head of an online information support community of more than 2,000 patients, Bai has met many people in the same plight. "Many were struggling with side effects from the drugs that were far more serious than mine. It's a desperate dilemma whether to stick with the medication or not," he said.

The "hope of life" finally came in late 2013, when Sofobuvir, the first major DAA, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Sofobuvir, manufactured by the US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, can cure 95 percent of patients, compared with the 70 percent rate for current medications, and has fewer side effects. In addition, the drug is administered orally, a far easier method than the injections required with current treatments.

However, a typical 12-week course of Sofobuvir, which has been dubbed a "game changer", costs $84,000, or $1,000 for each pill.

A question of choice

"For many people, life is more precious than money, and patients in China should at least be offered the choice," Bai said, adding that many national governments quickly introduced the drug following its approval by the FDA.

For example, patients who had been infected via contaminated medical procedures in Brazil, Egypt and the United Kingdom were provided with the treatment either without charge or at highly subsidized rates.

"We don't expect that much. We just want the government to allow these drugs into the country faster because patients, particularly those who cannot tolerate Interferon, are suffering and dying," Bai said.

Last year, he wrote to the CFDA, China's top drug authority, calling for an accelerated approval process. The letter was co-signed by more than 100 of his patient peers.

Two months later, he received a response from the administration: "We are highly concerned about the issue, but the procedures for drug approval have to be foll-owed."

Under the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, launched by the US and European Union in 1990, new drugs that have been approved by one member country can be made available in the others with minimal retesting.

It took just three months for Sofobuvir and other DAAs to enter the markets of ICH member countries and regions in Asia, such as Pakistan, Mongolia and Macao.

However, China has yet to join the ICH, and in desperation, many wealthier patients have turned to online agencies and paid for the drugs out of their own pockets.

Treatment costs falling

Initially, the treatment didn't come cheap; a 12-week course of Sofobuvir cost hundreds of thousands of yuan, but the price fell after Gilead Sciences signed a voluntary licensing agreement with seven Indian drug manufacturers in September last year.

Under the agreement, the Indian companies were allowed to produce and sell generic versions of the drug in 91 countries. However, countries with high rates of hepatitis C, such as China, Brazil, Thailand and Mexico, are excluded.

The agreement resulted in the cost of the treatment in India falling to $900, and made the country a hot destination for Chinese patients seeking affordable treatment.

Internationally, many pharmaceutical companies employ a tiered pricing structure, mainly based on income levels standardized by the World Bank. China and several other countries with high rates of hepatitis C are classified as "middle income", meaning that patients are unable to buy drugs at lower prices.

The ruling resulted in some countries resorting to compulsory licensing, making cheaper copies of drugs to ensure treatment for domestic patients.

Zheng Hong, head of pharmaceutical affairs at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said China has never issued compulsory licensing for any drug. "China lacks related policies, but the patent authorities have been researching the issue," he said.

At present, 16 government agencies - including the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the China Food and Drug Administration, the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Intellectual Property Office - are trialing a centralized drug-purchasing mechanism.

"We've initiated price negotiations with manufacturers of patented drugs in a bid to lower the cost for patients in China," Zheng said.

The negotiations are centered on a treatment for hepatitis B called TDF, which is also manufactured by Gilead Sciences.

Patients excluded from China's health insurance system have to pay 17,000 yuan ($2,630) every year for the drug, which requires long term use.

However, under the country's independent HIV/AIDS centralized drug-purchasing system, a 12-month course of the same drug, which is also used as a treatment for AIDS, costs 1,450 yuan per patient. The Chinese government has provided free treatment for people with HIV/AIDS since 2003.

Wei, of Peking University People's Hospital, urged the government to trial a centralized purchasing system for hepatitis C drugs to lower the price.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, so curing patients helps to curb the spread of the virus, which has similar transmission routes to HIV, according to Wei. "It benefits the patients, and has great public health significance," he said.

Most hepatitis C patients in China were infected in the late 80s or early 90s, prior to routine screening at blood centers, and so "the treatment is urgently needed to prevent more cases and save lives", Wei said. Given that cirrhosis medication costs 40,000 yuan a year and treatment for liver cancer is even more expensive, the introduction of TDF "would help reduce the country's medical bills", he added.

Last year, about 350,000 people were diagnosed with liver cancer in China, according to country's official cancer registry. More than 80 percent of cases were caused by chronic hepatitis of various types, and they result in more than 380,000 cancer-related deaths in China every year.

Rising rate of infection

According to Lei Zhenglong, deputy head of disease prevention and control at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the rates for hepatitis A and B are falling, but the incidence of hepatitis C is rising steadily.

Most cases of hepatitis C in China are the result of exposure to infected blood in situations such as transfusions, dental services and surgeries, and many patients were infected at registered medical facilities, he said.

According to Wei, experts estimate that fewer than 10 percent of hepatitis C cases in China have been detected, and less than 50 percent of those diagnosed with the virus have sought treatment.

The susceptible population includes people who had blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992, plus individuals whose mother tested positive for the virus, he said, citing the official standards for screening and management set by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

According to Bai from Beijing, patients in Shanghai who were infected via blood transfusions are now given one-time compensation of 60,000 yuan.

"The issue of saving lives is more urgent now because of a rise in the number of patients who lack the financial resources to buy drugs from overseas," he said.

Wei echoed that view: "The nation's hepatitis C patients cannot be reliant on drug-purchasing agencies."

The practice of purchasing drugs overseas is not a universal panacea, though, and has resulted in a number of problems. For example, patients buy drugs from a variety of outlets overseas, which makes it difficult for physicians to correctly gauge the effectiveness of their treatment and adjust their medication accordingly. Sometimes, patients even bought wrong medication, and overseas purchases also make it difficult to track the development of the disease, according to Wei.

"There is also an international dimension. The need to buy drugs from overseas tarnishes China's international image as an economic power if the basic medical needs of its citizens remain unmet," he said.

However, the authorities are working to make new treatments available, and Wei and his team are building an online hepatitis C virtual community to improve levels of care and facilitate accurate tracking of each patient's medication.

Furthermore, when patients key in their medical information in Chinese, the system will automatically produce an English-language version of their medical records and ailments.

"That would be helpful if our patients want to seek treatment and drugs overseas," Wei said. "What else is a good hepatitis C doctor to do?"

Wei also said that national drug authority has put DAA as priority, seeking breakthrough in management and technical. It might be of help for DAA to get approval soon.

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Courting an international profile (2015-12-24,China Daily)

China's legal profession is promoting training programs to provide the nation's legal eagles with the skills required to succeed in cases around the globe, challenging the dominance of foreign experts. Zhang Yan reports.

China's rapid economic development and growing role on the international stage have seen many businesses, including a large number of State-owned companies, expanding overseas and engaging in multinational mergers and acquisitions against a backdrop of growing global economic integration.

On the upside, the companies have grown richer and their global footprints have expanded, but the downside is that the number of international lawsuits concerning Chinese businesses has risen greatly. The growth in transnational legal cases is proving problematic. Few Chinese lawyers have deep experience of conducting cases related to international law, which means foreign practitioners are engaged to act on behalf of domestic companies in about 80 percent of the lawsuits.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Justice last year, the process of "going global" has seen Chinese companies engaged in legal disputes related to trade protectionism and barriers. Many also have faced allegations of "dumping" products in overseas markets - selling goods at prices lower than local norms - and the unethical use of State subsidies.

Statistics provided by the ministry show that in the last five years, Chinese companies have been involved in 328 cases of this type, the highest number for any country, concerning goods and services worth a combined $53.4 billion.

When faced with cross-border disputes, most Chinese enterprises "hire foreign lawyers because of their good international reputations and international resources. That not only limits the influence of Chinese lawyers in international affairs, but even threatens national economic safety", said Zhou Yuansheng, director of the Department of Directing Lawyers and Notarization at the Ministry of Justice.

"To break the monopoly of US and European lawyers, it is essential that we cultivate a professional squad of senior lawyers to specialize in cases involving foreign businesses," he said.

Core national interests

According to Zhao Dacheng, China's vice-minister of justice, the cultivation of legal talent is closely related to core national interests and the country's economic development strategy. However, in recent years, the training of lawyers has "lagged far behind the practical needs required for social and economic development".

The lawyers' participation in international affairs and their influence in the global market for legal services have not adapted in line with the country's economic development goals, he said.

Wang Junfeng, director of the All China Lawyers Association, said that by the end of next year, a training program that started in 2013 will have prepared at least 300 lawyers from 100 law firms to conduct cross-border lawsuits, expanding their presence in a field currently dominated by foreign competition.

Of those, 120 will handle overseas investments, multinational mergers and acquisitions, as well as international finance and securities.

Moreover, 150 of the lawyers will be conversant with laws and regulations relating to the World Trade Organization, antidumping and antitrust issues, and the protection of intellectual property rights, while a further 30 will have received training in laws relating to energy and resources, such as maritime and space interests.

"In the past, some Chinese enterprises hired foreign lawyers to represent them in international legal cases, which not only cost a huge amount of money, but, because they were given access to core business secrets, also posed a serious risk to national economic security," Wang said, adding that even with the use of foreign legal talent, Chinese companies do not necessarily prevail in the courts.

In September 2012, H.C. Starck GmbH - a Germany company that produces specialty metals, advanced ceramics and chemicals for the nuclear and aerospace industries - sued Ningxia Orient Tantalum Industry Co in the United States Eastern Federal Court in Philadelphia, alleging that the Chinese company had infringed its patents in the US.

Starck demanded that Ningxia Orient Tantalum - a major State-owned enterprise - immediately cease to infringe its patents. It also demanded a large sum in compensation.

In response, Ningxia Orient Tantalum hired lawyers from a firm in Los Angeles. The move didn't pay off because the language barrier and cultural differences resulted in the lawyers making little headway. Despite its failure to proceed with the case, the firm still charged more than 3 million yuan ($463,000) for six months work.

"Even worse, the firm had a prejudicial attitude towards the Chinese company and mistakenly believed it to be guilty of infringement. The US lawyers were reluctant to push forward valuable ideas, and they failed to notify their client about court hearings until the court released the information on its official website," said Wang Zhengzhi, a senior partner at the Globe-Law legal firm in Beijing.

In March 2013, Ningxia Orient Tantalum decided to employ Wang Zhengzhi - who specializes in intellectual property rights and patent protection - to settle the case, and brought in another US law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, based in Philadelphia, to assist him.

"The priority for Chinese lawyers is to become more familiar with domestic companies and the related management laws and processes, so they will be better equipped to defend the companies' rights," he said.

Between April 2013 and October last year, Wang Zhengzhi and his team were in regular contact with Ningxia Orient Tantalum's executives and research staff, and were given access to restricted documents related to the company's core business, including research and development technology, consumption data and networks.

"When Chinese lawyers serve as 'project managers', they must be able to grasp the overall situation so they can formulate a litigation strategy. They must also supervise lawyers from overseas to ensure that they are able to assist their Chinese counterparts when writing legal documents or attending court hearings overseas," he said.

"During several rounds of negotiations and material analysis, we identified the key issues and provided solid evidence to prove that our client's technology had a totally different research channel from Starck's, therefore the company's products didn't infringe Starck's patents at all," he said.

Faced with the new evidence, Starck withdrew its lawsuit in December last year, and signed a settlement agreement with Ningxia Orient Tantalum.

"My team only charged the company about 1 million yuan during the whole legal process, which just underlines the advantages that come from employing Chinese lawyers," Wang Zhengzhi added.

Plugging the gap

According to the lawyers association, more than 270,000 lawyers work in China's 20,000 law firms, but only 30,000 of them specialize in international law.

Zhou, from the Ministry of Justice, said the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice have acted to plug the gap by investing 4 million yuan every year since 2013 to support the ACLA's training programs.

In addition, local lawyers' associations have established a database of promising lawyers to evaluate their educational backgrounds, work performance, practical experience, professional training and proficiency in English, he said.

"The best are invited to attend special two-week practical training courses offered by the ministry. A select number are then selected to work in institutions and large legal firms in the US and Europe to deepen their knowledge of international law and improve their communication skills," he added.

In August last year, the association held its second annual training session, during which 102 lawyers undertook a 15-day course in Beijing, focusing on case studies and simulated court sessions.

After the course, the trainees took a number of exams, which led to 30 of them being chosen to attend law colleges overseas or to work at large legal firms in Europe, he said.

"I gained a great deal of experience during the training," said Yang Chen, a senior lawyer at the Beijing Jincheng Tongda law firm who was selected for a six-week stint with law firms in Spain and Belgium.

"The priority is to gain more practical experience, learn how to manage legal risks and improve training programs and the quality of our services," he said.

Zhou, of the All China Lawyers Association, said opportunities such as these will promote the development of the domestic legal sector and improve lawyers' abilities to undertake cross-border litigation.

Ariel Ye, an international law specialist at the Beijing office of the global law firm King and Wood Mallesons, said the initiative will help to strengthen Chinese lawyers' abilities and challenge the dominance currently enjoyed by foreign lawyers.

"But we should also understand our own shortcomings," she said. "We must emphasize training for talented professionals and encourage them to actively participate in international forums, to enable them to communicate and share their experiences with foreign competitors, and to improve their practical abilities."

According to Wang Junfeng of the All China Lawyers Association, greater government participation will be essential if the sector is to make a mark internationally.

"The key is to draw the attention of the central authorities, and ask them to be more aware of the important role that lawyers play. But we should also gain more experience and improve our business standards and levels of proficiency so we can narrow the gap with our competitors from the US and Europe," he said.

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CSU releases transparent smart TiWatch (2015-12-24,People's Daily)

On Dec. 18, 2015, Central South University of China released a smart watch called TiWatch. Designed with transparence computing, TiWatch has a long battery life, functional expansibility and strong security features. It supports all major mobile phone systems like iOS and Android.

The TiWatch adopts the Transparent Intelligent Terminal Operating System (TiOS), which was developed by CSU. For codes and statistics that have been executed, TiWatch users can choose either ¡°discard¡± or ¡°cache¡± so that the watch can run high-speed software with limited internal memory and a low power consumption processor.

There is a service system among TiWatch, TiWatch Store and TiCloud. TiWatch can be installed in smart phones in the form of an app, and users can choose any software they wish to use. TiWatch provides a safety mode and cache mode for running all the apps. When utilizing apps require high security, like online payment, TiWatch operates together with a smart phone so as to avoid security issues if the watch or mobile phone were to be lost.

TiWatch has already applied for 15 patents. The research group at CSU is now working on applying their core results to other wearable smart devices like medical treatment tools.

According to research team members, the TiWatch has already been put into production and will soon be available for purchase. Its price is cheaper than other similar smart watches.

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TCM companies find gold in overseas markets (2015-12-24,People's Daily)

Traditional Chinese medicine makers are expanding their presence in the global markets in a big way, as the government reiterated its support to further strengthen the sector.

Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd, the largest patent drugmaker in China, is setting up a 200 million yuan ($30.87 million) fund to expand its overseas TCM presence in the next five years, according to company officials.

The fund will be mainly used for the overseas registration of TCM products, global market operations and international cooperation, said Wang Wenchu, deputy general manager of Guangzhou Baiyunshan.

The Shanghai-listed company has already made a good start by signing a cooperation agreement with a Nigerian company last month. The deal was inked by Guangzhou Wanglaoji Great Health Industry Co Ltd, a Baiyunshan unit which focuses on herbal tea.

Wanglaoji tea is currently sold in more than 50 countries and regions, with sales totaling more than 20 billion yuan in 2014.

Buoyed by reports that the sector would get more support from the government, its shares rose by 0.16 percent to 31.98 yuan on Wednesday.

Beijing Tong Ren Tang Group Co Ltd, a time-honored TCM producer, is also expanding its global presence, said Ding Yongling, deputy general manager of group.

Tong Ren Tang already runs 115 medicine stores in 25 countries and regions, said Ding, adding that the company may consider more acquisitions in overseas markets like local medicine stores, clinics and other TCM companies.

During the first three quarters of this year, Tong Ren Tang posted revenue of HK$715.4 million ($92.3 million) from its overseas operations, a 33.2 percent year-on-year growth.

Like Baiyunshan, Tong Ren Tang shares also were in demand on bourses. The company's shares rose by 0.51 percent to 41.31 yuan on Wednesday in Shanghai.

The latest support commitment from the government comes close on the heels of the draft of China's first TCM law being discussed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The law will help TCM companies provide more products to patients globally, said Liu Shengping, an analyst from Guolian Securities Co.

Earlier this year, Chinese scientist Tu Youyou won the 2015 Nobel Prize for medicine for her work on artemisinin, an anti-malarial drug, extraction from sweet wormwood, a traditional Chinese herb.

Though the award boosted the global standing of the TCM sector, it should not be seen as global acceptance of TCM, said industry experts.

Tong Ren Tang opened its first medicine store in Stockholm, Sweden, a day after Tu Youyou received the prize on Dec 10. A week later it opened another store in Prague.

But there are still some challenges for China's TCM firms to go global because of the cultural and policy differences.

Unlike ordinary goods, the biggest obstacle for TCM firms in overseas markets is the limit registered medicines, said Liu Zhanglin, deputy director of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicine and Health Products.

"TCM firms must turn to innovation to cope with the growing challenges," Liu said.

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Alliance formed to grow shipbuilding sector (2015-12-23,China Daily)

The China Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Industry Intellectual Property Alliance was founded in Beijing last week to promote IP creation, use, management and protection throughout the sector, founders said.

The industrial alliance aims to provide a new platform to address the thorny issue of how to turn the sector from a large IP filer to a strong innovation powerhouse, Wang Zili, president of Jiangsu University of Science and Technology, said at a news conference on Friday.

The university, which evolved from the East China Shipbuilding Institute, is famed as the cradle of Chinese shipbuilding engineers, Chinese media has reported. It proposed founding the organization in September to sharpen the competitive edge of the industry, according to the university.

The alliance "will go all out to build up core patents, well-known brands and competitive copyrighted designs in the industry", Wang said.

Shipbuilding and marine engineering is a comprehensive industry that provides technology and equipment for shipping, maritime development and sea defense, he said.

One of the 10 priority sectors listed in the Made-in-China 2025 strategy, it is "of strategic significance" to the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang said.

While the global shipbuilding industry is experiencing a new round of adjustments, China's shipbuilding and marine engineering businesses are in a key stage of accelerating industrial restructuring and transformation, the university president said.

Only with core proprietary technology prowess can domestic shipbuilders stand out in the increasingly fierce and complicated international competition, he said.

More than 50 large Chinese shipbuilders, trade associations, key research institutes and universities involved in the sector, and IP service providers co-founded the alliance.

The big names include Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, Jiangnan Shipyard (Group), Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, and the research institutes of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp and China State Shipbuilding Corp, as well as the Ocean University of China, Harbin Engineering University and Shanghai Jiaotong University.

According to its charter, the alliance is designed to promote the integration of IP and the industry, conduct research into industrial standards and develop a mechanism to deal with common IP disputes.

Lu Xi, deputy director of the technology department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told the meeting that as a leading-edge technology-intensive sector, shipbuilding is a direct reflection of a country's advanced manufacturing capability and level.

China held 40.96 million compensated gross tonnage of new shipbuilding orders as of June, the most of all shipbuilding countries, according to British research agency Clarkson Research Services.

While the country has topped the world in terms of shipbuilding capabilities, there is still a considerable difference with advanced countries in core technologies in high-tech vehicles and high-end offshore engineering, Lu said.

Many domestic shipbuilders have to pay heavily to use foreign patents, which indicates that they need to increase efforts in improving their own technology expertise and innovation, he said.

The alliance creates an effective path for coordinated use and development of IP and dealing with IP risks.

Jin Jianjiang, director of Science and Technology Development Department of Jiangnan Shipyard, said patent license fees account for approximately 5 percent of production costs.

Yet the price of IP risks is much higher.

"After a patent purchase, you may only find it useless due to misleading information or even fraud," Jin said.

"In some cases, the key patent that we are seeking is buried in many others. Facing such a situation, we may be misled in research on our competitors' R&D focus and developments," he said.

The alliance will help its members position themselves better when dealing with such IP risks, Jin added.

Lei Xiaoyun, director of the patent administration department of the State Intellectual Property Office, said at the meeting that the interests of various parties are the key to market operations.

She called for increased cooperation between universities, research institutes and the industry and encouraged the alliance to innovate its operation mode, which will enable the sharing of resources, risks and benefits.

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Awards encourage creativity, innovation (2015-12-23,China Daily)

The State Intellectual Property Office announced 25 winners of China's top patent awards in mid-December to "encourage interest in invention and improve patent quality".

Out of more than 1,000 candidates, mostly recommended by ministries, local IP authorities, trade associations and China's academicians of engineering and sciences, 20 were granted gold medals for inventions - ranging from energy and engineering to IT, new materials, electronics, food, medicine and agriculture - and five for industrial designs.

The awards focus on patent quality, technology advancement, economic value, market prospects and industry influence, SIPO Commissioner Shen Changyu said at a ceremony on Dec 15.

Since 1989, SIPO in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization has presented the annual awards to those that "have outstanding performance in patent creation, use, protection and management", Shen said.

This year's gold-medal winners generated 149.3 billion yuan ($23 billion) in sales, 33.4 billion yuan in profits and 10.4 billion yuan in exports by the end of 2014, organizers said.

One of the winners is a hybrid power system developed by automaker BYD. The system features a new type of clutch, which avoids planetary gears to increase mechanical reliability at reduced cost.

That was the first gold medal for patents for domestic new-energy vehicles, said Luo Hongbin, vice-president of the company.

With the nation facing energy shortages, excessive emissions and environmental pollution, developing new-energy vehicles has become a strategic need, Luo said.

The patented hybrid power system has broken an overseas technology monopoly and reduces both pollution and oil consumption, he said.

"We believe technology is the key to development - it can change our lifestyles and will ultimately change the world, so what we do is not just simply production expansion or wealth accumulation, but to use technologies to improve our environment," he said.

Jian Xigao, a professor of polymeric materials at Dalian University of Technology, led his team to redesign the molecular structure of a substance and develop a new type of material with solubility and high temperature resistance, which has been widely used in various sectors including aviation and space, nuclear energy, petrochemicals, electronics and rail transit.

Jian, who is also a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the audience that hundreds of researchers have been engaged over the past 25 years in the research that won the award, to meet the country's demand for new materials.

"Despite countless difficulties and sleepless nights, our faith in creation and innovation have never been shaken," the senior scientist said.

Wang Jianqing, vice-president of Dongxu Group, another gold-medal winner for its patented glass substrate technology, said, "The award is the epitome of our research over a span of nearly 20 years."

"Over the years, the market, environment and technology have all been changing, yet our belief in innovation remains the same," Wang said.

Wang Jiada, vice-president of Positec, a gold-medal winner for a pistol-shaped screwdriver industrial design, said the success in innovation has helped his company expand tenfold in sales and establish cooperation with mainstream retailers in the United States and Europe.

At the ceremony for the WIPO-SIPO Awards for Outstanding Chinese Patented Inventions and Industrial Designs, another 507 inventions and 57 industrial designs were granted awards for excellence.

Wang Binying, WIPO deputy director-general, cited a WIPO report saying that, since 2005, more than one-quarter of total patent filings worldwide in the frontier technology fields of 3-D printers, robotics and engineering have come from China.

"As China accelerates its integration into the international economic system, it is a trend that IP created in the country is sure to go global with Chinese products, investments and services," she said. "It is predicted that China's status will rise further on the global innovation landscape in the near future."

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Huawei ships record-breaking 100m smartphones in 2015 (2015-12-23,China Daily)

Chinese tech company Huawei announced Tuesday its smartphone shipments have topped 100 million this year, breaking the record among domestic players and making it the world's third biggest mobile brand following Samsung and Apple.

The market share of Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies Company has risen to 9 percent globally and surpassed 15 percent in China, leading for six consecutive months, data from a third-party market consulting agency showed.

"It's a stunning increase," said He Gang, president of Huawei's mobile phone line. "Beginning in 2010 with a sales figure of no more than 3 million, Huawei took five years to reach 75 million and another year to achieve 100 million."

He said Huawei has gained a firm foothold in the middle and high-end market over the past year, thanks to innovation and marketing. Middle and high-end smartphones costing more than 2,000 yuan ($308) jumped to 33 percent of Huawei's total shipments in the third quarter in China.

Huawei's Mate 7 alone has sold 7 million sets so far, making it one of the most popular smartphone models in China. Sales of the new Mate 8 in the first two weeks were ten times that of Mate 7.

Mate 8 falls in the same price category as the Samsung Galaxy series and Apple's iPhone models.

"It's just a matter of time before we introduce high-end smartphones at a price above 5,000 yuan," He said.

Huawei has also been nurturing its overseas terminal market. The company's mobile phones are sold in more than 170 countries and regions.

Smartphones sold for between 400 and 500 euros claimed a market share of more than 60 percent in some Western European countries. Huawei also saw a good year in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe, where the number of smartphones it sold reached more than 3.46 million and increased 114 percent compared with the same period last year.

Huawei has already overtaken Samsung and Apple in some developed countries, including Spain and Portugal. International sales are expected to account for 40 percent of the company's revenue by 2016.

According to a company report released on Tuesday, Huawei invested 40.8 billion yuan in research and development in 2014, or 14.2 percent of annual revenue.

Huawei has set up 16 overseas R&D institutions, according to CEO Ren Zhengfei, adding his company has invested more than 190 billion yuan in technological innovation and holds a total of 76,687 patents. More than 18,000 patents are related to terminals, which has laid a foundation for expanding its smartphone offerings.

"We are putting money in all the cutting-edge technology in the communications industry. Huawei is not second to global brands such as Ericsson and Nokia in technology," He said.

"Believe it or not, our goal is to overtake Apple in the near future," He said.

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Jiangnan University wins national patent gold award (2015-12-23,China Daily)

"This is our one lactobacillus plantarum winning prize this time, and it can absorb cadmium ion and expel cadmium ion ingested in daily diet from the body," said Wang Gang, an associate professor of the School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University in Wuxi, when showing reporters about the patent bacterial strain winning gold award in the 17th China Patent Award on December 17.

Reportedly, the award-winning patent One Kind of Lactobacillus Plantarum Possessing Cadmium Elimination Function and Its Use was finished by the Probiotics Theory and Technology Research Team led by Chen Wei, a professor of the School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University.

Constituted of 11 members, there are 4 professors, 6 associate professors and 1 experimentalist in the team, including Wang Gang. He told reporters that the patent innovatively adopts food-level lactobacillus plantarum CCFM8610 to absorb heavy metal cadmium entering body through food, and expels cadmium in body by enterohepatic circulation and faeces, which is the first internationally.

Winning China Patent Award is a significant symbol of reflecting capacity of independent innovation. So far, six patents of Jiangnan University have gained China Patent Award, containing 2 gold awards and 4 excellence awards. The award-winning quantity ranks first among colleges and universities of Jiangsu and comes top among colleges and universities nationwide.

What's more, the patent has wide application prospect, and is able to manufacture multiple medicine composition, leavening agent and fermented food possessing cadmium elimination function.

Wang Gang also said: "The bacterial strain is derived from natural fermented food, belongs to lactobacillus plantarum, a bacterium which is allowed to be used in food according to explicit stipulation of the National Health and Family Commission of the People's Republic of China, has no poison or side effect, and possesses high edible and medicinal safety."

It was revealed by the university that the patent will realize production application soon.

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China vows better IPR protection (2015-12-22,People's Daily)

China will improve the protection and management of intellectual property rights (IPR) to facilitate its national strategy of innovation-driven development, a new official document said.

A guideline released Tuesday by the State Council orders stricter IPR protection to create a sound environment for innovators.

Punishments on IPR infringement will be increased, the guideline said, adding that protection in emerging sectors will be prioritized.

The government will build a more effective IPR management system and developing world-class patent review agencies.

Improved IPR protection and management will give a push to new technology and emerging industries, and help promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation, the guideline said.

A latest report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) showed China has become a main driver of global patent growth. The WIPO patent offices received 928,177 filings from China in 2014, outstripping the combined total in its next-closest followers, the United States and Japan.

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After decades of innovation catch-up, China moves to the fore (2015-12-22,People's Daily)

In the Pingshan industrial zone in south China's Shenzhen City, BYD's hexagonal museum is a must-see for more than architectural reasons, as it charts the company's path from workshop to world-beater.

From batteries through computers to electric vehicles, BYD's progress in only two decades is nothing short of phenomenal. Today, one in every 10 new energy passenger vehicles sold worldwide is made by BYD.

It was innovation that took BYD to the status it enjoys today: the Chinese auto-maker with the most patents, across many industries.

About 800 km north of Shenzhen, a low-speed maglev train links downtown Changsha to the airport. Test operations begin at the end of this month. Intellectual property rights generated by the project are all Chinese.

The train was created by Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, a subsidiary of rolling-stock giant CRRC, the company whose high-speed trains link almost all parts of China and are beginning to connect the world.

In North China's port of Tianjin, Tianjin Motor Dies, a leading motor dies producer in the world, is no longer waiting for orders or design papers, but is evaluating vehicle appearance design and helping car makers improve their ideas.

Innovation is nothing new in China, but now it is the center of considerable government attention. In late October, the Communist Party of China made innovation one of five key concepts in the 2016 to 2020 five-year plan.

China's decades of rapid growth were driven mostly by foreign technology and imported practices along with domestic advantages in labor costs, but now China's home-grown technology is starting to catch up with developed countries'.

Hu Angang, director of the center for China studies at Tsinghua University, believes that world economic history shows two patterns of development: pursuer-style, featuring high growth with borrowed technology; and innovative-style, with reduced growth, but greater contributions to mankind's knowledge base.

"China is transforming from pursuer to innovator, like the United States in the early 20th century," Hu said, adding that only the United States had successfully completed the transformation.

China is quickly catching up. In 2008, the first high-speed railway linked Beijing with Shanghai. Seven years later the country has more than 17,000 km of high-speed track.

In 1995, the United States had 1,750 times more internet users than China. In a reversal of fortune, China now has twice as many as the United States; remarkable progress by any standard.

Companies such as Huawei, Lenovo and Alibaba are becoming household names the world over, and it is mostly down to home-grown innovation.

Less than 10 years since its founding, drone-maker DJI meets about 70 percent of world civilian demand with a market value around 10 billion U.S. dollars.

"Our innovation comes from our personnel," said vice president Oliver Wang. About 40 percent of DJI staff work in R&D. The company is ready to open an R&D center in Palo Alto, California and looking forward to the time when people from all industries find uses for unmanned aerial vehicles in their work. After the catastrophic Nepal earthquake in April, DJI drones were used to map the disaster area, helping rescue and reconstruction work.

Innovation is being supported by governments at all levels. DJI's home in Nanshan District of Shenzhen is also the site of the headquarters of some of most trendy companies in China like ZTE, Tencent and software producer Kingdee.

In 2015 the R&D/GDP ratio in Nanshan is expected to hit 6 percent, 3.7 percentage point higher than that of the country as a whole and over 1 percentage point higher than that of Israel, which tops the world in the ratio. In the past eight years the district has provided technology startups with lending facilities of 4 billion yuan at a cost of only 200 million.

China still lags behind in many sectors, such as basic science, new materials and major equipment manufacturing industries, but Mark Bartlam of Nankai University, Tianjin, is optimistic.

"Innovation cannot be planned, expected or taught. It will take time and it will come sooner or later," the British biochemist said, adding that China has already has conditions for major breakthroughs, including talented students, high-quality and hardworking scientists, and unprecedented policy support.

"Pursuing," Hu Angang said, "is eye-catching, but innovation is sustainable when focused on quality and efficiency. The transformation of a 10-trillion-dollar plus economy will be a great contribution to the world."

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New cable to become lifeline for miners (2015-12-18,People's Daily)

A novel cable designed by a Chinese company could help protect the lives of the country's millions of miners by providing life necessities in times of crisis.

The multifunctional cable uses a stainless-steel tube inside a traditional cable, allowing a way to transfer life necessities such as air, water and milk through the tube during cave-ins or other accidents, giving rescuers more time.

The cable can also help monitor gas density in mine shafts, with an emergency alert activated once any air abnormalities are detected.

The cable, which received a national patent in September last year, was designed by Shenxing Cable Group Co. Ltd., a private enterprise in north China's Jinzhou City, Hebei Province.

"A mature product now has been made and we are going to put it on the market soon," said Liu Zhongjie, board chairman of Shenxing.

China is the world's largest coal producing and consuming nation. Yet its coal mine safety has long been criticized, with many calling them the most dangerous mines in the world.

According to statistics released by the State Administration of Work Safety in March, China has about 10,000 coal mines and more than 5.8 million coal miners. On average, there are millions of workers working underground every day.

The central authorities' newly announced proposal for the country's 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020) has once again placed people's interests and rights as top priority in China's comprehensive development project.

Work safety in China's coal mines is one of the most urgent problems to be tackled, said a spokesman for the State Administration of Work Safety.

Song Jianchang, an engineer of Shenxing Cable Group, said the cable was created based on the growing need from those who work in mines.

"We got technological inspiration from submarine cables," Song said.

The cable can extend 2,000 meters and is not limited to mining application. Construction of high-speed rail tunnels is another practical area where it could be used, he said.

"As long as there's a tunnel to dig, the cable can help provide a life channel," Song said. "The market will be promising."

Established in 1996, Shenxing began its technological transformation in 2014 as one of the first in Jinzhou City to focus on new technology. It has obtained five national patents so far.

The company has also established a research base at a railway college in northeast China's Liaoning Province and is in talks with more universities and institutions for further technological cooperation.

"The profit I earn from a traditional 100-meter cable is three yuan (less than 0.5 U.S. dollars), and the profit from the patent 100-meter line is 15 yuan," Liu said. "Innovation is the life channel for our enterprise."

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Lingbao Apple valued as top 10 brand in China (2015-12-17,China Daily)

Lingbao Apple was listed as the top 10 most valuable brands with geographic features at the 2015 Brand Evaluation Press Conference, held in Beijing on Dec 12. The apple is named after the apples grown in Sanmenxia's Lingbao county in Henan province.

Over 600 people attended the event, including He Bangjing, chairman of the China Appraisal Society and Wang Jinzhen, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The event also included staff from media outlets around the country.

The brand has a score of 820 on the Brand Strength Indicator and is estimated to be worth 17.11 billion yuan ($2.65 billion). It was awarded as the tenth most valuable brand with geographic features in China.

Three of the 51 listed brands valued over five billion yuan hailing from Henan province are the Lingbao Apple, Chinese Yam from Jiaozuo and Jun Porcelain from Yuzhou.

Industry experts attribute the award primarily to the local government's efforts in spreading the brand. Lingbao Apple has been granted a variety of statuses over the years, such as the China Famous Fresh Produce and China Well-known Trademark.

Lingbao county has 600 square kilometers of dedicated farmland for growing apples. The apples have become a major source of income among local farmers. In 2014, the output of Lingbao Apple amounted to 4.2 billion yuan, accounting for 52.81 percent of the county's total output in agriculture. This equated to 9,300 yuan for the per capita income.

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An Internet power in the making (2015-12-16,China Daily)

The city of Wuzhen in East China's Zhejiang province, which is hosting the three-day second World Internet Conference from Wednesday, is the permanent venue for the event.

President Xi Jinping will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony, while global distinguished guests like Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Robert Kahn, who is called "father of the Internet", will attend the meeting.

Neighboring Hangzhou may be called the "capital of e-commerce in China", but Wuzhen is also home to flourishing e-businesses. Last year, the town's GDP reached 2.7 billion yuan ($418.2 million), much higher than that of similar-sized towns.

That 70 percent of Wuzhen residents are employed in the service sector, rather than the industrial sector, has helped keep the town's environment relatively clean and its landscape beautiful. It has improved the local economy as well.

Wuzhen's success shows how the Internet can make the economic transformation of a city or town or a country possible without harming the environment. By coordinating the labor forces and other social resources, Wuzhen allows its residents to offer and enjoy tailored services. Wuzhen, therefore, has shown how many jobs can be created for China's huge labor force.

But to realize that goal, China must become an Internet power, as President Xi Jinping has reiterated time and again.

China has great Internet potential. According to a China Internet Network Information Center report, the number of active Internet users in China increased by 18.9 million in the first half of this year, reaching a total of 668 million. The large number of Internet users in China has not only influenced the domestic culture, but also shown the world Chinese people's astonishing consumption capability.

This year's Singles' Day consumption carnival on Nov 11 saw the total sales on domestic e-commerce platform Tmall reach 91.2 billion yuan, four times that of Black Friday in the United States. This shows how China's large number of netizens and their consumption can make the country a major force in e-commerce. The Internet is a decentralized world, with the number of a country's netizens playing a big role in spreading its global influence. More than 20 percent of the world's Internet users are in China, which is the main reason for its incomparable influence in the virtual world.

But China is far from being an Internet power, because issues such as insufficient intellectual property rights protection and lack of innovative and creative ideas are still to be resolved.

Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of domestic Internet company Sougou, said at a recent conference that China has deficiencies when it comes to the Internet, which could make it fall behind in the global competition. The warning should be heeded, and all parties have to fulfill their duties to transform China into an Internet power.

The government needs to update its governance philosophy in the Internet age by, for example, putting greater emphasis on IPR protection and better interacting with netizens. Also, enterprises need to be more creative instead of being just imitators. In order to flourish, China's Internet enterprises must invest more energy and resources in research and development and abandon the old habit of following in the footsteps of their foreign counterparts.

Research and educational institutions, too, need new thinking because China requires a generation of new, innovative Internet talents, and it is the responsibility of the institutions to educate and cultivate more such talents.

In other words, only with the joint efforts of all sectors of society can China become an Internet power.

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Science center in Shanghai to move ideas quickly from lab to market (2015-12-16,China Daily)

A comprehensive national science center will be established in Shanghai by 2020, offering the city an important asset as it seeks to build itself into a science and innovation center with global influence.

The science center is being developed to integrate resources from the government, universities, research institutes and businesses in an effort to promote scientific innovation. Favorable government policies and the creation of supporting systems also are expected to facilitate the speed at which products move from the laboratory to the market.

Key scientific and technology projects are already being developed at the center in the core of the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone. These include the second phase of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the National Protein Science Center, ShanghaiTech University and the Shanghai Supercomputer Center.

The establishment of the national science center will greatly improve the level and efficiency of scientific and technological research and development, and also improve the country's status in the global innovation network, according to the innovation promotion division of the zone's administration commission.

The zone is a gathering point for Shanghai's scientific resources. With 22 branch zones and 124 industrial and high-tech parks across the city, the zone has more than 1,400 development and research facilities and about 70,000 businesses, including more than 2,800 high-tech enterprises.

A large amount of the city's innovation is occurring in the zone. More than 32,000 inventions and patents were recorded in the zone as of 2014.

As Shanghai nurtures its goal of becoming a global science and innovation center, the demonstration zone is working to build itself into a major innovator by offering policy support, financial aid and facilities that attract entrepreneurs and create a favorable business environment.

Earlier this year, the demonstration zone released its development plan for 2015-20. The plan outlines a series of steps to promote scientific innovation in the city, including the establishment of bases focusing on key areas, industries and enterprises.

According to a recent research report on Shanghai's economic development released by the Economic Research Institute at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, bottlenecks remain for Shanghai's full development of the science and innovation center. These include a lack of resources, an incomplete system for transforming scientific results into products and not enough openness to cooperation, the report said.

Zhangjiang seeks to create a good environment for innovation and entrepreneurship - for example by continually improving facilities and services. Platforms for emerging industries, including smart robots, 3-D printing and biopharmaceuticals, have been established, reducing the research and development cost for entrepreneurs.

Additionally, a new model allowing incubators and innovative enterprises to grow and share benefits has been formed. Private enterprises, angel investors, venture capital institutions and multinational companies are encouraged to participate in the development of a high-level incubator.

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Short-distance personal transport goes high-tech (2015-12-15,China Daily)

The Ninebot-Xiaomi tie-up aims to solve the problem of distant car parks in big cities

Late November in Beijing was chilly, misty alright but not cold enough to dampen robotics enthusiasts' passion for a major industry expo.

Around 50,000 of them crowded the exhibition hall as big as three soccer fields during the three-day event, jostling for a good spot to see robots playing badminton with humans, robotics arms delicately folding paper planes and auto-piloting drones hovering above head.

A life-size Iron Man performed awkward sword dance. A few meters away, a long queue formed for a five-minute tryout of Ninebot Mini, an electric, self-balancing two-wheeler equipment whose height barely reach your knees. With a single charge, it can carry a person as far as 22 kilometers at a top speed of 16 km per hour, about four times faster than an adult's walking speed.

Its maker, Ninebot Inc, which is based in Tianjin, hopes the 1,999 yuan ($312) vehicle will ignite China's personal transport market in coming months.

Ninebot's executive team has an eminent consultant to turn to for advice: Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi Corp, arguably China's best-known technology startup. Lei is one of the earliest investors in Ninebot.

In October, he spent half of his time at a Xiaomi product launch to introduce Ninebot's latest rollouts. "Ninebot's products aim to solve a thorny problem in big cities where many people find it hard to park their cars near their final destinations. A portable balancing device helps them complete the last kilometer transportation," Lei said at that event.

"The short-distance transportation market is one of the key areas Xiaomi is building into its ecosystem," Lei said, underlining the importance of his investment in the less than three-year-old startup.

He said Ninebot will focus on making affordable products with high quality to stimulate demand in China.

Gao Lufeng, chief executive of Ninebot, said the company controls half of China's two-wheeled balancing equipment market and the partnership with Xiaomi is set to bring its devices a wider customer base.

The operating software that can remotely control Ninebot equipment comes installed on Xiaomi smartphones. Xiaomi also features Ninebot products on its popular online shopping site.

Besides lead in the Chinese market, Gao and Ninebot have ambitious targets. In April, Ninebot made a surprise announcement that it will acquire the US-based balancing-vehicle pioneer and market leader Segway Inc at an undisclosed price. The acquisition followed an $80 million investment in Ninebot by Xiaomi, Sequoia Capital and other investors.

The acquisition of 12-year-old Segway made Ninebot one of the largest patent holders in the industry.

Gao said Segway's high-end product line, its international distribution network and top-class development team will give Ninebot an edge over rivals.

Segway, which usually introduces premium products priced as high as 80,000 yuan on Chinese e-commerce websites, will mainly feed high-end demand while Ninebot will take care of the entry-level market by making and selling sub-2,000 yuan products.

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Experts: China making progress in IPR protection (2015-12-12,China Daily)

China has achieved remarkable results in the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) ever since the implementation of the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy in 2008, according to industry experts.

Lu Wei, a senior research fellow and director-general of the department of techno-economy at the Development Research Center of the State Council, noted that more than 15 IP-related laws and regulations have been passed and revised since 2008 by the National People¡¯s Congress and the State Council.

She added that the introduction of more severe punishments, such as increasing the upper limit of infringement compensation from 500,000 yuan ($78,000) to 3 million yuan, have also helped deter people from breaking the law.

According to Lu, law enforcement mechanisms have also been improved throughout the country via stronger judicial and administrative enforcement capabilities, while special tribunals to handle IP infringement cases have been established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Statistics from the Supreme People¡¯s Court showed that there were 130,000 IPR litigations in the country in 2014, a year-on-year rise of nearly 20 percent, an indication that a growing number of companies are leveraging the stricter laws to protect their inventions.

¡°Such tightened restraints and the ability to utilize intellectual property rights are helping firms become more productive,¡± said Lu, during the Shanghai International Intellectual Property Forum on Dec 1. She added that the new laws and regulations have also encouraged more companies to file for patents, with more than 60 percent of the applications coming from enterprises.

¡°A number of companies owning core IPs, such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation, which are both leading Chinese brands in mobile communications, have emerged. They now take up two of the top five seats in the world with regard to the number of patents protected by the Patent Cooperation Treaty,¡± she said.

Wang Jingchuan, chairman of the Patent Protection Association of China, added that despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy, the number of applications for trademark registration have risen by more than 21 percent last year, with those pertaining to computer software copyrights growing by 33 percent.

¡°China has entered an active period of innovation and the percentage of its expenditure on research and development in GDP has grown continuously in the past years,¡± said Wang, who also serves as director of the advisory committee for the State Intellectual Property Office.

¡°China¡¯s research and development expenditure now account for 20 percent of the world¡¯s, while the number of scientific research personnel in the country make up 19 percent of the total around the globe,¡± said Wang.

He pointed out that this long-term investment in science and technology, as well as efforts in IPR protection have in turn brought about notable achievements, referring to the emergence of the country as a world leader in sectors such as the manufacturing of high-speed railways and extra-high voltage products.

Despite the progress made, Lu believes that more can still be done ¡ª such as hiring more elite talents for the scientific research and high-end technological industries ¡ª as she said that the country is still a huge importer of technology and IP. According to statistics from UN Comtrade, an international trade statistics database, the amount of imported tech in China in 2013 stood at 71 percent, still a high figure despite it being a 10 percent drop from 2001.

Wang added that the protection of intellectual property rights will be a constant challenge as hi-tech sectors and new business models continue to emerge, saying: ¡°Online piracy and IP violations enabled by digital technologies and Internet applications have shown new characteristics and law enforcers must take them into account and come up with new solutions,¡± he said.

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3D revolution in the making (2015-12-10,China Daily)

A Shenzhen entrepreneur is propagating glass-free 3D display devices as the ideal video entertainment device of the future. His conviction is that such technology is right on track to revolutionize the entire mobile-phone industry chain.

Glass-free 3D technology is possible in producing the next game-changer product consumers have been waiting for, while the mainland's smartphone market remains stagnant quarter-on-quarter and competition among major brands has never been stiffer.

Ge Zhang, chairman of SuperD Co Ltd - a Shenzhen-based 3D glass-free solutions provider - reckons that 3D technology will soon revolutionize the entire mobile-phone industry chain.

"With more high-quality 3D content, such as in movies and games, as well as the maturity of application technology and improvement in image processing, it's a trend that mobile terminal devices with 3D technology will become a popular personal electronic consumer product," he says.

In retrospect, television manufacturers had adopted the 3D display technique some five years ago when Avatar hit the screen, with mainland audiences deeply impressed by the use of 3D technology in home entertainment for the first time. But, it soon faded from the main stream market due to poor viewing experiences as well as a lack of content sources.

SuperD, established in 2004, has been exploring advanced technologies with more than 550 patent applications, including the facial tracking technology that uses the embedded camera on the device and re-renders the image to enhance viewing quality.

Lu Renbo, deputy secretary-general of the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce, believes consumer demand for mobile terminal devices and family entertainment will grow in line with the continuous development of mobile Internet and smart-home technology.

"Especially for young generations, glass-free 3D technology will dictate our future audiovisual entertainment industry," Lu says. "But whether current technology can provide an excellent user experience needs to be examined in the market."

SuperD's 3D solutions have been applied to tablets and mobile phones in cooperation with some multi-national companies, but not on smart glasses yet. Ge doubts that virtual reality (VR) glasses or helmets will become part of people's everyday life although it has become a hit since Facebook bought the company VR headset maker Oculus.

"It's just inconvenient," Ge says, explaining that wearing a fully-enclosed helmet in public can create a sense of fear, and people may feel they have lost their sense of security. "But, in some way, VR and glass-free 3D could accommodate each other for better development, for example, 3D content", he adds.

SuperD launched an interesting glass-free 3D display smart device - "3D Box" - in September this year to showcase its concept of an ideal video entertainment device of the future.

The "3D Box" is a stand-alone glass-free 3D displayed device with a unique pop-up industrial design. It is developed to connect with iPhones, whereas a user can use the iPhone as the remote controller to navigate the user-interface, as well as using it as the joystick when playing video games on the "3D Box".

SuperD began the distribution process just last month and has entered more than 100 Apple authorized retail stores.

Although tough technology has taken a giant step forward, mobile-phone manufacturers are still cautious of applying 3D display to their products.

According to Ge, one reason for this is the increase in costs. "Each display will cost an extra $7 if 3D technology is used."

"Despite a small cost increase, it's still a big concern to most manufacturers as Apple is grabbing the bulk of the profit, and they are not making a respectable profit," he says.

Another reason for the slow uptake of glass-free 3D technology is the incomplete development of the supply chain - from the key component production to high quality 3D content creation.

Even so, some mobile-phone makers and software companies have started applying the technology to their products.

In June, the first glass-free 3D smartphone from Infocus and manufactured by Foxconn, which adopted SuperD's technology, hit the mainland market.

A large video streaming network on the mainland, PPTV, also launched a glass-free 3D mobile phone with a six-inch screen in September.

Ge says his company's next step is to promote the popularization of the 3D display industry.

SuperD, FIH Mobile Ltd, DreamWorks Studios and China displayer manufacturer Tianma Micro-electronics Co jointly set up the first glass-free 3D ecosystem in August to fully commercialize the technology.

After graduating from the Beijing Institute of Technology, Ge launched his first startup in 1997 - a server company with such big-name clients as Hewlett-Packard Co and IBM.

His advice for budding entrepreneurs: "Patience is the most important quality of young entrepreneurs, especially for high-tech startups, because cultivating a new technology takes time and effort to make it grow."

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Hong Kong cements lead as IP hub (2015-12-09,China Daily)

As Chinese businesses see the importance of intellectual property amid the nation's continued restructuring of its economy, Hong Kong's role as an IP trading hub and the "super-connector" between the mainland and the world will expand, said the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

The fifth Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum was held in Hong Kong last week. IP trading refers to the buying, selling and transferring of IP rights under mutually agreed terms.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said at the forum that Hong Kong's outstanding business environment, robust IP protection system and its role as China's "super-connector" will help promote the city as a regional IP trading hub.

Mainland enterprises have filed more than one-third of global patent applications, accounting for 60 percent of the total number of applications in Asia, said Raymond Yip, HKTDC deputy executive director.

"Mainland companies are seeing tremendous demand for IP trading," Yip said, noting that with the imminent launch of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), technology and innovation will be the main theme of the country's economic development over the next five years.

Hong Kong, endowed with extensive business connections, a sound legal system, a cluster of IP owners and intermediaries as well as a robust financial market, is poised to be the ideal IP trading platform in Asia.

Film industry leaders at an Asia Leadership Roundtable forum urged the mainland movie industry to gear up for an intellectual property protection drive so that it can reap the benefits of a diversified revenue stream when movie content crosses over to different new media.

"Being a gateway to the Chinese mainland and by extension, to the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong is in a unique position of facilitating the traffic of IP-sharing exchange between the East and the West," said Zhou Li, publisher and editor-in-chief at China Daily Asia Pacific.

The Chinese mainland is poised to overtake the United States as the world's largest film market by 2017 and its market revenue is expected to grow by 20 times from 2004 to 2014, said Michael C. Ellis, president and managing director for the Asia-Pacific region at the Motion Picture Association.

"The Chinese mainland's film market is too big to ignore," he said.

However, while 89 percent of mainland movie companies' revenue comes from box-office takings, this is not the case in Hollywood, as US filmmakers can generate income from different sources including franchising and licensing, Ellis noted.

"Movie companies should think long-term how IP protection can provide income in the future," said Jason Goldberg, a partner at law firm Covington & Burling LLP and leader of the firm's entertainment, sports and media practice in China.

The panelists also expressed confidence that Hong Kong can act as a bridge between the mainland movie industry and Hollywood.

"In the future, there will be opportunities for the Hong Kong movie industry to work closely with the mainland movie industry to bring Chinese movies to the world. I really believe, in the next five years, there will also be opportunities for big Chinese IP to go out to the world," said April Ye, chief executive officer at Film Finances Inc China.

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Development gap is widening, expert says (2015-12-09,China Daily)

The gap in development levels among intellectual property businesses in China continues to expand, according to the 2015 China Intellectual Property Index unveiled on Dec 1 in Beijing.

For six consecutive years, Beijing has been leading the nation, followed by Jiangsu province and Shanghai. The index offers data-driven evidence on the connection between IP development and economic growth.

The report also shows that the top 10 regions in the country have remained largely unchanged, eight of which have stayed in the top 10 since the index was first unveiled in 2009.

Chongqing was the only western region of China to make it onto the top 10 list. Henan province, which ranked in the middle of the pack for comprehensive IP capability, had a score of 0.207, less than one-third of Beijing, which had a score of 0.658.

The report shows that IP development in different regions across China is becoming increasingly uneven, said Wang Zhengzhi, a partner of Beijing-based Globe-Law Law Firm and the leader of the team that compiled the index.

It also shows the close relationship between IP and economic development in advanced regions, Wang said.

He explained that less-advanced regions feature an economic model that is not driven by innovation, and require investments mostly in the areas of capital or human resources. Advanced regions, however, need to focus more on IP to further develop.

In some regions, such as Anhui, Hunan, Sichuan and Guangxi, there are "significantly higher" levels of IP development than their levels of economy.

Guangxi, Anhui and Shaanxi have risen quickly in the index over the past years, with Guangxi making the greatest leap, from 26th place in the 2009 rankings to 17th this year.

Still, Wang said companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, have not paid enough attention to IP.

"The traditional extensive growth model is still going on in many companies, which can only make low-tech products due to their insufficient motivation and capability of innovation," said Wang. "Innovation and technical research are alienated from production, and many patents have failed to be commercialized."

The annual index is based on official statistics and surveys of scholars, researchers, lawyers and IP agents. By analyzing both the current IP development and potential in 31 regions on the Chinese mainland, it aims to serve as a reference for local governments in making related plans and regulations.

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Cheaper local pills stand tall in ED market (2015-12-09,China Daily)

China-made drugs to treat erectile dysfunction are eating into the share of Viagra and Cialis

Only 38 percent of Chinese people are satisfied with their sex lives, a joint survey by the China Sexology Association, the Chinese Medical Association and Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd showed earlier this year.

And 46 percent of Chinese men older than 40, or about 127 million, suffer from erectile dysfunction, according to Chen Keji, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

But only 4 percent of them seek medical help - many do not even know Chinese drug makers offer effective, affordable pills.

All that will likely change as Chinese pharmaceutical companies spread awareness about their ED drugs that are cheaper than those made by multinationals.

Jin'ge, Chinese for "golden spear", is one such China-made ED pill, whose sales are expected to exceed 1 billion yuan ($156 million) by 2017, almost level with Pfizer Inc's Viagra annual sales in the Chinese market now.

Launched in October 2014 by Guangzhou Baiyunshan, the pink pill, the Chinese version of the blue Viagra, is now sold in more than 30,000 drugstores nationwide, according to company officials.

"We have also developed more than 500 wholesale agents and more than 1,000 drug chains," said Wang Wenchu, deputy general manager of Guangzhou Baiyunshan.

A 50 milligram pill of Jin'ge, equal in dose to Viagra, costs 48 yuan, 60 percent lower than its overseas counterparts. Jin'ge comes in packs of one, two, three, four and 10 tablets. A pack of 10 pills retails for 345 yuan.

"The lower price has helped quickly expand sales channels," said Wang. The Shanghai-listed company has reported big sales of Jin'ge, topping 700 million yuan since its launch.

"Jin'ge will change the status quo of the global ED medicine market because it has advantages of lower pricing and the same curative effect," said Wang.

Before Jin'ge hit the market, Viagra had more than 50 percent of China's ED medicine market and Eli Lilly and Co's Cialis 34.6 percent, according to, a Chinese news portal based in Shanghai.

It was in the 1990s that Guangzhou Baiyunshan started research into, and development of, ED medicine using sildenafil as the main ingredient, which is used in Viagra as well. Its R&D team was led by Nobel laureate Ferid Murad, known as the "father of Viagra".

Prior to the expiration of Pfizer's patent of Viagra in China in May 2014, nearly 20 Chinese drug companies had applied for a permit to produce generic equivalents of Viagra, according to Wang.

In September last year, Guangzhou Baiyunshan received permission from the State Food and Drug Administration to produce and sell a crystalline compound using sildenafil citrate. The rest is history, the unfolding present of a growing market and a future that promises possibilities of further expansion.

"We will launch Jin'ge in international markets in the near future. We believe it'll be very competitive both on the price and effectiveness fronts," Wang said. The company has begun applying for sales permits in several countries and regions.

"The global demand for ED medicine is very huge. People would first look for treatment with medicines containing sildenafil citrate," Wang said.

Agreed Deng Chunhua, a researcher at the Chinese Medical Association. "Globally, people suffering erectile dysfunction will first receive treatment using a medicine with sildenafil citrate."

Chen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said many Chinese men with ED do not seek help due to lack of knowledge or fear of stigma associated with the condition.

Concurred Deng. "ED has become a serious disorder. But most men still are not agreeable to using medicine for treatment. Only 13.75 percent of men surveyed thought that the medicine containing sildenafil citrate is safe."

For long, Chinese men used to rely on additional nutrition or would blindly take Chinese patented supplements. "Such treatment without scientific means will make things worse," said Deng.

Spreading awareness of men's health and ED medicine is key to increasing sales among Chinese men, said Lin Jingyan, who works with a drug retailer in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. "In the past, foreigners were regular buyers of ED medicine at our store."

But hope is rising, slowly, said Lin. Sales of ED medicine, including Jin'ge, have risen at his store of late. "More Chinese men have been looking for ED medicine, which contributes a growing percentage of sales revenue of our store."

Deng said the Chinese Medical Association will be working with Guangzhou Baiyunshan to launch a series of activities to promote men's health in the near future.

Early this year, Guangzhou Baiyunshan organized similar promotional events across 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

More medical specialists dealing with men's sexual problems are needed, said Deng. Guangzhou Baiyunshan would invest at least 1 million yuan each year to develop medical professionals to promote men's health.

"Improved knowledge about men's health would help expand the ED medicine market and promote wider use of cheaper domestic generics," said Deng.

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Alliance gives firms greater access on voice technologies (2015-12-09,China Daily)

A number of major high-tech companies, including Baidu, Haier and ZTE, have established an alliance in Beijing to pool together intelligent voice patents in an aim to better integrate and develop existing technologies, China IP Magazine reported.

Voice interaction is increasing in popularity with the proliferation of smart mobile devices. The pool of patents would bring new opportunities for the development of voice technologies.

The alliance was proposed by seven companies including Baidu, Haier, ZTE, BAIC Motor and BOE Technology. It now has more than 20 members.

To promote advanced voice technologies, the alliance decided to open the patent pool to its members for free.

Its inauguration ceremony on Nov 27 attracted experts, as well as government officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Intellectual Property Office, Patent Protection Association of China and the Beijing Intellectual Property Office.

The use of intelligent voice software has been increasingly applied in artificial intelligence, the mobile Internet, smart homes and wearable devices, said Lu Xi, deputy director of MIIT's technology department.

The establishment of the alliance would play a significant role in boosting the development of the smart voice industry, Lu said.

Ma Weiye, deputy secretary-general of the PPAC, suggested the association help member companies further commercialize patented technologies and promote the sharing of technologies across the industry.

Su Jing, director of Baidu's patent department, said at the ceremony that Baidu has filed over 400 smart voice patent applications and chosen a batch of 100 basic patents to be put into the pool.

She encouraged other member companies to share their related patents to effectively create open innovation and open up IP licensing.

Jia Lei, head of Baidu's voice technology department, introduced several "world-leading breakthroughs" that the company made in speech recognition and synthesis. For example, Baidu's new Chinese speech recognition system could reduce at least 15 percent in error rate and save investments for decoders.

The company has also developed "text to speech" voices that contain human emotions. Jia said these technologies would be widely used by member companies in the future.

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M&A deals to energize Chinese chipset makers (2015-12-04,China Daily)

Overseas mergers and acquisitions will strengthen China's integrated circuit sector in the next five years, a top official said on Thursday.

Technologies and patents obtained through M&As are helping local vendors to catch up with international leaders and will be the cornerstone for China-based innovation in the future, said Diao Shijing, director of the electronic information bureau at the Ministry of Industry and information technology.

ICs, or chipsets, are semi-conductor wafers used in smartphones, airplanes and many other electronic machines.

The domestic IC market is expected to stay positive in the coming years, despite the slowing economy, Diao said, adding that the huge trade deficit in the sector has prompted China to grow its own providers.

The country spent more than $200 billion for importing chipsets in 2014, higher than the amount for oil imports during the same period. The central government has made IC design and manufacturing a strategically critical sector during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

In comparison, made-in-China chips generated only $32.5 billion in sales last year, according to the ministry.

Chinese firms are already inking overseas investment deals to speed up the next-generation of chip design.

Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd, a Beijing-based enterprise, pledged to spend 300 billion yuan ($47 billion) over the next five years in a bid to become the world's third-biggest chipmaker. The company said last month that it was close to an investment deal with a United States chip firm.

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc holds the No 3 position in the global IC market, behind US giant Intel Corp and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Ye Tianchun, director of the Institute of Microelectronics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said China has been forced to develop its own chips due to the US embargoes on exports of high-end IC products.

"IC products are key components in the information era, especially as China is looking to develop its high-end manufacturing capabilities," Ye said. "Overseas acquisitions will definitely boost research capability of Chinese companies."

However, local players' advances are facing increasing headwinds due to weak demand.

Sales of electronics products in the first three quarters totaled 8 trillion yuan ($1.25 trillion), representing a 8.5 percent jump from a year earlier, according to the ministry. The growth rate during the same period in 2014 was 10.2 percent.

Chinese companies will need to compete with global rivals in higher-end markets for market share growth in the coming years, it said.

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SAR set to lift its IP trading hub status (2015-12-04,China Daily)

Hong Kong's role as an intellectual property (IP) trading hub will be further cemented as the mainland sees tremendous demand for IP trading due to its economic restructuring, says the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

The Fifth Business of Intellectual Property Asia (BIP Asia) Forum, being held in Hong Kong on Thursday and Friday, has invited more than 2,000 IP professionals and industry players to this year's event, with more than 80 exhibitors (IP owners, users and trading intermediaries) attending.

Leung welcomed the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, to attend the BIP Asia forum. He said that Hong Kong's outstanding business environment, robust IP protection regime as well as our role as the "super-connector" between the mainland and the rest of the world would help promote the city as a regional IP trading hub.

More than one-third of global patent applications have been filed by mainland enterprises, accounting for 60 percent of the total number of applications in Asia, according to Raymond Yip, HKTDC deputy executive director.

"With the imminent launch of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), technology and innovation will be the main theme of the country's economic development in the coming five years. Mainland companies are seeing tremendous demand for IP trading," Yip said.

"The business value of technology trading on the mainland is tipped to swell to 2 trillion yuan ($312.6 billion) in 2020 from 400 billion yuan recorded in 2010. Hong Kong currently is ranked as the mainland's sixth technology import source."

Yip predicted that the Belt and Road Initiative, a national development strategy unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013 that aims to connect 4.4 trillion people from more than 60 countries and regions, will also stimulate demand for IP trading services from the SAR.

"Design innovation is one of the intellectual niches in Hong Kong. All these designs can cross over to other goods and services as well, thus propelling an array of IP trading business opportunities to those Belt and Road Initiative-related business enterprises," he added.

Hong Kong, endowed with extensive business connections, a common law legal regime, a cluster of IP owners and intermediaries as well as a robust financing market, is poised to be the ideal IP trading platform in Asia.

"Every year, there are 4,000 trademark applications, 13,000 patent applications, 600 short-term patent applications and 1,000 registered design applications being filed in Hong Kong," said Ada Leung Ka-lai, director of intellectual property.

"We are educating more local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other startups to be more aware of IP protection and trading," she said.

Kwong Chi-keung, a solicitor specializing as agents for trademarks and patents, said Hong Kong's strength in legal arbitration can help bolster its IP trading hub status because legal action may be more expensive for companies to resolve IP infringement cases.

"Lawsuit cases regarding IP protection of trademarks, patents and registered designs usually involve many companies from various countries (and regions). Because of the difference in the legal regimes of these markets, IP owners may find it very time consuming to engage in IP protection lawsuit cases. Moreover, IP owners may have to disclose details of commercial secrets in courts concerning their IP protection lawsuit cases whereas they are unwilling to do so," Kwong said.

"Many countries (and regions) are studying whether they can change their arbitration laws to resolve IP protection lawsuit cases, and Hong Kong is set to benefit from this trend," he added.

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New tech to test effects of thunder on aircraft (2015-12-03,China Daily)

Experts at Xi'an Jiaotong University in the capital of Shaanxi province have developed equipment to test the effects of thunder on large aircraft.
Thunder and lightning are high voltage phenomena of nature which can cause great harm to the safe operation of planes.

Existing technology cannot meet test standards for the direct effect of thunder on aircraft.

Yao Xueling, professor at the university, led her research group for 10 years and eventually achieved success by creating special equipment to solve the problem.

The newly-developed equipment has passed tests of relevant authorities.

During the course of the project, 13 patents were applied for, of which four were authorized, and 32 academic papers were published, of which 19 were included by authoritative academic journals of Science Citation Index and Engineering Index.

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Bank of China weighs legal options against US court ruling (2015-12-03,People's Daily)

Lender slapped with daily fines of $50,000 for withholding client account information

Bank of China Ltd is seeking to appeal against a United States court order that imposes $50,000 daily fine on it for withholding information, its legal advisers said on Wednesday.

The State-owned lender was held in contempt by a US court for refusing to provide account details of Chinese customers accused of selling counterfeit luxury goods. The US court said the daily fines would be imposed from next Tuesday, unless BOC complies with the subpoena request for client information.

BOC has been involved in the legal dispute that stemmed from a case in 2010. Gucci, the luxury brand of Paris-based Kering SA, sued owners and operators of a Chinese website for trademark infringement, online sales of imitation handbags and other items.

The bank, which is not a defendant in the Gucci case, has claimed that it has been caught in between the conflicts of the legal systems of China and the US.

Jiang Ying, a lawyer at Allen &Overy, the law firm representing BOC, said that the fine is "unfair" for the bank, which is "innocently involved" in the case and it would put the bank in a dilemma of violating Chinese laws if it has to comply with the US laws.

The incident underscored the growing legal disputes facing Chinese financial institutions in the US under the controversial Long-Arm Statue, a legal provision that allows US courts to exercise jurisdiction over foreign entities, provided that the prospective defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with the US, legal experts said.

Jiang said that the involved parties should be able to invoke the multilateral Hague Evidence Convention to resolve the dispute. The Hague procedure enables the plaintiff to obtain evidence, including bank account information, under the Chinese legal procedures.

Had Gucci opted to use the Hague Convention, they would have obtained the information they seek long before now, Jiang said.

Gucci also has the option to sue the defendants in China and obtain Chinese court's assistance in obtaining information and freezing accounts.

Jiang said that she is aware of at least three cases where the counsel representing Gucci successfully used Chinese courts to do so in recent years.

While it is hard to guess whether BOC will win its appeal, Jiang said the case will far reaching impact on Chinese companies and all foreign businesses in the US affected by the long-arm jurisdiction.

Shi Jinjuan, a partner of law firm Dacheng Dentons in Shanghai said the Bank of China dispute represents a major legal challenge in information disclosure for Chinese companies. It could also hit future Chinese investments in the US.

"If the court ruling goes against the bank, Chinese companies may become more cautious or even less willing to invest, set up offices or list their shares in the US," she said.

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Sino-European ties add to global system (2015-12-02,China Daily)

The cooperation between China and Europe in the intellectual property sphere has contributed to the innovation and progress of the global IP system, a senior official said on Thursday.

Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, made the remarks at a symposium on the 30th anniversary of Europe-China cooperation. He said the European Patent Office is "a trustworthy, long-standing strategic partner", and the two offices have enjoyed "fruitful cooperation" over the past three decades.

The multifaceted exchanges have ranged from policy and legislation consultation through staff training, patent examination and information sharing, Shen said.

Since the EPO offered a helping hand at the beginning of China's modern IP system - which enabled the country to start at a high level - the European office has played a key part in milestone events in Chinese IP history, he said.

SIPO and EPO established bilateral cooperation in 1985, the same year that China's first patent law came into effect. The relationship increased to a strategic partnership in 2007.

Shen said his team calls for construction of public service platforms for trade and information to promote patent industrialization and information and help analyze the market, make sound major research decisions and serve mass innovation and entrepreneurship campaigns in the country.

IP protection is key to providing a primary guarantee for innovation, he said, noting that the Chinese government has made it clear it will implement strict IP protection for an open, fair and transparent legal and market environment.

In 2014, three IP-dedicated courts opened in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and administrators investigated nearly 24,480 patent disputes nationwide.

EPO President Benoit Battistelli said at the meeting that the two offices' long-term vision and China's choice of best tools, applications and practices are the two pillars of the bilateral partnership.

"Some common practices in the world IP pattern were directly generated by the cooperation between EPO and SIPO," he said, citing the Global Dossier as an example.

The two offices were the first among the five largest IP offices in Europe, China, the United States, Japan and South Korea to use the online service, which offers integrated access to public files available at the designated countries and regions, free of charge and with automatic machine translation.

"This strategic cooperation between SIPO and EPO has not only transformed the IP system in China and Europe, but also greatly contributed to transforming the global patent system," Battistelli said.

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China's market potential makes dental firms smile (2015-12-02,China Daily)

US dental products companies see strong business potential in China and are willing to work through difficulties to enter the market.

That was a common theme among many of the US companies at the Greater New York Dental Meeting, which took place from Nov 27 to Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The conference also included seminars on dental treatment as well as exhibitions. Ten companies from China were represented at the exhibition.

Kevin Levy, sales manager for Start Pure, a California company that produces teeth-whitening devices, said he has always been interested in the Chinese market.

"We have been interested in the Chinese market (from) a long time ago, and we found a distributor for our potential markets in China," Levy said. "But in entering the market, our products get into patent issues, and that was when the distributor turned to Japan. I think things are going better in China now, and we are considering entering the market soon."

Bennett Cochran, sales manager for Cosmedent, a Chicago-based company that makes restorative dental products, said that although the company sees huge market demand in China for dental devices, entrance into the market has not been easy.

"I've been looking at the Chinese market for over 10 years, and we've talked to several potential Chinese distributors in recent years," he said. "But one problem about getting into the Chinese market is that the registration procedure is very time consuming, and thus makes it expensive."

Most of the US dental companies at the exhibition do not have branches in China and sell through distributors.

One inroad for US companies into the Chinese marker is to try to acquire a small company in China, said Wang Yunhua, head of Shenghua Industry Co Ltd, a private company that produces dental-treatment devices in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Wang has worked in the business for more than 20 years and was attending the exhibition for the second time.

He said that imported dental devices are much more popular at Chinese hospitals, and they cost almost twice as much.

Many of the products on display at the show were made in Europe.

Sandra Trevino-Pelkey, customer relations manager for SS White, a New Jersey dental-device company, said that in the past five years, product sales in China have grown continuously.

"We entered the Chinese market at least 15 years ago, and China has been one of our largest markets," she said.

She said that the company did not have much difficulty with import registration because it has a distributor in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

Despite the difficulties, US companies are still confident about business in China, especially about the high-end market, despite a slower economy.

"The demography for those looking for teeth-whitening is always there, and they are always willing to pay the money, even when the economy does not look good," said Levy, from Start Pure.

"China has a very strong economy, and we are actually thinking about entering the market fairly soon," he said. "The important thing is to find good distributors to work with."

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U.S. Judge's "Contempt of Court" Ruling Unwarranted, Worrisome: Chinese Banker (2015-12-02,Xinhua)

A U.S. judge's recent decision to hold Bank of China (BOC) in contempt of court for failing to disclose client account records in a counterfeit lawsuit is unwarranted and lamentable, which may set a bad example and hurt investors' faith in the U.S. legal system, a senior executive of the bank in the United States has said.

"In its more than three decades of operations in the United States, BOC has always strictly abided by U.S. laws and financial regulations, and has fully cooperated with the court in the Gucci case," Xu Chen, president and CEO of BOC USA, said in a recent exclusive interview. "The judge has gone too far to request BOC headquarters and domestic branches back in China disclose client information even in clear violation of China's bank secrecy laws."

Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan ruled in a Manhattan court that BOC was in contempt for defying subpoenas from luxury goods maker Gucci to request account records located in China, which the brand said belong to alleged Chinese sellers of counterfeit luxury goods.

According to media reports, Gucci also urged the judge to fine BOC 12 million U.S. dollars as compensation for damages it said were caused by the alleged counterfeiters. Sullivan has reportedly determined a specific monetary penalty on Tuesday, saying that he will impose a daily fine of 50,000 dollars against BOC starting on Dec. 8 unless the bank complies with subpoena requests for the records.

Xu argued that in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations and in compliance with the U.S. court request, BOC USA has previously provided the plaintiff with all related information.

However, BOC USA has no access to any account information back in China, while BOC headquarters in Beijing as well as its domestic branches are not allowed by Chinese laws to disclose client account information to foreign entities, Xu said.

According to Chinese laws, courts in other countries do not have jurisdiction to order Chinese banks to produce any document within Chinese territory.

Xu said that BOC has always supported efforts to fight intellectual property infringements and trademark violations. Actually, the bank terminated the domestic accounts of the alleged counterfeiters shortly after Gucci launched the lawsuit in 2010.

But such a move led to a lawsuit against the bank from the affected clients, and a Chinese court ruled that BOC had no right to terminate the accounts since there was no proof of illegal activities of the clients in China. BOC appealed twice but still lost the case.

BOC has decided to appeal against the Sullivan ruling to the Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. The bank "has not been accused of wrongdoing and is not a defendant in this case," said a statement from BOC's counsel.

Xu said that he was puzzled why Gucci chose to file the counterfeit lawsuit at a U.S. court rather than go to a court in China, which would make evidence collection and law enforcement much easier.

Gucci could also have satisfied its request through existing international treaties, such as the Hague Convention, which has helped resolve bilateral legal disputes in similar cases in the United States, but the company also rejected that option, the banker said.

"I think that pushing the innocent BOC into a legal corner of either breaking the Chinese law or paying a heavy U.S. penalty won't help solve the problem, but will only complicate the situation," he said.

The banker also expressed the concern that the Gucci case ruling, once established, would set a bad example for similar cases in the future and dampen Chinese businesses' enthusiasm for investing in the United States.

"Many Chinese investors believe the United States has an open and fair legal system, which is a key factor in good business environments," he said. "Now they might start to worry that they could also get caught in a legal dilemma because of the 'unlimited jurisdiction' sought by some U.S. courts."

According to a report by Rhodium Group, a U.S. research firm, Chinese companies completed more than 9 billion dollars of foreign direct investment in the United States in the first three quarters of 2015. With more than 8 billion dollars of pending transactions, total investment is likely to exceed 10 billion dollars for the third year in a row.

Legal experts here believe that with more and more Chinese companies coming to the United States, legal conflicts are unavoidable, and differences between the two countries' legal systems are becoming a major issue of concern.

While the governments of both countries are holding regular dialogues and working on a bilateral investment treaty, certain mechanisms should be established to address such legal differences and guarantee equal and fair treatment for businesses from both sides, they said.

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China mulls harsher punishment for patent violations (2015-12-02,Xinhua)

Patent infringement may soon lead to fines of up to 5 million yuan (781,760 U.S. dollars), according to a draft amendment released Wednesday.

The draft revision of the Patent Law was published by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council to seek public opinion.

The current law stipulates that compensation amounts must be decided based on actual losses by the obligee or gains by the infringer. The new draft allows for compensation of up to three times the losses or gains.

Under the current law, a plaintiff can claim compensation ranging from 10,000 to 1 million yuan if losses of the obligee cannot be confirmed. The draft raises the amounts to 5 million yuan.

China's Patent Law was enacted in 1984 and was revised a third time in 2008.

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Breakthrough low speed Chinese diesel engine debuts (2015-12-01,China Daily)

A home-grown low speed diesel engine for maritime use with state-of-the-art technology was released on Tuesday at the biannual maritime event in Shanghai. The diesel engine, a result of consistent research and development over five years, is a completely self-owned brand product, and it is a breakthrough for China's shipbuilding industry in terms of a low speed diesel engine.

China's first low speed diesel engine was produced in the 1950s.

"China developed its first low speed diesel engine in 1958 in Shanghai, but gradually has had to rely on imported technology and patents since the 1970s for certain reasons," said Wu Chaohui, a senior engineer from China Shipbuilding Power Engineering Institute Co Ltd, the developer of the new generation of diesel engine.

The heavy reliance on imported technology has affected the research and development of China's home-grown brands. For example, the country has to pay several hundred million yuan for using foreign patents, and traditionally, engines account for 12 percent of total shipbuilding cost.

China resumed independent research and development of the marine diesel engine in 2010, when it became the world's largest shipbuilder by ship orders completed and received.

"More than 80 percent of the global trade was handled by ship, among which, 90 percent of the vessels were powered by a low speed diesel engine," said Wu, noting the significance of having self-owned patent in shipbuilding sector.

Continuous efforts will be made to develop a series of top-end, new generation diesel engines through both research and development by own as well as cooperation with international partners, Wu added.

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Chinese firms to benefit greatly from EU's new patent system (2015-11-27,China Daily)

The first unitary patent in Europe, slated to be issued next year by the European Patent Office, will help Chinese companies save time and money, said EPO President Benoit Battistelli.

Rather than dealing with formalities in different countries, a unitary patent applicant can gain approval for participating countries in the European Union.

It will be "less costly and more simple" to file a patent, Battistelli said during an intellectual property symposium in Beijing on Thursday.

"We leave the choice with each patent holder" to decide whether to apply for a traditional or unitary one, he said. "We'll see in a few years which one is more often chosen.

He explained that all the preparatory work for issuing a unitary patent is completed at the EPO, but is also closely linked to the creation of a unified patent court, which requires at least 13 EU member states to ratify. To date, eight countries, including France, Denmark and Belgium, have ratified the court and three or four others are close to finalizing ratification, Battistelli said.

Facing mounting stockpiles of applications and growing complexity in technologies that are more and more difficult to evaluate, patent offices need to deliver high-quality - or "legally solid" - patents quickly to meet the demand, the veteran patent expert said.

Challenges to tackle include training for examiners to update their expertise and developing efficient tools such as search engines as part of the EPO's cooperation with the State Intellectual Property Office of China.

Annual filings from China increased 10-fold at the EPO over the past decade. In 2014 alone, filings from China in Europe surpassed 26,400, accounting for 9 percent of the applications filed with the EPO and placing China fourth among sources of patent filings with the office.

Calling the China-Europe collaboration in the IP field a "positive, win-win" partnership, Battistelli said the two offices not only have improved their own patent services, but are also contributing to the global patent system within the framework of IP5, made up of the world's largest IP offices from China, Europe, the United States, South Korea and Japan.

These five offices represent approximately 85 percent of patent applications worldwide.

"If we together harmonize our rules, procedures and practice, it will be a great contribution to a better global patent system."

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Startup company aims to place smart robots in every home (2015-11-27,China Daily)

Yu Zhichen, founder and CEO of Turning Robot, shared with China Daily website his ambitious Chinese dream of placing an artificial intelligent robot into every household, on November 24 at the World Robot Conference 2015 in Beijing.

Turning Robot was established and launched its first generation product on November 6, 2014.

1. The idea of "mass entrepreneurship and innovation" was first raised by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the Summer Davos in September 2014. Turning Robot was just born shortly after the idea was created and completely fit in both entrepreneurship and innovation. What's your idea of "mass entrepreneurship and innovation"?

A: From a macro point of view, the idea raised by the government would create a better environment to support innovation and the development of entrepreneurs. It has positive significance, especially in the capital sector. With government support and guidance, the entire industry will be greatly promoted.

From the micro point of view, companies still have to recognize their own position and values. The social atmosphere will stimulate innovation and enthusiasm; however, the probability of success and failure is half to half.

2. Many tech giants, such as Baidu, Microsoft and Google, are all making huge investments in the artificial intelligence field, both money and human resources. Compared with such tech behemoths, what do you think are Turning Robot's advantages?

A: I think the advantages are relative. For big companies, their overall investment is undoubtedly huge, larger than any other start-up companies. But in some certain areas, where the startups input all their money and human resources, the big companies are weaker.

Turning Robot invested more financial and human resources in the household artificial intelligent robot field than any other big companies, including Baidu, Microsoft and IBM.

Besides making too dispersed investments, the big companies are more focused on research, other than practical application. We need not only technology, but also good product managers. Both research and products are equally important to the development of artificial intelligence.

3. Chinese is one of the world's most complex languages. On the launching ceremony of Turning OS earlier this month, you announced that our Chinese semantic understanding accuracy rate was 94.7 percent and the man-machine dialogue accuracy rate was 88.2. These are amazing figures. How did you calculate these figures?

A: We made over 1 million tests every week to get these figures and have full intellectual property rights of these technologies.

Although we are a small company, we have a dedicated team for intellectual property rights. We invest about 200,000 to 300,000 yuan every month in intellectual property R&D and applications and own 110 patents now.

China's intellectual property protection improved a lot in recent years and I believe it will be better in the future. The big companies turned to purchasing patents from small firms instead of plagiarizing them.

The government should do more in intellectual property protection to build a better environment to support innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the artificial intelligent robot field, which relies heavily on technology..

4. What do you expect of China's artificial intelligent robot market? And how will China's affect the world?

A: I am not quite optimistic about industrial robots, because the core technologies are controlled by several foreign countries, such as Japan and Germany. But for household robots, China is at the same starting line with the world and even a leading player in some areas, such as man-machine interactive robots.

China has surpassed the United States in investment, innovation and the market in this area and has a better household robot market environment than the US.

China is facing the intersection of traditional manufacturing industry upgrading and technological innovation, which offers great opportunity for the development of artificial intelligence. The unique Chinese model will be a reference to the world.

5. What do you think about the Chinese dream? What are the dreams you have for your company in China?

A: I think letting people give full play to their potential and realize their value is the Chinese dream. No matter if they are in Beijing or Shanghai, those people who have ideas can start up their businesses at a relatively low threshold.

China is short of capable companies in some basic core technologies, although we have a big market and have developed for many years. I hope to build Turning Robot into a famous Chinese company in operating systems and bring an artificial intelligent robot into every household.

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Chinese state councilor meets EPO president (2015-11-26,Xinhua)

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong met with the European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoit Battistelli on Thursday, pledging to strengthen intellectual property cooperation.

Wang said the Chinese government attaches great importance to intellectual property and will deepen intellectual property protection and reform.

The two sides express their willingness to advance communication and cooperation to provide more efficient services for mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

China and Europe established cooperation in intellectual property in 1985 by signing the first agreement. In 2007, China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and EPO stepped into strategic partnership, which upgraded their cooperation from a purely technical to a strategic level.

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Salon addresses overseas systems (2015-11-25,China Daily)

An intellectual property salon was held last week in Beijing, to introduce the IP environments and systems of Japan and Europe to Chinese companies with business in those markets.

The daylong event attracted more than 120 experts, attorneys, officials and corporate representatives. It was organized by, an overseas IP information portal set up by China Intellectual Property News.

"Encouraged by the pragmatic moves of China's Belt and Road Initiative, an increasing number of Chinese companies have started to tap into overseas markets," Cao Donggen, head of China Intellectual Property News, said at the salon. "However, most of them have been plagued by IP disputes when going global, especially those in the photovoltaic, LED and smartphone industries."

Mao Jinsheng, an inspector with the State Intellectual Property Office's protection and coordination division, said that, as of 2014, China was one of the countries that encountered the most US Section 337 investigations for 13 consecutive years.

"IP challenges in overseas markets are mainly caused by the lack of information channels, language barriers and inadequate knowledge of IP laws and systems in foreign countries. About 70 percent of export-oriented companies do not fully understand the IP environment and patent approval procedures of their target countries," Mao said.

At the salon, Jin Yilin, an attorney with German law firm Grunecker Patent, said Germany deals with the most patent lawsuits in Europe annually, because German courts support the widest scope of IP rights protection and have easy procedures for issuing temporary injunctions, which is one of the most powerful weapons against patent infringements.

The United Kingdom receives fewer patent lawsuits annually, only about 50 cases, due to its longer procedures and more expensive costs, Jin said.

Jean-Baptiste Barbier, IP counselor at the French embassy in China, encouraged Chinese companies to make more investments in France because the country could serve as a springboard to enter Europe.

France has abundant experience in the IP field and also many advantages in patent application and protection for foreign companies, Barbier said.

If a Chinese company, for example, applies for a patent in a European country within a year after it applied for the same patent in China, the patent examination procedure can be finished in about two years in France and it is easy to get an approval. The procedure lasts about eight years in Germany if applicants do not apply for an accelerated examination, and four years in the UK, said Clemence Vallee-Thiollier, a French IP lawyer.

Long Xiang, founder of a Beijing-based IP consulting firm, encouraged Chinese companies to buy US patents from Japanese companies to enrich their overseas patent pools.

Japanese companies have a large number of high-quality US patents. Currently, due to the shrinkage and transformation of several industries in Japan, many of its companies wish to sell their US patents, Long said.

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Trio of countries strengthen IP ties (2015-11-25,China Daily)

China's national intellectual property authority will continue cooperating with its Japanese and South Korean peers to help residents of all three countries benefit from innovation and creation, said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office.

He made the remarks at the 15th trilateral policy dialogue meeting among SIPO, the Japan Patent Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office on Nov 17 in Guang-zhou.

The three IP offices are among the world's five largest and have "a broad influence", Shen said.

He said events co-hosted by the three organizations over the past year, including trilateral patent examination experts meetings and design forums, have boosted the development of innovation in their own countries and trilateral exchanges on commerce, science and technology and culture.

The three offices announced the launch of a new version of their IP cooperation website on the same day.

The previous English-language website now also provides content in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. It is a further achievement of the cooperation by the three IP authorities, Shen said. will provide public users with more information on the three countries' IP laws and regulations and services, including searches for patent documentation.

Choi Donggyou, commissioner of KIPO, said at a meeting with Shen on Nov 16, "The relationship between China and South Korea is in its best times. Cooperation between SIPO and KIPO is a model of bilateral cooperation on IP across the world."

He said China's IP has boomed in recent years and KIPO hopes to further develop its friendly partnership with SIPO to add impetus to economic development in both countries.

Shen said there are many South Korea-invested companies in China and they have made a positive contribution to China's economic development. SIPO is pleased to create a sound IP environment for domestic and foreign companies including South Korea-funded ones, he added.

SIPO and KIPO signed a memorandum of understanding related to exchanges of IP information and data at the bilateral meeting.

Hitoshi Ito, JPO commissioner, said at a Sino-Japanese IP chief meeting that cooperation between SIPO and JPO "has a long history and huge potential".

He said JPO hopes the two IP organizations will share their latest IP-related advances through exchanges to benefit bilateral IP holders.

The Chinese and Japanese IP chiefs also discussed the Sino-Japanese Patent Prosecution Highway project, which aims to provide accelerated patent examination procedures by sharing information between participating patent offices, and cooperation on patent documentation classification and design fields.

JPO is the first IP management organization to establish a PPH project with SIPO, according to SIPO's website. The two offices also planned their cooperation projects for next year at the meeting.

SIPO, JPO and KIPO held the first talks among their heads in 2001 in Tokyo, where they set up the mechanism of the policy dialogue meeting among the three offices.

The three partners for the first time examined and passed a trilateral cooperation roadmap at their seventh meeting in 2007, and determined their mid-term and long-term goals.

Their next policy dialogue meeting will take place in Japan in 2016.

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5th BIP Asia Forum set for early December (2015-11-25,China Daily)

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council announced on Friday that the fifth Business of IP Asia Forum will begin on Dec 3 to discuss sustainable IP business models and opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jointly organized by the Hong Kong government, the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Design Centre, the two-day forum will include three themed lectures and 15 sub-forums, where delegates will discuss corporate IP rights protection and how to expand business via IP trade.

With the theme of "IP: Transforming Global Business", the event is expected to promote IP trade in Asia and worldwide and improve Asian companies' competitiveness.

It will invite more than 80 speakers and attract 2,000 industry insiders, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The forum and the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong government will host a training program during the forum for IP managers in small- and medium-sized companies. Hong Kong's IP experts will give lessons about IP trade, management of trademarks, patents, copyrights and designs, and the IP registration and application process in Hong Kong.

Raymond Yip, deputy executive director of the HKTDC, said IP trade has been growing robustly in recent years in China, noting that the total value of technology contracts on the Chinese mainland was nearly 400 billion yuan ($62.6 billion) in 2010, and reached 1 trillion yuan this year. He said the amount is forecast to increase to 2 trillion yuan by 2020.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's IP imports and exports both averaged double-digit growth in recent years, he said.

Yip also said the Belt and Road Initiative will help increase the demand for high-end services on the Chinese mainland and regions along the Belt and Road, including IP services.

Encouraged by the initiative, mainland companies, especially high-tech companies, are picking up the pace of their overseas expansion, and IP protection and trade play crucial roles in their planning, financing and market operations, which leads to greater demand for IP trade, Yip said.

Hong Kong has "obvious advantages" in the IP business, he said. "It has many professionals that can provide customized services. With well-established law and IP protection systems, it is a world-recognized IP mediation and arbitration center. It is also known for its financing capability."

However, the regions along the Belt and Road have different legal and financing systems, and Yip suggested Hong Kong's IP professionals learn more about previously unfamiliar markets.

The annual BIP Asia Forum, which started in 2011, is an exchange platform for international IP rights owners, users and service providers.

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Five knockoff Disney hotels fined in Shanghai (2015-11-25,Xinhua)

Five knockoff Disney hotels in Shanghai have been fined a total of 100,000 yuan ($15,650) for infringing the company's trademark rights ahead of the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort.

The Shanghai Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce said on Tuesday that it found the hotels, all in Pudong New District and owned by the Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group, used the "Disney" trademark on their signs and websites without authorization.

Hoping to cash in on the resort and attract customers, they not only infringed trademark rights but are also suspected of unfair competition, according to the administration.

Lin Haihan, director of its trademark office, said the administration is inspecting other hotels to check for similar cases.

The Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney's sixth resort worldwide, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

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China, US pledge closer IPR cooperation (2015-11-24,Xinhua)

China and the United States agreed to boost cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) during annual trade talks which concluded on Monday.

The two sides will increase exchanges and boost cooperation on fighting network piracy, law-enforcement against IPR crimes and preventing bad-faith trademark filing, among others, according to a Chinese press release after the 26th Session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).

The meeting, held from Saturday to Monday in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The two sides also agreed to boost cooperation on food security, increase exchanges on surplus capacity in the aluminum and steel industries, work together more closely to fight illegal fishing, illegal logging and wildlife trafficking.

According to the release, China and the United States also pledged to provide strong protection for business secrets to promote innovation and fair competition.

The officials also talked on IT purchase in the banking sector, medicine, aviation, and export restrictions.

Both sides gave positive evaluations for the outcome of the annual meeting, said the release.

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WIPO report illustrates China's strength in patent first filings (2015-11-18,China Daily)

China is the only emerging middle-income country moving closer to advanced industrialized nations in terms of patent applications for 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics, a World Intellectual Property Organization report shows.

WIPO published the report that examines how innovation spurs growth and how the intellectual property system contributes to this on Nov 11.

Case studies focused on three fields with breakthrough potential - 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics; and three historical sectors - airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors.

The report said that of patent applications since 2005, Chinese applicants account for more than a quarter of first filings worldwide in the case of 3D printing and robotics, higher than any other country.

As for nanotechnology patent filings since 2005, Chinese applicants make up nearly 15 percent of filings worldwide - the third-largest origin of patents.

Carsten Fink, WIPO's chief economist, said China has made much progress in the past decade in patent applications in the three innovative fields, which have the potential to boost the economy, People's Daily reported.

He said it was a reward for China's long-term investment in education and scientific research. China has become second to the United States in terms of research and development expenditure and helps diversify the global innovation landscape, he added.

According to the report, China has seen rapid growth in 3D printing patent filings since 2005. By 2010, Chinese applicants were filing for more 3D printing applications than any other country, numbering almost as many as the Japanese and US applicants combined.

While China's first patent filings in the area of robotics accounted for only 1 percent of total applications worldwide in 2000, that figure had risen to 25 percent by 2011.

The report said China hosts some of the fastest-growing robotics companies such as Shenzhen-headquartered DJI Co, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles for photography, and new industrial robot makers, including Siasun Robot and Automation Co in Northeast China's Shenyang city, which are driving down the cost of robots.

Shanghai and Liaoning province, where Shenyang is located, are among Asia's key robotics clusters.

Chinese universities, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, largely dominate the top 10 robotics patent holders among universities and public research organizations.

The country has also begun playing an important role in worldwide nanotechnology patent filings since the late 2000s. Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are among the top 20 nanotechnology patent applicants for first patent filings since 1970.

The report showed that universities and public research organizations account for a much higher share of patents in China than in many other R&D-intensive economies, higher than 70 percent for nanotechnology and 50 percent for robotics. In Japan, universities and public research organizations have never accounted for more than 10 percent of total first filings.

"Historically, major breakthroughs in technological innovation have been at the root of long-lasting expansions in economic output," said Francis Gurry, director-general of WIPO, in the report's foreword.

He said the report emphasizes that it is still very important for governments and business to continue investing in innovation.

Apart from government support, other elements of successful innovation systems are competitive market forces, efforts by companies and linkages between different innovation actors ranging from informal knowledge exchanges to formal R&D collaborations, according to the report.

The World Intellectual Property Report has been published every two years since 2011, and aims to explain, clarify and contribute to IP-related policy analysis to facilitate policymaking. Previous reports have explored the role that brands play in a global marketplace and the changing face of innovation.

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Leading group reveals counterfeit goods still rife (2015-11-18,China Daily)

Despite reinforced efforts by the Chinese government to fight against intellectual property rights violations and counterfeit products, problems still remain, according to a report unveiled on Saturday in Beijing.

The 2015 China Anti-Infringement and Counterfeiting Annual Report is the nation's first publication summarizing its efforts, achievements and challenges in the fight against IP infringement and counterfeit goods, Xinhua News Agency reported.

It includes the work of administrative and judicial departments across China, the central and local governments, 28 industry associations and some companies in the improvement of IP protection.

The report was produced by the National Combating IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting Leading Group and its member ministries and organizations, as well as provincial leading groups across the country.

The book was published in China and overseas, and will have an English edition, said Chai Haitao, deputy director-general of the national leading group.

The report said that administrative law enforcement across China handled 178,000 cases involving counterfeit goods in 2014. The police investigated more than 28,000 crimes and prosecutors handled over 18,000 lawsuits.

It quoted a survey that shows 69.4 percent of Chinese people were satisfied with IP protection in 2014, an increase of 4.5 percentage points from the previous year. The survey was conducted by the national patent, trademark and copyright associations and was unveiled in April.

A random inspection by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce shows that only 58.7 percent of products sold online were genuine last year.

"With the rise of e-commerce, the Internet has become a severely afflicted area of IP infringement and counterfeiting, which is a new challenge for traditional supervision models," said Chai.

He said that the report expected to improve IP awareness in society, promote the nation's development of IP business and help improve product quality.

Lin Xiuqin, the report's executive editor-in-chief and a law professor at Xiamen University, said the publication of the report shows the resolve of the Chinese government in its fight against IP infringement and counterfeiting.

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World to gain from China's 'better goods at lower prices' (2015-11-17,China Daily)

By I was flummoxed last week when my collegian son, 17, who studies in Bengaluru in South India, asked me why there was so much social media chat about innovation in China. He said many are now forecasting the country will spearhead innovation.

He is a proud Indian who believes India is the global innovation hotspot. So, to learn there are other countries vying for that tag appears to have upset him. Since I didn't have a ready answer, I promised to get back to him later.

Two recent expert observations enlightened me on what China is now doing best.

First, the McKinsey Global Institute's weighty report entitled 'The China Effect on Global Innovation' highlighted a simple fact: Innovation has become arguably China's most important economic priority. Initially, I thought this was just old wine in a new bottle. It wasn't.

The study shows how innovation will need to contribute at least $3 trillion to 5 trillion, or about half of the country's GDP, annually over the next decade, as the recent impetus from an expansion of labor force and capital investment starts to fade away.

Innovation is no longer a fashion statement for the country, it is a sheer necessity.

McKinsey said China has already made a more-than-solid start by pioneering innovation in key sectors like household appliances, Internet software, solar panels and construction machinery. But that alone won't suffice as it lags in several sectors, it said.

Jonathan Woetzel, the Shanghai-based director of the MGI and one of the authors of the report, said: "The real challenge ahead lies in other forms of innovation, such as scientific discovery and engineering."

Boosting innovation in those areas, he said, would smooth China's transition to a more balanced, consumption-driven economy, by expanding the services sector, providing more high value-added jobs and ultimately raising living standards.

Woetzel insists the building blocks of this next phase of innovation are firmly in place and cites examples of celebrated new-age Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.

The country has already created adequate capacity for research with huge investment in universities and research institutions, and also leads the world in patent applications.

Second, Zhang Yongwei, vice-director-general of the Enterprise Research Institute under the Development Research Center of the State Council, said during a recent briefing the country's creative and high-tech firms, too, are now considered shining lights of innovation, as its traditional industries flounder.

"Investment in technology is investment in the future," he said. "High-tech development zones and innovation parks in sectors such as communications, medicine, new energy vehicles and smart-equipment startups are already the new growth drivers."

Backing up his bold words were figures that showed Chinese companies invested 4.23 trillion yuan (nearly $670 billion) on technical upgrades in the first seven months of the year, a 12.9 percent rise year-on-year, which accounted for over a third of total industrial investment.

Zhang said that such mighty spending is a clear indication that Chinese companies are now focusing more and more on innovation. Haier is a good example. It invested millions of yuan to make its factories Web-linked so that consumers could buy bespoke appliances.

Woetzel underlined, too, just how China's growing success in innovation will have far-reaching effects globally.

That its innovators had developed not only cutting-edge technology but a low-cost one, was already making a difference, he said. "Companies that cannot match China's cost, speed and global reach in their innovation efforts will be at a huge disadvantage."

McKinsey believes that in the next decade, the country has the potential to create what it called "a China effect" on innovation around the world. That initial impact, it said, could be "disruptive".

"Around the world, consumers could benefit from better goods at lower prices," it said.

With those last five words etched in my mind, I called my son. I told him that many countries are simply failing to keep pace with the Chinese investment in innovation, and as a result, they are finding the going tough. India is certainly making progress, but it still has a long way to go before it can catch up.

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Baiyunshan to spear the world with Jin'ge pills (2015-11-17,China Daily)

Erectile dysfunction medicine sees $109.4m in sales since its launch in October 2014
Makers of Jin'ge, the Chinese version of Viagra, plan to introduce the erectile-dysfunction medicine overseas after reporting strong sales in its first year on the market.
"We have started applying for sales of the medicine in several countries and regions, as global demand is huge," said Wang Wenchu, deputy general manager of Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd, the Shanghai-listed pharmaceutical maker.

Speaking at a ceremony on Sunday marking the drug's first commercial anniversary, Wang said sales of Jin'ge have topped 700 million yuan ($109.4 million) since its launch in October 2014.

The United States-based drug producer Pfizer Inc had previously dominated the Chinese ED medicine market for years with its patented Viagra.

The company's patent for China expired in May last year, however, when Guangzhou Baiyunshan received permission from China's State Food and Drug Administration to produce and sell a crystalline compound using sildenafil citrate, the blockbuster Viagra's main ingredient.

Jin'ge was developed by a team in the company's R&D center led by Nobel laureate Ferid Murad, known as the "father of Viagra".

It sells for 40 percent less than Viagra, meaning sales have raced ahead quickly.

The Chinese drug£­which translates as "golden spear" in English£­and its generic variants, are now sold in more than 30,000 drugstores nationally, and Wang predicts Jin'ge sales to exceed 1 billion yuan by 2017, which would be almost level with Viagra's current annual volumes in China.

The company also revealed plans on Sunday to invest at least 1 million yuan per year to develop professional training in the promotion of men's health.

The Shanghai-listed company's shares opened at 29 yuan on Monday, and ended the day 3.47 percent up at 30.15 yuan.

Deng Chunhua, a researcher at the Chinese Medical Association, said: "The Chinese version of Viagra will change the status quo of the global ED medicine market because it has the advantage of lower price, with the same curative effect."

Citing industrial data indicating China has about 127 million people with erectile dysfunction, Deng said the association will be working with Guangzhou Baiyunshan to launch a series of activities to promote men's health.

"Globally, people suffering erectile dysfunction will first receive treatment using a medicine containing sildenafil citrate," said Deng.

According to a survey jointly conducted by the China Sexology Association, Chinese Medical Association and Guangzhou Baiyunshan, however, just 6.97 percent of Chinese men with erectile dysfunction have agreed to using the medicine for treatment.

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Australian Made kangaroo raises profile (2015-11-17,China Daily)

Established in 1986 by the Australian government and delivered under a formal agreement by the not-for-profit Australian Made Campaign, the iconic "Australian Made, Australian Grown" kangaroo logo has helped shoppers buy genuine Australian products for nearly 30 years.

"The Australian Made logo remains the most effective symbol for Australian products today," said Ian Harrison, chief executive of the organization. "It clearly identifies products and produce that are genuinely from Australia."

With the support of the Australian government and chambers of commerce, Harrison and his team worked on the promotion and certification of products carrying the iconic logo in the world's markets.

One of their latest initiatives was to partner with two Chinese companies to open "Australian Made" branded stores in China. "There are already nine of them operating or about to open in the major Chinese cities," said Harrison. "Started in 2010, this move highlights the presence of the Australian Made logo in the Chinese retail sector and supports the online sale of products carrying the logo."

He predicted that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement would be important for Australia because it will reduce entry barriers for Australian products into China. "For Australian producers, it will provide better access to China's huge market, in which Australian products are loved by a new wealthy middle class with high-quality standards," he said.

The kangaroo logo's registration as a certificated trademark in China has been another key achievement for the organization in recent years as it assures the authenticity of the symbol and prevents its misuse.

Australian Made's future goals include further expansion of the logo as a certification trademark in Asian countries and to grow its strategic partnerships in China to further raise the profile of Australian products in this key market.

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99% of Ultraman mobile games in China pirated (2015-11-15,Xinhua)

Iconic Japanese comic and anime superhero Ultraman is facing an intellectual property battle in China, as an agent complains that 99 percent of all mobile games featuring the character in China are pirated.

Scores of Ultraman-related mobile games started appearing in the Chinese market in the second quarter of 2015, but only three were found to be authorized, according to Shanghai-based company SCLA, the exclusive agent for the distribution of the Ultraman franchise in China.

Ultraman is a popular comic and animated character for those born in the 1970s and 1980s in China, when the series became a hit.

Rampant piracy has caused concern, with the SCLA saying they will launch an investigation into gaming products. The company also hopes to "build a long-term mechanism to counter infringement of intellectual property rights."

The mobile game market is booming in China, with an estimated value of 45 billion yuan (7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015.

Piracy and counterfeiting remain a challenge despite China's strengthened IPR protection efforts in recent years. Since March 2013, the country has seized 85,000 suspects and effectively contained the spread of such illegal activities.

Public satisfaction with government work in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection rose 4.5 percent year on year to 69.4 percent in China in 2014, according to the China Annual Report against IPR Infringement and Counterfeit.

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Shenzhen's 'peacock invasion' intensifies (2015-11-13,Xinhua)

Shenzhen's ambitious "peacock campaign" to attract tech talent has gone into top gear as the city positions itself as a key zone for innovation and the development of modern services in the region.

Another 18 "peacock" teams have flown into Shenzhen this week to grab a slice of the 420 million yuan ($65.9 million) in capital funding offered to innovative startups this year under the "Peacock Plan" - a Shenzhen government incentive plan to lure overseas talents to bring their advanced ideas, techniques and business to the city.

Since 2011, the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission (SZSTI) has lured 61 "peacock" teams to the city, most of which have now grown into striking high-tech enterprises like DJI, KuangChi, Royole and BGI.

They include more than 1,200 top-notch talents - industry experts, professors and doctors - who will lead some 10,000 overseas professionals working in Shenzhen, according to the SZSTI.

The import of top-level talents has injected fresh impetus into the city's bid for industrial upgrade and innovation.

Most of the "peacock" teams are involved in emerging industries, such as the new materials, new energy, bio-medicine and advanced manufacturing sectors.

According to the SZSTI, "peacock" participants have so far applied 60 international patents through the Patent Cooperation Treaty and nearly 3,000 innovation patents in their operations.

Many of the professionals have studied, worked or lived in Hong Kong, but they felt "undervalued" in the SAR, saying that Hong Kong has become less attractive for long-term development.

Ye Tao, a former associate professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and currently senior principal investigator and professor at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, led a world-class "peacock" team in the field of drug discovery.

He said he was attracted by the plan because it not only preserves the intellectual property for the R&D (research and design) team, but also offers opportunities to develop cutting-edge technologies, which would help push Shenzhen's industries to a new level of innovation.

Asked why he had decided to leave Hong Kong, Ye said the SAR could not provide the environment for the development of his research in terms of industry support, culture, talents and facilities.

Wang Yuanhao, who's in his early 30s and led another "peacock" team to Shenzhen, was a former student at PolyU from 2007 to 2011 after having graduated from Tsinghua University.

He said he had chosen to start his business in Shenzhen because "young talents are very much valued here".

His environmentally-friendly construction materials team has secured 20 million yuan funding so far.

"Compared to Shenzhen, Hong Kong's major advantage is the information it can get from both the mainland and abroad," Wang added. "It provides a wide sphere of vision."

Wang admitted he regarded the SAR as just a "transfer station" rather than a long-term base for development.

Caleb Baker, managing director of Asia-Pacific and emerging markets at Alexander Mann Solutions, said that while the number of information and communications technology professionals in Hong Kong had risen by 25 percent to more than 80,000 between 2008 and 2014, the sector is among the top three industries that are experiencing a dearth of talent.

"It's important for Hong Kong to foster local talent, unlocking the potential of the workforce and strengthening workforce performance and productivity," Baker pointed out.

"Attracting overseas talents to Hong Kong is one way it can address the problem of inadequate local labor supply," he said.

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China's IP protection lights up lighting industry (2015-11-13,Xinhua)

There has been an exponential growth in the lighting industry in recent years as improvements in the country's intellectual property environment give a boost to domestic innovations and entrepreneurship.

"There is an increasing demand for IP protection in the industry partly as a result of more interaction with foreign businesses," said Hou Yumei, director of an intellectual property protection center in Guangdong's Zhongshan city.

"It's also because of rising awareness among Chinese companies to protect their own inventions, patents, trademarks, and copyrights," added Hou.

The center, set up in the city's Guzhen township crowned as the "lighting capital" in the world's second-largest economy, is a one-stop institution with a mini-court offering legal services for local companies, part of efforts in the industry's IP protection drive.

Lighting companies in Guzhen, selling more than 70 percent of lighting products in the domestic market, have been extending their global outreach in recent years along with home-grown brands of high quality and unique designs.

Candy Lin, head of the overseas sales department of Zhongshan Kinglong Lighting Co Ltd, said: "IPR is crucial to a company that values its innovations, whose infringement could largely undercut its enthusiasm for continued R&D investment."

The company, which owns more than 400 lighting patents, has gained a strong foothold in overseas markets, including Europe, the United States, and Russia, which contribute 70 percent of its total sales on average every year.

Lin didn't reveal the company's annual sales revenue, but said that about 80 percent of it comes from selling its new products and 5 percent goes to its research and development.

Lu Weilin, board secretary and chief financial officer of Huayi Lighting Co Ltd, said that Chinese lighting products have been increasingly accepted worldwide, but there's "demand for a more streamlined patent market in order to push forward."

"Filing lawsuits and trying to win them are too costly as well as time-consuming, with no guaranteed success," he said. "In order to secure our market share, we'd rather invest more in R&D and fight the counterfeiters with more new products. But it costs a lot."

It's a lose-lose situation for both leaders and followers in the industry. And more important, the counterfeiting jeopardizes the overseas image of made-in-China products, said Lu. "That's why we need more government support and bigger anti-piracy efforts."

Huayi Lighting, which has about 300 lighting patents, sold 40 percent of its products overseas worth about 1 billion yuan ($157 million) last year.

The company set up a national testing lab in 2009 with a system that combines enterprises and universities, including Tsinghua University, and research institutes to enhance innovative capabilities in the lighting industry.

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Intellectual property rights eduction to enter schools in China (2015-11-13,Xinhua)

China will start a pilot program to extend intellectual property rights (IPR) education to primary and middle schools, China's IPR watchdog said on Friday.

The pilot program was mapped following the country's IPR strategy from 2014 to 2020, said a notice jointly issued by the State Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Education.

In the first batch, 30 to 50 pilot schools will be chosen. By 2020, China will set up 100 such schools thorough IPR education.

It aims to improve the national IPR awareness through "educating a student, then a family and a society," it said.

The chosen schools will receive fees, training and overseas exchanges.

China has been working to protect IPR. As of Monday, a Beijing court specializing in IPR, China's first, has accepted around 8,000 cases since November last year.

Two more IPR courts were set up in Guangzhou and Shanghai in December last year, to deal with cross-regional civil and administrative lawsuits regarding patents, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout design and technological knowledge.

Chinese courts hear about 110,000 IPR cases annually and this is expected to increase.

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Beijing E-Town in the vanguard of innovation (2015-11-12,China Daily)

After years of transformation, the industrial zone has become a leader in high-tech innovation, Yang Cheng and Wang Sujuan report.

Over the last two decades the Chinese economy has witnessed rapid transformation, Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, or E-Town, has been in the vanguard of this transition, playing a leading role in the country's high-tech industries, attracting foreign investment and fostering overseas expansion. E-town has more or less achieved the initial goal of the Beijing municipal government to drive economic development.

Now it is accelerating its transformation into a scientific and technological innovation center by further developing its role as an innovation leader through the strengthening of its independent research and development capabilities, and attracting talented professionals and services to the enterprises in the zone.

During the past decade, about 80 percent of the research achievements at the E-Town have been commercialized and they in turn have started generating returns. Today the zone is home to 485 high-tech enterprises and about 300 research institutes, of which 180 are at the national and city-level.

There are also 10 key national research laboratories in the zone and 24 public service stations that focus on technology.

Statistics show that for every 10,000 residents in the E-Town there are 240 patents, ranking the E-Town top of all national-level development zones in this respect.

Companies with internationally competitive advantages are evolving in the E-Town and 104 have been approved by the municipal government as "little giants", an award given to fast-growing high-tech firms.

To date, 12 companies in the E-Town have been honored as models for patent application and ownership and 266 companies have been recognized for their efforts in applying technological patents.

Many local researchers have been selected as part of the country's campaign to lure back overseas Chinese.

Among them 50 are from the national-level "1,000-talent" project, which aims at attract 1,000 leading overseas returnees to the country to benefit its technological advancement. A further 90 are from Beijing's "Haiju project," which aims to attract overseas Chinese back to the capital.

Investors' confidence

Large investors, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, which is listed in New York and Hong Kong, and domestic liquid crystal display maker BOE Technology Group, have built production and control facilities in the E-Town.

"Since we first came to E-Town in 2002, we have been seeing changes almost on a daily basis," said Rena Xia a public relations executive at SMIC. "We enjoy the work environment and living conditions here. We have developed an attachment to it."

As the leading integrated circuit wafer producer in China, SMIC takes pride in its state-of-the-art 28-nano technology, which has enabled China's IC products to be in the world's top rank.

In 2005 Germany's Mercedes-Benz decided to build its China manufacturing center in E-Town. In 2011, Mercedes-Benz located its only overseas engine plant in E-Town; the first of its kind in Mercedes-Benz's 125-year history. This year, Mercedes China announced its revenue had increased eightfold during the past 10 years.

After the global financial crisis in 2008, a BOE executive boasted that, due to the rising demand for smartphones and tablet computers, "we are growing like a currency printing press".

Today, BOE is already the largest LCD manufacturer for smartphones and tablets; two out of every 10 phones have a screen manufactured by BOE, and three out of every 10 tablet screens. In 2012, it ranked second worldwide for the number of patent applications, which showed its independent innovation capabilities.

To prepare for the rise in mobile Internet, BOE has expanded its production facility in E-Town. As one of BOE's close partners, the Chinese arm of US-headquartered Corning Inc, a specialist in display technologies, has also built a production center in E-Town, almost next door to BOE's most advanced site.

Corning has been an active participant in China's development for the last 35 years and provides LCD glass for BOE. It has invested more than $2 billion and employs about 3,000 people on the Chinese mainland.

"Our strategy is to have our facility where our key customers are located," said Li Fang, Corning's president for the Greater China region. "Support from the local government is also a key criteria for us when we consider the location of our facilities."

E-Town is progressing through rapid industrial reshuffling and technological upgrading. The zone has gathered not only a competitive cluster of companies from abroad and from other places in China, but also talented people.

According to the administrative committee, a number of high-level professionals trained overseas are working for various companies in E-Town. SMIC, for example, has 50 international employees.

"They (the employees) all belong to the backbone of the company," said Xia. The employees help manage and operate one-third of SMIC's entire capacity, and have delivered an unprecedented lift in product quality and sales in the first two quarters of the year.

Technologies have also given E-Town a head start in the country's transition from an export-led, investment-dependent, energy-driven development model to a more sustainable one. The zone's new-generation enterprises are leading the rest of the nation in growth.

Edward Tian, a long-term Internet investor who has taken advantage of the growth potential in big data and cloud computing, said he "doesn't see a sign of a slowdown" in the research and application of new technologies.

"We don't see a drain of capital, either," he said. "Plus, there are various preferential programs, from the central government's grants and tax incentives to local government's support on a physical level, like what we received from E-Town."

Xingshulin, a mobile Internet platform enabling physicians to access patient files on smartphones, was developed with funding from Tian's CBC Capital and is partly based in E-Town's Cloud Valley, a cluster of cloud computing application firms. The platform has attracted more than 1 million registered users nationwide, he said.

Big data and data-based mobile applications are expected to drive E-Town's next stage of development.

The Beijing municipal government recognized E-Town as a main contributor to the city's progress in the development and manufacturing of integrated circuits in advanced sensing, energy efficiency, the Internet of Things, display technology, e-diagnosis and e-medical services.

In another development, E-Town is one of China's leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centers and gained a nickname of "China's Medicine Valley."

The Youcare Pharmaceutical Group, based in E-Town, moved from the economic powerhouses in the South China cities of Guangzhou and Zhuhai and has now extended its reach to the US.

Yu Weishi, president of Youcare, which was ranked as one of the Chinese companies with great development potential but the US magazine Forbes, said: "Our decision to move from South China and to set up headquarters in the E-Town has proven to be successful. Our 10 years of efforts here laid solid foundations for Youcare's international presence in some 40 countries and regions as well as four high-end production and research centers around China."

Yu, who visited the US with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, said the company now has a research and development center in New York, seven of its products were approved the FDA and it has purchased a plant owned by US drugmaker Actavis in Los Angeles.

In 2010, US retailer Walmart opened its second Beijing Sam's Club, which mainly targets high-end customers.

According to An Yuan, PR manager of Walmart China, "Walmart and Sam's Club are confident in the E-Town's future growth and development potential. The E-Town is fostering an international-level investment climate, offering companies with facilitated procedures and encouraging their innovations."

An also praised the efforts made by the area's government authorities, including industrial and commercial administrations, food and drug quality supervision and quarantine bureaus as well as fire prevention departments.

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Report shows govt progress in IPR protection, anti-counterfeiting (2015-11-12,Xinhua)

Public satisfaction improved regarding the government's work against fake products and intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement in 2014, according to a new report.

Public satisfaction with government work in IPR protection rose 4.5 percent year on year to 69.4 percent in China in 2014, according to the China Annual Report against IPR Infringement and Counterfeit, released Thursday by the Office of the Leading Group for the Campaign against IPR Infringement and Counterfeit, a government body under the Ministry of Commerce.

There were fewer counterfeit-related complaints among 800,000 respondents in the latter half of 2014 compared to the previous period, according to the report, which was compiled based on work reports of government bodies both at the central and local levels.

China has toughened its stance against IPR infringement and fake products through a variety of measures, but challenges have emerged with the rise of e-commerce. According to a report delivered to Chinese lawmakers earlier this month, only 58.7 percent of items sold online were genuine or of good quality last year.

Chai Haitao, an official with the Office of the Leading Group, said rampant IPR infringement and fake products on the Internet have posed a challenge for supervisors.

"We hope that the report will awaken China to the importance of IPR protection and help improve merchandise quality," Chai said at a press release for the report.

Lin Xiuqin, the report's executive editor-in-chief, said that the publication is a display of government determination to fight illegal activities in the market.

The Chinese version of the report was released Thursday in China and globally. An English version is expected to be published in the near future.

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Pending patent regulation puts more responsibility on platforms (2015-11-11,China Daily)

As the world's biggest one-day online shopping spree takes place in China on Nov 11, many online shops are concerned that their patented products are being copied by others while consumers are afraid of buying counterfeit goods.

Home to a large number of Internet companies, including the nation's top e-commerce platform Alibaba Group, Zhejiang province will start to implement a revised patent regulation on Jan 1, 2016, which requires e-commerce companies to shoulder the responsibility of dealing with patent infringements.

With the rapid development of e-commerce, online patent infringement disputes are also on the rise, which impacts negatively on patent owners' legal rights and interests and disturbs market order. Zhejiang province has long been a pioneer in patent protection in the e-commerce sector, and released the country's first guidance for e-commerce patent protection.

The new regulation will specify the responsibilities and work procedures for e-commerce platforms to deal with patent infringement and counterfeiting. This means trade platforms will be responsible for solving e-commerce patent infringements.

The pending regulation states that online and TV shopping service providers should improve daily management of their products and services. When patent infringements or counterfeiting are spotted, they should take immediate actions to stop it and report it to the local patent administration.

In addition, county-level patent administrative departments will be given law enforcement powers to improve patent protection. Some departments will be empowered to mediate disputes on patent infringements and investigate cases involving patent counterfeiting, repeated infringements and cases with great impact, according to the regulation.

In 2014, the province handled 2,518 patent disputes in the e-commerce area, accounting for about 90 percent of the total number nationwide. In the first nine months of this year, the province handled 45,000 patent disputes, including those involving the Internet, according to the provincial intellectual property office.

The first edition of the province's patent regulation was issued in 1998, and amended in 2005 and 2011. In the latest version, 25 entries have been revised with 27 new entries added.

Other highlights of the new version include a regulation on the rights of disposal and profiting for a patent's inventor or designer, who will be given the priority in enjoying these rights.

The pending regulation also stipulates county-level governments should regulate the patent trade and auction markets and support patent online trading platforms.

Zhou Guohui, head of the provincial intellectual property office, suggested the government play the roles of "bartender" and "shopkeeper". "The government needs to improve patent services and management in establishing trade markets and an assessment mechanism," he said.

According to a report by the State Intellectual Property Office, Zhejiang's intellectual property development comprehensive index and patent comprehensive strength ranked fourth in China in 2014. Zhejiang companies and individuals filed 261,000 patent applications, and were granted 188,000 patents that year.

In that year, the province's law enforcement also investigated 3,506 patent-related cases, including 2,963 patent infringement cases, which was the largest number in China.

In the first nine months of this year, 6,601 cases were recorded in the province and 6,170 concluded. More than 1,000 patent civil disputes have been mediated.

The sharply rising number of cases is also a reflection of the province's enhanced efforts in protecting intellectual property rights, Zhou said.

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Government supports unique intellectual property fund (2015-11-11,China Daily)

China's first government-led intellectual property fund was launched in Beijing on Monday.

With initial capital of 100 million yuan ($15.72 million), the Guozhi Intelligence Intellectual Property Fund co-founded by the Guozhi Patent Warning Consulting Center and Qinglin Huacheng, an investment company, is targeted at companies set to list on the New Third Board, an over-the-counter market for small businesses.

"The fund will be mainly used to help companies develop their IP and gain patents for core technologies in a bid to position themselves better in the industrial landscape," said Zhao Wei, general manager of Qinglin Huacheng.

"We will regularly release the Guozhi Intelligence Intellectual Property Index, which is a key indicator for the fund's investment and patent services after research into the IP index of listed companies on the New Third Board and analysis of their success factors," Zhao said.

Unlike its peers, the new fund will also offer IP consultancy services ranging from patent filings to industry technology trend analysis to aid companies to increase their IP asset value, said Zhang Dan, director of the Publicity Department of the Beijing Patent Examination Cooperation Center at the State Intellectual Property Office.

With the Guozhi Patent Warning Consulting Center as its subsidiary, the Beijing Patent Examination Cooperation Center annually processes more than one-third of invention patent applications and over 90 percent of filings for two other types of patents in China - utility models and industrial designs - enabling it to become the largest unit directly under SIPO's Patent Office, said Bai Guangqing, director of the Beijing Patent Examination Cooperation Center, who added that the center also releases thousands of patent analysis reports.

One of China's first group of pilot patent operation companies, the Guozhi center has been granted 10 million yuan from the Ministry of Finance, half of which went to the new fund.

The rest of the fund is financed by a variety of channels, including the IP office of Beijing's Haidian district, financial institutions and private investors.

"By establishing the fund, we hope the government investment will divert more capital from the private sector to IP and, meanwhile, promote technology innovation and IP protection, use and operation," Bai said.

The cooperation with Qinglin Huacheng, a private equity manager with rich expertise in investment in high-tech companies, is a crossover covering both IP and financial spheres, he added. "It is mutually beneficial for both parties."

As China is accelerating its innovation-driven development strategy on a path toward becoming an IP powerhouse, the market environment, property system, and mechanisms for financing, benefit distribution and fostering and attracting human resources all need to be factored into creating an innovation-friendly climate, said Lei Xiaoyun, director of SIPO's patent administration department.

As a fundamental guarantee for motivating innovation, the IP system is itself a property and market mechanism for distributing resources, and advances the country's change from a manufacturing hub to a creation center, from focusing on speed to quality, from China-made products to established Chinese brands, Lei noted.

A policy on accelerating the implementation of the innovation-driven strategy released by the central government in March noted the significance of strict IP protection and enhanced support for technology innovation in the capital market, and called for exploring IP securitization and IP-collateralized financial services.

SIPO initiated a patent navigation pilot program in April 2013, using patent information to improve business decisions and promote industrial development.

Currently, there are eight patent navigation industry development test zones across the country.

The government plans to have a stake in 20 out of 70 patent operation pilot companies, including the Guozhi Patent Warning Consulting Center.

Ten provinces have received financial support from the central government for establishing IP operational funds and four provinces for risk compensation funds for IP-collateralized financing this year.

That support helps create a sound IP operational environment, including financial platforms, institutions, capital and the industry, for developing an innovation-friendly ecosystem, Lei said.

She said she expected the new fund to play a leading role as "a national team" in serving small high-tech companies and become a benchmark for patent operation pilot businesses.

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Technological innovations key for economic growth: WIPO (2015-11-11,Xinhua)

A report published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on Wednesday highlighted the importance of innovation in breakthrough technologies for both national and global economic outlooks.

"Historical technological breakthroughs have been at the root of long-lasting expansions in economic output," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, adding that "successful innovation, at the company level or across the wider economy, requires perseverance, particularly in periods of anaemic growth when innovation budgets are under pressure."

Entitled the World Intellectual Property Report 2015: Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth, the study draws parallels between past game-changing advancements such as airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors with present-day frontier technologies such as 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics.

Japan and the United States lead a small group of nations which includes Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea that is driving innovation in these domains which have the potential to boost economic growth, the report indicated.

Figures show that this tight-knit group accounts for 75 percent or more of all-time patent filings in the areas of 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics.

While Japanese companies are leading innovation in the area of robotics, U.S. entities are collectively filling most of the nanotechnology and 3D printing patents.

According to findings, China is the only emerging middle-income country approaching this group of nations in terms of innovation trends and patent applications.

Since 2005, China has accounted for over a quarter of worldwide patents in the fields of 3D printing and robotics, the highest share among all countries.

Concerning nanotechnology, Chinese applicants account for close to 15 percent of global filings, the third largest origin of patents.

The report also indicated that Chinese patent landscapes show a significantly stronger presence of universities and public research organisations (PROs) than in established innovating countries.

This is particularly important as the report documents how innovation is increasingly tied to research at universities and PROs.

The World Intellectual Property Report is published every two years, with each edition focusing on specific trends in an area of intellectual property.

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Investment in R&D, education in China to increase growth, innovations: WIPO chief economist (2015-11-11,Xinhua)

"China is a country where you've seen a lot of investment in R&D, as well as in the education and science system with the long term view that this will harvest growth dividends in the future," World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Chief Economist Carsten Fink told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Speaking at the release of the World Intellectual Property Report 2015: Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth, Fink explained that "China faces the challenge of the economy transiting from a largely physical investment-driven economy to one where consumption and productivity play a greater role," adding that "innovation has an important role to play."

Since 2005, China has accounted for over a quarter of worldwide patents in the fields of 3D printing and robotics, the highest share among all countries.

Concerning nanotechnology, Chinese applicants account for close to 15 percent of global filings, the third largest origin of patents.

In light of these trends, Fink iterated the importance of perseverance as "innovations often take years, even decades to materialise into economic growth."

WIPO's report furthermore reveals that Chinese patent landscapes show a significantly stronger presence of universities and public research organisations (PROs) than in established innovating countries.

This is particularly important as the report documents how innovation is increasingly tied to research at universities and PROs, while WIPO head Francis Gurry highlighted with interest the recent introduction in China of legislation similar to the U.S. Bayh-Dole Act passed in the 1980s.

"China has introduced this year the equivalent of the Bayh-Dole Act to get the results of R&D that is being funded in the public sector into the productive sector, so it's a very market oriented measure to get research into the productive economy," he noted.

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Crackdown on counterfeits to help local firms (2015-11-10,China Daily)

China will take decisive measures to stop counterfeits and poor-quality products from being exported to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and countries along the Belt and Road Initiative regions to ensure that the reputation of national brands is not smudged, top officials said on Monday.

The government will deploy more resources and manpower to increase its supervision of daily necessities, electronics, cosmetics, garments and pharmaceutical products being exported to these destinations, and crack down on illegal activities like forged export certificates and official seals, stealing quarantine clearance documents and selling clearance papers.

Chai Haitao, deputy director of the Office of the National Leading Group for Combating IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting, said even though China exported $2.21 trillion of goods and became the world's largest goods trader in 2014, still, some domestic and foreign criminals are collaborating with each other to manufacture counterfeits and low-quality products for exports to make profit.

"This has not only damaged the interests of foreign consumers, but also hurt the image and reputation of Chinese products in the world market," said Chai.

The government move is aimed at maintaining balanced and sustainable trade and boosting domestic manufacturers' global branding, especially under the current weak global trade environment, he said.

China will also actively check intellectual property infringement and counterfeiting in cross-border e-commerce activities, as well as strengthen cooperation with law enforcement departments of foreign countries, including the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

The Ministry of Commerce has urged economic and commercial counselors in more than 140 countries to establish specialized teams to protect interests of Chinese brands.

Data showed China has seized counterfeits and poor-quality products valued at 1.9 billion yuan ($299 million) since 2010.

"A major reason for the frequent trade frictions is the low price of China's goods," said Yu Bin, deputy director-general of the department of policy and legal affairs at the General Administration of Customs.

"Once the quality of our products is improved, prices will go up and foreign nations will find it hard to blame China."

The General Administration of Customs has till date unearthed 2,197 cases of illegal shipments since April this year. It has taken 708 law enforcement actions to track and seize counterfeit goods with a total value of 80.3 million yuan between January and October this year.

"Improving the quality will boost the reputation of 'made in China' products," said Liu Shiyuan, deputy director-general of the department of inspection and quarantine clearance at the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

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'No chance of settlement' between Alibaba and Kering: Jack Ma (2015-11-09,China Daily)

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said there is no chance of a settlement between his company and French luxury conglomerate Kering SA, which filed a lawsuit against Alibaba for turning a blind eye to counterfeiters, according to a report on Forbes' website.

"I would [rather] lose the case, lose the money," he was quoted as saying. "But we would gain our dignity and respect."

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in New York by Kering, the owner of luxury brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, on May 15. It alleged that Alibaba had conspired to manufacture, offer for sale and traffic in counterfeit products bearing their trademarks without permission.

Kering said the lawsuit is part of the group's ongoing global efforts to maintain its customers' trust in genuine products.

It is the second time in less than a year that Kering is suing Alibaba over the alleged sale of fake goods. Alibaba and Kering reached a resolution on a suit filed in July 2014.

Ma said upholding intellectual property rights is not simply a "white and black" issue, stressing that his company needs to care about the rights of all people involved, both the branded businesses and the online sellers.

Alibaba said in a statement in May that "we continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help them protect their intellectual property, and we have a strong track record of doing so."

"Unfortunately, Kering has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive cooperation," the company said.

Ma said again that his company is open to partners in terms of the fights against counterfeiters.

"We are the military fighting against the counterfeit terrorists. [The brands] have to work together with us instead of killing the soldiers," he said.

Taobao, a major Alibaba online shopping platform, was placed on the list of Notorious Markets by the Office of the US Trade Representative in 2008. But it was removed from the list four years later after Alibaba's collaboration in stopping counterfeits.

The counterfeit problem is prompting some Alibaba partners to move to other platforms.

On May 13, Sephora, a global beauty retailer owned by LVMH Group - the world's largest luxury goods company - set up its first online store on Inc, one of Alibaba's major rivals.'s good reputation was one of the main reasons why Sephora chose to be part of its platform, according to Sephora China.

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Beijing IPR court accepts nearly 8,000 cases since operation (2015-11-09,Xinhua)

A Beijing court specializing in intellectual property rights (IPR), China's first, has accepted around 8,000 cases since November last year, authorities said Monday.

Su Chi, head of the court, said at a press conference that the court has accepted 7,918 IPR-related cases and closed more than 3,200 over the past year. Most cases were administrative lawsuits.

To handle IPR conflict, the court has cooperated with university law schools and invited academics and lawyers to discuss some legal questions together on a regular basis.

China has been working to protect IPR. Two more IPR courts were set up in Guangzhou and Shanghai in December last year, to deal with cross-regional civil and administrative lawsuits regarding patents, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout design and technological knowledge.

Chinese courts hear about 110,000 IPR cases annually and this is expected to increase.

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Nanofilm gains large share of China market (2015-11-07,China Daily)

With leading-edge and environmentally friendly coating technologies, Nanofilm Technologies International Pte Ltd has gain a strong foothold in China.

Founded in 1999, the high-tech spin-off from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University provides vacuum coating systems, which are used in a wide range of sectors including solar panels, auto parts and branded electronics, such as smartphones, computers, watches and cameras.

The technologies have also contributed to technological innovations in traditional industries such as textiles, expanding the life span of machine components and increasing their work efficiency, according to the company.

"Our core competence lies with our ground-breaking technology and continuous innovations, which resulted in the achievement of many advantages over conventional coating techniques," said Shi Xu, CEO and founder of the Singapore-headquartered company.

The PhD holder was an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University and has served on the International Advisory Board of the Nano Materials Center at the University of Queensland in Australia.

He founded Nanofilm based on his award-winning and patented filtered cathodic vacuum arc technology and utilized the FCVA technology in the hard disk drive industry to provide an ultra-thin protective layer of amorphous diamond overcoat TAC-ON, setting new records and benchmarks for the worldwide coating industry. With the world's first FCVA inline coating system, Nanofilm has already obtained 70 percent of the market share in the sector.

These advantages of the FCVA technologies include "dense coating structure with high hardness, excellent adhesion and low coating temperature", Shi said.

With more than 30 international patents, the high-tech company is well positioned in the vacuum coating system segment.

Targeted at the growing China market and riding high on the country's efforts in industrial upgrading and environmental protection, Nanofilm has set up two subsidiaries in Shanghai.

Nanofilm Vacuum Coating (Shanghai), founded in 2002, focuses on vacuum coating services using FCVA technology and related services, and Nanofilm Renewable Energy Technology (Shanghai), established in 2011, supplies coating systems for photovoltaic modules with high performance yet at low cost.

The two subsidiaries are both expanding to meet market demand.

NVC, with more than 1,000 staff, was granted the status of a high-tech company by the local government in 2011.

"Along with our business expansion, we will speed up the setup of research and development in China," Shi said. "We strive to forge synergism and promote more interactions between our operations in Singapore and China and excel in their respective areas.

"By leveraging our international platform in Singapore, Nanofilm will bring more technologies, equipment and talented people into China and help it develop core competency in vacuum coating technology."

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Entrepreneur invents stab-resistant fabric vest (2015-11-06,China Daily)

A Shanghai entrepreneur with a master's degree in textiles has invented a new type of polymer compound that creates a soft, light, stab-resistant layer of protection in an ordinary jacket.

Bodyguards, bank security teams and doctors fearful of disgruntled patients are among the early customers of Ma Feifei's Shanghai Saint Armor Safety Protection Technology Co Ltd.

Ma, who received his degree from Donghua University in Shanghai, said his invention had received a government patent and passed quality tests conducted by the country's public security authority.

Wang Xinhou, a textiles professor at Donghua, says Ma's invention will make a significant contribution to the industry.

"I believe the stab-proof jackets based on the material invented by Ma is the best one regarding both comfort and stab resistance in the domestic market," Wang says.

A marketing video provided by the company showed how several powerful stabs from a bayonet from different angles tore the exterior fabric of a jacket constructed of the material, while the special interior layer and the mannequin remained intact.

"The jackets can render uttermost protection to people when they run into attacks from a dagger, bayonet, kitchen knife or chopper," Ma says. "Generally speaking, if an assailant is not a retired soldier or has extraordinary skills in committing a physical assault, the wearer can be protected from wounds in the majority of cases."

The company's products, which have different stab-resistance levels, abide by national standards, Ma says.

Lu Danni, a doctor at a hospital in Shanghai's Xuhui district, expresses interest in the material. Incidents involving attacks on doctors have been well-documented in China.

"If their products really prove to be effective, I'm interested in having my white gown tailor-made with a layer of the special material stitched inside," Lu says.

The key to the textile is a 2-millimeter-thick interlayer made of a polymer compound material composed of macromolecule resin and chemical fibers that are very strong and knittable. Ma says his pre-production research included thousands of experiments.

The material's softness and comfort provide the product's major edge over competitors in the domestic market, since those mostly use a hard metal layer that inconveniences the wearer, Ma says.

The company's stab-resistant jacket weighs around 1 kg and costs about 600 yuan ($95). A vest weighs around 700 grams and costs range from 300 to 800 yuan. Sales records for the company's online store on Taobao, a major online shopping platform, indicate more than 1,000 jackets and vests are sold every month.

"Around two-thirds of the orders come from foreign countries, such as in the Middle East and Southeast Asia," Ma says.

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China's design culture is kicking off: expert (2015-11-06,Xinhua)

Chinese companies like Xiaomi are living proof that "China's design culture is kicking off," American Internet expert Clay Shirky told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Founded in 2010 and now the world's third largest smartphone company, Xiaomi shows China's shift from a global manufacturer to a global innovater, Shirky said.

Invited by Columbia Global Centers of East Asia, the NYU Shanghai associate professor and best-selling author hosted a public talk in Beijing following the recent publication of his book "Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream".

Although Xiaomi is a smartphone manufacturer, it built its reputation through engaging with technically sophisticated users, online sales and social media marketing, he said. The act of combining these three things has created a new model for manufacturing and services and enables Xiaomi to stride ahead of its domestic rivals.

"I think Xiaomi's most remarkable creation, other than the Xiaomi itself, is the way the company works," Shirky said.

Despite patent barriers, Xiaomi also enjoys popularity in developing countries, which take up a big portion of the global market.

In 2014, Sweden's Ericsson won a court order banning the import and sale of Xiaomi smartphones in India due to patent infringements.

Lei Jun, the founder of the company described it as Xiaomi's "coming of age", saying that Xiaomi would invest more in research and development.

Though Xiaomi's business model can be replicated by other companies in other countries, he worries that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer will face market challenges in the western world as its services have many Chinese characteristics which make local success easier but more difficult to export.

He also pointed out that very few western companies start with the letter X, which can be difficult to pronounce or spell.

"The story of China as the world's workshop is ending, and it is really a good lens to see a Chinese design firm firing on all pistons and what it can accomplish," said Shirky.

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More court cases following free trade zone's expansion (2015-11-04,China Daily)

The expansion of the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone has brought growing demand for judicial protection, in which civil and commercial cases involving intellectual property are commonly seen, according to a white paper issued on Oct 28.

The white paper was released by the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Court, to show the status of judicial service of the court.

Following the establishment of the FTZ in September 2013, the court set up a tribunal in the zone to improve judicial protection.

According to the white paper, from November 2014 to October, the court handled 6,423 cases involving the FTZ, including 4,947 civil and commercial cases, a more than six-fold increase year-on-year.

There were also 308 criminal cases and one administrative case.

"The sharp rise of commercial cases reflects the increasing demand for judicial protection with the expansion of the FTZ," said Zhang Bin, head of the court.

The cases involved different issues and companies, depending on where they were located. For example, in Zhangjiang where many high-tech companies are based, violation of trademark rights, copyrights and other intellectual property disputes made up the majority of cases, according to the white paper.

In Lujiazui, financial cases accounted for more than 80 percent of the total cases and in Jinqiao, the cases were mainly about investment and trade.

As international trade grows in the FTZ, the number of foreign investment and commercial cases has also grown rapidly, the white paper said.

Among them, cases about fund lending and borrowing increased 255.6 percent from November 2014 to October, which means further improvement of related laws and regulations is needed, Zhang said.

The white paper also reported that more disputes occurred in newly established companies. Some finance information service companies appear to lack standards when financing and obtaining money, leading to related disputes.

Six typical cases involving disputes from the zone were publicized on the same day as the white paper was released.

In one of them, a trademark owner authorized trademark rights to a company and an online store with different price policies, which created a conflict of interest between the agents and sellers who had purchased the products from different channels.

The white paper said that the fast developing e-commerce sector is an emerging area that law enforcement authorities should pay increasing attention to, as complaints by online shoppers are on the rise. It called for strengthened administrative supervision in this field.

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Auto IP alliance set up to help emerging new-energy sector (2015-11-04,China Daily)

China's first intellectual property rights alliance for the auto industry was launched on Friday in Beijing.

Supported by the Beijing Intellectual Property Office, the alliance has 23 founding members, including the nation's leading auto and auto parts makers, research institutions and IP service agencies.

The nonprofit organization aims to create an IP rights cooperation model featuring joint research and management to improve members' ability to industrialize their innovation achievements, establish industry standards and defend international patent risks, according to its constitution.

"The alliance serves its members by building a platform to let them share information and conduct research on issues of common concern," said Qian Haifeng, chairman of the alliance and general counsel of Beijing-based Foton Motor Inc, at the alliance's inaugural ceremony.

"With joint R&D efforts in cutting-edge areas, the alliance will connect the upper and lower streams of the industry chains, analyze risks in new technologies and expand its patent pool of core technologies," said Qian.

He added that the alliance will also partner with other IP service providers and serve as a "demonstration and trading platform" for high-value patents developed by its members.

Liu Xuefei, general manager of Beijing Zhirong Intellectual Property Rights Consulting Co, said the alliance's focuses in the near future include building a patent operation team, analysis of its patent portfolio and assets and encouraging innovation.

The government of Beijing is taking great effort in the development of new-energy vehicles by encouraging innovation in technology and service models.

Zhou Yan, deputy director of the Beijing Intellectual Property Office, said the alliance was established "at the right time", as it is the first of its kind in the city to conduct joint research and IP operations and protection in the new-energy car sector.

The office has given advice to 16 industry alliances in the city with more than 140 members in total, who applied for 8,000 invention patents last year, an increase of 30 percent from 2013.

"Apparently IP alliances are playing an important role in promoting IP rights creation and industrial upgrading," said Zhou.

Jiang Danming, chief IP counsel at Geely Holding Group, a member of the alliance, said that among the alliance members, cooperation is more important than competition, especially in emerging technical areas such as new-energy cars.

"Competition is just seen on the market, but behind that we have more opportunities of R&D cooperation and information exchange," he said.

He added that the auto companies need to improve their patent analysis capabilities, which requires partnership with IP agencies.

On the same day as the launch, a round-table seminar was held and government officials, patent examiners and analysts from IP agencies gave lectures and presented case studies on how brand building and overall IP solutions can help innovation and company development.

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Xiaomi faces uphill climb in US: analysts (2015-10-29,China Daily)

If Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi does try to enter the US market, the company will likely face patent litigation, and its business model will be tested by an American consumer used to purchasing phones from a service provider, analysts said.

As domestic shipments wane, Xiaomi is looking to expand overseas. Xiaomi President Bin Lin said at a technology conference on Oct 21 that the company is considering selling its higher-end Mi Note and Mi Note Pro models in the US.

Huawei Technologies Co replaced Xiaomi as China's top smartphone vendor in the third quarter, according to tech industry research company Canalys.

Xiaomi sells its phones directly to the consumer, depending heavily on the Internet to generate sales. This has proven to be a successful strategy in China and other parts of Asia.

In the US, most smartphone buyers purchase a device from a service provider like AT&T Inc. Neil Mawston, executive director of the global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics in the United Kingdom noted that online phone sales are increasing in the US.

"We forecast one in four of all smartphones will be sold through online channels in the US in 2016," Mawston said in an email. "Xiaomi will not be able to target the whole US market, but it can target a select part, such as younger online buyers who might shop at Amazon.

"There is also a large Chinese community in US major cities such as San Francisco that Xiaomi can target for smartphone sales. Xiaomi could take the smartphone fight right into Apple's backyard in California," he added.

William Stofega, program director for mobile phones for International Data Corp (IDC), said Xiaomi will be tested by the US market.

"Google tried to do direct sales once and it didn't work out well," he wrote in an email. "The buying model is changing a bit in the US. This would be an interesting time to try it."

Clay Shirky, author of the new book LITTLE RICE: Smartphones, Xiaomi and the Chinese Dream, said Xiaomi will eventually arrive in the US, but that is not where the company¡¯s competitive advantage lies right now.

"Xiaomi excels at producing beautifully designed phones that are surprisingly cheap (and that's) a strategy that will work best in middle-market countries like Brazil, Nigeria, and Indonesia," Shirky said in an email.

"Xiaomi doesn't have an online only sales strategy as some futuristic move; they sell online because that cuts costs. They have so many opportunities right now that the lessons Xiaomi has learned in China are far more portable to the middle market, and that market is much larger than the US and Europe put together," he said.

All the analysts said Xiaomi is likely to face patent litigation if it enters the US. "Xiaomi already is facing patent disputes with Ericsson in India," Mawston said.

"There is a feeling among holders of large numbers of mobile-relevant patents that Xiaomi has not done enough of their own research to merit being treated as a peer for the purposes of cross-licensing. In addition, Apple has issued very public and pointed complaints about the look and feel of Xiaomi's phones, and especially of the Mi4. Opening up in North America or western Europe may not be worth the legal costs right now," added Shirky.

Even if Xiaomi stays with its direct-selling model, the company will still need to set up a distribution and customer service network in the US.

"The US is geographically huge and Xiaomi will have to spend big money on setting up localized ecommerce sites, a network of warehouses, and contracting delivery firms to ship the models to consumers' homes. It is questionable whether Xiaomi has pockets deep enough at this stage to spread its distribution network across all of the US," said Mawston.

"Xiaomi may want to do this through an affiliate like Best Buy," said Stofega. "The company has to get this right. If a consumer's phone breaks down, they want a replacement right away."

Xiaomi has expanded into Brazil and India, but Mawston said that Xiaomi has so far failed to get traction in either market. "We estimate Xiaomi's smartphone market share was just 1 percent in India and close to zero percent in Brazil in (the second quarter of) 2015. Xiaomi's smartphone internationalization strategy has so far failed to take off," he said.

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Graphene is shaping nation's high-tech dreams (2015-10-29,China Daily)

China is now the global leader in patents and publications related to carbon nanotubes and graphene research and manufacturing, accounting for about 47 percent of the total patents, the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom said on Wednesday.

But experts warned that an oversupply in lower-grade graphene may occur in the near future as a result of aggressive capacity expansion in the country.

Carbon nanotubes are tubular cylinders of carbon atoms that have extraordinary mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical and chemical properties. Graphene is the thinnest and strongest substance known to mankind and is a carbon derivative.

Ivan Buckley, graphene project manager at the National Graphene Institute of the University of Manchester, said China needs to be cautious on the excessive production of lower-grade graphene products, which generally do not have the same quality as higher-grade ones in terms of conductivity.

"The huge reserves of graphite are probably one of the reasons why there has been a surge in the lower-grade graphene capacity," he said during the 2015 international graphene innovation conference, a three-day meeting in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Graphene is still largely unknown by the general public, but the material, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, which is tougher than a diamond, has the potential to change every aspect of modern life. It is developed from graphite.

Experts said with its high levels of conductivity and flexibility, graphene is set to revolutionize many industries, including sensors, batteries, conductors, electronics, solar panels, energy generation and biologics.

China has about 75 percent of global graphite reserves and accounts for 72 percent of the world's total capacity. It can become a strategic industry for China, however, only if it can fully commercialize graphene.

Experts said China will need at least 12 years to reach that target, given that it took two decades for copper to be used in semiconductors. But that process may be shortened as the graphene industry has got strong backing from the government.

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Nubia announces first eye-scan smartphone (2015-10-29,China Daily)

Nubia, the handset brand that has been used by Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan, unveiled a series of upgraded smartphones on Wednesday to mark three-year anniversary of the company's establishment.

One of the devices, Nubia Z9 Mini Elite, has been upgraded with new biometric authentication -- eye pattern recognition, the same technology embedded on ZTE's latest flagship Axon.

"Our users can use eye-scan to unlock their phone or encrypt applications," said Ni Fei, senior vice-president of Nubia Technology. "The technology brings maximum protection of user's privacy as well as creates a new interactive experience."

ZTE, the parent firm of Nubia before the latter announced financial autonomy in June, has jointly worked with US biometric security technology startup EyeVerify Inc to launch the "world's first smartphone" with eye-based biometric solution, called the Grand S3, at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.

Nubia Z9 Max Elite and rose gold colored Nubia "MyPrague" were also introduced at the launch event.

To compete with other domestic players in the cut-throat smarphone market, Nubia also announced it will sell online 30,000 Nubia Z9 units with a 1,000 yuan discount each before the upcoming "Nov 11" shopping festival -- China's biggest annual online sales event.

"If the demand exceeds the 30,000 units, we'll add more," said Ni.

According to Xinhua News Agency, since the start of its birth in 2012, Nubia was conceived as an international brand. Its first product was designed by Italian Stefano Giovannoni and product launch events were held in both Russia and Sweden.

"Chinese smartphone makers face great challenges in overseas market as intellectual property rights are imposed," said Ni.

According to Ni, the intellectual property rights and patents are shared by both ZTE and Nubia, and the company's overseas marketing strategy will follow three steps.

European countries, such as Germany and France, will be the company's first target market since the previous parent company -- ZTE has achieved mature business to consumers (B2C) promotion and distribution channels in these countries. Overseas markets such as South East Asia, North America and Latin America will follow Europe.

ZTE Nubia Z9 handsets were launched in India in May, and the Nubia "MyPrague" series was unveiled in Prague, the Czech Republic, in July.

Currently, Nubia phones are available in the United States, Russia, India, the Czech Republic and Spain through cooperation with Amazon and domestic e-commerce gaint

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Key to future Alzheimer's treatment lies in the past (2015-10-28,China Daily)

Hong Kong researchers are hunting for a significant breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by studying traditional Chinese medicine.

Research into the ingredients used in a traditional Chinese medicine may offer new hope to sufferers of Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative brain disorders.

A Hong Kong Baptist University research team is looking into the use of Huang Lian Jie Du Tang (HLJDT) to treat the symptoms and reverse some of the neurological changes of one of the key causes of dementia.

Professor Li Min and her team from the School of Chinese Medicine have modified the traditional formula of HLJDT for detoxification and removing heat from the body, and demonstrated that the modified formula can significantly remove the aggregation of proteins and the amino acids called Amyloid beta, which are commonly found in the brains of sufferers of Alzheimer's.

Prior research found that HLJDT had significant positive effects in treating inflammation, inadequate blood supply or cerebral ischemia, and tumours. From the technical point of view, their modified HLJDT gives greater therapeutic and pharmacological benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer's - with minimal side-effects.

Dr Alfred Tan, head of knowledge transfer office of Hong Kong Baptist University, has a mission to enable knowledge transfers through the community engagement such as facilitating the collaborations between the university and industry. Dr Tan described that Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are two of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases in the world, and the HLJDT research was significant given the prevalence of ageing and genetically-linked disorders among elderlies.

According to statistics, the prevalence of Alzheimer's for those aged over 60 ranges from 5 to 7 per cent worldwide. It was estimated that 35.6 million people lived with dementia worldwide in 2010, with numbers expected to almost double every 20 years to 65.7 million in 2030. For Parkinson's, there are about 10 million patients worldwide, whereas six million patients are in China. Moreover, for 2015, over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds is estimated (source:

Dr Tan mentioned that the current treatments for both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's produce only mild, symptomatic relief and do not halt progression of dementia. For example, just five drugs have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use by neurologists for the management of Alzheimer's. Since there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease at the moment, once the modified HLJDT is registered as a drug, it would bring in tremendous income.

Dr Durairajan SSK from Prof Li's team has been recognised by a grant from the Health and Medical Research Fund provided by Hong Kong's Food and Health Bureau. The funding supports in vivo research into the HLJDT compound, which the team call NeuroDefend, and its therapeutic effects when used in combination with metamine.

Besides, a HK$5-million donation received in January has been used to establish a research centre at the School of Chinese Medicine to support the study in pharmaceuticals derived from traditional Chinese medicines.

Recently, Prof Li and her team are being engaged in a pharmaceutical company to co-develop herbal supplements which may help protect the human nervous system from the damage caused by ageing.

Dr Tan believed that there were potentially broader applications for Professor Li's research beyond treating Alzheimer's.

"The next goal is to extract several major monomers in the formulation and create a new drug in molecular size for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease through the investigation of molecular interactions," Prof Li said.

The patent for Prof Li's HJDT is currently assigned to the university and has not yet been licensed out but Dr Tan acknowledged the potential was huge.

The university's Knowledge Transfer Office plays a crucial role; for example, assisting in the protection of the university's intellectual properties and commercialisation of inventions and seeking new partnerships.

The patent is currently available on the Asia IP Exchange, a free online platform and database showcasing intellectual properties around the world. Owned and managed by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the platform has more than 25,000 tradable IP listings, and its goal is to promote international IP trade and connect global IP players.

"The ever-growing number of patients afflicted by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's triggers the development of new drugs by many of the big pharmaceutical companies," Dr Tan said.

"Once a drug with high efficacy is developed, it would bring enormous impacts to the society and economy."

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The new share market (2015-10-28,China Daily)

The future of IP licensing, says Giustino de Sanctis, lies in the industry recognizing that the benefits and the costs of innovation have to be shared.

Giustino de Sanctis is a notable participant at this year's Business of IP Asia Forum (BIP Asia) to be held in December. He is one of the masterminds behind certain rather significant joint-licensing programs in consumer electronics.

He structured and managed the licensing program for Audio MPEG's MP3 audio format, often referred to as one of the most successful efforts to licence a consumer electronics innovation. He also launched joint-licensing programs for 4G LTE and 802.11, or Wi-Fi.

Having spent more than two decades working in licensing, earlier this year, the former IP lawyer established Vectis, an IP technology and licensing business. He is the firm's chief executive.

Experience, says de Sanctis, has taught him the importance of simplifying access to IP rights for widely-adopted, standardised technology.

The aggregation of patents was one added-value solution for companies working with technology, he says. "Patent aggregation clearly helps implementers access relevant IP while reducing transaction costs for all parties involved," he said.

He said Vectis has recently started working on a Wi-Fi licensing program which includes patents originally filed by Ericsson and Panasonic that are now owned by WiFi One.

"This program runs in the context of a patent aggregation format and a great deal of time has been spent to carefully design a licensing program which offers a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to third parties on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms," he said.

"Efforts are ongoing to further aggregate and offer licensees an even greater value."

"We believe in the value of sharing innovation. This simple, yet very powerful statement, distinguishes us from the traditional IP-based licensing models that focuses on the monetization of IP," said de Sanctis, adding, "Vectis was founded on the belief that innovation represents one of the core values and true potentials of our economy and that sharing of innovation and sharing of the costs of innovation are both essential for the technology's continued advancement."

"We are working to connect patent owners with product makers, forging long-lasting, mutually beneficial collaborations, and bringing added value to every party involved in the process," he said.

"Throughout this process we continue to work with licensees for licensors and with licensors for licensees and to design balanced programmes with the right terms for the specific market addressed to that specific IP."

When it comes to the key issue in IP-licensing strategies in technology, de Sanctis says a complex global market and a switched-on world means there is an increasing complexity vis-a-vis the rights a company has to acquire, to design and sell a product or service.

"Some have referred to this phenomenon as a 'patent thicket', highlighting the difficulties of obtaining the necessary licenses and putting a negative spin on it," he said.

"The reality is that products today are extremely rich in technology and as a consequence the technology utilized is covered by many patents.

"There is a real need for a new approach to address this complexity. For me, the particular issues that need to be confronted are lack of clarity, fragmentation, and often, absence of transparency or asymmetric information sharing in the IP-licensing industry."

The future of IP licensing, says de Sanctis, lies in the industry recognizing that the benefits and the costs of innovation have to be shared.

"We have to take a step back and not just focus on IP, but rather on the technology itself and also on the processes that regulate the commercial success of the technology in the market," he said.

"The key is to design the programme with a 'technology transfer' program, rather than exclusively as an IP-licensing program."

Himself the inventor of a patent on how to allocate revenues among different patent owners in joint-licensing deals, de Sanctis is moderating one of the plenary sessions at this year's BIP Asia on the theme of "Global Trends for IP-Licensing Strategies".

Vectis is the gold sponsor of BIP Asia, to be held from December 3 to 4 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

BIP Asia - jointly organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Design Centre - will see IP professionals and leaders from around the world gather in Hong Kong to discuss key IP issues and trends.

Hong Kong's position as the business hub of Asia, said de Sanctis, made it an ideal focal point for IP professionals to meet and help facilitate the discussion among key stake-holders to find balance in licensing solutions.

"BIP Asia has a golden opportunity to become the world's 'Centre of Excellence' for this business," he said.

"This best practice or 'Centre of Excellence' platform can only be a positive move for Hong Kong and the whole of the region with respect to the business of IP licensing and trade."

"Knowledge-based capital is the cornerstone of technological advancement. When handled fairly and shared equally, the whole of this dynamic region will benefit economically."

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IP training delivers more for SMEs (2015-10-28,China Daily)

The importance of Asia's most significant event for intellectual property has been amplified by the addition of the two-day IP Manager Training Programme to be held concurrently with the Business of IP Asia Forum on Dec 3-4.

The Hong Kong SAR Government Intellectual Property Department has launched the IP Manager Scheme to assist Hong Kong firms, especially small and medium enterprises, to build their IP capacity by improving human resources. A second goal is to improve competitiveness through better IP management that will unlock opportunities in IP trading.

The scheme hopes to encourage the appointment of in-house IP managers through Hong Kong's SMEs who will be responsible for overseeing the compliance, management, exploitation and commercialisation of IP assets.

The IP Manager Training Programme will show how firms can unlock their creative potential through IP protection, management and investment. The program will be led by IP professionals and take place during BIP Asia.

Apart from the training program, BIP Asia will see experts from the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Google, some of the world's biggest universities and research and development centres share their experiences with the audience in Hong Kong. Other thematic tracks including IP practical tips, industry-specific IPs and Asian trends will also be featured in the plenary and breakout sessions at BIP Asia.

Attendees at the BIP Asia Forum will have the chance to speak to representatives from IP services providers such as Vectis, Marks and Clerk, China Patent Agent and Transpacific IP, each of whom will provide onsite consultations at the BIP Asia Exhibition.

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New rules address misuse of IP rights (2015-10-28,China Daily)

After four months' effort, the National Development and Reform Commission recently finished a draft version of guidelines against monopolies that result from the misuse of intellectual property rights.

The drafting team consisted of more than 30 members, who conducted surveys of 350 companies, 45 law firms, 12 universities, five research institutes and several industry organizations.

The draft consists of five parts, trying to solve issues including IP protocols that could eliminate market competition and the misuse of market dominance involving IP rights.

According to the guidelines, law enforcement agencies should not presume that a company has dominance in a market only because it owns IP rights. Instead, they should consider how the company uses its rights, and how that then impacts on competition and innovation.

The draft will be reviewed by experts and related associations to suggest improvements. The final version is expected to be released in June.

Industry insiders said the guidelines will serve as a check and balance force against "patent trolls", a term that refers to individuals or companies that do not manufacture products but acquire patents and sue alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic.

Technology-intensive industries, including IT, telecommunications, medical equipment and automobiles, are areas that are particularly susceptible to bad-faith use of IP rights, which leads to monopolies.

"The world's smart manufacturing industry is struggling to cope with over-excessive lawsuits by patent trolls," said Xu Xinyu, an official at the commission. "The innovation encouragement mechanism is being misused."

Zhang Handong, head of the price-supervision and anti-monopoly bureau of the commission, said every right has the possibility to be misused, and IP rights are no exception.

"An IP rights owner could use the right to acquire and maintain a dominant position in the market, which constitutes a monopoly," he said at the fourth China Competition Policy Forum held on Thursday in Beijing.

"If a rights owner expands the scope of the right, or uses the right in an improper way, he or she will become a barrier to technical innovation, which is the opposite of the intentions of the IP protection system and against the fair play principle of the market."

He said the recognition of "misuse" is complicated, and can differ among countries and even in different periods in the same country. As a result, the common practice is that the misuse of IP rights is often defined in guidelines rather than laws.

Shi Jianzhong, deputy president of the China University of Political Sciences and Laws and a member of the drafting team, told Economic Information Daily that the guidelines aim to provide a reference and improve the transparency of anti-monopoly enforcement, and help market entities use IP right properly.

The State Council's anti-monopoly committee has authorized the NDRC to draft six books of guidelines to echo its latest policy issued on Oct 12 that called for strengthened law enforcement against monopolies.

The other five books cover anti-monopoly systems in the auto industry, leniency policies, remission procedures, suspension of investigations and the calculation of fines.

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First technical investigator assists at Beijing hearing (2015-10-28,China Daily)

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court had a technical investigator participate in a hearing for the first time on Thursday.

The investigator, Peng Xiaoqi, works at the Beijing Patent Examination Cooperation Center of the State Intellectual Property Office, according to Beijing Daily.

Peng said, "Our main responsibility is to help judges tackle technically questionable points and clear away technical obstacles in the hearing."

She was among the first 37 technical investigators that the Beijing IP court nominated the same day.

According to insiders, although judges at the Beijing IP court are capable of handling legal issues, technical problems such as circuit diagrams and mechanical structures are challenges for them due to a lack of specific technical knowledge.

Yi Jun, an official at the Beijing IP court, said the contending parties used to employ experts to help them clarify related opinions or the judges would consult privately with researchers and technicians from related fields.

Both methods for handling technical issues affect impartiality of the hearings, according to Yi.

He said, "Technical investigators can solve bottleneck problems in trials of technical cases."

The investigators take part in hearings and can ask the parties involved technical questions to find the focus of disputes and, based on their expertise, give judges advice on technical examinations.

However, Yi said, the investigators are judicial ancillary personnel and are not involved in rulings.

The first 37 technical investigators appointed by the Beijing IP court are professionals from organizations including government agencies and universities. They work in the fields of photoelectricity, communications, medicine, biochemistry, materials, machinery and computers.

The court also nominated 27 technical experts to make up a committee that technical investigators can consult about technical problems that are hard to solve.

Insiders said experience in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan suggests the technical investigator system is helpful for better hearings of IP cases. It is significant to develop such a system on the Chinese mainland together with other mechanisms for determining technical facts, including forensic identification and consultation with experts, to ensure justice and high efficiency of hearings.

The Beijing IP court was set up on Nov 6, 2014, as China's first professional organization for hearing IP cases.

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Patents take the spotlight at high-tech hub (2015-10-21,China Daily)

During a patent exhibition week held in Beijing's Haidian district, high-tech companies showcased patented products and thousands of patents were traded during the event to boost research and development in the technology hub.

At a press conference on Thursday, nine patents, including a smart camera and a new scanning system for food safety, were introduced to the public.

After the conference, participants visited the center for patent exhibition, which has seen transactions worth more than 30 million yuan ($4.7 million), according to the Haidian Intellectual Property Bureau.

Haidian, where Zhongguancun is located, is known for its technological research and innovation. Companies based in the district have benefited from patents for a long time.

At the conference, computer maker Lenovo introduced new laptop models that can be converted into tablets or projectors. The axle of the company's YOGA laptop can be retroflexed 360 degrees and can be used as a tablet, said Gao Fei, director of the patent department of Lenovo.

The smartphone maker Xiaomi has made breakthroughs in patent applications, which has helped the company diversify its product ranges. During the past four years, the number of Xiaomi's patents increased to 1,080 last year from 35 in 2011, one year after the company was founded, according to Gao Peng, senior engineer in Xiaomi's technology and patent department.

Gao said Xiaomi has applied dozens of patents in its smart housing systems such as long-distance monitoring of electric appliances.

Wang Ying, director of the Haidian intellectual property authority, said the district has a large number of high-tech companies and nurtures a good environment for patents and intellectual property rights to help companies grow and remain competitive.

Li Zhong, deputy director of the Beijing intellectual property office, said about 50,000 patents were applied for in the capital last year and companies in Haidian accounted for more than half of those.

"Intellectual property is an important indicator for the development of the local economy," Li said. "The more patents one district has, the more the local economy will benefit. It can promote the quality of GDP growth, and that's why Haidian is one of the best economies among Beijing's 16 districts and counties."

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E-Town emerges as China's leading hub of innovation (2015-10-19,China Daily)

Beijing's development zone, home to State-level labs, incubators and 485 high-tech firms, is implementing a plan to expand emerging industries, Fu Chao reports.

The rise of Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, or E-Town, over the past two decades, is the result of the central government's vision to focus on innovative and high-end growth as well as the local government's longterm planning and efforts. The country's emergence as a globally competitive hub for innovation, technology and high-end industries from its beginnings as the world's workshop has not been through magical efforts, though the pace of growth has been astonishing.

The story and ambition of Beijing E-Town mirror the transformation of China as the development area on the southeastern outskirts of the capital continues to make progress.

Standing on a busy street in E-Town, at first glance seeing the area's modern buildings, you might think the zone is another one of the capital's central business districts.

But after talking to the people who work there, to its entrepreneurs and the local government employees and after visiting its labs and workshops, you will see that E-Town is committed to making achievements that will lead to economic growth that can change people's lives.

Ideas to reality

According to E-Town's administrative committee, for every 10,000 residents in the zone, there are 240 patents; for every 10,000 engineers, there are 1,248 patents.

E-Town is home to 485 high-tech enterprises. Output from the high-tech sector accounts for more than 90 percent of the zone's total output over the past decade.

E-Town has the first engine-producing facility for Mercedes-Benz outside Germany that creates models tailored for the Chinese market. It is also home to the automaker's research and development centers.

Mercedes-Benz produces its C Class and E Class models in E-Town and has an eye toward rolling new models off its E-Town production line.

In the biomedical industry, companies in E-Town have accomplished an impressive list of groundbreaking achievements, such as the creation of the world's largest reorganized Protein Data Bank, the first genetic screening chip for the clinical diagnosis of deafness and China's first completely humanized antibodies.

Bayer, the German multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company, produces some of its key products, such as the acarbose medication to treat diabetes, in E-Town.

Corning Inc, the US maker of glass and ceramics, has a production center in E-Town to produce Gorilla Glass, a type of toughened glass used in a number of consumer products, including mobile phone screens.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, a semiconductor foundry with headquarters in Shanghai, built its first Chinese mainland production line for 12-inch chips in the E-Town zone for use in computers and mobile phones.

Innovation powerhouse

E-Town is globally appealing. The area is home to a number of multinational companies' research and development operations, which is in line with the local government's goal of transforming the zone from a manufacturing base to research and development hub.

The list of R&D centers in E-Town is impressive and include facilities for Mercedes-Benz, GE, France's atomic energy giant Areva, US healthcare equipment provider Zimmer Biomet, German pharmaceutical Merck Serono, US-based 3M, Nexteer Automotive and the Royal Dutch Shell Group.

Hosting the multinational R&D centers is part of E-Town's efforts to become a powerful innovation hub domestically and globally. It is also home to a number of State-level laboratories and startup incubators, demonstrating how effectively E-Town nurtures originality and independence for technological breakthroughs.

To further innovation, the local government has been presenting innovation and entrepreneurship competitions in the zone. A weeklong event promoting innovation and showcasing innovative enterprises by the National Development and Reform Commission kicks off today. The project will tour seven cities across the country and E-Town is one of the major venues in Beijing.

E-Town has also designed a plan to promote innovation in five key industries: integrated circuits, mobile display technology, biomedicine, the Internet industry and intelligent manufacturing.

The beneficiaries of the plan, the investors and multinational companies within the zone, speak glowingly of E-Town's cutting-edge industries.

"Since we first came to E-Town in 2002, we have been seeing changes almost on a daily basis," said Rena Xia a public relations executive at SMIC. "We enjoy the work environment and living conditions here. We have developed an attachment to it."

The leading integrated circuit wafer producer in China, SMIC makes state-of-the-art 28-nano node technology that ranks among the world's best in integrated circuit products.

In 2005, Germany's Mercedes-Benz agreed to build its Chinese manufacturing center in E-Town. In 2011, it located its only overseas engine plant in E-Town, a first for Mercedes-Benz in its 125-year history. This year, Mercedes China announced its revenue had increased eightfold during the past 10 years.

After the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, an unnamed executive from domestic liquid crystal display maker BOE Technology Group said that due to the rising demand for smartphones and tablet computers, "We are growing like a currency printing press".

Today, BOE is the largest LCD manufacturer for smartphones and tablets, with 2 out of every 10 mobile phones and 3 out of every 10 tablet devices equipped with screens manufactured by BOE. In 2012, it ranked second worldwide for total patent applications.

With the mobile Internet industry growing, BOE has expanded its production facility in E-Town. Corning Display Technologies (China), a close partner of BOE and the Chinese arm of Corning Inc, also has a display production center in E-Town that is almost next door to BOE's most advanced site.

Corning has been an active participant in China's development for the last 35 years and provides LCD glass for BOE. It has invested more than $2 billion and employs about 3,000 on the Chinese mainland.

"Our strategy is to have our facility where our key customers are located," said Li Fang, Corning's president for Greater China. "Support from the local government is also a key criteria for us when we consider the location of our facilities."

E-Town is progressing through rapid industrial reshuffling and technological upgrading. Technologies have given E-Town a head start in the country's transition from an export-led, investment-dependent, energy-driven development model to a more sustainable one. The zone's new-generation enterprises are leading the nation in growth.

Edward Tian, a long-term Internet investor who has taken advantage of the growth potential in big data and cloud computing, said he "doesn't see a sign of a slowdown" in the research and application of new technologies.

"We don't see a drain of capital, either," he said. "Plus, there are various preferential programs ... from the central government's grants and tax incentives to local government's support on a physical level that we have received from E-Town."

Xingshulin, a mobile Internet platform enabling physicians to access patient files on smartphones, was developed with funding from Tian's CBC Capital and is partly based in E-Town's Cloud Valley, a cluster of cloud computing application firms. The platform has attracted more than a million registered users nationwide, he said.

Big data and data-based mobile applications are expected to drive E-Town's next stage of development.

E-Town is a main contributor to Beijing's development and manufacturing of integrated circuits in advanced sensors, the Internet of Things, display technology, e-diagnosis and e-medical services.

E-Town is also one of China's leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centers, garnering it the domestic nickname of "China's Medicine Valley".

The Youcare Pharmaceutical Group, based in E-Town, moved away from the economic powerhouses in the South China cities of Guangzhou and Zhuhai and is currently extending its reach to the US. Yu Weishi, president of Youcare, which was ranked as one of the Chinese companies with the greatest development potential by Forbes, said: "Our decision to move from South China and to set up headquarters in the E-Town has proven to be successful. Our 10 years of efforts here laid solid foundations for Youcare's international presence in some 40 countries and regions as well as four high-end production and research centers around China."

Yu, who visited the US with President Xi Jinping in 2013, said the company now has a research and development center in New York. He said seven of its products have been approved by the FDA and it has purchased a plant owned by US drugmaker Actavis in Los Angeles.

In 2010, US retailer Walmart opened its second Sam's Club, which targets high-end customers, in E-Town.

An Yuan, PR manager of Walmart China, said: "Walmart and Sam's Club are confident in E-Town's future growth and development potential. E-Town is fostering an international-level investment climate, offering companies with facilitated procedures and encouraging their innovations."

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China's patent applications surge 22% (2015-10-17,China Daily)

China's State Intellectual Property Office said Friday it received 1.88 million patent applications in the first three quarters of 2015, up 22 percent from a year ago.

The data showed that patent applications for inventions surged 21.7 percent to 709,000, of which 99,000 were from abroad, up 5.1 percent year on year.

In the first nine months of this year, the office authorized 1.18 million patents, up 25.8 percent year on year, and patents granted for inventions soared 46 percent to 248,000, according to the office.

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China ranks 4th in patent filings to European office (2015-10-14,China Daily)

Patent applications from China now rank fourth among all filings with the European Patent Office, a sign of rapid progress in the country's intellectual property sphere, said EPO President Benoit Battistelli.

The annual filings from China increased tenfold at EPO over the past decade and maintain robust growth momentum, Battistelli told a Sino-European patent cooperation forum in Lyon, France, on Saturday.

In 2014 alone, Chinese filers contributed 9 percent of some 270,000 applications filed with EPO.

In the same year, China's State Intellectual Property Office received nearly 1 million invention patent applications, including some 127,000 from abroad.

The European Union was the second-largest overseas filer in China, with 28 percent of foreign filings with SIPO from EU member states.

"The top three areas where China presented the most patent applications to the EPO were digital communication, computer technology and telecommunications," said Battistelli, adding that this result fully reflects the strength of the Chinese economy, which has reached a global leading level in the field of information and communication technologies.

Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE are among the top 10 filers in Europe.

In contrast to China's clustering in the three domains, European filings covered a variety of sectors in China, including agriculture, transportation and luxury goods.

There is a fundamental change in the Chinese economy - just a couple of years ago, China was compared to a world factory and now it is emerging as a global research and development center, Battistelli said.

IP has played a crucial role in the change, as a modern IP system is sure to give the Chinese economy a strong boost, he noted.

The cooperation between EPO and its Chinese peer, SIPO, over the past 30 years has brought win-win results to both sides, he said.

Many similarities in the IP systems of China and Europe have facilitated bilateral trade and exchanges in research, thus helping both reinforce their positions as innovation hubs, the EPO president said.

A complete, improved IP system built in China also benefits Europe because of close ties in patents and property between the two sides, he said.

European companies that intend to expand in China need to become familiar with the patent system in the country for better protection of their innovations and creations. It is the same case with Chinese companies that are interested in access to the European market, Battistelli said.

With a growing demand for patent protection worldwide, the China-Europe collaboration has become a key pillar in the global patent system, he said.

SIPO Commissioner Shen Changyu told the forum that his office has long highly valued the partnership with EPO.

Since the two offices signed an agreement for cooperation in 1985, their exchanges have expanded from technical aid to strategic cooperation, ranging from law and regulation formulation and staff training to patent examination and documentation sharing.

Patent information sharing and coordinated development in administration is a focus for the bilateral collaboration.

The property offices initiated the development of a Global Dossier in 2013, which provides free online access to the file histories of patent applications from participating offices.

The service enables direct access to publicly available documents and data in four out of five major patent offices in China, Europe, South Korea and Japan.

Another large office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will release the USPTO-hosted user interface for the Global Dossier in November, giving public stakeholders access to the full file history on a patent application family from the participating offices, according to its official website.

The China-EU cooperation promotes growth in economy, technology and culture for both sides and also helps advance global IP development and bring more interest to innovators and creators around the world, Shen said.

"Thanks to the help from EPO, we created our IP system at a high level from the very beginning," he said.

China has increasingly improved its IP system over the past three decades and is now on the path toward becoming an IP powerhouse, he said.

The forum, which was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the bilateral cooperation in patent work, attracted more than 140 corporate executives, government officials and patent experts from China and Europe.

They exchanged views on the China-EU collaboration's influence on the global IP landscape.

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SIPO head: Strengthened laws will protect IP rights (2015-10-14,China Daily)

Improved laws, policies and enforcement will together help China better protect intellectual property rights, said the nation's top IP official at the 55th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization on Oct 5 in Geneva.

Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said in his general statement that China has revised its Patent Law and Copyright Law, and established three intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to provide stronger legal support to IP protection.

IP-related administrations have also strengthened law enforcement against IP right infringements, he added.

The Chinese government issued an Action Plan for Further Implementing the National Intellectual Property Strategy for 2014-2020, which set a new goal of building the nation into an IP power and stressed that an intellectual property system should become the basic safeguard in encouraging innovation.

It then issued guidelines in March to inspire innovation by safeguarding IP rights.

In the first eight months of this year, SIPO received 699,000 invention patent applications, an increase of 21 percent from the same period a year earlier, including 19,000 international applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, up 20 percent.

In the same period, the national trademark administration received more than 1.8 million trademark applications, a rise of 30 percent.

About 1.2 million copyrights were registered last year, up nearly 20 percent from 2013.

The commissioner praised the work of WIPO's China office over the past year and said the cooperation between China and WIPO has achieved "abundant fruits".

"WIPO should continue to play an irreplaceable role in international IP norm settings," he said. "We need to advance the negotiations and formulation of international IP treaties and regulations, which will make them more balanced, reciprocal and inclusive.

"IP services in the WIPO framework should be expanded with improved efficiency and better quality."

Shen also suggested that WIPO pay more attention to the concerns of developing countries in their IP development, and provide them more support and technical assistance.

China will continue to support the work of WIPO "to better support a great role of intellectual property in the promotion of common development, and allow innovation and creativity to better fit the needs of people around the world", Shen said.

Ada Leung, director of the IP department of Hong Kong, said in her complementary remark that it is important for all businesses, big or small, to properly maintain and develop their IP portfolios in the globalized economy.

The Hong Kong government has organized training programs and launched a one-on-one consultation service to help small companies manage and use their IP resources effectively, she said.

The WIPO Assemblies of the Member States are the top-level meetings of the organization, held annually or biannually. The 55th Series of Meetings lasted 10 days through Oct 14.

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China to better protect intellectual property (2015-10-12,Xinhua)

China has issued a guideline on the protection of intellectual property to help startups, according to a notice released on Monday.

The guideline was mapped out by five government bodies including the State Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Finance.

The country will explore more channels to realize the value of intellectual property, such as providing financial services and products for asset securitization and patent insurance.

Banks and institutional investors are expected to provide loans for qualified startups, the guideline said.

It also demanded legal protection for investors.

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Innovation, Internet key to real economy (2015-10-10,China Daily)

More than 1,700 business leaders, government officials, researchers and analysts shared their thoughts on the transformation of China's manufacturing sector at an investment symposium in Xiamen, Fujian province on Sept 8.

The direction in which the manufacturing sector is heading for poses as a serious question to China and the whole world, said Zhu Xian, vice-president of the World Bank, during the main session of the 2015 International Investment Forum held in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Sept 8.

Zhang Hanya, president of the Investment Association of China, said that the real economy in China is slowing down, while almost every sector faces the same problem of over production.

The rising labor cost in China poses another challenge. Si Zefu, chairman of the Dongfang Electric Corp, a State-owned enterprise that specializes in manufacturing of power generators, said that a driver hired by their Beijing office is paid 3,500 to 4,000 yuan ($629) per month, compared to a monthly salary of 1,500 to 1,800 yuan for a driver in Vietnam or Indonesia.

Relocating to benefit from lower labor costs is a method that many companies have resorted to. However, it does not appear to be the best solution to the problem in the eyes of Jack Ma, executive chairman of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Ma said that low salaries cannot attract high-end talent that is essential in industrial innovation and the production of high-quality products.

Innovation is the key to transforming the manufacturing industry, according to Zhang. As a matter of fact, many domestic companies have started to develop robots as substitutes of manpower to cut labor costs.

Dong Mingzhu, chairman of Gree Electric Appliances Inc, a major home appliance manufacturer based in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, said that many of their workshops now operate without manpower; jobs that previously required 10 to 20 people can be done by one worker. She also said that Gree is committed to technological innovation and that the company owns 17,000 patents.

Dong said that Internet technology is beneficial in terms of upgrading customer services. Jack Ma said that the real economy and the digital economy can be integrated through Internet technologies.

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Unkind cut that transformed wholesaler into a lifesaver (2015-10-09,China Daily)

Chinese inventor's device has potential to save millions from HIV and AIDS

When Shang Jianzhong recounts the story of the tiny invention that turned him into a life-saving medical pioneer, he chokes up.

A painful odyssey began when Shang was circumcised 13 years ago. He was told that because the operation was a minor one and was being done with the most advanced technology, it should be straightforward. But he was left scarred not only physically but, for months, mentally as well, and that made him think there must be a better way.

"These days the technology is much more advanced," he says. "Nevertheless, how could such a simple procedure take so long and inflict so much pain?"

So Shang, 60, who used to work in wholesaling, invented a device that is extraordinarily simple to use and that has been hailed as a breakthrough in medical technology and an example of Chinese innovation in the medical field. The device is now used by surgeons in many countries who perform circumcisions.

It is seen as particularly useful in protecting against HIV infection. In June, the World Health Organization certified it as a procurement item.

The ShangRing consists of two concentric plastic rings, one inside the other. The inner ring is lined with a soft silicon pad, leaving a smooth, non-bioreactive surface against the surgical wound. The outer ring consists of two halves that are hinged together at one end and contain a locking clasp on the other.

Shang says the ring can solve the problem of phimosis, which is constriction of the opening of the foreskin preventing the foreskin from being drawn back, within three to five minutes.

The AIDS center of the WHO says there are many target cells of HIV in the foreskin of the penis. The chances of being infected with HIV can be reduced by 60 percent or more after circumcision, it says.

At a forum in Beijing recently, Shang, founder of Wuhu Snnda Medical Treatment Appliance Technology Co Ltd, talked of his invention and how it was turned into a marketable product.

The forum, organized by the Research Center for Public Health at Tsinghua University, the China Alliance for South-South Health Cooperation Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was aimed at strengthening collaboration between China and Africa in public health.

The focus was on medical innovation, the opportunities and challenges in starting a business in China, and how such innovation could be used for the public good.

Shang, a native of Wuhu, Anhui province, says that after he obtained a patent for the device he searched for someone willing to put it to commercial use. From 2003 to 2005 he traveled to Beijing about 80 times and talked to more than 20 companies, he says, with no success.

He then decided to put his own money, about 1.43 million yuan ($225,000; 201,000 euros) into commercializing it, setting up his company in June 2005. He began to make headway that same year when research was published in the online Public Library of Science pointed to the efficacy of circumcision as helping to reduce the spread of AIDS and as China's Ministry of Finance estimated that the ShangRing had a commercial value of 273 million yuan.

The device was then introduced in hospitals throughout China, and he made contact with Philip Li, a doctor and associate professor at Cornell University in New York state.

"When I saw this project, I said to Shang, 'This will change your life, and also mine,'" Li says.

"A small surgical procedure not properly done can be hugely disruptive to a man's health."

Li told Shang the device could make a great contribution to AIDS prevention and control in developing countries.

In May 2008, Cornell and Shanghai Jiaotong University jointly held an international forum on the ShangRing, and Li set up an international training program on promoting the technology worldwide. Training has been dispensed in more than 50 countries and regions, including Britain, Japan, Kenya, Uganda, the United States and Zambia.

There are now 150 patents on the device in China, and it has protection in more than 100 countries.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been trying to make China a stronger partner in promoting world health and development and has worked with its Chinese partners to pick up potential innovative products, and to support them when they enter other developing markets. It has recognized the ShangRing as an appropriate product for reducing the risks of spreading AIDS.

The WHO says that in sub-Saharan Africa, circumcisions are rare, and it suggests that in areas where AIDS is prevalent men should have the surgery. However, getting men to heed such advice is difficult because of how much pain circumcision involves a lack of properly trained doctors and religious and other beliefs.

Over the past 15 years or so the incidence of AIDS in Africa has fallen by about 21 percent, but in Asia and the Middle East, it has grown rapidly. Li says that since 2008, the death rate from AIDS in China has been higher than from many other infectious diseases.

"Many data prove that circumcision can cut the risk of contracting HIV-AIDS by 60 percent and it is good for health generally, including reducing the chances of having prostate and cervical cancer," he says.

Li says that once the ShangRing was determined to be safe it was decided to introduce it to Africa.

"The easiest way would have been to send Chinese doctors there. But we chose a more difficult path: to get African doctors to come to China to learn about the technology, so they could return to their countries and do the surgery themselves. That was the best way to get the technology to take root.

"There is great need in Africa for circumcision, and the idea is to get about 14 million people in areas where there is a high incidence of AIDS to take the opportunity to have the procedure done. But without an innovative device and good surgical practices that target has not been realized."

Li says that with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, clinical research is complete, and this has found when the ShangRing is used, surgery time is far shorter than is the case with traditional surgery, and patients are a lot happier with the outcome.

Li Yino, a representative of the Beijing office of the foundation, says Bill Gates once also highlighted the product in a speech.

"This ShangRing looks very simple, but is very useful," Li Yino says. "This is something that could be achieved only through international cooperation."

Philip Li says one of the biggest problems with research and development in public health is that returns can be a long time coming.

"The ShangRing has gone through some tough times over the past eight years, and thanks are due to the whole team, including hundreds of people in Africa. I'm sure this is the most important Chinese product to have gained WHO accreditation after having been evaluated clinically overseas."

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Typical cases of IP courts of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (2015-10-09,China Daily)

The Supreme People¡¯s Court introduced the IP courts of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou at a press conference in Beijing, where the chief judges of those courts outlined the courts¡¯ operations and plans.

At the conference, the SPC also released reports of a group of 14 typical cases decided by the three IP courts.

The cases are as follows:

Case No 1: Dispute on medical equipment invention patent right between enterprise and individual

1. Background

Xiangyu Medical Equipment Co Ltd, an Anyang-based medical equipment manufacturer in Henan province, applied for invalidation of Cui Xuewei's patent of a moxibustion instrument, patent number 94119284.9. The Patent Reexamination Board sustained the administrative board¡¯s decision to support the patent¡¯s validity. The company refused to accept that decision and brought administrative appeal proceedings to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

2. Ruling

The Beijing IP Court determined that the scope for protection of patent rights in this case was clear. The invention¡¯s instruction manual indicated that the patent was creative and complied with the Patent Law of the People¡¯s Republic of China and its implementing regulations. Furthermore, an amendment to the patent application document made by the patent holder was within the scopes of the original manual and the patent claim document. Consequently, the court upheld the administrative decision.

Neither of the parties filed an appeal and the decision has come into effect.

3. Significance

Moxibustion treatment, a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine, was combined with electromagnetic technology in the patent, with functions of automatic warming and temperature control. Since the patent applies to many practical applications in the treatment field, it has been of wide concern to users of traditional Chinese medical equipment.

This case illustrates many factors in an application for invalidation of a patent: whether the scope of patent protection is clear, whether the claim can be supported by the description, whether the amendment of patent application documents is or is not beyond the scope of the original specification and the claim, and whether the patent rights are creative. In this case, the judgment was in favor of the inventor.

Case No. 2: Dispute on energy-saving invention patent right between a Beijing company and a Zhengzhou enterprise

1. Background

Beijing Hailin Energy Technology Company applied for invalidation of Zhengzhou-based Chunquan Energy-saving Co Ltd¡¯s patent, an invention patent of an identification method and device for multi-gear speed motors based on the technology of voltage mutual inductance, patent number 200810231195.5.

The Patent Reexamination Board declared that all the patent rights involved in the case were invalid. Chunquan Company refused to accept the decision and brought administrative proceedings to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

2. Ruling

The Beijing IP Court heard the case and ruled that all the claimed patent rights were creative and the Patent Reexamination Board¡¯s judgment was in error, so the court overturned the previous decision and ordered the board to correct it.

Neither of the parties has filed an appeal and the decision has come into effect.

3. Significance

This case involves an invention patent concerning complicated technical issues in electronics. The court reviewed the relevant technologies carefully and, following the Three-Step method for identifying patent creativity, overturned the Patent Reexamination Board¡®s decision.

The decision in this case protects an inventor¡¯s legitimate legal interests.

Case No. 3: Trademark dispute between a famous coal-mining company and a private person

1. Background

The Kailuan Group, a major energy enterprise in Hebei province, applied for invalidation of Zhang Hongbin¡¯s ¡°Kailuan¡± trademark (registration No 5667073), because of Zhang¡¯s alleged malicious infringement on the company¡¯s trade name ¡°Kailuan. Zhang had not actually used the name in business.

The Patent Reexamination Board determined that the evidence provided by the Kailuan Group did not show any operation of beauty salons, public baths, or similar businesses which were Zhang¡¯s activities. They were unable to prove that they had gained a reputation in these services before applying to use the name as a trademark. So the Board supported Zhang¡¯s trademark registration. The Kailuan Group refused to accept the decision and brought administrative proceedings to the Beijing IP Court.

2. Ruling

The Beijing IP Court ruled that Zhang¡¯s registration of the ¡°Kailuan¡± trademark did in fact infringe upon the Kailuan Group¡¯s prior right of trade. As the Reexamination Board was in error, the court overturned its decision ([2014] No 71444, sub-number 5667073), and ordered the board to correct it.

Neither of the parties filed an appeal after this judgment, which has come into effect.

3. Significance

This case is based on the Trademark Law¡¯s provision that ¡°an application for the registration of a trademark shall not create any prejudice to the prior right of another person¡±; the prior right in this case was the right of trade name. The court¡¯s judgment was made by analyzing when the plaintiff began trading under the name ¡°Kailuan¡± (1912), the reputation of the Kailuan Group (it¡¯s among the world¡¯s top 500 enterprises and its trade name is famous in China and abroad), differences between the plaintiff¡¯s business scope and the litigated trademark¡¯s approved usage service, possible public confusion, and the litigated trademark registrant¡¯s awareness and actual use of the plaintiff¡¯s trade name to determine whether any prejudice to the Kailuan Group¡¯s prior right had occurred. Based on those factors, the court found that the disputed trademark registration damaged the Kailuan Group¡¯s prior rights and that the registration should be made null and void. This decision protected the rights of a famous brand, prevented malicious and preemptive trademark registration, and safeguarded the integrity of competition among market players.

Case No 4: Guizhou pharmaceutical company wins appeal on overturning administrative decision on its trademark application

1. Background

Tongjitang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd in Guizhou province applied for registration of a composed mark which included a trademark saying ¡°Tongjitang was founded in 1888¡±, and its logo at the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. The Office and Trademark Review and Adjudication Board rejected the application on the grounds that the litigated trademark was similar to the trademark ¡°Tongji¡± and its logo (a quoted trademark having registration No 3178271) and ¡°Tongji¡± (another quoted trademark having registration No 3574839). Although the two quoted trademarks in the case look the same in pinyin, they are written in traditional Chinese characters and simplified Chinese characters respectively. They look different in the Chinese versions.

The company refused to accept the decision and brought appeal proceedings to the Beijing IP Court.

2. Ruling

The Beijing IP Court decided that the public will not muddle the litigated trademark and the two quoted trademarks. The former is not in the same or a similar commodity category with the latter two as based on the reputation of the company¡¯s previous trademark ¡°Tongjitang¡± (Registration No 1093180), the actual use of the litigated trademark, the similarity between the litigated trademark and the company¡¯s previous trademark, as well as the difference between the company¡¯s previous and composed trademarks, and the two quoted trademarks. The court canceled the previous decision and ordered the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board to correct it.

3. Significance

This case clarifies that evolution of the same subject¡¯s previous trademark and the litigated trademark should be taken into account in judging their proximity, and discusses the factors that should be considered making that judgment. The court fully considered the reputation of the company¡¯s previous trademark ¡°Tongjitang¡± (Registration No 1093180), the actual use of the litigated trademark, the similarity between the litigated trademark and the company¡¯s previous trademark, as well as the difference between the company¡¯s previous and composed trademarks, and the two quoted trademarks. It held that the previous trademark¡¯s reputation was inherited by the litigated trademark, which can be differentiated from the two quoted ones.

The decision of this case is of great significance in safeguarding interests of famous trademark holders.

Case No 5: Dispute on the exclusive right of registered trademark between Beijing Concert Hall and its former general manager

1. Background

Beijing Concert Hall has hosted a group of shows under the name ¡°Da Kai Yin Yue Zhi Men¡± (¡°Open the Door of Music¡±) over the years. Qian Cheng, then general manager of the Beijing Concert Hall, registered the expression as a trademark and brought the hall to court for its use of the trademark in operations without his permission and infringement of his exclusive right of the registered trademark after he left that employment. He requested the hall to stop infringement, make an apology and provide compensation for economic losses and other cost totaling 40,000 yuan ($6,250).

2. Ruling

The Beijing Xicheng District People¡¯s Court found that the Beijing Concert Hall had used a trademark which had gained a reputation and been similar to the registered trademark on the same kind of commodity prior to the trademark registrant and before the registration. The court also held that Qian Cheng, who enjoys the exclusive right to use the registered trademark, did not have the right to forbid the hall¡¯s uses of the trademark within its previous scope of activities. It did not support Qian¡¯s argument that the Hall had no factual and legal basis to plead against him in court. In the result, it dismissed Qian¡¯s claims.

Qian refused to accept the decision and instituted an appeal to the Beijing IP Court. The appeal court ruled that the trademark ¡°Da Kai Yin Yue Zhi Men¡± had been used in shows and promotions and was part of all the activities at the concert hall; a fixed relationship had been established between the trademark and Beijing Concert Hall, which granted the right of pleading to the hall for its prior use of the trademark and established that the hall¡¯s use could not be considered an infringement of Qian¡¯s registration. The Beijing IP Court thus rejected the appeal and upheld the original decision.

3. Significance

This case involves the right of pleading based on prior use in the revised Trademark Law. The Beijing IP Court analyzed the law and discussed the use of trademark, reputation of the mark, and the subjective attitude of the user. The judgment safeguarded the brand of ¡°Da Kai Yin Yue Zhi Men¡±, which had been used continuously by Beijing Concert Hall for nearly 12 years, and balanced the interests of both the prior user of the trademark and the registered trademark holder.

Case No 6: Unfair competition dispute between Beijing iQiYi Technology Co, Ltd and Beijing Jike Jike Technology Co Ltd

1. Background

Jike Jike is the manufacturer and seller of the ¡°hiwifi¡± router, which can screen out advertisements on online video site after the router users download a plug-in module from the ¡°hiwifi¡± cloud computing platform. The iQiYi company thought that Jike Jike¡¯ s module is unfair competition, and requested the court to order the company to stop its use, eliminate the negative effects and pay more than 2.10 million yuan ($312,500) as compensation.

2. Ruling

The court of first instance, the Beijing Haidian District People¡¯s Court, found that Jike Jike¡¯s plug-in module directly intervened in iQiYi¡¯s operation for commercial profit which behavior was beyond the reasonable limits of competition, violated the principles of integrity and business ethics, and constituted unfair competition. Jike Jike refused to accept the judgment and appealed to the Beijing IP Court.

The IP Court held that every business operator should obey rules and not affect other competitors¡¯ legitimate business models for its own interest. It ruled that Jike Jike¡¯s plug-in module changed iQiYi¡¯s business model forcibly in providing services to its ¡°hiwifi¡± users, thus damaging the legitimate interests of iQiYi.

The court also found that Jike Jike¡¯s behavior made iQiYi fail to sustain normal operations due to lack of advertising income to pay the high royalty fees of video programs. Consequently, the interests of Internet users will eventually be adversely affected.

After identifying the unfair competition behavior of Jike Jike, the Beijing IP Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the original judgment.

3. Significance

In the Internet era competition has become increasingly fierce and more and more forms of unfair competition have emerged. They are not always easy to identify. The courts made the judgment though analyzing Jike Jike¡¯s subjective malice, the harm to another¡¯s business model and the eventual influence on consumers. The case provides guidance in determining competition relationship and the legitimacy of competition against the background of the Internet environment.

Case No 7: Copyright and unfair competition disputes between Beijing Locojoy Technology Co Ltd and Beijing Koramgame Network Technology Co Ltd

1. Background

The Beijing Locojoy Technlogy Co Ltd (Locojoy) is the copyright owner of the mobile game ¡°Wo Jiao MT on line¡± (My name is MT on line), and ¡°Wo Jiao MT 2¡± (My name is MT 2), which were adopted from a serial 3D animation ¡°Wo Jiao MT¡± (My name is MT).

Locojoy has the exclusive right to use the names of the games, the figures in the games, and the figures¡¯ images.

Locojoy considered that when Beijing Koramgame Network Technology Co Ltd (Koramgame) released a game ¡°Chao Ji MT¡± (Super MT) using the name of ¡°Wo Jiao MT¡±, and names and images of figures similar to Locojoy¡¯s game, it had infringed upon Locojoy¡¯s copyright, and, in using slogans related to ¡°Wo Jiao MT¡± in promotions, had committed unfair competition. Locojoy therefore instituted court proceedings.

2. Ruling

Beijing IP Court ruled that Locojoy¡¯s games and figures of the games did not enjoy copyright law protection of written works, and that the figure images in the two litigated games were not actually similar, so that the Koramgame did not infringe upon Locojoy¡¯s copyright.

However, the court also noted that Locojoy¡¯s games came out earlier than Koramgame¡¯s and had gained a reputation in the market. Koramgame, a player in the same field, not only failed to avoid similarity in names and figures, but conducted promotions that would lead to confusion. The court found that Koramgame¡¯s actions constituted unfair competition by using another¡¯s well-known name without permission and by making false advertisements. The court ordered Koramgame to stop the behavior and compensate Locojoy with 500,000 yuan ($78,100) for economic losses plus reasonable expenses of 35,000 yuan.

3. Significance

As an emerging cultural industry, mobile gaming is a combination of culture and technology and enjoys great potential for growth and bright market prospects.

This case involves a dispute over copyright infringement of mobile games and unfair competition. The facts were complicated and impacted by many difficult issues in law. The court made a detailed analysis of various points, such as whether the names of games and figures can enjoy protection of Copyright Law as written works and adapted works; whether a mobile game¡¯s name can be considered as a famous commodity¡¯s unique name; and how to identify false advertisements for mobile games.

In identifying the civil liability, the court took the plaintiff¡¯s market share in the mobile game market and the defendant¡¯s subjective attitude into full consideration, and protected the copyright owner¡¯s interests by punishing according to law the unjust behavior of infringing on another¡¯s interests.

The case provides clear direction in solving disputes involving copyright protection for mobile games, and is a useful precedent for healthy development of the mobile game industry.

Case No 8: Burberry trademark right infringement dispute with Chen Kai and Lu Qiumin

1. Background

Burberry owned 25 registered clothing series trademarks. On March 20, 2012, a public security organ investigated sales of counterfeits of those trademarks by Chen Kai and Lu Qiumin and asked Burberry to help identify those fake products. The Shanghai Yangpu district people's court sentenced both defendants to imprisonment (probation) and a fine on August 24, 2012. On August 15, 2014, Burberry filed a lawsuit and asked the court to have both defendants pay one million yuan as financial compensation. Both defendants held that the litigation was beyond the prescribed period and thus invalid.

2. Rulings

In the first trial, the Yangpu court ruled that Burberry's appeal was still valid and both defendants had infringed on the company's exclusive right to use the trademarks. Therefore, they were ordered to pay 165,000 yuan for related financial loss and costs. Lu Qiumin refused to take the ruling and appealed to a higher court. The Shanghai intellectual property court dismissed the appeal and maintained the ruling.

3. Significance

The case involved discontinuance of an action because of exceeding of a limitation period. It clarified criminal prosecution procedure for people who knew their rights were violated and the consequence in civil law of assisting an investigation at the request of related departments. The case has two important conclusions: first, injured parties should appreciate the need to be aware of and calculate the prescribed period for litigation, arising from when they knew their rights were violated; second, there may be an effect on limitation periods when such people reasonably trust a criminal investigation to protect their civil rights. The court also discusses whether or not such an effect depends on an ultimate finding of criminal behavior with consequent conviction. The judgment delineates some factors arising in an application to discontinue an action based on exceeding a limitation period and safeguards the rights of the injured party.

Case No 9: KDF Distribution (Shanghai) Co Ltd sued Aquatherm Pipe System (Shanghai) for trademark right infringement and false publicity

1. Background

KDF Distribution held the rights to the ¡°AQUA-SCIE¡± trademark, and enjoyed the exclusive right to sell Aquatherm¡¯s pipe products in China before July 1, 2013. After that, KDF terminated cooperation with Aquatherm, and Aquatherm Pipe System (Shanghai) became the new agent. KDF¡¯s registered trademark had only been used to promote Aquatherm¡¯s pipe products. After July 1, KDF continued to hold the trademark and began to use it for pipe products from other companies. Aquatherm Pipe System (Shanghai) commissioned Oushu Co to sell Aquatherm¡¯s products. The two companies used advertising slogans indicating that the AQUA-SCIE trademark has been replaced by Aquatherm and the original trademark had nothing to do with Aquatherm¡¯s products. KDF believed that the two companies¡¯ use of those slogans constituted trademark infringement and misleading advertisement and applied for an order that the two defendants should stop their actions and compensate its loss with five million yuan.

2. Ruling

The Shanghai Xuhui district people¡¯s court dismissed KDF¡¯s claims in the first trial. KDF then appealed to a higher court. The Shanghai intellectual property court held that the AQUA-SCIE trademark was once used to promote Aquatherm¡¯s products, and it was necessary for the two defendants to inform consumers of the changes. Neither defendant, however, acted unreasonably or confused consumers about the origin of the products. It was the proper use of a trademark. The defendants¡¯ use of words was indeed not very accurate, but it wasn¡¯t misleading. Therefore, their actions didn¡¯t constitute false advertising banned by the unfair competition law. The court dismissed the claim and upheld the first ruling.

3. Significance

The case involved standards identifying fair use of trademarks and false advertising. The court focused on the defendants¡¯ subjective intention the way of use, and the possibility of confusion, and decided that it was a proper use of a trademark. It stressed using a broad interpretation of advertising slogans in detecting false advertising, and took into account public attention and cognitive experience. The case sets a precedent in this area.

Case No 10: Shanghai Pafuluo Stationery Co sued Shanghai Art Imagine Stationery Co for copyright infringement

1. Background

Shanghai Pafuluo Stationery¡¯s website homepage featured a dark red background, dynamic white starlight, a copper bell ringing and background music. The company felt that Shanghai Art Imagine Stationery and Shanghai Europe Crocodile Stationery Co had plagiarized its website and infringed on its copyright, so it applied for a court order to have the two companies stop the infringement and compensate it with 223,000 yuan.

2. Ruling

The Shanghai Minhang district people¡¯s court ruled that the two defendants infringed upon the plaintiff¡¯s website copyright and ordered them to pay the plaintiff 30,000 yuan for its loss. The two defendants appealed to a higher court. The Shanghai intellectual property court dismissed the appeal and upheld the first ruling.

3. Significance

This case focused on whether website content arrangement is included among works protected by the Copyright Law. The court held that although the websites in question had many public elements, such as columns and structures, the color, content, display and overall arrangement reflected unique ideas and showed visual art effect. They were original and replicable, and therefore could be counted as works protected by the copyright law. The case ruling is a precedent for other similar webpage copyright protection cases.

Case No 11: Autodesk, Adobe apply for pretrial evidence preservation

1. Background

Autodesk and Adobe are two software companies based in the US. They believed that Shanghai-based Ablues Design Exhibition copied and installed their AutoCAD, Photoshop and Acrobat softwares for commercial purposes without authorization. They couldn't get relevant evidence because the software was all on computers in the Shanghai company. And, relevant evidence such as computer software and data is intangible and easy to hide or destroy. Once transferred, hidden or eliminated it is hard to recover. So the plaintiffs applied to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court for pretrial evidence preservation.

2. Ruling

The intellectual property court held that the evidence the plaintiffs wanted to be protected was valid under legal regulations and, as they couldn't collect it on their own for objective reasons, they had met the requirements of pretrial evidence preservation. The court ruled that related software on computers and other equipment in question should be preserved as evidence. After the ruling, the Shanghai third intermediate people's court worked with the intellectual property court and smoothly finished the pretrial evidence preservation work.

3. Significance

The case was the first of its kind since the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court was established. It involved evidence on nearly 400 computers, which required professional and complex preservation work. The intellectual property court invited technical experts to assist in evidence preservation and come up with a thorough work plan. Experts, inventory and field control teams were established with clear responsibilities. They stuck to operation norms and finished the preservation work. The case is important for intellectual property case enforcement mechanisms, implementation and trial linkage enhancement, pretrial evidence preservation efficiency and accuracy, and protection of legal rights of all parties.

Case No 12: Chanel sues Wendaxiang and Ramada Pearl Hotel Guangzhou for trademark right infringement

1. Background

Chanel is a French company established on August 27, 1954. The Chanel brand is a luxury brand worldwide. The company owns its figurative marks for such products as clothes, shoes and scarves and the CHANEL logo mark. Wendaxiang signed a leasing contract with the Ramada Pearl Hotel Guangzhou to sell clothes and leather products and promised that no fake and shoddy goods would be sold. Chanel came to believe that Wendaxiang had used its registered logo and infringed upon its trademark right. It applied to the court to have the two defendants stop the infringement and compensate its loss with 300,000 yuan.

2. Ruling

In the first trial, the Guangzhou Yuexiu people's court held that Wendaxiang infringed on Chanel's registered trademark right and ordered it to stop the violation and compensate for loss, but that the Ramada Pearl Hotel Guangzhou shouldn't be held accountable. Chanel didn't accept the ruling and appealed. The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court found that Chanel was a famous brand and the Guangzhou hotel was an upscale facility, so the hotel should be responsible for sales of shoddy products. In addition, Wendaxiang committed violations repeatedly, and the hotel should have noticed them if it was paying due attention. The court ruled that the hotel turned a blind eye to the trademark violation and should be held accountable for assistance in the infringement. Therefore, the two defendants were ordered to pay 50,000 yuan to compensate the plaintiff.

3. Significance

In recent years, the clothing market and hotel's leased shops have often been found selling shoddy products. Trademark right holders often sued shop owners, lessors and management personnel together and asked them to shoulder related responsibilities. In cases such as these, it's important to determine the responsibilities of the shop lessors and management parties. In this case, the court considered the plaintiff¡¯s trademark popularity, whether the shop's violations were evident, as well as the relations between the lessor and the shop operator. It clarified the responsibilities of the lessor based on the circumstances. The ruling explored assisted infringement identification and offered guidance for famous brands¡¯ legitimate benefits protection.

Case No 13: Sun Lijuan sues Urban Revivo (Guangzhou) and Guangzhou Urban Renewal for copyright infringement

1. Background

Sun Lijuan published a piece of art work showing a giraffe on a website on January 12, 2011. Sun's work then won first prize at a T-shirt design competition in March, 2011. Sun believed that the two Guangzhou companies used her work in their products and thus infringed on her signature, reproduction and publishing rights. She applied to court for an order that the two defendants stop the infringement, pay compensation of 270,000 yuan, and make written apologies to affect public awareness.

2. Ruling

In the first trial, the Guangzhou Baiyun district people's court held that the two defendants used Sun's work without authorization and thus infringed on her copyright. But, they couldn't be held accountable for violating Sun's signature right since it was hard to legibly print the name of a work¡¯s author on clothes. The court ruled the two defendants should stop the violation, destroy related products in stock or on sales, and pay Sun 30,000 yuan for her loss. Sun didn't accept the ruling and took the matter to a higher court. The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court believed that showing the name of authors of art works used on clothes was common practice in the fashion design industry, and therefore the two defendants violated Sun's signature right. Considering the fame of the art works, Guangzhou Urban Renewal's obvious attention, and Urban Revivo (Guangzhou)'s significant business operations, the intellectual property court held that the compensation was too low in the first ruling and ordered the two defendants to compensate Sun with 80,000 yuan and offer her an apology.

3. Significance

The case involved identification of signature right infringement in costume design. The court considered industry practice in costume design and, and decided that there were no objective restrictions in naming the authors when using their art works on clothes. In addition, name labeling wouldn¡¯t compromise the overall aesthetics of clothing. The final ruling protects an author's signature right and plays an important role in standardizing copyright use in the costume design industry.

Case No 14: Blizzard Entertainment and Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology apply for interim injunction

1. Background

Blizzard Entertainment was the copyright owner of the game World of Warcraft, and Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology was the exclusive operator of the game in the Chinese mainland. The two parties believed that the game Quanmin Warcraft, which was developed by Chengdu Qiyou Co and run exclusively by Rekoo and downloadable from, infringed on their copyright and was an unfair competition practice in that it used their name and decorations as well as generated misleading promotions. The two plaintiffs applied for an interim injunction when filing the litigation. They appealed to the court to have the three defendants immediately stop the infringement and offered 10 million yuan as a cash guarantee.

2. Ruling

The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court granted the injunction, ruling that Chengdu Qiyou and Rekoo be forbidden to copy, distribute and promote the game in question, and stop distributing the game. None of the three parties have appealed.

3. Significance

The case involved an interlocutory injunction for an immediate stop of an activity. It¡¯s important to actively deal with such applications and effectively enforce judgments to preserve intellectual property and ensure timely, convenient and effective judicial remedies. In such an application, the court must balance benefits to applicant and respondent, and set conditions for a standardize review process. They should not only satisfy the justified demand of the applicant to have their rights immediately protected but also prevent abuse of the system to impair business rivals. In this case, the court listened to the opinions of both parties, considered the applicants¡¯ security guarantee, properly determined the precise measures necessary to make the injunction effective, and balanced the benefits to both sides.

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China's tech empire comes of age abroad (2015-10-07,Xinhua)

When Lei Jun told the World Internet Conference in China last year that his tech startup Xiaomi will be the world leader in smartphones in the next five or 10 years, an Apple executive prophetically replied, "It is easy to say, but more difficult to do."

Xiaomi's prodigious success has revolutionized the market for "made in China" goods, much due to the founder's appeal to patriotism.

Lei, 46, originally wanted to name his company "Red Star", but this was already registered. So he settled for Xiaomi, the Chinese for "millet", inspired by Mao Zedong's phrase during China's Civil War of 1945-1949: "We want to conquer the world by using millet and rifles."

He often quotes Mao at product release meetings and the company recently made headlines by setting up a Communist Party branch.


In 2010, when it was founded, the Chinese market was dominated by foreign brands. Newspapers splashed photos of people queuing for Apple's iPhone 4 and few would consider buying handset from a domestic start-up.

But by the end of 2014, Xiaomi's market value stood at 45 billion U.S. dollars, about 180 times its worth of 2010.

It has grown far ahead of domestic rivals Huawei and Lenovo, topping the Chinese market, and is now the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer after Apple and Samsung. Lei's smiling face has graced the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Time, and Forbes.

Xiaomi battled for market share by being controversially cheap. Supporters claim its smartphone has the same or better functions than the foreign brands, but for less than 2,000 yuan, and its "high-quality, low-price" reputation has become a role model for other Chinese firms.

Its slogan is "May more people enjoy the fun of technology."

Lei gambled on the popularity of mobile Internet - and won. In 2012, the number of Chinese online on mobile phones for the first time outnumbered those online on their desktops. By June this year, 668 million Chinese were online, almost half of the country's population, and mobile phone web users numbered 594 million.

Before unveiling its first handset, Xiaomi developed an Android-based mobile operating system and WeChat-like text and voice messaging service, both with millions of users. The company built its reputation through online selling and social media marketing.

When the first Xiaomi smartphone was released in August 2011, more than 300,000 handsets sold online within five minutes. On April 18 this year, a record 2.12 million smartphones sold online within 12 hours.

The success was repeated in foreign markets such as Brazil and Southeast Asia. In July 2014, Xiaomi entered India, selling more than 800,000 handsets, and quickly grabbing 1.5 percent of the market.

Business insiders say Xiaomi's popularity comes from experience of developing countries, where large populations with huge middle and low-end markets are consistent with Xiaomi's strength.


However, taking a Chinese start-up abroad successfully requires patents - and Xiaomi's lack of intellectual property has proved its Achilles' heel.

Doubts first arose last year with the launch of its air purifier, which was criticized as remarkably similar to that of Japanese brand Balmuda in appearance, internal structure, and even in its marketing.

In December, Sweden's Ericsson won a court order banning the import and sale of Xiaomi smartphones in India after claiming they infringing patent rights. Xiaomi paid a substantial sum in compensation, which reinforced public doubts over domestic brands.

Hugo Barra, vice president of Xiaomi in charge of India, told media that it has applied for 2,600 patents around the world to build a portfolio of patents to defend itself.

Lei described India as Xiaomi's "coming of age", saying that Xiaomi would invest more in research and development and have more patents than any other company in the world in the next decade.

In May, Xiaomi launched its online store in the United States and Europe, only selling earphones, power banks and fitness wristbands - no smartphones. Some media pointed out Xiaomi was trying to avoid patent disputes.

According to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), almost all Chinese smartphone manufactures have been blocked in the global market, especially in North America and Europe. Lacking core patents is the main barrier.

Xiaomi has been dubbed China's Apple, and Lei has acknowledged learning from Steve Jobs in explaining the similarities with the iPhone. But critics argue that Apple has more than double the patents claimed by Xiaomi.

"Lei's salute to Jobs is just trickery to disguise copying Apple's designs," says a blogger who posted an article titled "Xiaomi Discredits the Reputation of 'Made-in-China'."


Domestic smartphone makers have made China the world's largest and most competitive market. Yu Xiaohui, head of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, revealed that Chinese manufactures accounted for six of world's top 10 vendors based on market share. At home, the number of Chinese smartphone manufactures exceeds 200, and they have 80 percent of the market.

However, the first quarter of this year saw a fall in smartphone sales in China, with shipments down 4.3 percent to 98.8 million according to IT consultancy IDC.

"China's smartphone market is saturated," says Yu Li, vice director of marketing of China Academy of Telecommunication Research. "The time of explosive growth has passed, and higher-level competition is approaching."

Lei Jun revealed on his microblog that Xiaomi had sold 34.7 million units from January to June, down from the second half of last year, and a poor start to meeting its goal of selling 100 million handsets this year.

But he remains optimistic: "Even if growth slows, smartphone makers can still get opportunities by keeping prices competitive."

But affordability is not a panacea. "As smartphone users demand ever more in quality," says Yang Ye, director of China's Telecommunication Development Industry Alliance, "domestic companies have to market by acquiring patents and developing high-end handsets, and give up replicating Xiaomi in the low-end markets."

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Facts and figures about China's economic restructuring 2011-2015 (2015-10-03,Xinhua)

China's central leadership will convene in October to deliberate a comprehensive plan for development over the next five years (2016-2020).

Economic restructuring will remain one of the major issues as China continues to shift from an investment-driven economy to one led by innovation and services.

Following are some facts and figures about signs of changes in the country's economic structure from 2011 to 2015, or the period of China's 12th Five-year Plan.


China's GDP expansion rate was 9.3 percent in 2011, 7.7 percent in 2012, 7.7 percent in 2013, and 7.3 percent in 2014.

For the first half of 2015, the economy grew by 7 percent. The annual target set by the government is "around 7 percent".


The service sector accounted for 49.5 percent of GDP in the first half of 2015, rising from 39.2 percent in 2010.


Fixed assets investment growth dropped to 15.7 percent in 2014 from 23.8 percent in 2010. The figure declined further to 11.4 percent in the first half of 2015.

The decrease was mainly caused by the phasing out of outdated industrial production capacity. Investment in railway and other sectors related to people's livelihood remained stable over the last five years.


Retail sales of consumer goods grew from 15.5 trillion yuan (about 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2010 to 26.2 trillion yuan in 2014.

Retail sales grew 10.4 percent to 14.2 trillion yuan in the January-June period of 2015. Consumption accounted for 60 percent of GDP growth in the first half of the year, 13.1 percentage points higher than in 2010.

In particular, new consumption models such as online shopping accounted for nearly 10 percent of overall retail sales this year, and consumption in tourism and health care are expected to rise at a faster pace as society prospers.


Research and development (R&D) expenditure nearly doubled from 706.3 billion yuan in 2010 to more than 1.3 trillion yuan in 2014.

Patent applications increased at an explosive speed from 1.2 million in 2010 to nearly 2.4 million in 2014.


On the back of robust innovation, a start-up boom has taken place. In the first half of 2015, newly established enterprises had total registered capital of 12 trillion yuan, up 43 percent from a year earlier.


China's export growth continued to slow over the last five years due to faltering global economic recovery. Exports of railway-related equipment, however, surged from 8.4 billion yuan in 2010 to 26.8 billion yuan in 2014.


As the economy is becoming "smarter," energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 13.4 percent by 2014 from the 2010 level.

In the first half of 2015, energy consumption per unit of GDP went down 5.9 percent year on year, in line with China's "green" drive.

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Platform integrates smart healthcare services (2015-09-30,China Daily)

An intellectual property operation platform for smart healthcare was recently established at the Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park, to promote cross-border IP trading services between local companies and overseas high-end technology transfer agencies, research institutions and businesses.

The platform, jointly launched by Shanghai Cobio Smarter Healthcare Technology and the Shanghai Pudong Biomedicine Industry Association, is the first service platform to combine patents, trademarks and copyrights in a specialized field in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

" will focus on IP operation, management, trading and comprehensive service in the field of smart healthcare," said Zhu Renming, president of Cobio. "It also creates a new model that integrates a series of online and offline innovative services, such as IP trading, assessment, membership services, big data and IP financing.

"This will help create more new technologies and business value during IP trading, and also encourage domestic smart medical businesses to transform and upgrade," said Zhu.

The platform has already established strategic cooperation agreements with technology transfer bodies in the United States, France, Belgium and Israel.

In one such instance, a biotechnology lab in France has developed a bio-enzyme chip that can help evaluate the effectiveness of hemodialysis through real-time monitoring of the blood being pumped and filtered. The new technology will benefit a large number of patients with kidney failure who need regular hemodialysis.

Zhongxing Biomedicine Industry has signed an agreement with the French laboratory to jointly develop the technology, in the first Sino-French IP cooperation project launched via the platform.

Under the agreement, the two parties will jointly apply for patents in China, carry out secondary development and clinical trials, and also jointly share the IP right of such technology globally, according to Wu Yemin, an executive with Zhongxing Biomedicine.

"Based on such technology, we could further develop more things, such as remote healthcare, personalized precision healthcare and the integration of big data on dialysis and application development for kidney diseases," Wu said.

Wu said carrying out technology secondary development and cross-border science cooperation is very meaningful for domestic businesses.

"Previously, domestic enterprises had a problem that there was no such industry transfer platform," Wu said. "But now, the platform allows them to introduce overseas technology and carry out further development.

"Meanwhile, our good results can be sent to overseas countries," Wu said.

Industry insiders said the platform would provide the motivation for the city to build itself into a science and technology center with global influence.

Haggai Ravid, CEO of Cukierman & Co Investment House, which is headquartered in Israel, said the secret to Israel's biomedicine innovation resides in a number of factors, such as venture capital, intellectual property protection and cross-border transactions.

Statistics shows that Israel ranks first in the world in terms of per capita patent ownership in the area of healthcare, according to Shanghai newspaper Wenhui Daily.

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Firms reap benefits of new intellectual property guidelines (2015-09-30,China Daily)

Companies in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces said at recent news conferences that they have benefited greatly from carrying out national guidelines on the management of intellectual property rights.

The news conferences were organized by the State Intellectual Property Office to promote a document issued on June 30 by eight national agencies, including the national IP authority and the Ministry of Commerce, that aims to better implement the national guidelines.

Wu Guoxiong, vice-president at Suzhou Dongling Technologies Co, said the company has been following the national standard since March. He added that nearly every employee at the company has a better understanding of how to better protect intellectual property.

One key goal of the standard is to have companies educate its employees about IPR and get more of them to be involved in IPR management.

Wu said the guideline has helped encourage Dongling Technologies, a provider of vibration testing equipment, to publicize how the standard should be implemented to its employees.

Wu added that salespeople in Dongling Technologies now understand that they cannot provide full access to new technical solutions, which is considered the company's intellectual property created by the company's technicians, to clients.

For example, salespeople can discuss the company's technical solutions to clients but not provide documentation about the technology.

"They did not have a sense of this in the past," said Wu, who added that employees who are not involved in the creation of technical solutions would not be aware of protecting the rights of the company's intellectual property.

The national IPR management standard also helped Sunwave Communications Co in Zhejiang province better protect its IPR, said Shen Bing, the company's IPR manager.

He said they didn't begin IPR-related work, including the application of patents, until technicians finished their research and development of products and technologies.

After the company began implementing the national guidelines on September 2013, it understood that they could better protect a product's intellectual property rights by establishing patent plans in advance.

The national standard helped their companies manage IPR more systematically and effectively, both Wu and Shen said.

Wu said the company has improved its IPR management system and made each of the company's departments, such as production and sales, help in the management of IPR.

Dongling Technologies also set up an independent IPR office to be responsible for analyzing patent information, applying for patents, safeguarding and managing patent rights.

Shen said before Sunwave implemented the national guidelines, its IPR management had been fragmented and only involved its technical department.

He said by establishing and carrying out an IPR management system, Sunwave can better formulate clear IP development plans. The system allows Sunwave to monitor IPR management results in real-time with data that is recorded and preserved, Shen said.

He said by doing so, the company will be able to find problems at an earlier time, fix them and improve its IPR management system.

The national standard for enterprise IPR management formulated by the State Intellectual Property Office took effect in March 2013. It is a voluntary standard and targets companies that want to improve IPR management, said an official at the IP authority.

The official said the standard guides enterprises through planning, carrying out, checking and improving an IPR management system to promote their IPR management capabilities and become more competitive.

Shen said Sunwave would keep improving its IPR management system and hopes to get accreditation as soon as possible.

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China to cut admin fees to relieve firms, individuals (2015-09-29,Xinhua)

China's economic planner announced Thursday it will lower 12 administrative charges, estimating the cuts will save enterprises and individuals 4 billion yuan (nearly 630 million U.S. dollars).

Effective from Oct. 15, fees including those for property transfers, trademark registration and software copyright applications will be lowered, according to a statement of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The property transfer charge will be cut by around 33 percent to help home buyers. Governments of medium and small cities are allowed to lower the charge further, the statement said.

In addition, the NDRC will double the exemption period for patent maintenance fees to 6 years, effective in 2016.

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China, EU and 5G: Internet of the future (2015-09-28,People's Daily)

The first visit of Gunther Oettinger to Beijing on Sept 28, as European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, will be of utmost importance. China became the leading manufacturer of digital equipment during the last decade. The visit follows up the China-EU Summit and earlier high-level meetings.

Today, Chinese companies are exporting high-tech equipment across the world, providing employment and revenues to thousands of Chinese workers. Since the European Union is a major export market for these companies, staying in touch with key EU decision-makers in this sector is very important for China, which aims to become a leading global innovator.

The main reason of Oettinger's visit is to take part in the EU-China High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, but this will also be a golden opportunity for him to discuss closer cooperation with China in a number of strategic areas, such as the next generation of mobile communications (5G), also known as LTE. 5G is about 1,000 times faster than 4G.

However, 5G is not fully defined yet. The aim is to provide seamless connectivity everywhere and all times. It is not just an improvement of the current mobile technology, allowing faster smartphones and tablets. It's more than that. 5G will be the global industry standard for many technologies that will facilitate our everyday life in a wide range of areas: the Internet of the Things. It will be the start of the "digital transformation" of our life. Potentially everything can be connected£­connected cars, for instance, can react autonomously to input data to brake in case of an emergency.

So how will China benefit from closer cooperation with Europe on 5G? Companies making high-tech equipment necessary for cars, trains, central heating and air-conditioning systems, refrigerators, elevators and other products will have tremendous opportunities to grow. China has the expertise and the manpower to be in the leading position to provide these new high-tech products and applications.

But the industry needs visibility on the timing of the operational launch of 5G. Companies making cars, refrigerators and other products will only buy their technologies and include them in their consumer products and appliances when 5G become reality. This is where Oettinger and chief for internet security Lu Wei play such a crucial role. We (at ChinaEU) urge the two sides to finalize as soon as possible a strategic collaboration on 5G followed by an agreement on big data and cooperation on Industry 4.0/Internet Plus.

There are three priority areas that call for action. First, spectrum. 5G will require a blend in various spectrum bands, from sub 1 GHz spectrum all the way up to the 40 GHz and even 80 GHz bands. If connected cars use different frequencies in Europe and China, it will reduce economies of scale for the production of the required equipment and complicate exports.

Second: timing. Oettinger and the European Commission are advancing efforts to ensure timely development of global standards and a spectrum management concept for 5G. China should support this move, to unlock the tremendous business opportunities of the Internet of the Things.

Third: standards. Only global standards will ensure full inter-operability of connected devices and communications networks. China and the EU could leverage their unique technological and market strengths collaboratively to establish a major strategic presence in the future 5G mobile markets globally.

The industry's awareness about these possibilities has to be raised.

But the road to 5G may be long. For example, access to new applications could be prevented, delayed or made more expensive as a consequence of patent wars, like those we saw with 3G. A joint political initiative from China and the EU would be useful to clarify the application of the intellectual property rules in this domain characterized by fast innovation, whereby new applications will necessarily build on existing elements, on which competitors may hold patents.

The author is president of ChinaEU, a business-led international association aimed at intensifying joint research and business cooperation and mutual investments in Internet, telecom and hi-tech between China and Europe.

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Beijing E-Town in the vanguard of innovation (2015-09-26,China Daily)

After years of transformation, the industrial zone has become a leader in high-tech innovation, Yang Cheng and Wang Sujuan report.

Over the last two decades the Chinese economy has witnessed rapid transformation, Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, or E-Town, has been in the vanguard of this transition, playing a leading role in the country's high-tech industries, attracting foreign investment and fostering overseas expansion. E-town has more or less achieved the initial goal of the Beijing municipal government to drive economic development.

Now it is accelerating its transformation into a scientific and technological innovation center by further developing its role as an innovation leader through the strengthening of its independent research and development capabilities, and attracting talented professionals and services to the enterprises in the zone.

During the past decade, about 80 percent of the research achievements at the E-Town have been commercialized and they in turn have started generating returns. Today the zone is home to 485 high-tech enterprises and about 300 research institutes, of which 180 are at the national and city-level.

There are also 10 key national research laboratories in the zone and 24 public service stations that focus on technology.

Statistics show that for every 10,000 residents in the E-Town there are 240 patents, ranking the E-Town top of all national-level development zones in this respect.

Companies with internationally competitive advantages are evolving in the E-Town and 104 have been approved by the municipal government as "little giants", an award given to fast-growing high-tech firms.

To date, 12 companies in the E-Town have been honored as models for patent application and ownership and 266 companies have been recognized for their efforts in applying technological patents.

Many local researchers have been selected as part of the country's campaign to lure back overseas Chinese.

Among them 50 are from the national-level "1,000-talent" project, which aims at attract 1,000 leading overseas returnees to the country to benefit its technological advancement. A further 90 are from Beijing's "Haiju project," which aims to attract overseas Chinese back to the capital.

Investors' confidence

Large investors, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, which is listed in New York and Hong Kong, and domestic liquid crystal display maker BOE Technology Group, have built production and control facilities in the E-Town.

"Since we first came to E-Town in 2002, we have been seeing changes almost on a daily basis," said Rena Xia a public relations executive at SMIC. "We enjoy the work environment and living conditions here. We have developed an attachment to it."

As the leading integrated circuit wafer producer in China, SMIC takes pride in its state-of-the-art 28-nano technology, which has enabled China's IC products to be in the world's top rank.

In 2005 Germany's Mercedes-Benz decided to build its China manufacturing center in E-Town. In 2011, Mercedes-Benz located its only overseas engine plant in E-Town; the first of its kind in Mercedes-Benz's 125-year history. This year, Mercedes China announced its revenue had increased eightfold during the past 10 years.

After the global financial crisis in 2008, a BOE executive boasted that, due to the rising demand for smartphones and tablet computers, "we are growing like a currency printing press".

Today, BOE is already the largest LCD manufacturer for smartphones and tablets; two out of every 10 phones have a screen manufactured by BOE, and three out of every 10 tablet screens. In 2012, it ranked second worldwide for the number of patent applications, which showed its independent innovation capabilities.

To prepare for the rise in mobile Internet, BOE has expanded its production facility in E-Town. As one of BOE's close partners, the Chinese arm of US-headquartered Corning Inc, a specialist in display technologies, has also built a production center in E-Town, almost next door to BOE's most advanced site.

Corning has been an active participant in China's development for the last 35 years and provides LCD glass for BOE. It has invested more than $2 billion and employs about 3,000 people on the Chinese mainland.

"Our strategy is to have our facility where our key customers are located," said Li Fang, Corning's president for the Greater China region. "Support from the local government is also a key criteria for us when we consider the location of our facilities."

E-Town is progressing through rapid industrial reshuffling and technological upgrading. The zone has gathered not only a competitive cluster of companies from abroad and from other places in China, but also talented people.

According to the administrative committee, a number of high-level professionals trained overseas are working for various companies in E-Town. SMIC, for example, has 50 international employees.

"They (the employees) all belong to the backbone of the company," said Xia. The employees help manage and operate one-third of SMIC's entire capacity, and have delivered an unprecedented lift in product quality and sales in the first two quarters of the year.

Technologies have also given E-Town a head start in the country's transition from an export-led, investment-dependent, energy-driven development model to a more sustainable one. The zone's new-generation enterprises are leading the rest of the nation in growth.

Edward Tian, a long-term Internet investor who has taken advantage of the growth potential in big data and cloud computing, said he "doesn't see a sign of a slowdown" in the research and application of new technologies.

"We don't see a drain of capital, either," he said. "Plus, there are various preferential programs, from the central government's grants and tax incentives to local government's support on a physical level, like what we received from E-Town."

Xingshulin, a mobile Internet platform enabling physicians to access patient files on smartphones, was developed with funding from Tian's CBC Capital and is partly based in E-Town's Cloud Valley, a cluster of cloud computing application firms. The platform has attracted more than 1 million registered users nationwide, he said.

Big data and data-based mobile applications are expected to drive E-Town's next stage of development.

The Beijing municipal government recognized E-Town as a main contributor to the city's progress in the development and manufacturing of integrated circuits in advanced sensing, energy efficiency, the Internet of Things, display technology, e-diagnosis and e-medical services.

In another development, E-Town is one of China's leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centers and gained a nickname of "China's Medicine Valley."

The Youcare Pharmaceutical Group, based in E-Town, moved from the economic powerhouses in the South China cities of Guangzhou and Zhuhai and has now extended its reach to the US.

Yu Weishi, president of Youcare, which was ranked as one of the Chinese companies with great development potential but the US magazine Forbes, said: "Our decision to move from South China and to set up headquarters in the E-Town has proven to be successful. Our 10 years of efforts here laid solid foundations for Youcare's international presence in some 40 countries and regions as well as four high-end production and research centers around China."

Yu, who visited the US with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, said the company now has a research and development center in New York, seven of its products were approved the FDA and it has purchased a plant owned by US drugmaker Actavis in Los Angeles.

In 2010, US retailer Walmart opened its second Beijing Sam's Club, which mainly targets high-end customers.

According to An Yuan, PR manager of Walmart China, "Walmart and Sam's Club are confident in the E-Town's future growth and development potential. The E-Town is fostering an international-level investment climate, offering companies with facilitated procedures and encouraging their innovations."

An also praised the efforts made by the area's government authorities, including industrial and commercial administrations, food and drug quality supervision and quarantine bureaus as well as fire prevention departments.

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Netizens accuse Didi of copying new logo (2015-09-23,China Daily)

Didi Chuxing, a leading taxi-hailing app in China, has created controversy among Web users who say its new logo looks like a copy of a dental care institute's brand created by an Indian designer.

Didi Kuaidi, the biggest Chinese rival to Uber Technologies Inc, rebranded as Didi Chuxing and launched its new logo on Sept 9, attracting huge attention in the industry and on the Internet.

The logo is a horizontal capital letter D that looks like a smiling mouth. It has a gap in the top right corner and is orange, the same color as the app's original logo.

Behance, an online platform established in 2006 to showcase and discover creative work worldwide, is where netizens have drawn their brand copying assertions from. Compared with Didi's new logo, the Behance version is a bit longer and slimmer, and has a blue-purple gradient color.

According to the platform, the brand was designed and uploaded in November 2013 by Neeti Gokhalay, who comes from Bang alore, India. She created the logo for Dentech, a 25-year-old dental care center in Mumbai. As of Tuesday, the design had been viewed about 6,700 times.

Commenting on assertions from the Internet, Ye Yun, director of Didi's public relations department, told Chongqing Economic Times that the new logo was simple and originated from the deformation of a letter, so it was normal to find other similar logos.

He said the new logo was not a copy, just involved similar inspiration used by both Chinese and Indian designers.

Didi said on its official micro blog that the company spent three months searching for brand logos at home and abroad before its new logo was published. The company said it did not know of any similar logos until Sept 7, two days before the new logo's launch, when it was told of the Indian designer's work by a Web user, who is also a designer.

Didi said it had considered using a backup logo, but decided to stick to its original idea after discussions and a small-scale investigation, because the horizontal capital D, which was selected from more than 200 designs, best meets the meanings the company wanted to express.

"The new logo represents that we will serve the public with innovative thoughts in the mobile Internet to let everyone have a satisfactory experience," said a Didi's micro blog, Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The gap in the logo means that Didi will continue its commitment to pursuing perfection and innovation," it said.

Although the company has applied for trademark registration of the new logo in China, which many industry insiders said is very likely to gain approval, Didi is trying to communicate with the Indian designer and hopes to reach a deal through negotiation.

Chen Haiyun, a lawyer in Chongqing, told Chongqing Economic Times that according to trademark law in China, the trademark rights have a territoriality principle, so Didi would have no trouble with trademark infringements if it did not extend its business to India and the dental care center did not set up outlets in China.

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IP sector encouraged to take advantage of Internet, big data (2015-09-23,China Daily)

Patent information services need to make better use of the Internet and big data technologies, said Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, at a forum last week.

The State Council released policies this year to advance the Internet Plus initiative, which aims to integrate the Internet with traditional sectors and promote big data-based businesses. Both have close ties with patent information services, Shen said.

Internet Plus provides fresh opportunities and a new platform for the patent information sector, due to improvements in efficiency with online data services and publicity.

Big data technologies, which help improve integration, analysis and further processing of a sea of patent information, provides an innovative approach to developing and using invention documents, he noted.

Shen made the remarks at the Patent Information Annual Conference of China 2015, which was held in Beijing on Sept 15.

The annual event has drawn increasingly wide attention and grown more influential since it was founded in 2010, a representation of rising demand for patent information and Chinese patent value that is gaining acceptance, the commissioner said.

As China has entered the "new normal" of slower, more higher-quality deevlopment, innovation has become a primary engine to boost economic growth, he said.

In close proximity to trade, technology and legal services, patents as well as related information are valued higher, he said, adding that efficient use of patent data can help reduce research and development time by 60 percent and R&D costs by 40 percent.

As a large intellectual property filer, China is rich in patent information resources, with patent documents having surpassed 90 million.

Government data shows that SIPO received some 609,000 filings for invention patents in the first eight months, a 21.8 percent year-on-year increase.

International patent applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty grew 20.4 percent to 18,700 during the same period.

The number of industrial patent applications hit 337,000 in China from January to August, up 4.6 percent from a year ago.

"All these provide us with a dynamic source for our increasingly enriched patent information reservoir," Shen said.

At the same time, SIPO maintains reciprocal relations with 38 countries, regions and international organizations to share patent documents, he added. "How to make full use of the rich reservoir to energize the mass entrepreneurship and innovation has been on our mind."

As many international organizations have lowered their expectations of global economic growth amid sluggish economy worldwide, China is advancing an innovation-driven strategy as a new engine for development, which has created "golden opportunities" for the patent information service sector, Shen said.

The commissioner encouraged service providers to offer a diversified product portfolio to meet the demand in a variety of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, whether from a growing number of upscale businesses or from grassroot-level startup companies.

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IP service providers showcase product (2015-09-23,China Daily)

Vicky Chen, deputy operation director of TekGlory (Beijing) Technologies, introduced her company's new products to visitors during the Patent Information Annual Conference of China 2015 held in Beijing last week.

TekGlory was among scores of intellectual property service providers, including those from overseas, that promoted their products and services at the China National Conference Center.

In a neighboring large conference chamber, an intense audiance was getting a lesson in the latest trends in patent information services and related policies from experts, company executives and senior government officials.

Unlike the academic-like atmosphere in the meeting room, the cluster of IP service providers in the corridor looked more like a crowded, bustling bazaar.

Sales staff at various exhibition stands were trying to persuade visitors with little gifts into scanning their QR codes.

"Now IP service providers face increasingly fierce competition in China, so we have to compete to launch new products as soon as possible," Chen said.

The young industry insider who came to Beijing from Taiwan about three years ago commented on the change in her clients on the mainland. "While most of them knew little about what they could do with the intangible assets, now their requirements are becoming more specific."

TekGlory plans to launch its Patent Advancement Index on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The index helps investors evaluate the R&D strength of listed companies, Chen said.

The company has already created, a consumer-to-consumer online platform to link patent agents with different technology specialties to potential service buyers.

Similarly, XJCZ Technologies Co, based in Beijing, also runs an online IP service portal, where patent right owners and agencies can connect and find useful information and related tools, said Zhou Yang, sales director of the company.

Unlike the agencies, Zhichuangdawei Science and Technologies Co offers software that helps manage the entire IP process, ranging from its creation to use, said Zhang Yue, a sales manager at the company.

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Competition helps bring inventions to market (2015-09-23,China Daily)

The first Zhongzhi Cup Intellectual Property Operational Competition was held in Beijing on Sept 16. The event was sponsored by the Intellectual Property Publishing House and organized by Zhongzhi Houde Intellectual Property Operational Co in Tianjin.

To echo the national strategy of the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the competition sets out to facilitate synergetic development in IP industries among the region and industrialize innovative programs in emerging enterprises.

During the competition, eight speakers gave ten-minute presentations on their programs and answered questions from judges and guests.

Several prizes were up for grabs during the competiton, including awards for best performance, commercial value and operational potential.

Li Cheng, deputy editor-in-chief of the Intellectual Property Publishing House, said in his keynote speech that the IP industry focused on IP protection and application in the past year and his company is committed to establishing a new IP operation and innovation system featuring openness, diversity, integration and mutual benefit.

"However, asymmetric information and financing difficulties for new programs were two weak links of the system," he said, adding that by holding such a competition, the company hopes to address the two issues, help small and medium-sized enterprises find resources they need, and encourage the public to industrialize innovations.

Zhang Chao, winner of the Award for Commercial Value, designed a parking application called ZipParc on the basis of intelligent hardware. The app uses a high-accurate earth magnetic field sensor to build a parking information network including fees and vacancies. Local governments can make policies in accordance with the current traffic situation, while car owners can maximize efficiency in parking, Zhang said.

Feng Zhen, CEO of the Beijing Mango Tab Technology Co, promoted the Mango Tab app during the competition. Embracing the idea of simplicity and convenience, the app is targeted at older generations. Taking advantage of data transformation via bluetooth, the app is able to remind people to take their medicine, take their keys when leaving home or do some exercise.

As part of the Patent Information Annual Conference of China 2015, the competition was well-received among IP insiders, with several programs recieving letters of intent from investors.

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Qualcomm lends its weight to Chinese semiconductor firms (2015-09-17,China Daily)

Qualcomm Inc, the global chip giant, believes that strategic tie-ups with Chinese companies, especially in the wireless and semiconductor sectors, will play an integral role in the United States-based company's long-term growth plans.

"We consider China a key player in the global wireless and semiconductor industries. Though we entered the Chinese market two decades ago, we are happy to have played an important role in the industry's development in China, especially in terms of research and development, in licensing of advanced technologies and in providing the most advanced chipsets for Chinese companies," said Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive oficer of Qualcomm.

Mollenkopf, who was in Beijing recently for a signing ceremony of a contemplated investment, said that Qualcomm will continue to scale up its investments and involvement in China.

The new Made in China 2025 strategy unveiled by the Chinese government aims to restructure industries in a manner that they can adapt to the new normal of slower but higher-quality economic growth.

The key takeaway of the plan is the added focus on integration of manufacturing and new-generation information technology products. Such a strategy will result in new methods of production, industrial patterns, business models and economic growth engines.

Semiconductor technologies are expected to be the cornerstone of the new economic transformation and this is something that excites Qualcomm, said Mollenkopf.

"Our strategic collaboration with and the technical support to the Chinese wireless industry will help create a vibrant ecosystem centered on semiconductors and generate millions of direct and indirect jobs. In other words, what we are envisaging is sustained economic growth for the entire Chinese wireless industry."

Industry focus

Since 1994, Qualcomm has established several close partnerships with Chinese semiconductor companies.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, one of the largest and most advanced semiconductor foundries in China, for example, is one of its key partners. SJ Semiconductor, which was set up in 2014 as a joint venture between SMIC and Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology Co Ltd, recently received contemplated investment of $280 million from a group of investors led by Qualcomm, SMIC and China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund for China's first 12-inch wafer bumping production line.

Mollenkopf said that the investment marks Qualcomm's long-term strong support for the continued growth of China's prosperous semiconductor ecosystem. "This investment, if completed, is also expected to increase the production capability of the joint venture so it can meet the mass production needs of SMIC's 12-inch process technology," he said.

"Qualcomm is continuing its capital and technology investment around the SMICcentric ecosystem. We believe, Qualcomm will bring more world-leading experiences and technologies to China to support its industrial upgrade and Internet Plus strategy, now and in the future."

Last year, SMIC and Qualcomm Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, teamed up to develop 28nm chip manufacturing technology and wafer manufacturing services for Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 processor, aiming at mass market mobile devices.

That collaboration made SMIC the first company on the Chinese mainland to produce high-performance, low-power consumption processors using the most advanced process nodes, the company said.

SMIC's production of the chip was considered by many industry experts as a major breakthrough in the commercialization of 28nm chips and the start of a new era in China's advanced manufacturing. The new processor features integrated 4G LTE technology and comes with high-performance graphics and 1080-pixel highdefinition displays. It is 20 percent to 30 percent faster and consumes 30 percent to 50 percent less power than 40nm chips. Snapdragon 410 processor is now available in more than 550 mobile device designs and it has shipped more than 200 million units globally from more than 60 OEMs.

Deepening collaboration

Mollenkopf, however, said that enhancing research capabilities in China would be a key task for the chip industry. In June, SMIC, Qualcomm, Huawei and Belgium-based Interuniversity Microelectronics Center established a research company called SMIC Advanced Technology Research and Development Corp in Shanghai.

The said company will primarily work on innovation for the next-generation leading process node - 14nm. In addition, it will also focus on developing complementary metal oxide semiconductor logic technology to further enhance China's leading integrated circuit R&D platforms. It is already working on developing 14nm chip technology in China.

Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Inc, believes that the initiative will be an important milestone for IC industries both in China and around the world. "It reinforces our commitment for the sustained growth of China's booming semiconductor ecosystem."

Since SMIC is the largest shareholder in the company, it has rights to license the patents for technologies developed by the joint venture and apply them in current and future range of products.

According to the new company, the growth in China's IC technology prowess will facilitate the mass production of 14nm to 16nm chips in China by 2020, a goal set by the National IC Industry Development Promotion Outline issued by the State Council in 2014.

In July 2014, Qualcomm announced an investment commitment of up to $150 million to support Chinese startups in the Internet, e-commerce, semiconductor, education and health sectors. To date, four high-tech companies and a foundation have benefited from the commitment, receiving about $40 million investments. The foundation, China Walden Venture Investment, mainly focuses on investing in semiconductor and related companies with businesses in China.

The US company is also looking to partner with more local governments in the country. It has already teamed up with the Guizhou provincial government for a new company to develop and sell chipsets in China. The chipsets will be developed using Qualcomm's ARM-based server technology.

Chen Min'er, governor of Guizhou, announced full support to Qualcomm to jointly build a new generation of electronic information technology cluster in Guizhou, which was said to be in line with the guidance and requirement from President Xi Jinping regarding following the two bottom lines of development and ecological protection.

Aberle said Qualcomm will not only set up an ofice in the province but also recruit top talent from the province and across the country.

Looking to the future, Aberle said he expects huge opportunities in China, especially for data center equipment. The partnership with the Guizhou government will lay a solid foundation for high technology-led growth and innovation in not only Guizhou, but the whole of China, he said.

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Inventec and Kingsoft launch dual-language Web dictionary (2015-09-17,China Daily)

Taiwan's leading technology company Inventec Corporation has joined hands with the mainland software services provider Kingsoft Co Ltd to roll out a new online English-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-English dictionary.

The dictionary, which includes meanings of expressions and phrases used on the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, will likely be used by 140 million people.

Some 100 developers from Inventec and Kingsoft compiled 110,000 expressions in both simplified and traditional Chinese for the dictionary.

The dictionary explains 40,000 expressions lucidly by way of usage and pronunciation keys.

To access the new two-in-one dictionary, users can log in to the website of Dr.eye, the 19-year-old online dictionary service of Inventec. They can also access it through, Kingsoft's online dictionary.

According to Jonathan Yang, senior vice-president of Inventec, Dr.eye is the most frequently used English dictionary tool in Taiwan. Over 15 million users are expected to use it next year.

Richard Lee, chairman of Inventec, said that the two companies have signed strategic cooperation agreements at the beginning of this year to work together on the compilation of dictionary, cloud services, office software and patent operation.

The dictionary will emerge as the most significant project, in terms of exploring the two markets, Lee said.

He also said that the two companies will continue to update the dictionary with latest expressions. Cloud services will connect the databases of the two companies. A smartphone app is also being planned before the upcoming Spring Festival.

Kingsoft's includes more than 8 million words and expressions and 142 dictionaries such as the Oxford Dictionary and Collins.

Zhang Hongjiang, chief executive officer of Kingsoft, said the company will invest in more third-party technologies together with Dr.eye.

The Hong Kong-listed Kingsoft's first-quarter income rose 64 percent year-on-year to 1.1 billion yuan ($172.7 million).

According to Zhang, the company will make further strategic investments in mobile technologies, globalization and cloud services.

After starting off as a maker of calculators and telephones, Inventec has since diversified into the laptop industry and is now an industry-leading original equipment manufacturer.

It used to provide services to Xiaomi Corporation, the mainland's largest mobile phone shipper.

Xiaomi is expected to roll out its first laptop in the first quarter of 2016. And Inventec edged out OEM market giant Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn Technology Group, to bag Xiaomi's contract for its new laptops.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, is also Kingsoft's chairman. Lee is on record that Inventec's cooperation with Xiaomi will go beyond mobile phones.

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New Beijing IP trial committee hears first case (2015-09-17,China Daily)

A complicated intellectual property dispute being decided by a new trial committee created to try difficult cases attracted more than 100 people to its inaugural hearing today.

The trademark dispute involving a medical company and the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce was the first case adjudicated by the Beijing Intellectual Property's trial committee.

The committee, which consists of seven judges with extensive trial experience, had previously only provided expertise during trials. As part of a pilot program on judicial reform, put forward by the government's leadership in 2013, the committee was asked hear a case on its own.

The committee previously provided suggestions during trials, but without hearing all of the evidence in the case, it could not "figure out problems accurately and make confident demands of both parties," said Song Yushui, the tribunal's spokeswoman.

"After all, the committee did not participate in a case, let alone know the focus. In this way, its suggestions were unsure to be fair and objective," Song said. "Only when we are present during a trial, we will find out the details ... important to making a verdict."

Today's case, which considered the company's claim that the trademark office's cancellation of its registered trademark was illegal, was heard by seven top judges from the local tribunal, including its president and two vice-presidents.

Chen Jinchuan, vice-president of the tribunal, echoed Song's assessment, saying the committee represents the authority of a court and the judges trail experience can better solve complicated judicial problems.

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Experts call for standardization of IP services (2015-09-16,China Daily)

Standards for intellectual property services are increasingly needed as the business grows rapidly in China and Chinese companies expand overseas, said industrial insiders at the International Exchange Conference of Intellectual Property Services Standardization in Beijing's Zhongguancun innovation area last week.

The event attracted more than 200 delegates from the government, IP service agencies, universities, research institutes, companies and industry associations, including many experts from home and abroad who gave lectures on the IP service standard systems overseas and China's efforts to build its own.

Gan Shaoning, deputy commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said at the conference that the IP system supports innovation-driven development and encourages innovation. He said a standardized IP service is an important means to administrative reform and improvement of the market economy. "IP service standardization is at its initial phase in China and has great potential," he said.

Although China has accumulated world-class IP resources, its IP systems are running at low efficiency and the commercialization rate is far lower than in many other emerging economies.

"Standardization will improve the planning and management of IP resources," said He Hua, another deputy commissioner of SIPO.

Intellectual property, as a resource, and standardization, as a means, will together increase the efficiency of IP industrialization, he said.

A widely accepted system should be set up to analyze the companies' IP risks when they expand their businesses overseas, said SIPO official Ma Hongya, who is responsible for companies' patent management.

"IP management in Chinese companies mostly relies on the experience of the managers, and there is a shortage of systematic regulations," he told Economic Daily. "The 'standard plus certification' model is the international norm."

Ma Lincong, head of the China National Institute of Standardization, said that IP supports innovation and socioeconomic development only if there is standardized high-quality service.

During recent years, organizations for IP service standardization have been established in many Western countries and regions, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union.

China issued related guidelines earlier this year, which said a standard system will be established by 2020.

The Standardization Administration of China will "pick up its pace" to develop and improve the nation's IP service standard system, said Cui Gang, deputy director of the administration.

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WIPO head: Chinese increase in innovation is 'impressive' (2015-09-16,China Daily)

One of the most significant trends in the global innovation landscape is "the impressive rise of China", said Francis Gurry, director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

"Since 2011, more patents and industrial design rights are filed in China than anywhere else in the world," he said in a recent exclusive interview.

Government data shows that the State Intellectual Property Office received 928,000 applications for invention patents last year, an increase of 12.5 percent from 2013, enabling the country to retain its No 1 world ranking in patent filing for the fourth straight year.

China has topped the world in trademark applications for 13 consecutive years, with some 2.28 million filed in the country last year, setting a new record.

"In many industries, Chinese products and technologies have emerged as globally competitive," Gurry said.

As a growing number of Chinese players compete in international commerce, they are aware of the increasingly important role of intellectual property, he added.

The share of Chinese-origin IP applications under global filing systems governed by WIPO, the including Patent Cooperation Treaty, has thus increased.

WIPO data shows that some 25,600 international trademarks filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2014 originated from China, ranking the country the third-largest PCT filer worldwide and the only one that realized double-digit growth.

"There is still ample scope for future IP filing growth from China," the director-general said.

"For China's economy to sustain fast growth, Chinese companies need to increasingly compete on the basis of new technologies and innovative products - as many already do," he said.

"IP is critical for generating a return on their investments in innovation and for protecting the competitive advantage that innovation confers."

The global IP landscape has shifted towards Asia, with the continent's share of global patent filings increasing from 47.3 percent in 2003 to 58.4 percent in 2013, Gurry said.

In the case of trademark filings, Asia's share has risen from 34.5 to 48.3 percent over the same time period, according to WIPO data.

"Because of the growing centrality of IP in the region's development strategies, WIPO's focus has been, and will continue to be, on strengthening regional cooperation and establishing collaborative platforms to build capacity, access information and encourage collaboration among countries, involving both the private and public sectors, to foster innovation and creativity," Gurry said.

"Progress on multilateral cooperation has been a significant challenge in recent history, with governments finding a limited capacity to agree internationally," he said. "This goes beyond IP and extends to other cooperation areas such as trade and climate change."

"The reasons are manifold, ranging from the rise of middle income countries who legitimately wish to have a greater say in multilateral fora, to the complexity of global policy challenges in which different countries hold different stakes," he said.

Nevertheless, "we have still been relatively successful" in international cooperation in the IP sphere, with two multilateral treaties concluded in the field of copyright in recent years, including the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances adopted by the Diplomatic Conference in Beijing in 2012, the director-general said.

The past 20 years saw the rapid transition of the creative economy from an analogue marketplace distributing physical goods to a digital marketplace distributing digital content over the Internet, he said.

"The rapid evolution of technology that has accompanied this transition from analogue to digital has on the one hand made more creative works available to more people than ever before, and has allowed us all to be both creators and consumers of creative works.

"But on the other hand, this exponential increase in the number and accessibility of creative works has been accompanied by a significant loss of economic value to creators, performers and the creative sector," he said.

Technology has facilitated widespread illegal downloading and streaming of content, in part by making these activities simple, he added.

"It is now urgent to establish a seamless global digital marketplace, which makes it as easy to get content legally as it has been to get it illegally," Gurry said.

"The creation of such a marketplace is an extremely delicate and complex process, not the least because most of the building blocks have to be put in place by the enterprise sector and not the public sector."

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How intellectual property protection boosts Chinese economy (2015-09-16,Xinhua)

Twenty years ago, it was common practice for fabric producers in Jiangsu Province, east China, to copy each other's designs.

This did not change much until in 1996 when a Taiwan company set up a branch in Jiangsu's Nantong, bringing with it more than 100 unique patterns and it took over the market easily.

Driven by profits, local producers tried to copy the Taiwanese designs because their own designs lacked quality.

The Taiwan company was shocked by this oversight of intellectual property (IP) rights and, after a failed attempt to file an IP infringement case, the company had no choice but to leave Nantong.

The company's departure resulted in some soul searching and in 1997the locals moved to establish China's first township-level IP protection office. The office was assigned the authority to register IP, handle disputes, determine the amount of damages to be awarded and disseminate information on IP.

"It was a bottom-up development of IP protection," said Li Mingde, director of the IP research center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, adding that "it was the producers themselves that realized they needed protection."

The Nantong model was praised by the United Nation's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

"IP protection boosts economic development and innovation," said Li, adding that companies and grassroots innovators had the greatest need for protection.

Song Yushui, a senior judge and deputy director of Beijing Intellectual Property Court, has to deal with IP lawsuits across all sectors.

"There has been a recent shift to technologically advanced areas, which demonstrates China's economic transformation," Song said.


Similar IP courts have also been set up in Shanghai and Guangzhou, the two most economically dynamic regions in China.

The move was "absolute progress," John LaBarre, Google's senior counsel on patent strategy, told Xinhua on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Patent Information Annual Conference 2015. The specialized courts showed "much more official and consistent [effort] in IP protection," he added.

Song said the establishment of the Beijing IP court was announced one day ahead of the APEC Beijing Summit last November, displaying China's determination to protect IP to world leaders. Previously, IP cases were handled by the IP tribunal under the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court.

Such courts meet the needs for better IP protection in China. The legal system is also improving to meet the requirements of handling IP cases.

The amounts of patent filings and IP lawsuits brought by Chinese companies have seen double digit increases in recent years.

For the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, more than 10,000 cases have been filed since November, much more than the projected 5,000 cases a year. Judges at Song's court, however, are facing mounting pressure as the case load exceeds expectations, and many were still open.

However, Song said quality, instead of quantity, was the priority. She suggested judges keep up to date with high-tech developments in order to better handle IP cases.

Song also called for heightened professionalism and competence through training. She even suggested lawyers wear robes during IP court proceedings, a requirement lacking in Chinese courts.

Chinese firms have been invested heavily both at home and abroad to develop and protect original technologies. According to a WIPO report, last year Huawei and ZTE, both telecom equipment manufacturers, ranked first and third in the tally of global patent applications. Huawei filed 3,442 patent applications, surpassing U.S. Qualcomm, which made 2,409 applications.

Li Haiqing, a senior legal counsel with a Chinese multinational, told Xinhua that IP protection was key to the company's overseas operations, and all companies must respect each other's IP.

"IP protection greatly boosts innovation, and awareness is becoming stronger in China," Li said. He did point out, however, that the low fines associated with IP infringement and the small amount of damage awards in China as areas that needed attention.

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China files 20 pct more int'l patent applications (2015-09-15,Xinhua)

China submitted 18,700 patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in the first eight months, 20 percent more than a year ago, encouraging signs for the country's promotion of creativity.

Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPC) attributed the increase to the government's strategy to boost innovation, saying favorable policies generated opportunities for inventors.

The SIPC received 21.8 percent more invention applications than a year ago in the same period, Shen said.

Creativity is the biggest resource for development in China, Premier Li Keqiang said in a speech at the Summer Davos forum last week. The government has reduced taxes, increased subsidies and cut red tape to encourage businesses and individuals to pursue innovation.

The PCT, concluded in 1970, is an international patent system that facilitates patent protection. By filing an application under the PCT, applicants can seek protection for their inventions in 148 countries across the world.

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China, Canada and US join EU's Designview IP database (2015-09-14,China Daily)

As of Monday the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have made their industrial design data available to Designview tool, a searchable database for IP users set up by the EU's IP office OHIM (Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market).

The integration of Chinese data through SIPO is a concrete result of EU-China cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property, the 10th anniversary of which is being celebrated this year. It was achieved thanks to bilateral cooperation between SIPO and OHIM, and the support of the IP key action managed by OHIM.

With SIPO, CIPO and USPTO on-board, there are now 35 participating IP offices in Designview. With the addition of more than 3.3 million designs from SIPO, Designview now provides information and access to more than 8.6 million industrial designs for IP professionals, companies and other users worldwide.

Since the introduction of Designview on Nov 19, 2012, about 1.2 million searches from 137 different countries have been carried out using the tool. Now Chinese rights owners and other users can access this service in a Chinese language version.

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China shaping up as 'even stronger powerhouse' (2015-09-10,People's Daily)

The Chinese economy and its innovation capability are unquestionably "hot topics" in the world these days, said Francis Gurry, director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Gurry made the remark in the run-up to this year's Summer Davos, an annual meeting organized by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum in Dalian, whose agenda included a briefing session by Premier Li Keqiang about the country's economic situation.

"I'm sure everyone will be interested (in the topic)," Gurry said when talking to China Daily on his way to the port city in Northeast China's Liaoning province for the three-day forum, which began on Wednesday.

"Charting a new course for growth" is the theme of the forum.

"I'm also optimistic about China's economy," Gurry said. This is because "one of the most significant trends in the global innovation landscape is the rise of China".

Gurry said that since 2011, more patents and industrial designs have been filed from China than anywhere else in the world. "Now (China's) emphasis is on inventions and innovations that have impact," Gurry said. "I'm sure China will succeed in being an even stronger IP powerhouse."

According to China's State Intellectual Property Office, it received 928,000 filings for patents on inventions last year, an increase of 12.5 percent from 2013, enabling the country to hold the No 1 ranking in the world in patent filing for the fourth straight year.

Also last year, China filed 2.28 million trademark applications, making it the world leader for 13 years in a row.

For the country's economy to sustain growth momentum, Chinese companies need to compete increasingly for new technologies and innovative products and services - and many of them already do, he said.

It is critical to generate a return on their investments in innovation and to protect the competitive advantage that innovation confers, Gurry added.

"These investments, in turn, help increase the productivity of the Chinese economy, which will be critical for continued economic development."

"IP is located in a larger innovation ecosystem. It's not alone," he said, citing R&D expenditure, the strength in scientific institutions, investment in education and business sophistications as parts of the system. China has invested heavily in an educated work force and other elements of the innovation system, he added.

"From low levels of R&D spending in the early 1990s, China emerged as the second-largest R&D spender in the world in 2009," he said, adding that the country is a leading investor in clean energy.

Local provincial economies, especially from China's western region, are expected to benefit directly from the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the Chinese government, Gurry said.

"This promises to integrate more closely the economy in the western provinces with neighboring countries in Central and South Asia, leading to an increase in demand for international protection of IP rights by enterprises," he said.

"Innovation is a long-term strategy," he said. "It's something that requires many, many different inputs and elements. You can't build innovation capacity overnight. China has succeeded in being able to speed up that process."

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Firm on the brink of harnessing a robot brain (2015-09-10,China Daily)

Horizon Robotics is currently developing brain chips for robots and aims to be the Intel of the robotic age, said company founder Yu Kai.

He said Horizon's robot chips are vastly different from most computer chips, which he said "cannot handle very complex tasks". His company's chips, on the other hand, will be used for a robot's perception and interaction.

He founded the company in June after resigning from Baidu. Other co-founders of the startup have worked for Google, Facebook, Nokia and Huawei.

Yu said he started the company because he wanted to realize his vision of helping create more intelligent products.

He said Horizon's products will enable robots to do complex tasks such as operating a coffeemaker to make a cup of coffee.

He said he believes all consumer electronic goods, such as vehicles, home appliances and toys, will eventually become an automated robotic machine. Horizon, he added, will design different chips to revolutionize these goods.

The company has signed partnerships with several large Chinese manufacturers and its first products will be launched at the end of the year.

"We will first center on household products. Our chips will be used in home appliances and toys," Yu said.

Chip-related companies including ARM Holdings have expressed a desire to cooperate with Horizon, Yu said.

He said a big issue that many Chinese semiconductor businesses face is a lack of key intellectual properties. Horizon, on the other hand, has begun to create its own designed products since its establishment.

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Nano-tech industry demands originality, further investment (2015-09-09,China Daily)

The number of Chinese patents and theses on nano-technology have topped the world, according to the 6th International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology held last week in Beijing.

"Nano-technology, information technology and biotechnology are some of the pillars of today's world of science and technology development," said Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, at the opening ceremony of the conference.

He said China is one of the earliest starters in nano-technology research, and the number of related patents and theses have grown rapidly in recent years.

Liu Minghua, director of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, or NCNST, said at a forum during the conference that China has invested more than $1 billion in the field, ranking among the top worldwide.

Peking University was one of the first Chinese universities to carry out research on nano-technology. It started the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology 20 years ago to conduct cross-field research involving the technology.

The university publishes more than 3,000 academic papers each year, nearly one-third of which are about nanoscience and technology, said Liu Zhongfan, head of the center.

"However, the numbers can be deceiving," Liu said. "Although China has invested much into nano-technology research, the investment has been decentralized, which means that the investment for each project is actually not much."

He added that many of the current projects in China concentrate on faddish areas, but there are few original research projects. He called for increasing attention to and investment in a number of original research projects of top importance.

Yang Peidong, dean of ShanghaiTech University's School of Physical Science and Technology, agreed with Liu.

"We not only need an increasing number of academic papers in the field of nanoscience and technology, but also should pay more attention to original research projects to create our own intellectual property," he said. "The intellectual property reserve is for long-term purposes."

The Chinese Academy of Sciences made some attempts to tackle the problems, one of which is the establishment of a nano-technology pioneer initiative in 2013, which integrates resources to "do influential research" in the area, said Bai.

He explained that the pioneer initiatives are projects that target at the nation's top demands and ones that the CAS has advantages in.

Focusing on the lithium ion battery and green printing industries, the CAS' nano-technology pioneer initiative uses resources from many of its institutes, and plans to develop top technologies and industrialize them in 20 years.

The nano-technology will help China upgrade many industries, said Zhao Yuliang, NCNST's deputy director, adding that the nation has accumulated a wealth of experience in the field but "one of the biggest challenges is the large-scale application of nano-technology".

He suggested that the government continue investing in the technology's industrialization, and Chinese companies get more involved in the technology's research and development and application to help its commercialization.

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Official campaigns for changes to build national IP powerhouse (2015-09-09,China Daily)

China ready to transform rich resources into tangible value

Shen Changyu insists that intellectual property plays a pivotal role in China's innovation-driven development.

The commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office made the statement ahead of the Summer Davos forum that opens in Dalian, Liaoning province, on Wednesday.

"IP provides the primary impetus for innovation," he said.

The theme of this year's Summer Davos - charting a new course for growth - corresponds with China's new innovation-driven development path.

"Protecting IP is equivalent to guarding innovation and making full use of the IP system encourages innovation," Shen quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying.

"IP is a bridge linking research to the market. It is the key to transforming technology expertise to industrial and economic strength," the commissioner said.

That partially explains why the central government attaches significance to the IP system and is trying to make it a fundamental guarantee to motivate innovation, he said.

At a meeting at the end of last year, President Xi Jinping noted that technological progress and comprehensive innovation need be given more attention amid the new normal of slower yet higher-quality economic growth.

The central government issued a policy dedicated to accelerating innovation-driven growth in April.

"Protection and use of IP will spur our people into creation and startups, thus providing better support for the innovation-driven development," said Shen, who is also a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Shen and his team developed the visor for the helmet used by the astronauts in China's Shenzhou-7 spacecraft in 2008, before he was named SIPO commissioner at the end of 2013.

Data shows that China topped the world in terms of the number of invention patent applications for four consecutive years, with 928,000 filings in 2014, a 12.5 percent rise from a year earlier.

The nation has ranked first worldwide in terms of volume of trademark applications for 12 consecutive years, with more than 1.88 million filed in 2014, accounting for 41 percent of the world's total.

The country is also at the world's vanguard in other IP sectors, such as industrial designs, registered copyrights and new plant varieties.

However, contrast with such a large IP stockpile, the number of high-quality patented technologies are still small. "We are in urgent need of a change from being a large filer to a strong powerhouse, from growing bigger to building up muscles," Shen said.

The State Council set a clear goal of building China into a strong IP country in an action plan for further implementing the national IP strategy for 2014-2020, which the cabinet released at the end of last year.

As one of the campaigners for change, Shen said that the new goal is an inevitable choice for China's IP development and responses to the realistic demand for the country's economic and social development.

A number of quantifiable indexes, such as IP-intensive industries' contribution to GDP, core patents, invention patent ownership per 10,000 people and well-known trademarks can be factored into the judgment of whether a country is counted as an IP powerhouse, he said.

"Besides such globally common references, we also need to look to the development circumstances our country is in," he said.

Without considering the real situation in China, the goal of building an IP powerhouse would lose its root, Shen said.

A top priority

The question of how to transform the rich IP reservoir into real production capacity is a priority for SIPO, the commissioner said.

The office is drafting and campaigning for the revision of the Patent Law and the Service Invention Regulations.

The draft of the former, which has been submitted to the State Council for approval, includes added articles for patent industrialization and use. The draft of the latter has actionable provisions of patent ownership, interest allocation and rules concerning patent transactions and industrialization.

"We are advancing the reform in the use, disposition and yield management of research achievements, and trying to build up a sound mechanism for interest allocation in a bid to increase motivation in creation and industrialization," Shen said.

At the same time, SIPO, in cooperation with other entities, including the Ministry of Finance and the Beijing municipal government, invested 1 billion yuan ($157 million) in building public patent service platforms to facilitate trusteeship, transactions, IP-collateralized financing and industrialization.

"Also, we are exploring the setting up of funds designed for IP industrialization, commercialization and patent-collateralized financing risk compensation," he added.

Global adventure

Data from the World Intellectual Property Organization shows that China contributed more than 25,500 international patents filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty to 215,000 PCT fillings worldwide in 2014, ranking third in the world. This marked an 18.7 percent increase and made China one of the fastest growing countries and the only one in the world to achieve a double-digit growth.

Huawei Technologies, a high-tech Chinese company, replaced Panasonic from Japan to rank atop the global PCT chart, with 3,442 filings, while another telecommunication giant, ZTE, took third place.

As more Chinese players compete in the international arena, increased IP awareness and capacity are essential to their "faster, steadier and farther" overseas trips, Shen said.

He suggested domestic companies increase research and development expenditure to sharpen their edge and pay particular attention to filing patents and trademarks in targeted markets.

Conducting evaluation and analysis of the IP environment in the targeted markets and dealing with overseas IP disputes will help them navigate their overseas adventures more smoothly, he added.

The Internet is another cross-border field faced with IP disputes.

Online trade has seen "explosive growth" momentum in recent years, yet due to difficulties in tracking down online infringement evidence, IP protection faces increasing complexities, Shen said.

SIPO is enhancing enforcement targeted at online infringements, he said.

IP authorities nationwide investigated more than 2,300 e-commerce patent infringements in the first eight months of this year, a surge of 72.6 percent year-on-year.

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Capital's innovation street shares its success stories (2015-09-09,China Daily)

InnoWay, an innovation street in Beijing's Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park, is becoming an entrepreneurship landmark for grassroots entrepreneurs in the capital.

Since its establishment in June last year, the 220-meter-long street has incubated more than 600 startups, of which 350 received investments worth more than 1.75 billion yuan ($269.25 million), said Yao Hongbo, general manager assistant of Beijing Haidian Property Group.

State-owned Haidian Property and Tsinghua Technology Innovation Holdings started to transform the street, which was once home to shops selling books and clothes, in March 2013.

"We collected the fragmented property rights and invested 250 million yuan to rebuild the hardware environment, such as water and electric facilities," Yao said.

The companies worked to create an environment that was suitable for the growth of entrepreneurial projects.

"There are many companies in InnoWay serving as service platforms for startup businesses, and we wanted the street to become a service platform," Yao said.

In March this year, "Innohall" was built in the street to attract more young entrepreneurs.

"It is a service-oriented place. Individuals or startups can get a series of free services they need in the initial entrepreneurial period, such as financing, human resources, intellectual property rights as well as legal and policy consultations," Yao said.

More than 60 professional service firms and governmental agencies are housed in Innohall.

It also provides a one-stop shop to help prepare documents needed to start a business.

"Applicants can get four licenses - business license, tax registration certificate, organization code certificate and statistic certificate - that are necessary for a new company at one time in four days," Yao said.

The street is home to 37 innovative companies and service institutions, an increase from 10 in June 2014.

They cover all elements of entrepreneurship, including human resources and marketing.

On InnoWay

Angel Crunch, one of the first companies to move to InnoWay, helps startups find their first round of funding, said Lan Ningyu, founder of the company.

Lan, who was born in 1980, founded six companies since 2000 then worked as an angel investor before establishing Angel Crunch in 2011. He said he started the company after finding many "sore points" in the financing process and wanted to solve them.

"In 2011 there were no effective approaches for startups to find investors, only some traditional and inefficient ways such as sending e-mails and attending conferences, so I built the online platform to link young entrepreneurs and investors together," Lan said.

"Entrepreneurs can clearly see the experiences and preferences of every investor on the platform, so they can make targeted deliveries of their business plans," he added.

The young CEO said solving the financing difficulties often encountered by small and medium-sized companies was a tough issue worldwide and one of the most effective ways is through angel investments.

"We believe that entrepreneurs and their teams will get the first round of investment if they have done ample preparation and meet some basic requirements like perseverance, good judgment and execution capabilities. Angel Crunch makes the process easier," he said.

The online platform has two strong features, it is quick and it uses co-investment, Lan said.

"Investors must make the decision as soon as possible when they meet a good project, otherwise it may be snatched by others. And several investors can fund one project to share the risk," he said.

Unlike most Internet financial institutions, which only record borrowers' credit, Angel Crunch also records the bad behavior of investors.

As of July, about 140,000 entrepreneurs and 4,800 investors were registered on the platform and the company had helped nearly 400 entrepreneurial projects get more than 4 billion yuan in investments.

Another Zhongguancun company,, innovates the way trademark registrations are done by integrating the services of traditional intellectual property agencies with the Internet.

Liu Sisi, founder of the online IP service provider, said she started to think about the business model in 2013 with a simple idea. She wanted to build a fair, convenient and transparent service platform and to lower the IP costs for startups in their early days.

However, Liu said she was not confident if the public would like the model, so the company decided to provide a free trademark registration service to test it.

"It's actually a win-win decision, because it is the fastest and most effective way for us to accumulate customers," Liu said.

"Many of our customers got to know Zhiguoguo through the free service. We then could tell them the importance of core technologies and patents based on their needs of industrial transformation to further increase IP awareness," she added.

Customers can get online one-on-one service from the company's law consultants after they register as a member and then place an order to enjoy the service package if they want to register a trademark.

"Customers will be informed of every working procedure and all progress by phone and e-mail messages," Liu said.

The high-quality services and thriving development of e-commerce means Zhiguoguo soon became renowned nationwide. It now has about 40,000 customers in more than 370 cities and regions, including Singapore and Japan.

Zhiguoguo hit a record high of 10,000 trademark registration orders in July, which is equivalent to a year of orders at a 10-year-old traditional IP agency, Liu said.

On Aug 8, the platform launched two new services for patent and copyright applications.

Sales revenue this year is expected to reach 100 million yuan.

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China must boost productivity: WEF expert (2015-09-09,China Daily)

Technology-focused Summer Davos to discuss nation's future growth direction

Innovation and entrepreneurship hold the key to China's future because they can boost productivity to raise people's living standards and maintain competitiveness, according to a member of the managing board of the World Economic Forum.

While China's rise as a global economic power was enabled by the flow of rural labor toward industrializing and urbanizing regions, this flow is slowing. As such, China will need to boost its productivity, a key indicator that defines how rapidly an economy can grow without rampant inflation, said Lee Howell, head of WEF's global programming.

Howell made the comments prior to the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as Summer Davos, which will take place from Wednesday to Sept 11 in Dalian.

"This (the productivity concern) is why the meeting will convene in Dalian under the theme of 'Charting a New Course for Growth'," Howell said.

The meeting, a leading global gathering on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, will welcome more than 1,700 participants from 90 countries. This year's meeting is technology focused, with two of the six thematic tracks devoted to the topic.

"Arguably, science and technology are the greatest agents of change in the modern world. In the case of China, such changes are already underway: a new generation of digital entrepreneurs are disrupting industries, and a new generation of researchers are filing more patents than any other country in the world," Howell said.

He said while the first "machine age" began with the steam engine, which substituted physical manpower, the second machine age will be driven by artificial intelligence and ubiquitous connectivity. In short, machines will substitute for and augment our cognitive power. Many technologists expect that artificial intelligence will go beyond recognizing our friends' faces to driving our cars for us: The utopian scenario is that technology will make rapid communication, information acquisition and knowledge-sharing more accessible and egalitarian.

In China, Internet Plus has become a national strategy as Internet and mobile technology are changing the landscape of the country's retail, health, finance, transport and housing£­virtually every industry.

Economic shift

Howell said it is an excellent example of how China is moving from an efficiency driven stage of development to an innovation-driven one. It is also a very positive move toward unleashing the creative potential of China's huge human-capital endowment.

"This is critical, as I believe that human talent, not financial capital, will be the great driver of growth in the 21st century," he said.

In addition, Internet Plus builds on an area where China is already an innovator, not just in terms of companies, but also in terms of business models, as many Chinese Internet companies have had to find ways of finding commercial success without the strong advertising markets that companies in the West have been able to build on, according to Howell.

He said the WEF shares China's assessment that the Internet and related technologies£­while being a driving force behind the evolution and growth in the global economy during past decades£­remain "underused" and would benefit from further public-sector investment.

The Chinese government has given high priority to mass innovation and entrepreneurship to spur on the vitality of the economy. As a staunch preacher of innovation, the founder and executive chairman of WEF, Klaus Schwab, recently remarked that countries will soon no longer be described as "emerging" or "advanced", but rather "innovation-rich" or "innovation-poor".

"I fully agree with him that the winners will be those countries that have been successful in implementing long-term structural reforms to enable businesses to flourish and talent to be developed in ways that allow wealth to be shared across all the population," he said.

In Howell's eyes, China's leaders have signaled their clear intent to pursue such policies and are showing promise in implementing them despite near-term economic challenges. He stressed that it is important to frame future competitiveness in terms of "the entire enabling environment", rather than one set of factors.

Technology also plays a pivotal role in efforts to address climate change, and this year the WEF has specially devoted one of the six theme tracks to the "green" or environmental topic.

Last year China and the United States reached a landmark agreement to cap emissions by 2030. Howell said this was a "breakthrough" in terms of breathing fresh life into the process leading up to the UN climate talks in December.

"And China's emergence as an increasingly prominent voice in the debate offers us great encouragement that a global commitment can be reached," he said.

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Xiaomi looking to the West for growth (2015-09-07,China Daily)

Xiaomi Corp, the world's third-largest smartphone maker, is targeting expansion in developed markets after carving a niche for itself in the developing world, as part of its efforts to end reliance on the domestic market.

Wang Xiang, senior vice-president of the five-year-old startup based in Beijing, said Xiaomi is "never afraid of entering developed countries and regions".

"We will cover the surrounding markets first, and then we will enter developed markets after we have gained enough experience and talents," he said during this year's annual China conference held by AmCham Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Xiaomi has "a big ambition to serve all consumers around the world", Wang said, noting the company would need lots of talent in its "going global" process.

Wang's message came after smartphone makers have encountered a rapid slowdown in China - where consumers are buying fewer phones due to market saturation - heightening the urgency for Xiaomi to expand into overseas markets.

Smartphone shipments in China fell for the first time in six years to 98.8 million units, a 4.3 percent year-on-year fall, in the first quarter of the year, according to a report released by market intelligence firm International Data Corporation.

China's overall mobile phone shipments during the period were 109.8 million units, a 5.6 percent fall over the previous year, according to the report.

"Considering that the Chinese market is growing at a slower pace, Xiaomi needs to rely on foreign markets," said Jessie Ding, a research analyst at global technology market analyst firm Canalys.

She said about 90 percent of Xiaomi's total shipments are going to the Chinese market.

"Emerging markets including Africa offer promise," Ding said.

Recent media reports said that Xiaomi has appointed a distributor to sell its smartphones in sub-Saharan African countries.

Xiaomi also announced earlier last month that it was selling and manufacturing a low-end device in India. It was also the company's first overseas production program.

Commenting on the company's plan to enter the developed markets, Ding said intellectual property would be one of "the most important concerns".

The company has already encountered intellectual property hurdles in India, where a patent infringement complaint from telecom equipment giant Ericsson AB briefly halted sales of its handsets late last year.

Apple Inc's design chief Jonathan Ive has said that Xiaomi's designs amounted to "theft".

Lauding Apple as "respectable", Wang said the accusations about Xiaomi's patent infringement are "incorrect".

"Xiaomi attaches huge importance to intellectual property and is investing on it," he said, noting the company files "a surprising number of patents applications" each year.

"It will be around 2,000 or 3,000 (applications) this year. It's a process of accumulation," Wang said.

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Patented device cansave 75% fuel during starting and acceleration process of automobile (2015-09-07,People's Daily)

Quan Guanxue, a teacher of Guangdong college of business and technology, developed a fuel-saving device, which can help save 75 percent or even greater fuel during the starting and acceleration process of an automobile, and meanwhile cut the exhaust emission 75 percent. The device can be applied to cabs, buses and personal cars. Recently, a national patent has been granted to Quan for this device.

Quan said that this invention is based on the conversion between kinetic energy and potential energy. During the stopping and deceleration process, more than 95 percent of kinetic energy can be collected by flat spiral springs. The amount of energy will be converted into potential energy in the starting and acceleration process. Therefore, a car will speed up when idling or in slow speed of revolution.

The experimental apparatus of this device is 2 meters long and weighs more than 100 kilograms. However, with high-quality materials and refined manufacturing process, the length will be reduced to 0.5-0.7 meters, and the weight 50 kilograms or even lighter, according to Quan. This device can be fitted onto the chassis of a car. With a size similar to a muffler, it will not take up any room in a car's engine compartment. As the device is made of common metal materials, it will not be expensive.

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Sky's the limit for defense giants (2015-09-03,China Daily)

China's military contractors will help fuel economic growth by turning technology into commercial success

China is stepping up plans to turn military technology into commercial success, which will fuel economic growth in the country.

Ahead of the Victory Day parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, senior officials and industry professionals talked about the growing "crossover" trend in the high-tech sector.

Miao Wei, chief of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said using military technologies in civil industries will "significantly boost product values" and lift domestic consumption.

Major companies such as China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or AVIC, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, or CASIC, and China North Industries Group Corp are branching out into commercial sectors.

Key projects involve cutting-edge aviation sensor chip manufacturing, undersea cable construction and technologies normally associated with defense firms, according to the MIIT.

"China needs to develop its own engines and chips, so there is not a bottleneck in the aviation industry or the Internet of Things (a network of objects which are interconnected while exchanging and generating data). These sectors are vital for the country's growth," Miao said.

Chinese companies have also put together cooperation deals with overseas partners in the fields of aerospace, aviation, shipping and nuclear power.

Technologies normally reserved for military contractors have been rolled out, with commercial customers in advanced machinery manufacturing, new materials, energy-saving and environmental protection sectors showing the greatest interest.

"The country should set up a mechanism so technologies can be transferred to civilian customers easier," Gao Dongguang, deputy secretary of China Federation of Patriotic Projects and a consultant to the country's top national security commission, said. "Industry watchdogs are also required to keep the tube well-functioned."

Still, China Electronics Technology Group Corp and China Shipbuilding Industry Corp have reported interest from commercial clients. Local governments have also been keen to play a role in this "crossover" trend.

Mianyang in Southwest China's Sichuan province will host a technology expo later this month, introducing military-only technologies to civil industries. The show has attracted leading players in the sector, including China National Nuclear Corp and the General Armament Department of the People's Liberation Army.

"The defense industry is a unique part of the nation's grand plan of 'Made in China 2025' ... the development institutes are industry elites and represent the highest level in research," Xu Dazhe, head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, said.

As China replaces out-of-the-date manufacturing techniques with advanced technologies in the next five years, defense companies will increase their business in the commercial sector.

Jia Yanchen, head of patent auction at China Technology Exchange, has called for long-term government support to increase interaction between the military and civil industries.

"It usually takes three-and-a-half to 8 years to fully commercialize a technology," Jia said. "The government has to make sure this goal can be achieved in the long-term."

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Guidelines steer firms in the right direction (2015-09-02,China Daily)

Companies will have a sound intellectual property "immune system" if they follow national enterprise IP management guidelines, said Zhang Chunping, deputy chief of the Jiangsu Intellectual Property Office, at a news conference in August.

To promote a document issued on June 30 by eight national agencies that aims to better implement the national guidelines, the national IP authority organized several news conferences in Jiangsu province.

The guidelines issued on Feb 7, 2013, guide companies through planning, implementing, examining and improving IP management systems to better manage IP and become more competitive.

The system helps companies manage and control IP in every segment, including the purchase of raw materials and sales, just as they do for product quality, said Zhang.

He said they used to encourage local companies to set up patent systems, but later found it was not enough as there were many other IP issues to deal with, such as trademarks, business secrets and software copyrights.

Many companies would not value IP management until they were involved in patent disputes, Zhang said.

He said a management system will enable companies to effectively prevent IP-related troubles and manage IP in a systematic, all-around and sustainable way.

Implementation of the national guidelines helps companies in Jiangsu better protect IP, local IP officials said.

Guo Hua, IP management director at Nanjing Auto Electric Co, said they have taken measures to better protect IP since the company began to follow the national standard in 2013.

Nanjing Auto has defined its business secrets and set up a system to better protect them. Staff at the company now have to apply to copy secret documents at its office automation management platform and get approval from different levels. They need to get the general manager's signature before sending technological secrets to clients.

Guo said they did not protect business secrets in such a standardized way in the past.

The company has publicized its implementation of the national standard among its employees and encouraged them to participate, as suggested by the guidelines.

Guo said now his colleagues have a much stronger sense of IP protection and creation.

Implementation of the national standard has also promoted IP creativity of many companies in Jiangsu. The guidelines require companies to inspire and reward IP creation.

Li Bing, IP director at Gold East Paper (Jiangsu) Co in Zhenjiang, said her company applied for fewer than 10 patents annually from 2003 to 2010.

The number of the paper maker's annual patent applications increased to more than 50 in recent years as it followed national guidelines and realized the significance of IP creation for innovation.

Zhang said, "In the past, IP management within many companies was fragmented and unordered."

Implementation of the national guidelines in Jiangsu enabled companies to manage IP-related work in a "standardized and systematical" way, he said.

Companies including Nanjing Auto have full-time IP management personnel, have written an IP management handbook and worked out an IP plan for the next few years, as required by the national guideline.

Xu Junfeng, a company management director at the State Intellectual Property Office, said the guidelines are like a ruler and all companies can use them to measure their IP management.

"The companies can find what they did not do and improve," Xu said.

Nari Technology Co in Nanjing has amended and improved its mechanisms of IP risk control, warning and emergencies according to the national guidelines.

It also launched a management system for business secrets to define classified information and better protect secrets.

Although the national guideline has helped many companies manage IP, Xu said the guides are still like a "child".

"The guidelines are still in an early stage of development and related policies are not mature enough," he said.

He added that he hopes the implementation of the guidelines could be provided within a loose environment for better growth.

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Shanghai IP court recruits experts, releases plans (2015-09-02,China Daily)

Shanghai Intellectual Property Court recruited the first group of 18 IP professionals for its expert panel on Monday to give consultative advice on cases and the court's development.

The experts include former officials from the Supreme People's Court, the State Intellectual Property Office, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Copyright Administration, as well as scholars from a number of leading universities and research institutes.

A seminar was held after the recruitment ceremony to discuss the development plan for Shanghai's IP court during the next three years. Drafted by the court, the plan is a guideline that acts as a development model and sets achievement targets for future years, according to court officials.

The court aims to become one of the top choices for people to file IP lawsuits in the Asia-Pacific region, with specializations including professionalism, globalization, authority and influence, according to the draft plan submitted to the expert panel.

During the next three years, the court will have "a professional trial mechanism that agrees with the common patterns of IP judicial protection; a team of high-quality judges; a number of influential cases solved; an open, transparent and efficient judicial system; and a standardized management system", the plan said.

"The establishment of IP courts itself is a big step forward," said Li Guoguang, a member of the expert panel and former vice-president of the supreme court, at the ceremony. "The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court has a clear and high target, but is now at an initial step and faces huge challenges."

Another member of the expert panel, Pei Gang, president of Tongji University, said the Shanghai IP court should serve innovation-driven development and help Shanghai become a global technical innovation center.

He suggested the court pay more attention to international cooperation and development of personnel.

The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court handled 652 cases in the first half of this year, including 444 civil lawsuits and one administrative case. Among the 426 first-instance cases, 91.3 percent involved patents and computer software copyrights.

The cases heard to date have lasted 47.85 days on average.

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Increasing requests for patent evaluation (2015-09-02,China Daily)

The design patent evaluation report system has been gradually recognized and won greater attention by the public, with requests for such reports growing rapidly, according to the State Intellectual Property Office.

The total number of such requests has reached 10,000 over the past six years.

The design patent evaluation report is a new part of China's patent law during its third amendment, which took effect on Oct 1, 2009.

As an important supplement to the patent preliminary examination system, the patent evaluation report system has effectively promoted the stability of patent rights.

As the examinations for utility patents and design patents are not as strict as for invention patents, patent owners or other interested parties can request a patent evaluation report based on a search for related patents that carry analysis and evaluation of whether they comply with patent law and meet the conditions for authorization.

The report is an official quality evaluation and can be used as a certificate document or evidence.

In patent infringement disputes involving utility and design patents, courts or government agencies may require the patent owner or interested parties to issue a patent evaluation report.

According to SIPO, requests for patent evaluation reports rose rapidly since 2010 when it began to receive such requests. In 2010, only 33 requests were received but in 2014, the number grew to 4,052.

This year, 3,311 report requests were received by Aug 15, a 53 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

Officials from the design patent review department said the product types for which they receive most patent evaluation requests are mainly in fields that are close to people's daily lives, such as furniture, home decoration, lighting, packaging, communications and transportation equipment.

From the perspective of the public, patent evaluation reports have played an increasingly important role in court proceedings, legal protection in e-commerce, and archival filing management in customs, officials said.

To ensure the authority and accuracy of the patent evaluation reports, the design patent review department has developed a strict, standardized process. Experts are also invited to give opinions when problems occur in the evaluation report so as to ensure it can withstand scrutiny and testing.

A special training work team has also been set up to constantly improve the quality of patent evaluation reports through training programs, qualification accreditation, seminars and exchange programs.

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Xiaomi launches online store in US (2015-08-26,China Daily)

Xiaomi Inc, China's largest cut-price smartphone maker, is seeking a foothold in the United States by launching its first online store and investing in a wearables start-up as part of its strategy to become a global brand.

Xiaomi launched an online accessories store in the US and Europe in June 2015 with products ranging from Mi Band wearable and headphones to Power Bank battery cells and smart-home items.

Although the company has become the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer behind Apple and Samsung, its handsets will not be available in the US market anytime soon.

Launching a smartphone in the US required a huge amount of effort and the company will need to set up after-sales support centers across the country and marketing efforts, Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's global vice-president, told media following the launch.

Xiaomi will also need to ensure its patents are in order, he said. As a young company, its portfolio of patents is small compared with other companies.

Despite the online stores' limited products for Westerners, Barra expressed confidence that the sites would be well received: "It's a bit of a tease and that's the intention. We want consumers in the US and some of these European countries to experience our brand, see our products and play with them."

Since the release of its first smartphone in August 2011, Xiaomi has expanded into a wider range of consumer electronics, including a smart-home device ecosystem that is part of its portfolio for the fast-growing smart-home market.

In March 2015, Xiaomi partnered with Silicon Valley-based Marvell Technology Group Ltd, a major global semiconductor company, to launch a smart module built on the Marvell IoT chipset and integrated in Xiaomi's smart air purifier and smart-hub devices.

The module integrates Wi-Fi connection and complete communication protocol with Xiaomi Cloud, which enables third-party manufacturers to upgrade to smart devices from traditional devices. This module supports multiple functions, including a power-on device detect, firmware upgrades, network reliability and consistent maintenance of the connection status indication.

"Marvell's innovative end-to-end, field-proven IoT platforms have helped us accelerate our product development. Given the growing demand for simplified smart home automation, we're confident Marvell provides hardware solutions to further the development of our smart home portfolio, making for a smarter, more connected consumer experience," said KK Wong, vice-president and co-founder of Xiaomi.

Beyond smartphones and home appliances, Xiaomi has been seeking to build a hardware ecosystem that extends to wearable technology.

Despite that it had already marketed its own wearable devices, including the $13 "Mi Band".

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Rights protection plan aids global expansion (2015-08-26,China Daily)

When a delegation from Nuctech flew to Singapore to participate in a project bid eight years ago, they never expected to be hit with bad news as soon as the plane landed - a European competitor had filed a lawsuit claiming Nuctech's product for the bid violated its patents, thus trying to keep it out of the Singaporean market.

These days, such a patent dispute would not leave the delegation scrambling, for Nuctech has learned to deal with many intellectual property "traps" during the past decade, including antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations and US patent interference proceedings, the company said.

Nuctech, based in Beijing, is a world-leading security inspection equipment and service provider. Founded in 1997, the company was often questioned by overseas customers in its early days about its capacity for innovation.

In 2001, for example, the company introduced its two mobile large container inspection systems to the Turkish market, but prospective customers doubted a Chinese company could create such advanced products. Those doubts were put to rest when the customers visited Nuctech's research and production base.

"As Chinese companies continue to grow, some developed countries are increasingly using the IP and international trade rules to fight us," said Chen Wei, vice-president of the company, who is primarily in charge of the IP sector.

"During the process, Nuctech has gradually transferred the focus of its IP strategy from the protection of market operations to the promotion of corporate innovation and business development," Chen told Intellectual Property News.

He said the patent lawsuit in 2007 finally ended with a victory for Nuctech, as the company had already conducted comprehensive analysis of potential local patent infringement risks before it decided to enter the Singaporean market.

"We also won the bid, which gave us more confidence to further expand the product's overseas markets," Chen added.

Overseas IP pre-warning analysis is part of the efforts Nuctech has made to continuously strengthen its patent layouts in international operations.

"The company has world-leading core technologies in the industry, and its scanners and monitoring machines have been sold to more than 130 countries and regions, with overseas sales revenue accounting for over 70 percent of the company's total. In addition, its major foreign rivals, who are concentrated in the United States and Europe, are adept at operating and managing IP rights," Chen said.

These factors required that Nuctech formulate a comprehensive and effective IP strategy to deal with such challenges and gain a competitive edge amid fierce global competition, he added.

In recent years, the local IP agencies have become mandatory destinations for Nuctech's senior managers when they conduct investigations abroad. The company has also sent several IP managers to intern at overseas patent offices and agencies to gain experience, and thus help improve the quality and management capacity of its overseas patents.

Years of efforts have helped Nuctech win many IP lawsuits during its "going global" process.

In August 2011, for instance, the United States Patent and Trademark Office found that a patent application from a British research institute was similar to a Nuctech US patent.

To solve the problem, the US patent authorities applied the so-called interference proceeding, a system used in US patent law, to determine which applicant was the first to invent.

At the time, the US still used the first-to-invent system, which meant companies or individuals who were the first to invent the technology owned the patent rights.

"The patent involved was a very important one, so losing it would have caused a huge negative impact to the company in terms of internationalization," Chen said.

Thanks to its strong international patent layout and appropriate measures, Nuctech succeeded in maintaining the patent rights in 2012, after investing financial resources and many hours of manpower into gathering evidence.

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Calls to commercialize IP to stimulate innovation (2015-08-26,China Daily)

Intellectual property industry insiders called for the integration of IP and market demand at a recent forum themed "Open innovation" in Nanning, the capital city of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The forum, organized by the China Enterprise Confederation and, a leading Chinese online IP trading and service marketplace, attracted more than 1,200 delegates, including government officials, scholars and executives from companies, IP agencies and associations from China and overseas.

It was part of a summit for China's top 500 companies held on Saturday and Sunday.

Li Mingxing, vice-chairman of the China Enterprise Confederation, said in his opening address that open innovation is a requirement for China's sustainable development.

"The nation's sustainable development depends on innovation in industrial technologies, management systems and business models to optimize development quality and seek new sources for development," he said.

He called for collaboration among production, teaching and research sectors and improved IP rights protection and utilization mechanisms to encourage innovation, and suggested that Chinese companies and institutions improve their innovation capacity by seeking major breakthroughs in key fields and technologies.

Xie Xuhui, CEO of, said IP is a resource that needs global deployment.

"Like commodities, intellectual property should be able to flow freely across the world, instead of being left unused, to promote technical advancement among different countries in a coordinated way," Xie said.

"It requires many other resources to integrate IP with production, such as experts, equipment, labs and product design, and that entire industry chain makes for the commercialization of IP," he said. "It is a big project."

He also suggested that financial and investment institutions always pay attention to IP financing as the sector "will greatly stimulate innovation".

"Many companies involved in the IP commercialization and financing businesses will become the creators of China's new economy," he added.

Jayson Pankin, co-founder and president of Detroit-based AutoHarvest Foundation, a nonprofit organization specializing in IP management, used examples to highlight the importance of patent packages.

An air seat belt system developed by Ford has integrated characteristics of ordinary seat belts and air bags to better protect children and the elderly in cars. Also, a system developed by Hyundai has combined many technologies such as information tracking, 3-D navigation and driver distraction prevention.

Pankin said that each single patent is not complex, but they become powerful when combined.

AutoHarvest and started a partnership in March to share information and promote IP-related exchanges between companies, investors, engineers and scientists in China and the United States.

Thanks to the cooperation, Chinese companies can find the IP resources they need in the US, as well as new opportunities for development by establishing partnerships with their US counterparts, Pankin said.

The State Intellectual Property Office signed an agreement with the government of Guangxi last month to help it improve its IP capacities.

"Guangxi has been attempting the integration of intellectual property and its regional economy," said Xie Naitang, head of the Guangxi administration for science and technology. "IP is emerging as a pillar to support industrial development."

Guangxi introduced and industrialized 26 invention patents from outside the autonomous region in 2014, leading to total output value of nearly 800 million yuan ($125 million) thus far.

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Guangdong releases software to boost patent searches (2015-08-26,China Daily)

Two types of intellectual property service software were recently released in South China's Guangdong province, as part of efforts to accelerate the development of its IP service industry and boost technological innovation.

The products are the mobile app Patent Know, developed by Guangzhou Aokai Information Consulting, and patent search and analysis system ISPATENT from Guangzhou Hengcheng Zhidao Information Technology.

Both of them are designed to help companies and individuals explore the enormous patent information pool.

Patent information resources are the carrier of technical innovation and market competition, but do not yet fulfill their important role, local officials said.

"Patent information is important, combining technical, legal and economic information," said Li Qiang, director of the Guangdong Intellectual Property Research and Development Center.

"The analysis of patent information can help predict the trend of technology development, avoid infringements upon others' intellectual property rights and interests, follow the technology and market trends, and develop products with more competitive advantages," Li said

Currently, the patent search tools of some businesses are still very simple, with insufficient data analysis abilities. The connection between patent information and product research and development is also not close enough, according to industry sources.

Statistics show that Chinese companies' utilization rate of patent information is about 35 percent, while in some developed countries such as the United States and Japan, the rate is as high as 90 percent.

To fully explore the potential of patent information resources and allow companies, especially medium and small-sized businesses, to utilize patent information to its fullest, the Guangdong government started a pilot project to construct a patent big data service base in 2014.

Through the integration of online and offline services and a combination of public and commercial service models, the project aims to promote the exploration and use of regional and even national patent information.

In addition to the two new software products, the province has established other service platforms, such as a regional patent information center search and online application system and the Guangdong province intellectual property public information comprehensive service platform.

The province has completed the construction of a regional patent information service center, which is the first of its kind in China. It has more than 100 million entries of global patent information and 30 specialized theme data bases, synchronizes with the national data center and covers a huge amount of basic data resources.

"The exploration and use of patent information will promote the deep integration between intellectual property services and technological development, and plays a positive role for society and economic development," said Xie Hong, vice-director of the Guangdong Intellectual Property Office.

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Public service facilities drive innovation and training (2015-08-26,China Daily)

The Jining National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in Jining, Shandong province, is making good use of public service facilities for technological innovation and professional training, such as a production, teaching and research base, creative design center, university science and technology park, software park and cloud-computing center.

"Jining can transform its industry and economy through developing high-tech industries, and it relies on talented people to achieve breakthroughs in such development," said Ma Pingchang, party chief of Jining. "We attach great importance to creating a good living environment, real entrepreneurship and a favorable innovation atmosphere for talent."

Every month, a business plan competition hosted by the government is held in the Jining National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone. The winners are supported to realize their plans through "Entrepreneurship Dream Works" - an initiative jointly supported by the government, startup funds from various sources and preferential policies.

"We will make the zone an ideal startup place for youngsters, and an innovative business cluster district," said Bai Shan, deputy mayor in charge of the Jining high-tech zone.

The zone provides a low-cost, convenient, total-factor and open environment for entrepreneurs.

Private funding is encouraged to participate in building further startup incubators, exploring models that combine funding, tutoring and professional services. There are 13 venture capital funds, valued at more than 4 billion yuan ($632 million), for startup companies in innovative technologies in the zone.

In addition, the Jining government said it would seek to foster the development of medium, small and micro-sized enterprises. These measures are aimed at providing professional services and diversified business models for public entrepreneurship and innovative industries in the zone.

In order to promote the innovative integration of technology, industry, finance, management and business models, the zone enhances the cooperation with institutes and universities at home and abroad. Several national and provincial-level high-technology laboratories have been established in the zone, along with engineering and technology research centers, postdoctoral and academician workstations and technological result transfer bases.

The zone is also engaged in the construction of 16 technology platforms, such as the Advanced Technology Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Xin Siyu Culture Creative Industry Park. In almost two years, 560 innovative projects have been launched in the zone, with 57 projects winning technological advancement awards above provincial level.

Part of the zone is a platform to attract talented entrepreneurs and make their startup dreams reality through such initiatives as a talent league mechanism and a university park. The talent league unifies policymaking, information exchanges, training, patent technique trading, recruitment and social activities. More than 150 key companies, financial organizations, universities and talent agencies have joined the league, forming a complete human resource industry chain that comprises recruiting, outsourcing, training, consulting and project evaluation.

More than 120 universities, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University and the University of Dayton, have talent cooperation projects with the zone. More than 90 percent of large and medium-sized enterprises in the zone also have cooperative relationships with universities. Among the famous universities in the Jining University Park are Shandong University, the Ocean University of China and Fudan University, which provide specific training programs for more than 1,000 students.

The zone now boasts about 200 senior professional researchers from eight countries and regions, and 62,000 professionals of various levels from China.

In July 2013, the US IT giant HP set up its software talent and industrial development base in the zone, thanks to its favorable investment and business environment. The project, worth $2 billion, is the third-largest investment in Shandong province since its reform and opening-up in the late 1970s.

Xu Tingfu, an official at the investment office of Jining government, said that what attracted HP to the city was Jining's advanced talent concept. "The zone's favorable talent policy is in line with the global IT corporation's development trend," Xu said.

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Shanghai pushes to turn medical research into cures (2015-08-19,China Daily)

As Shanghai nurses its ambition to build itself into global science and innovation center, medical institutions in the city have also stepped up their pace of commercializing their research findings and transforming more patents into practical use.

Ruijin Hospital, affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, announced it will transform more of its scientific patents with high market value into practical applications by working with the city's Zhangjiang intellectual property operation platform.

The platform was established as part of the city's efforts to promote scientific innovation and boost the development of intellectual property. It aims to help intellectual property projects and technology companies solve problems in industrialization and financing.

Guided by the government, the platform is fully invested in by private capital and operated under market principles. It provides services for commercializing scientific findings, such as scientific and technological invention information disclosures, business value assessments, patent designs and application marketing.

The first step for the cooperation between Ruijin Hospital and Zhangjiang intellectual property operation platform is to transform an early diagnostic reagent of gastric cancer into practical use, which will benefit an extensive number of gastric patients.

Doctors said nearly half of new gastric cancer cases each year worldwide are from China, and the first step to solve the problem is to achieve early diagnosis, but in both the domestic and international medical market there is a lack of a clinical early diagnostic marker for gastric cancer.

The early diagnostic reagent developed by the research team at Ruijin Hospital can help detect the symptoms of gastric cancer through blood tests without using gastroscopy, which often makes patients uncomfortable. The scientific research has taken nearly 10 years and received the city's highest science and technology award in 2012.

According to the cooperation agreement, the project will be invested in by Shanghai Jingyuan investment company, which will provide a series of innovative services to promote patient transformation, such as incubating, cultivation and industrialization. It will also shorten the time period of intellectual property industrialization and work as a good example of the commercialization of scientific findings.

"Large sample clinical trials for this early diagnostic reagent have showed good market prospects. If it can be quickly commercialized, the treatment of gastric cancer in our country will be significantly improved," said Qu Jieming, president of Ruijin Hospital.

According to industry experts, compared to developed countries, the efficiency of transforming patents into practical applications in China is still low, largely due to the limitation of institutional mechanisms and weak awareness of scientific research personnel. This leads to many scientific findings in universities and institutes being "shelved and forgotten".

As Shanghai is building itself into global science and technology center, working out ways to allow these valuable findings to serve the public has drawn wide attention.

Qu said the hospital has lots of research findings with good market prospects. To carry out intellectual property transformation work with investment and positive support will help these medical findings quickly enter the market and serve people, he said.

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China-made chips launched into space (2015-08-19,China Daily)

With the 18th and 19th Beidou satellites launched into space late last month, China's proprietary navigation system is one step closer to global coverage. For the first time, the satellites systematically used home-developed chips, said an industry insider.

According to a report from China News Service, 98 percent of the components - including all the essential parts and equipment - in the two satellites are home-designed. One of the core components for navigation, the rubidium atomic clock, replaced imported products for higher accuracy in positioning, range finding and timing services.

About 40 products, including the central processing unit, the data bus and the memory unit, were designed and made by the Beijing Microelectronics Research Institute, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

Led by Zhao Yuanfu, the institute is responsible for the development of aerospace-use chips. It was founded in 1994 and its first chip was launched into space in 2003.

The institute has always focused on the independent development of new-generation aerospace-use CPUs, rather than imitating overseas products.

"Even if we could successfully copy others' designs, they will have developed new products by then," Zhao told People's Daily. "Imitation leads to no competitiveness.

"We cannot depend on others for our core technologies. We see those technologies as our fundamental capabilities."

He said that information security is a matter of national strategy, and home-developed chips will provide hardware support. He added that China currently spends more than $200 billion on importing chips.

"Only by developing an independent and complete product portfolio can we have reliable operation of satellites," said Zhao.

He said that the chips used in the two recently launched satellites have world-class performance, and are more advanced than overseas products in terms of radiation resistance. He explained that satellite chips must be specially treated to resist strong radiation because of the complex environment in space.

Traditionally, satellite chips are processed on special production lines to acquire radiation resisting abilities, but Zhao had an innovative idea that allows the chips to acquire the ability via a special design, so they can be manufactured on ordinary civil-use integrated circuit production lines to reduce manufacturing costs.

The CPU he helped develop features a high processing speed and multiple interfaces to cater to the different functions of various satellite modules.

"A good home-developed chip means not just the chip itself, but also an entire home-developed system that integrates chips and software," Zhao said.

Zhao's team have published more than 600 academic essays and have been granted more than 200 patents. They now also have orders from overseas.

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Invention expo focuses on patent commercialization (2015-08-19,China Daily)

This year's national invention exhibition will highlight patent commercialization by organizing matchmaking between inventors and entrepreneurs, said Lu Dahan, secretary-general of the China Association of Inventions, at a news conference on Friday in Beijing.

One of the biggest galas of its kind in China, the National Exhibition of Inventions was first held in 1985 and has showcased more than 20,000 patented research results during its past 20 sessions.

The 2015 National Exhibition of Inventions is due to be held in Yongkang, Zhejiang province, from Oct 24 to 27.

Co-hosted by the China Association of Inventions and the local government, the four-day event is expected to attract participants from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan, as well as the Chinese mainland, along with military units, who will display their latest scientific achievements that have both patents and promising market prospects.

The exhibition will be held in the new Yongkang International Convention and Exhibition Center. Built in 2011, the new venue has hosted about 100 forums, according to the local government.

Exhibition areas for teenage inventors and young entrepreneurs will be set up and several innovation and intellectual property forums will also be held.

"Patents can bring real benefits to the public and earn inventors profits only if they are commercialized," Lu said.

Although many efforts have been made by Chinese governments at all levels, patent commercialization still remains a tough issue, he noted.

"One of the biggest problems for most of the individual inventors is the lack of funding and investment. It is difficult for them to apply for the government funds, and the number of angel investment agencies is not enough to meet the demand," Lu said.

Some inventors, especially retired scientists and researchers, have problems understanding the needs of markets, overvaluing their patents and cooperating with others, he added.

From this year, the National Exhibition of Inventions, which is held every two years, plans to settle in Yongkang permanently, which "will inject continuous impetus to promote Yongkang's economic transition", said Chen Meirong, executive vice-mayor of the city.

Chen said the local government attached great importance to the exhibition and was supported by the provincial science and technology department and the intellectual property office.

Yongkang was chosen as the new permanent venue because it has good business and industrial environment, Lu said.

"Yongkang has a large number of self-employed businessmen who have a strong demand for industrial upgrades and transformation. Also the local government is service-oriented and has high working efficiency," he said.

"With joint efforts by the association and the Yongkang government, we hope the national invention exhibition can serve individual inventors, companies and investors," Lu added.

Yongkang has a thriving private economy, with hardware manufacturing as its pillar industry, which has earned the county-level city the name "hardware city of China".

It is also one of the richest regions in China, with annual per-capita GDP reaching more than $10,000. In 2014, the city's GDP exceeded 45 billion yuan ($7 billion), an annual increase of 8 percent.

Individuals and companies in Yongkang filed more than 2,600 patent applications this year, of which 2,417 were authorized, which ranked the city top in Jinhua in terms of both patent applications and authorizations.

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Looking beyond the real horizon (2015-08-18,China Daily)

TCL Corp, a forerunner of Chinese firms venturing outbound for large mergers and acquisitions, will accelerate its globalization moves again with a focus on emerging markets.

The electronics giant plans to build manufacturing bases in India and Brazil this year and expand into Russia and Africa next year or in 2017, according to Liang Qichun, its assistant president.

"Domestic demand has been overdrawn by a series of stimulus measures, so overseas markets will be a vital engine for growth," he said.

"The domestic market has been tough since the second half of last year, but we have seen good growth in emerging markets."

Sales of TCL mobile phones and other mobile products from January to June saw a year-on-year growth of 16.3 percent, and 86 percent of the sales came from overseas markets, according to the corporation's interim report.

Notably, sales of intelligent terminals in the Middle East and Africa in the first half of this year saw a big year-on-year growth of 68 percent.

"Display technologies and telecommunication technologies are being upgraded globally, with 4G phones and 4K curved TVs being promoted widely across the world," Liang said.

"We must grasp the opportunity to promote our new technologies and products especially in emerging markets so that we can tap into the huge demand generated by large-scale update of electronics products in these markets."

Liang said that the mobile phones and televisions in common use in emerging markets are outdated, so local people have great desire for a smartphone and a high-definition TV.

"The market potential is very big but the spending power is not strong enough in some emerging markets such as India," he said.

The Indian population will outnumber the Chinese population to be the biggest in the world in 2022, according to the latest revision of the United Nations' World Population Prospects.

As the Indian economy develops fast, the middle class will continue to expand, strengthening the market's spending power, Liang said.

"We must be aware of which markets will boom in three or five years and enter them well in advance. We cannot wait until then," he said.

It requires boldness and decisiveness for a company to expand into the global market, according to Li Dongsheng, president and chief executive officer of TCL.

The electronics company made headlines when it acquired the TV business of French electronics firm Thomson SA for 230 million euros ($255 million) in January 2004. Seven months later, TCL stunned the telecommunications industry by acquiring Paris-based Alcatel Mobile Phone Ltd.

No other Chinese enterprise had made such large mergers and acquisitions before.

At that time, Thomson was among the world's top 500 companies and its TV business was bigger than TCL's. Li described the acquisition as "a snake swallowing an elephant". But the ambitious Chinese acquirer soon suffered indigestion.

TCL ran up gigantic losses of about 2.7 billion yuan ($422 million) in 2005, the first time it slipped into the red since inception in 1981. The overseas business did not stop sliding until 2009.

Li made a speech in November last year in Beijing about the lessons he learned from overseas mergers and acquisitions during the past 10 years.

He was candid about the misjudgment of the display technology transition. TCL acquired Thomson for its world-leading technology in terms of cathode-ray tube, which Li and his team believed would be the mainstream for another five years before being replaced by liquid crystal display.

However, LCD quickly took over the European market in 2005 and the US market in 2006, so TCL had to put in extra investment on technological development and supply chain upgrade.

As for the fast-changing telecommunications industry, TCL's mobile phone business at home plunged unexpectedly from 2004, due to intense competition from foreign brands and domestic copycats.

To reduce costs, it managed to move its research and development team of Alcatel in France to Shanghai. The acquisition of Alcatel's mobile phone patents also helped TCL-Alcatel enter the mainstream markets in Europe and the United States.

Without patents, few Chinese brands were able to enter the mainstream markets from 2006 to 2010, including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, according to Li. The two Chinese smartphone vendors could only access the markets as original design manufacturers, he said.

Having gone through the pains of restructuring, TCL started to harvest gains of steady growth in overseas sales from 2009 onwards. Its operating revenue in 2014 hit 101 billion yuan, 46.6 percent of which came from overseas businesses.

The overseas businesses contributed to only one-third of the corporation's operating revenue in 2009, and given the rapid growth, Li expected the share to be more than half this year.

"Many people think that TCL's acquisitions of Thomson and Alcatel failed, but I don't think so. I would still make the acquisitions if I were given a chance to change my decision," Li said.

"Going global is a route that Chinese enterprises must take."

TCL set out again on this route this year, taking a role as a technological leader that opens up new markets and promotes its own brand, different from the role as an acquirer of brands and technologies in the past.

Brand TCL is going to replace the Thomson brand that TCL televisions have been using in Europe since 2004 by 2017, according to Liang, who is also general manager of TCL's branding department.

TCL mainly uses the Alcatel brand for its mobile phones sold overseas, taking advantage of the brand's resources as a telecom operator, but has also launched products under the TCL brand in some markets, he said.

"We will use the TCL brand in all the emerging markets that we plan to enter," Liang said.

"Our goal is to accomplish a transition step by step from operating multiple brands to using a unified TCL brand worldwide."

Also, to tailor-make products for different markets, TCL has also put a lot of effort into enhancing its research and development capability in the past five years.

It set up China Star Optoelectronics Technology in Shenzhen in 2009 with an investment of about 24.5 billion yuan. It has grown into the largest liquid crystal display panel maker in the Chinese mainland. CSOT contributed 60 percent of TCL's net profit in the first half of 2015, according to the interim report.

According to Liang, TCL is also developing 5G mobile phones.

Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a think tank under the Ministry of Commerce, said that the changes in TCL's strategy of going global reflect the changes in China's position in international division of labor.

"Chinese enterprises have been investing more on R&D and branding and are moving from the bottom of 'smiling curve' to the two upper ends for higher added value," Bai said.

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Automation-gear maker ambitious (2015-08-18,China Daily)

Shanghai Moons' Electric Co Ltd, a major designer and manufacturer of automation equipment in China, is focusing on greater growth in the North American market, buoyed by the acquisition of two motor producers in California.

In June 2015, Moons' acquired Lin Engineering Inc, based in Morgan Hill. As the world's leading manufacturer of the 0.9 degree hybrid stepper motor, Lin Engineering manufactured 550,000 stepper motors in 2014. Its products are mainly applied in medical instrumentation, high-level security monitoring devices and aerospace avionics.

With the acquisition, Moons' will be able to increase the number of 0.9 degree hybrid stepper motors in its own mix of products, improve the products' performance, boost sales revenue and expand production size, said Moons' President James Chang while visiting the headquarters of Lin Engineering in July 2015.

Lin Engineering's patent technology also is expected to help Moons' explore the medical instrumentation and aerospace avionics market and then shift from the current market in North America to a more upscale market where product-qualification requirements are extremely strict, said Moons' in a statement following the acquisition.

Moons' large production scale means the 0.9 degree hybrid stepper motor has the potential to become a leading product in the global market, the company said.

Lin Engineering has its own supply chain in the US, Chinese mainland and Taiwan. The acquisition will enable the two companies to share and integrate resources and achieve a more effective performance, Moons' said.

"This partnership didn't happen by accident," said Ted Lin, founder of Lin Engineering. He was the first engineer who had designed an 0.9 degree stepper motor to meet the high track density, accuracy and fast access time for hard disk-drive requirements in 2014.

"We have built a reputation to attract many companies. Moons' definitely is the right partner for us. I am excited about this transition and looking forward to what it will enable us to do," he said.

The significance of acquiring Lin Engineering lies in building a "real operation system of motor business" in North America to attain mutual growth in production, supply-chain management and sales channels for both companies, Chang said.

He also said that Moons' will increase investment in and give full support to Lin Engineering, from production and R&D to human resources and funding.

In 2014 Moons' acquired Watsonville-based Applied Motion Products, Inc (AMP). It was founded in 1978 and specializes in providing advanced stepper motor and servo motor drives to a broad range of industrial and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) customers.

"Our acquisition of AMP complements our overall product offering of stepper, servo, brushless DC motors by providing enhanced drives and software. This investment represents an important strategic opportunity to offer complete motion solutions for our customers in North America and globally," said Chang.

The acquisition is an expansion of a joint venture started in 2007 by which AMP and Moons' shared technology and R&D to develop motor drives.

"We are pleased to see AMP become part of Moons' team," said Don Macleod, CEO of AMP. "In a globally competitive marketplace, AMP's brand and leading-edge motion technology combined with Moons' broad product offering, world-class manufacturing capability and resources provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage."

Since its founding in 1994, Moons' has been focusing on developing products that conserve energy and are efficient.

It is the world's fourth-largest manufacturer of hybrid stepper motors with annual revenue of more than $200 million.

Shanghai-based Moons' has nine branch offices and an international trading company in China, and four overseas subsidiaries in the US, Italy, Singapore and Japan.

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Consumers welcome tweaks to auto maintenance industry in 'disarray' (2015-08-17,China Daily)

"You might be able to afford a car, but you cannot afford to have a car."

With prices to maintain a car in China soaring, this has been the lament du jour of auto owners.

With the average income in China at slightly more than $7,590 as of last year, according to the World Bank, prices for gas, parking and other auto expenses are exorbitant. But auto maintenance expenses are just as much of a headache for car owners, mostly because the car repair market is controlled by auto manufacturers and parts suppliers.

The government is making efforts to rectify the market in order to protect consumer's rights and interests.

Last week, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce announced that it is strengthening its supervision of the country's auto industry from August to December.

The administration said it is mainly investigating five violations: the infringement of consumer rights, dissemination of false or misleading public information, commercial bribery, unauthorized use of registered trademarks and improper use of contracts.

In recent years, as car ownership in China has risen, so has the need for auto maintenance services. But many consumers have complained about a lack of transparency in services and the arbitrary imposition of fees in the auto maintenance and repair market.

"I'm not allowed to enter the workshop when my car is undergoing maintenance. It is not transparent at all," said Fu Jingjing, a 37-year-old Beijing resident who drives a Citroen C5.

Fu accused many 4S stores and vehicle maintenance shops of not completing all of the maintenance services required of them. For example, he said the entire car should be examined at every checkup, but many shops don't always do that unless the customer asks.

Once, he claimed his car's engine oil was nearly depleted upon arriving home from a maintenance checkup. After he drove back to the shop, it was discovered that his oil valve hadn't been sealed properly.

Industry insiders also believe China's vehicle service market is in disarray.

"The market has always been in confusion, it has never changed," said Zhang Yu, managing director of Automotive Foresight (Shanghai) Co.

Zhang said the administration's reforms of the auto market will not have much impact on the market because it is "discussing theories".

But a regulation that forces automakers to publish their maintenance and repair technology information is much more "concrete" for consumers, said Zhang.

Jointly written by several government departments including the Ministry of Transport and the National Development and Reform Commission, the regulation will be released later this month, according to

"It will be good news for the independent auto maintenance and repair shops. It is in favor of market transparency and quality improvements, which will benefit consumers. But the implementation of the regulation won't be easy," Zhang said.

In February, the draft of the regulation was issued to seek public opinion. It received considerable opposition from vehicle producers and auto parts suppliers. They believe publishing their information will damage the company's interests.

"The situation is the same all over the world. Showrooms and maintenance shops are making money from the repair of cars and sales of auto parts," Zhang said.

The biggest problem for China's vehicle maintenance and repair market, said Zhang, are fake products. He believes the situation will change if the regulation is implemented effectively.

"Consumers' complaints about the vehicles and the auto services will certainly grow as there are more and more cars on the road. If the government's policies can really be carried out, the situation of auto maintenance and repair market will improve."

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88 luxury goods seized by Xiamen customs on Amsterdam-Xiamen flights (2015-08-13,China Daily)

Xiamen Gaoqi Airport Customs seized a total of 88 luxury goods including handbags, wallets, leather belts and shoes in two separate cases on August 8 and August 10, customs officials said.

53 luxury goods, bearing the trademark labels LV, PRADA, and GUCCI, were seized from the luggage of a Chinese male passenger who did not make customs declaration after arriving at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport on Xiamen Airlines' Amsterdam-Xiamen flight MF812 on August 8.

A similar case happened on August 10, when customs officials seized 35 luxury goods from the luggage of a Chinese male passenger who flew to Xiamen on KLM¡¯s Amsterdam-Xiamen flight KL883. The passenger too did not make customs declaration.

A customs declaration is required for inbound passengers carrying belongings with a value of more than RMB 5,000 or RMB 20,000 cash into Xiamen, according to Xiamen Customs.

According to Xiamen Customs, all luggage and articles carried by inbound and outbound passengers are required to go through customs inspection.

Travelers who carry the following goods are required to make a customs declaration or penalties will apply.

For inbound travelers:

- Personal belongings valued at RMB 5,000 or more.

- Alcohol (alcohol content above 12 degrees) exceeding 1,500 milliliters.

- 400 or more individual cigarettes, 100 or more individual cigars, 500 or more grams of tobacco.

- Cash exceeding RMB 20,000 or in foreign currency worth over US$ 5,000.

For outbound travelers:

- Cultural relics, endangered living things and related products, biology species resources, and valuable metals including gold and silver.

- Cash exceeding RMB20,000 or in foreign currency worth over US$ 5,000.

- Radio transmitters, radio receivers and communication security equipment.

Carrying the following goods is prohibited for inbound and outbound passengers:

- Manuscripts, printed matter, films, photographs, gramophone records, cinematographic films, loaded recording tapes and videotapes, etc. which are detrimental to China's politics, economy, culture and ethnics.

- Poisonous drugs, habit-forming drugs, opium, morphine, heroin, etc.

- Animals, plants and products infected with or carrying germs and insects.

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Olympic Games expected to bring wave of innovation (2015-08-12,China Daily)

As many Chinese people celebrate Beijing's recent winning of the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, they still remember the fanfare and fireworks of the Summer Olympics held in the capital seven years ago.

Experts say the Olympic Games are not only a gala of sports, but also bring about a wave of innovation and intellectual property inventions.

In the 2008 Olympics, the torch and cauldron integrated many invention and design patents. The main venue, commonly known as the Bird's Nest, used home-developed Q460 steel, the strongest of its kind. TD-SCDMA technology, one of three internationally recognized 3G standards, provided telecommunications during the Games.

"These examples were typical demand-driven innovation," Liu Haibo, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Intellectual Property News. "Major events like the Olympic Games demand a great deal of innovation, and the innovative results and the innovators' capacity are displayed by satisfying those demands.

"Such demand-driven innovations will help the innovators expand the market and promote their products, and drive socioeconomic development. Intellectual property has played an important role in the process."

Lai Xiaopeng, head of the intellectual property rights research institute of the China University of Political Science and Law, said large international sports events provide opportunities for technical innovation, which needs IP protection. IP protection and management systems would further encourage innovation to boost national development.

China's State Council released an outline for a national intellectual property strategy two months before the 2008 Olympics, calling for improved capacity in IP creation, use, protection and management.

"The development of Winter Olympics products will involve many intellectual properties that are different from the Summer Olympics," Liu said. "Many technologies, such as the mobile Internet, big data and artificial intelligence, which were immature in 2008, will be popular in 2022 and become challenges to current IP protection models.

"China has accumulated much experience of IP protection during the Summer Olympics, which will play an active role in the Winter Olympics," Liu said. "China will have proper IP strategies in 2022 that agree with the characteristics of the Winter Olympics and the national development level at that time."

Officials from the Chinese bid committee for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games said China has been well-equipped with IP protection mechanisms that will provide effective protection for Olympics-related intellectual properties.

The committee has issued announcements to protect its logo and the bid logo, and has registered copyrights for the songs for the bid.

As Beijing's partner city in the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Zhangjiakou in Hebei province is a beneficiary of technology transfer, Liu said.

A century ago, the Imperial Peking-Kalgan Railway, the nation's first railway designed and constructed by Chinese engineers, linked the two cities. It stopped service last year and will be replaced by the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway, which is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

"It requires convenient transportation for the two cities to jointly host the Olympics, which therefore promotes the construction of the high-speed railway system," said Li Shunde, an IP expert and head of the Department of Law at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

"The new railway will create opportunities for economic development and the cities' comprehensive competitiveness, and pollution treatment technologies will lead to industrial restructuring," he said. "The moves echo China's current development strategies.

"Major events cannot be held without technical innovation, and new technologies cannot be promoted without IP protection."

He said the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games advanced both innovation and IP business in China, and winning the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics shows the world's recognition of the nation's technological development and IP protection systems.

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Patent cases up 108 pct (2015-08-07,Xinhua)

Chinese courts heard 10,190 cases related to patents in the first half of 2015, more than double the number in the same period last year, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) said on Friday.

There were 5,437 patent disputes and 4,753 cases of counterfeiting, the SIPO said.

Around 58 percent of the cases occurred in the affluent east China, indicating the need for intellectual property rights rises in places with more technological innovation.

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Shanghai anticipates surge in IP cases (2015-08-07,Xinhua)

Shanghai courts are vowing to upgrade their efforts on cases related to intellectual property rights, which may come up more frequently as Shanghai's quest to become a global science and technology center builds momentum.

The judicial power to standardize, guide and protect progress in science and technology fields must be brought into full play, because it represents a significant means of attracting domestic and international talent. That talent, in turn, spearheads more scientific and technological advancement, Mao Ronghua, vice-president of Shanghai High People's Court, said on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping put forward this growth strategy in May for Shanghai, China's largest and most cosmopolitan city.

With upgrades of the city's economic structure and the elevated awareness of IP rights protection in recent years, the number of IP-related cases received and processed by the city's courts has seen a sharp rise.

A total of 7,619 such cases were processed last year, an increase of more than 20 percent over 2013, said the court.

"Such amplification reveals a demand that's greater than ever for the judicial protection of IP rights," Mao said.

"Disputes in patents, copyrights, trademarks and unfair competition may become more frequent as the city aims to become a magnet for domestic and international talent," Mao said.

In one case last year, an employee of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corp of China, known as 3M China, sued the company for a share of the financial rewards of an invention.

The plaintiff, Zhang Weifeng, was part of transnational research and development on an LCD TV project. A patent was sought in China by the 3M Innovation Center.

The court ruled that the company granted a patent should pay reasonable remuneration to its inventor, under China's Patent Law. In this case, because 3M China transferred the patent application to 3M Innovation Center, 3M China should reward the inventor, it said.

Zhang should get 200,000 yuan (32,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation for the invention, the court ruled.

"We'll keep our attitude of protecting the legitimate rights and interests of inventors complying with the laws, and encourage innovation," Mao said.

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China's Silicon Valley reports rise in patents, R&D investment (2015-08-07,Xinhua)

The Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing, dubbed China's Silicon Valley, has reported a boost in patents, research and development funds, and new companies this year, helped in part by national policies and reforms.

In the first half of 2015, enterprises in the park gained 14,240 patent licenses, up 31 percent year on year, according to statistics from the park's administration committee.

The park's invention patents numbered 5,538 in the first six months, up 51.3 percent.

The pilot technological area based in Haidian District is the country's first innovation demonstration zone approved by the State Council in 2009 and aims to become a technological innovation center with global influence.

In May, Premier Li Keqiang visited the park and talked with young people to show support for entrepreneurship and innovation, which the country has been encouraging amid an economic growth slowdown.

Currently, the park has 1.75 million employees, about 25 percent of whom are technical personnel.

From Jan. to June, the total research and development investment of firms in the park reached 52 billion yuan (8.5 billion U.S. dollars), up 12.3 percent year on year.

Some 8,577 new tech companies were founded in the park in the first five months, according to the data.

The total revenue of designated large enterprises in the zone reached 1.59 trillion yuan in the first half, up 10.2 percent year on year.

The capital city aims to develop itself into an innovation center as part of its development plan, which also calls for the closure of polluting factories and the transfer of downtown wholesale markets elsewhere to deal with overcrowding.

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Now, it's for the eyes (2015-08-06,China Daily)

Sony's Walkman hit the global stage with a bang in 1979, sparking a worldwide sensation over the popular culture device.

Thirty-six years on, a Shenzhen company is on the same trail, vowing to come up with a new entertainment formula for people to enjoy on the go.

The product is virtual reality (VR) smart glass.

"It's just like the Walkman, but this time, it's for the eyes rather than the ears," says Zhang Haiming, chief executive officer and founder of Shenzhen ONcine Network Technology Co Ltd (SONT).

VR technology, in fact, has been around for several years, but it didn't become an eye-catching trend until Facebook bought the company Oculus VR, which created the Oculus Rift headset, for about $2 billion in cash and stock.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg believes that the mobile platform is for today, and VR technology is for tomorrow.

According to BI Intelligence - a research and information service provider by Business Insider - the compound average growth rate of the VR hardware market is expected to be 99 percent from 2015 to 2020.

It also predicts that the VR hardware market will hit $2.8 billion by 2020, while its revenue for last year was just $37 million.

VR technology's potential is beyond imagination. Remember, we used to listen to the Walkman not only for music, but also for learning languages - the application of VR glass will even expand more broadly.

Zhao Qinping, director of the State Key Laboratory of Virtual Reality Technology and System at Beijing-based Beihang University, proposed a concept of "VR Plus".

He explained that VR technology has a wide range of applications, including military and medical training, and airplane evaluation. In ordinary life, it can also apply to education and entertainment.

Zhang believes that almost every aspect of life can make use of VR devices, such as tourism, house decoration or office meetings.

"In future, it will become a new way of communication on the heels of computers and mobile phones. So, our life will be closely linked to it," he says.

To realize his dream, Zhang adopted a strategy of developing three aspects - VR glass, platform and content.

He pledged to establish their separate websites to provide video content, system update and hardware maintenance for registered paying users.

"Rich video content is the measure to attract users. After all, they didn't buy a glass for one-time experience."

SONT is in negotiations with a mainland 3D video maker and an education group to provide various video contents.

Zhang explains that VR glass is perfect for 3D video: "For sports fun, we can make 3D boxing video, and it will greatly improve their watching experience. For commuting office workers, vivid and interesting education video will make the time on the way to work perfect for study."

IB Intelligence predicts that the demand for VR headsets will come mainly from the gaming industry, which is a huge market with more than 1.2 billion players globally.

In addition, VR technology can be applied to shopping. IB says customers are willing to buy more products after experiencing with VR.

But for now, Zhang believes an ideal VR product is the core for further development, and the focus is on improving the comfort and convenience of its product.

He says SONT's product has better quality than Sony's HMZ-T1 VR glass.

Zhang's confidence derives from his professional education in Tsinghua University and 15 years' experience in the display screen industry.

"Though our product has only a 5.0 OLED screen while the Sony headset features a 5.7 OLED screen, we provide a visual angle of 90 degrees. Theirs is only 85 degrees," Zhang explains.

According to Zhang, their headset is much lighter - 80 grams - while the HMZ-T1 weighs about 320 grams, and users will not feel discomfort after wearing it for a long time.

Zhang says he values user experience as the primary factor in product design. To make it a comfortable device to wear for all, his team applied a technology to adjust the screen for myopic and hyperopic eyesight.

"In the mainland market, there's no such VR glass yet, and we are applying for patent." Zhang assures that users with 800 degrees of myopic eyesight will still feel comfortable using the device.

More importantly, the processor of Sony's VR glass can only transfer video signals from computer or television to the glass, but it can't store and output video signals itself.

"This means that users can't use it on the go, such as on the train or subway." Zhang stresses. "But our processor can. That's why we compare it with the Walkman."

The device's glass is linked to a processor, which can save video files with an SD card and will be possible with Wi-Fi in future.

Besides the new product, Zhang is reaching out for content production, which he believes has become a bottleneck in the development of the VR industry.

The VR glass is not just to display ordinary video clips on a glass. The content for VR glass is a 360 degree video - like the movie The Matrix or Inception - every detail counts in order to create an immersive experience.

"The cost of making such a video is much higher than our costs for hardware research and development," Zhang adds.

Without cassettes of various contents, the Walkman won't become a legend. VR glass still needs a long time to develop if it lacks high-quality content.

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Partners jailed, fined for selling wine with fake labels (2015-08-05,China Daily)

A couple in the bonded area of Yantai, Shandong province, have been sentenced to prison with fines of more than 1 million yuan ($161,100) for making and selling wines using counterfeit labels of internationally renowned trademarks.

The prosecutor said the case was the largest scale of its kind in the area.

The couple started a company in 2009 using their own brands. They bought bulk wine from overseas, bottled it and labeled the products with their own trademarks.

Business was hard until 2010 when company chairman Xu Weijiang learned that some other wine companies were making a profit by using fake trademarks, and that there were people who specialized in making and selling counterfeit labels of famous international brands.

Xu decided to do the same.

The company started to purchase bulk wine from South China, along with counterfeit wine bottles, labels, caps and corks, to produce fake wines using the production line it already had.

It then sold the products both locally and outside the city.

The brands counterfeited included Penfolds and Chateaus Lafite, Mouton and Beychevelle.

"The wines for sale were priced between 10 yuan and 200 yuan, but inside the bottles was actually the same stuff, which was bought at about 18 yuan a kilogram," said Cui Hongyan, an official from Yantai's Zhifu district procuratorate. "They looked very much like the real thing. They even had an anti-forgery code."

Local police found unsold wines worth more than 235,000 yuan in the company's warehouse, all of which had faked trademarks. Another 1.6 million yuan in wines had already been sold.

The company had a complete chain from production to delivery and sales.

Jiang Feng, deputy chief of the procuratorate, said it had dealt with cases of counterfeit wine trademarks before, but most involved local brands and none were on such a large scale.

The procuratorate initiated a public prosecution in July 2014. According to the court ruling, the company was fined 1 million yuan and Xu was sentenced to four and half years in prison and fined 900,000 yuan. His wife and six other partners also received prison sentences of between two and three years with fines from 6,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan.

Jiang said the case reached the standard of a criminal investigation via a cooperation mechanism between the procuratorate and a number of other local agencies including the industry and commerce administration.

The cooperation was established in August 2011 to share information among different government departments and integrate administrative and judicial enforcement.

"Thanks to the mechanism, the procuratorate will obtain more clues and law enforcement will work strictly," said Liu Liangyu, a lawyer at Shandong Jiafu Law Firm, adding that the case is an example that reminds companies that intellectual property violation can lead to criminal penalties.

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SIPO promotes IP knowledge among the general public (2015-08-05,China Daily)

A senior official from the State Intellectual Property Office has promised to further promote the knowledge of intellectual property rights among the general Chinese public.

Xu Zhijiang, deputy director of SIPO's patent affairs department, made the pledge last week in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, at the opening ceremony of a promotion campaign.

Organized by SIPO, the annual event that began last year aims to better serve the country's economic development by promoting IP knowledge to workers to enhance their abilities to utilize, share, disseminate and manage their companies' intellectual property.

"Meanwhile, the companies will be able to increase their innovative capacities and upgrade their industrial structure through promotion of IP knowledge and protection," Xu said.

"Patent information is the key and basis to shape scientific research and thus promote innovation," he said. "China is now focusing on improvement in patent quality instead of quantity."

The rapid rise in the number of patents and continuous improvements in quality provide strong support for the popularization and use of Chinese patent information, he added.

Guangdong is the first leg of the promotion event, which will also travel to Shaanxi, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces before the end of the year.

Guangdong, which borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, is home to a myriad of foreign-funded companies, joint ventures and privately owned firms that play an increasingly important role in the province's economic development.

As one of the country's economic powerhouses, the province had more than 110,000 valid invention patents by the end of 2014, leading the nation for the fifth consecutive year.

Wu Handong, director of the IP Research Center at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said industrial innovation is the source of economic development and that "respecting and protecting IP rights would help further improve the innovation ability of the country".

He suggested government agencies and companies pay increasing attention to IP knowledge and protection to shape an innovative country in the coming years.

China maintained its position as the world leader in annual patent applications for the fourth consecutive year in 2014, with 928,000 invention patent applications filed, a 12.5 percent increase from 2013. More than 1 million applications are expected this year.

There were 233,000 patents granted in 2014, taking the total number of invention patents authorized by SIPO to about 1.2 million, according to a report from the office.

The report also showed that Chinese companies are paying more attention to international patents, with a rising awareness of their IP edge in global competition. The country received 26,000 international patent applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty from domestic companies last year, a 14.2-percent increase year-on-year.

However, the volume of patent applications does not indicate that China has become a strong innovation-oriented economy, the report said.

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Strike up the brand (2015-07-31,China Daily)

Hong Kong is a jurisdiction that follows the "first to file" principle, like the Chinese mainland. And the SAR is no stranger to trademark battles knocking homegrown companies out of the mainland market.

Though both sides follow the "first to file" system, the general legal concept behind the two are basically different.

The "first to file" principle in the SAR is a modified version that tends to side with the "real brand owner", while that on the mainland somewhat leans in favor of the pirate, explained Edward Chatterton, Hong Kong-based partner at global law firm DLA Piper.

But the tricky part is defining the "real brand owner" in a trademark dispute without a pirate that can be simply blamed for registering the mark in bad faith.

Very often, there is no consensus on who should have the final say: a person who registered a trademark for his business or someone who has used a specific design for a longer time but without registration.

The most headline-making case in the territory is a dispute that has dragged on for 15 years between local mooncake brand Wing Wah and Guangdong businessman Su Guorong.

Su has been producing and selling mooncakes on the mainland under the registered trademark of "Wing Wah" and using similar package designs, since 1997.

The dispute serves as a lesson to any Hong Kong entity hoping to set up or expand on the mainland. Wing Wah, despite its 65 years of history as a mooncake maker, lacked knowledge of mainland law and saw no urgency to register its trademark there, and is clearly paying a heavy price.

To avoid further confusion, as well as to prevent Su's factory from "taking advantage" of Hong Kong Wing Wah, the time-honored mooncake company has rebranded several times in the mainland market.

In 2013, it launched a new Chinese brand - "Yuen Long Wing Wah" - to replace the household name of "Wing Wah Mooncake".

Last August, it rolled out its English brand, "Wing Wah", apparently in the belief that it could publicize to the mainland public with just the English name, as upscale brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry have done.

However, Chatterton believes rebranding of products and utter dependence on English brand names should be the last resort for a company in the mainland market.

Still, amid the high-profile legal wrangles between the "first to file" and "first to use" principles, both domestic and foreign firms can ill-afford to delay bilingual trademark registration in the country.

But some people argue that the nation's court has delivered some encouraging results which big brand owners, both mainland and overseas, could feel cautiously optimistic about.

In March, the Beijing IP Court ruled that Shandong-based Trunkbow Asia Pacific cannot use the trademark "weixin" (the Chinese transliteration of WeChat), even though it beat Internet giant Tencent to the punch under the mainland's "first to file" system.

Trunkbow is believed to have filed a trademark application for the Chinese-character brand well before Tencent, and not in bad faith.

But the Beijing IP Court, citing the inconvenience and confusion that would be caused by approving the trademark, given WeChat's ubiquity and market standing, pointed out that public interest needs to be factored into the decision, despite the practice that individuals or organizations that apply for trademark registrations first are usually approved as rightful owners of the brand name.

Being a big-ticket brand owner such as WeChat did tip the scales in Tencent's favor, and such firms may well expect to use this ruling as a strong leverage in similar lawsuits.

For small companies, however, the case seems to have become a source of major worry. There seems to be little hope left for small players tangling with big names over trademarks.

Just consider the number of "trademark bullying" claims directed at Facebook.

The WeChat ruling closely echoes the third revision of the Chinese trademark law in 2014, which brings some "first to use" concepts into the existing "first to file" system.

IP consultant Joseph Simone tells of seeing encouraging changes in the way trademark authorities on the mainland are now dealing with brand piracy.

For example, until recently, applications by "serial pirates" could not be stopped unless the pirate was found to have filed for hundreds of trademarks of other parties.

But recently, decisions have been issued in which the authorities have stopped pirates that have filed for as few as 10 or so marks, said Simone.

However, the interpretation of laws should be much clearer to plug the loopholes, noted DLA Piper's Chatterton.

Chatterton also believes that the notoriously slow civil court proceedings somewhat leaves companies with no choice but to negotiate honestly with brand holders who may have registered the same mark by pure coincidence.

The latest revision of the mainland's Trademark Law shortens the period of trademark examination to nine months and imposes similar limits on the time given for appeals, oppositions and invalidations.

"These are all positive changes, and we are expecting more support from the relevant authorities in the coming months in the form of new judicial interpretations on bad faith piracy," said Simone.

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Making a mark is no small matter (2015-07-31,China Daily)

The specter of costly branding litigation and payouts sparked by rampant 'squatting' on the Chinese mainland is forcing smaller overseas firms to rethink strategy or even consider packing up. Luo Weiteng reports.

Hatley Little Blue House Inc, a Canada-based gift and apparel retailer/wholesaler brand best known for its raincoats, has been stranded at the doorstep of the Chinese mainland market for more than a year.

Hatley, which falls under the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) category, is like many of its foreign counterparts suffering from a trademark hurdle on the mainland that has threatened to scupper its plans to enter the world's second-largest economy.

The process has proved so troublesome that it now just wants to pull out and head home. And that is just one of the several trademark battles to have come into the spotlight in the mainland market lately.

Its trademark fight puts Hatley Little Blue House in the same boat as US giants New Balance and Tesla Motors, and Australia's Treasury Wine Estates, owners of the Penfolds brand, as they face roadblocks with their brands on the mainland.

And it is not just companies, US basketball legend Michael Jordan this week lost a trademark lawsuit in Beijing against Qiaodan Sports over its use of a name and images similar to those of his Jordan brand with Nike.

However, unlike large corporations whose trademark disputes can easily grab headlines and which enjoy greater financial power and leverage, small- and medium-sized companies bruised by the trademark wrangle are much more likely to be scared off.

In June last year, with high hopes for the lucrative business opportunities on the mainland, Hatley Little Blue House applied to register the "Hatley" trademark, only to find it had already been registered by a Guangdong-based firm for apparel-related use, including raincoats.

The prior registrant, a local shoemaker, turned out to have no raincoat-related business. It claimed the trademark was just registered for friends.

Besides "Hatley", the pirate registered as many as 60 other trademarks years ago, mostly names of small and medium apparel-related firms based in the US, Europe and Australia, according to Joseph Simone, an intellectual property (IP) consultant representing Hatley Little Blue House.

The Canadian raincoat maker tried to reach the local shoe manufacturer by phone to buy up the trademark last July, with its offer doubled from $10,000 to $20,000. Yet calls were abruptly cut off twice by the early registrant.

Hatley, together with Simone, managed to meet the local shoemaker's agent early this June in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, the world's largest market for wholesale and small-scale commodities. However, the parties failed to reach a settlement, and Simone does not think they can expect to resolve the dispute very soon.

The latest spate of trademark tangles somewhat originates from the difference between the "first to file" and "first to use" principles, said Ethan Ma Yufeng, partner at global law firm Orrick's Shanghai office.

Point of principle

According to the "first to file" principle, seen in most jurisdictions including the Chinese mainland, the earliest applicant enjoys the first priority. In the case of trademark application, specifically, the right is deemed to be first generated on the date of application.

Under the "first to use" principle adopted by countries like the US and Canada, however, the lawful rights to trademarks are generally based on use instead of order of registration.

Yet, the "first to use" principle shall not be considered as denying the rights of prior applicants, noted Ma. Under the US' Lanham Act, trademark applications are also considered constructive uses of such marks.

Foreign companies stepping into the mainland market with the preconceived mentality of "first to use" usually fail to think too much about trademark registration there.

When they started their businesses in the western hemisphere years ago, the mainland market was seldom on the minds of these firms, leave alone trademark applications on the Chinese mainland, Ma pointed out.

The "first to file" principle, however, incentivizes "squatters", who target valuable foreign brands by filing for them but have no intention to use them in a bona fide manner, said Simone, who is also the Hong Kong-based director and founder of Simone IP Services, an IP consulting and trademark agent in Greater China.

Simone refers to these sorts of scams as "flypaper", with the pirate filing and waiting for the victim companies to approach them for a purchased assignment. In some cases, such as that faced by Hatley, the pirate will record their trademark registrations with the Chinese customs department and hope they seize shipments of authentic goods on their way from mainland factories to overseas customers.

Firms in such dire straits are usually left with three options. They can change the brand they use on the mainland, fight long and expensive legal battles with the pirates, or just offer the pirate a substantial amount of money for a transfer of the rights, added Simone. Very often, victim brands are forced to give pirates significant compensation to buy the mark, out of fear that the pirate will otherwise disrupt production and sales on the mainland and force the company into costly and lengthy legal battles, the outcome of which may be uncertain.

Simone notes that trademark pirates, also known as "trolls", are fully aware of these considerations, and rely on them when quoting a price for sale of the mark.

How a trademark dispute will end largely depends on how big the victim company is, observed Edward Chatterton, Hong Kong-based partner at multinational law firm DLA Piper. Chatterton believes that large and famous companies can usually most afford to change or buy the relevant mark.

Cases in point include Apple, which paid $60 million in 2012 to settle a two-year-old dispute over the iPad trademark with Shenzhen Proview Technology.

Electric carmaker Tesla got off much more lightly, resolving a long-running trademark dispute last August with Chinese businessman Zhan Baosheng, who agreed to allow the government to cancel his trademarks at no cost to the Silicon Valley firm.

But overseas SMEs in a branding rights tussle may have a more uphill battle in many parts of the world.

Costly question

As trademark rights are generally geographic in scope, companies are required to do trademark clearance search and registration in any market they gear up to enter. This, however, may amount to a big expense for cash-starved overseas SMEs, noted Chatterton, citing a small beverage brand, 50 percent of whose funding, or nearly $25,000, was spent on trademark registration in several foreign markets.

Such an investment always proves to be rewarding and the earlier it is done the better. But the problem is that there is not much capital left for the beverage brand to invest in its business, said Chatterton.

Cash-strapped SMEs in a similar dilemma between investing in trademarks or their core business may be forced to set aside brand registration in foreign markets before their brands became famous and business grows big enough. But this opens the doors for pirates to cash in on the success of their business, Chatterton pointed out.

A lack of funding may be a good excuse for trademark registration in foreign markets making way for business growth at the early stage.

But Simone suggests that overseas companies see the mainland as home territory, rather than a typical "foreign market", given that most companies are making products on the mainland for export elsewhere.

Even though SMEs may not have expansion plans on the mainland in the short or medium term, the market there is booming, with e-commerce offering a convenient way to start distribution quickly and at a low cost. This and the risk of piracy make it all the more important to file trademark applications on the mainland as early as possible, Simone said.

"Foreign companies complaining about trademark squatting in the mainland market usually fail to reflect on their trademark strategy or legal mistakes in the country," observed Ma at Orrick.

High-profile trademark battles, he noted, will generally not make western brands balk at entering the mainland. "But it can serve as a good warning for foreign companies to follow the rules of the game in the mainland market."

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Charges dropped against Chinese woman formerly accused of seed-theft (2015-07-30,Xinhua)

A federal judge has dismissed charges against a Chinese woman who was accused of helping to steal high-tech corn seeds from U.S. companies.

Stephanie Rose, a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on Tuesday dropped Mo Yun from the trade-secrets case based on the request of the federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors said they withdraw charges against Mo because the Judge Rose has ruled the instant electronic-messages, the major evidence against Mo couldn't be used during her trial.

Rose said the time of the messages found in Mo's elder brother Mo Hailong's computer were from 2007 to 2008, too old to be used at trial and they were incomplete after being cut and pasted into a word file which couldn't be proven to be true.

The court ordered the government to return Mo's passport and immediately stop all court-directed electronic monitoring. Mo's attorneys Terry Bird and Gary Lincenberg said as the mother of two small children in Beijing, Mo plans to leave the United States this week.

Mo, wife of Shao Genhuo, chairman of Beijing-based Da Bei Nong Science and Technology Group was arrested last summer. Her brother Mo Hailong was arrested in December 2013.

The trade-secrets case include Mo, her brother Mo Hailong and five other Chinese. They were accused of stealing patented corn seeds from U.S. seed companies including Pioneer and Monsanto and ship those seeds to China to benefit Chinese seed companies from 2007 to 2013.

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An edge in innovation is the key (2015-07-30,China Daily)

In Shanghai, I used to go to a small boutique on Julu Road in the former French concession to buy clothes. There, a pair of Ralph Lauren pants could be had for less than 400 yuan ($64.4). Clothes of other named brands all cost much less than those found in the department stores or proprietary boutiques elsewhere in town.

Of course, I knew the items I bought from that store were fakes. But I did not feel cheated at all. The shop attendants never tried to push their merchandise as the real thing either. Since there is no victim, nobody's rights were infringed. That is the Taobao logic.

Apparently, some young Hong Kong people have bought into this logic and tried to make some quick money selling fake goods on the Internet. A few of them got caught by customs, who felt it was their duty to remind Hong Kong people that protection of intellectual property rights goes beyond buyers' satisfaction.

The Hong Kong government long ago recognized the importance of intellectual property rights protection for fostering innovation and creativity. It has passed patent laws that are widely considered to be as strict and comprehensive as those in most other developed economies. These laws are being enforced vigilantly by a well-trained and dedicated team of customs inspectors.

In fact, the need to protect the interests of the inventors has seldom been mentioned as a prerequisite in the regional development of technology start-up hubs. Shenzhen fancies itself as a premier start-up hub in the region. It has been boasting about the facilities it has built for entrepreneurs and the myriad financial subsidies it is offering to lure start-ups from around the country and overseas.

But the city's efforts in clamping down on the many copycat manufacturing operations have achieved limited results. Shenzhen may have achieved the goal of becoming the region's premier start-up hub, judging by the number of new manufacturing companies setting up there in the past several years to take advantage of the government incentives.

The real question to ask is whether it has become a center of innovation and creativity. The poster child of Shenzhen innovation has been the company which makes drones. It is widely praised for making drones cheaper than most competitors. Much less was said about whether it has made smarter drones.

There is really little need for Hong Kong to worry about matching Shenzhen or other neighboring economies in government incentives. What Hong Kong needs to do is to maintain and sharpen its existing advantages in the innovation race.

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China strives to take lead in 5G technology (2015-07-30,People's Daily)

China will further strengthen the research and development of 5G technology, said Zhang Feng, spokesman of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on July 22, 2015. When people still talk about 4G, 5G is ready to go.

How do we understand 5G? For general consumers, it takes 70 minutes to download an 8G movie in the 3G era, 7 minutes in the 4G era, and 6 seconds in the 5G era.

5G, namely, the fifth generation mobile communications technology, which is not an independent new technology like 3G or 4G, but the technology evolution of existing wireless access technologies including 2G, 3G, 4G and WiFi.

The future direction of development of 5G mobile broadband network is to establish a platform that integrates the mobile intelligent terminal, broadband and the cloud. The platform will be a basis of social and industrial operation, like other public facilities.

Cao Shumin, director of China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said that China has actively participated in the setting of 5G international standards. Chinese enterprises are working on patent research, product development and global promotion of 5G technology, so as to establish strategic assets.

Some experts pointed out that the rise of China's mobile communication technology will change the situation of world communication industry. The Chinese version 5G standard is hopefully the world standard in the 5G era.

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IP protection system fails to keep up with entrepreneurship wave (2015-07-29,China Daily)

The protection of intellectual property rights remains a shortcoming for the development of startups, according to a report released by Shanghai Technology Innovation Center.

China has actively promoted entrepreneurship and innovation, an important part of a new growth strategy as the country enters a "new normal" stage of slower development. More and more young people, including college graduates, have joined "hackerspaces" and started their own businesses.

Hackerspaces refer to workplaces or platforms created for, and by, young entrepreneurs and innovators to start their own business. These enterprises usually involve the Internet and information technology-related industries.

With the entrepreneurship wave, corresponding intellectual property right protection work lags behind, especially in the fields of online game development, creative designs and mobile Internet software development, where products often update very frequently, the report noted.

The report looked at the current situation and problems during the development of startups from hackerspaces in the Yangtze River Delta.

As an example the report looked at a software enterprise that protected their innovative results with mainly software copyrights and patents, which require long application periods and complicated processes. However, software enterprises usually develop with rapid changeover, which the current intellectual property right system struggles to keep up with, industry sources said.

A mobile Internet technology startup owner said their software product updates every one to two weeks, and there will be an upgraded version each month. But the copyright can protect only one version of software each time. "The long application time makes the software copyright protection become simply useless," the entrepreneur told Shanghai's China Business Network.

Applying for a patent involves similar problems to gaining software copyrights, which take at least six months. Preparing application documents is also very complicated and requires a long time.

"When the patent application is approved, some products have already been copied. We have no way to deal with it," said the entrepreneur.

Zhou Xuanbo, a researcher with the information network at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said a new system should be explored to allow software enterprises to apply for intellectual property right protection and receive temporary protection in the region where their enterprise is registered.

Zhou provided a series of suggestions, including provision of online applications, improved design and content for the application process, shorted application time periods, an online application progress checking service and establishing a channel for legal rights.

"Related departments can explore bringing the products' major functions as the basis of copyright protection rather than the software version number," Zhou said and also suggested opening full-time online application channels.

By using the Internet, big data and information mining technology, some enterprises could also crackdown on pirated counterfeit products, Zhou added.

"Only by putting more emphasis on the better protection of innovative results, mass entrepreneurship and mass innovation can we have constant impetus and potential. If not, everyone will use other people's products and creations," said Zhang Kangkang, vice-president of the Chinese Writers' Association, who is also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

"It is a good start that the government is instructing the public to innovate, but at the same time, the protection of innovative results during the entrepreneurship wave should also be given enough attention. Legal methods should be used to protect these innovative results," Zhang said during the annual gathering of China's top decision-makers and political advisers earlier this year.

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Michael Jordan Loses Legal Battle Again in Beijing (2015-07-28,People's Daily)

Michael Jordan lost again in his legal battle against Qiao Dan Sports as the Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled against him in a trademark dispute with the Chinese sports firm.

According to Beijing Evening News, the court said that there is not enough evidences leading to its requested revocation of the trademark and Qiao Dan Sports is not going to revoke its trademark.

The former Chicago Bulls star sued Qiaodan Sports in 2012, saying the sportswear firm located in southern Fujian province had built its business around his Chinese name and famous jersey number "23" without his permission.

Earlier this year, a court ruled in favor of Qiaodan over the trademark dispute, later upheld by the Beijing Municipal High People's Court.

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China develops vaccine against super bacterium (2015-07-28,People's Daily)

Recently a vaccine against staphylococcus aureus - a super bacterium was co-developed by the Third Military Medical University and a local pharmaceutical enterprise and got the approval of China Food and Drug Administration.

This recombinant staphylococcus aureus vaccine, the very first developed by China, can effectively prevent and cure the infection of staphylococcus aureus and enhance the infection control capacity of the army.

Due to the abuse of antibiotics, staphylococcus aureus among other bacteria has developed an extensive drug resistance and are called super bacteria, which endanger the health of the humans.

Zou Quanming, director of the research team of the Third Military Medical University, said: ¡°Compared with other vaccines against super bacteria, this vaccine is more effective. It can not only cover the shortage of toxic and side effects of other vaccines but also reduce the cost. Vaccinated only three times within seven days, the recipients can effectively prevent themselves from infection of staphylococcus aureus.¡±

The vaccine is undergoing clinical trials and has obtained nine national patents.

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China's image stems from Chinese brands (2015-07-28,People's Daily)

From low-cost processed products to high-grade equipment manufacturing; from semi-finished products to upscale high-speed rail; from a stage of winning by low price to the "Chinese standard" that is promoted throughout the world¡­ 30 years have passed by, and Chinese enterprises and Chinese brands have marched steadily outwards, each writing their own new page in the story of China.

Quality is the lifeblood of a company

The most famous story about a Chinese company and product quality is still the story of "Haier smashing refrigerators". In 1985, after recovering more than 70 problematic refrigerators, factory director Zhang Ruimin gave orders to smash them all, proclaiming that "defective products are sub-quality products". From a small local plant to the "white empire" that now covers the world, the story of Haier represents Chinese enterprises' unremitting pursuit of product quality.

The same story also happened in Zoomlion, an engineering equipment giant in China which started its system reform 20 years ago. In 1993, the first generation of a concrete delivery pump developed by Zoomlion was warmly welcomed by the market. But the following year the company called a stop to all of this output solely because market feedback showed there were flaws in quality. 20 years have passed by, and the only Chinese crane brand at Milan Expo 2015, the Zoomlion ZTC250, has been working for five months, 10 hours a day non-stop. Its precision and reliability have won high acclaim.

Core technologies in their own hands

Changan Auto has been ranked first in Chinese-brand sales for 8 years in a row. Its self-owned brand automobile production and sales have reached 10 million, and it ranks first of the independent brand enterprises in China. Changan adheres to its principle of investing more than 5 percent of every year's sales revenues in R&D. Starting from 2003, Changan has been setting up R&D centers throughout the globe ¡ª now cities like Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Turin of Italy, Yokohama of Japan, Nottingham of UK, Detroit of US, all have Changan R&D centers.

Another powerful brand in this field is Hisense. It was once challenged by the OLED (organic light emitting diodes) co-produced by Japan and South Korea. To overcome the problem, Hisense put a huge effort into research and development, filing more than 170 technical patents, and finally it came out with the ULED (Ultra LED), which has now become the mainstream technique for picture quality.

A single enterprise represents the overall image of China

Last year, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) won contracts worth 11.97 billion dollars in Nigeria, which set a new record for China's overseas contracted projects. The longest modern railway in Africa, the biggest affordable housing project in Zimbabwe, the drinking water project in Zambia, the best hospital in the Caribbean area, behind each of these project, CRCC's endeavors and hard work are to be found.

Because of its remarkable contribution, Cao Baogang, CEO of CRCC has been elected as tribal chief in two Nigerian states; Nigerian people celebrate when they see carriages with CRCC logos; the government of Angola wrote the name of CRCC on railway subgrade, and built a friendship monument to commemorate the great contribution CRCC had made to the country. All of these stem from one simple principle: whenever a Chinese company goes abroad, as well as engaging in their local business, they always remember that they carry the image of China.

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Shenzhen's ambition for a global innovation hub (2015-07-25,China Daily)

Shenzhen, a pilot city for China's reform and opening up, is poised to become a world-leading innovation hub. And the city will take part in a higher level of global cooperation and competition, according to local officials.

Zhang Hu, the executive vice mayor of Shenzhen, said the city is seeking to achieve the transformation from applied technology innovation to innovations of core and frontier technologies.

"Shenzhen has taken a leading position in the world in 4G technology, metamaterials, gene sequencing, new energy cars, and so on. Five of the six enterprises in the country that rank global top 50 for patent cooperation treaty (PCT) patent applications come from Shenzhen," Zhang said.

The vice mayor made these remarks on July 23 during a meeting with representatives from domestic Internet media groups, who are on a five-day visit to Guangdong to find out about the province's innovation-driven development efforts.

He further informed, Huawei based in Shenzhen emerged as the largest filer in the world of "global" PCT patents in 2014, and ZTE corporations ranked the third. Kuang-Chi Science Ltd is the owner of more than 86 percent of patents in the global metamaterials field.

BGI, the world's largest genomics organization headquartered in Shenzhen, accounts for half of the whole world's gene sequencing output capacity. It has recently acquired the CGI gene sequencing company in the US, realizing the integration of international talents and innovative resources.

"The government has helped the establishment of 45 industry-university-research institute alliances in sectors such as cloud computing, Internet of things, and satellite navigation," the vice mayor highlighted government roles. "These institutes will mainly focus on original innovation, R&D, as well as industrialization, in a bid to boost emerging industries", he mentioned.

According to Zhang, the total scale of Shenzhen's strategic emerging industries reached 1.9 trillion yuan ($306 billion) in 2014, 20 percent more than the year before. The added value in the sector accounted for 35 percent of its GDP in the same year.

So far, the city is home to more than 30,000 technological companies and 4,742 national-level high-tech enterprises, nearly half of the total number in Guangdong province.

As a typical immigrant city, Shenzhen boasts an average age of 29.5 among its population as well as an innovation culture. "We advocate innovation, and we are also tolerant to failures," Zhang said.

Though it won't be an easy path, there are difficulties in at least five aspects for Shenzhen to ascend to the world's top as an innovation center, believe experts. The city desperately needs high-level talents, as well as greater fiscal input for scientific research.

Industrial transformation and upgrading is another urgent task. Shenzhen is also facing the bottleneck of limited land resources, which can be barriers for the settlement of innovation carriers there, say experts.

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Optimizing Layout of Innovation Factors for the Promotion of Regional Economic Growth (2015-07-23,China Daily)

Since the start of reform and opening-up, the focus of the innovation factors' layout has shifted from China's inland to coastal areas. The shift means the geographic reshuffle of many factors which in fact, cover not only labor and capital factors but also innovation factors. This paper, in the form of innovation maps, analyzed the trend of changes in innovation factors' inter-provincial 1 distribution over the past two decades; sequenced the provinces by the concentration level of innovation factors; and discussed the interrelation between the concentration level and regional economic growth.

I. The Trend of Changes in Innovation Factors' Regional Distribution

In this paper, the changes in innovation factors' inter-provincial distribution in the past two decades were evaluated from three aspects: innovation investment, innovation output and industrialization of innovation achievements. Innovation investment consisted of the amount of R&D funds and the number of researchers, universities/colleges, and research institutes; innovation output was evaluated by invention patent grants; industrialization of innovation achievements included such indicators as the volume of technology trade, the number of hi-tech enterprises, and the amount of venture capital.

Viewing from either a nationwide or a provincial perspective, most of the innovation factors have been on rapid rise but with sharp regional differences. Geographically speaking, some regions have concentrated much more innovation factors over a comparatively long period than other regions where innovations factors are insufficient or even draining. Changes in the inter-provincial layout of innovation factors can be clearly seen from five time nodes in the past two decades, namely 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2010.

1. R&D investment 2

R&D investment in China has increased tremendously in the past two decades and reached RMB 1 trillion yuan in 2012, ten times higher over 2001. Most of the R&D funds have been invested in the eastern coastal areas, while R&D investment in the northeast and western provinces has been declining drastically.

The overall R&D spending in Beijing Municipality, Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces surpassed RMB 80 billion yuan in 2010. The level of R&D investment in Guangdong, Shandong, and Zhejiang used to be at the national middle level in the 1990s but now is taking the top level. Beijing and Jiangsu Province were leading the county during the period of 1991-2010; Shaanxi and Hubei provinces rose sharply in 2001 and 2006, but were surpassed again by coastal provinces in 2010; Sichuan and Liaoning provinces, as old industrial bases with abundant technological resources, once led the country in 1991, but are now left far behind by coastal provinces.

2. R&D Personnel 3

The number of scientists and engineers in China has doubled in the past 20 years, reaching 2.5 million to date. The trend of changes in R&D personnel distribution is similar to that in R&D investment distribution.

Firstly, the Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong have become the main concentration areas of R&D personnel: Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang boasted the most R&D personnel in 2010, with 340 thousand, 320 thousand, and 220 thousand FTEs (full-time equivalent) separately. Secondly, Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Shandong have held the leading position in terms of the total quantity of R&D personnel in the past 20 years. Thirdly, northeast, central and western regions have gradually lost their advantages in scientific talents. Sichuan, Liaoning, Shaanxi and Hubei, in particular, used to have a comparative advantage in scientific talents in the 1990s, but now they are significantly behind coastal provinces.

3. Research institutes 4

Along with the transformation of research institutes into enterprises since 1999, the number of institutes reduced from 5,463 in 1991 to 3,696 in 2010. Their geographic distribution has been basically stable in the past two decades: most of them are located in the eastern region (Beijing, Shandong, Guangdong, and Jiangsu) and the northeastern region (Heilongjiang and Liaoning); a few in the central and western regions (Sichuan, Hubei, and Shanxi) 5 .

4.Universities and colleges 6

Since the 21st century, the number of universities and colleges has increased at a rapid pace: 806 in 1991 and 3,321 in 2010.

Changes in their geographic distribution show three characteristics. Firstly, most of the universities and colleges are in the eastern region (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Shandong) and the central region (Hunan, Hubei, and Anhui). Secondly, the number of universities and colleges in western provinces like Sichuan has dropped very fast: in 1991, Sichuan held the national 2nd place in terms of the number of higher education institutions, but ranked the 11th place in 2010. Thirdly, the number of universities and colleges in Anhui, Guangdong, and Zhejiang has been on a quick rise. Anhui had 207 higher education institutions in 2010, ranking first in the country; in Guangdong the number increased from 34 in 1991 to 173 in 2010; and in Zhejiang from 25 to 132.

5. Invention patent

It was not until the year of 2000 that China experienced a rapid growth in the number of granted invention patents. From 1991-2001 the number of granted invention patents increased less than 4 times whereas from 2001-2010 the number saw an increase of 14 times, most of which was contributed by Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Zhejiang, the ¡°new five provinces¡±.

In 1991, Beijing, Liaoning, Shanghai, Sichuan, and Shandong held half of China's granted invention patents. Later, southeast coastal provinces experienced a rapid increase in the number of patents granted. In 2010, the above-mentioned five provinces took up a 57-percent share of China's patent grants. In the meantime, the central and western regions only witnessed a slight increase and the share of western and northeastern provinces dropped remarkably.

6. Technology trade

During the period of 1991-2010, technology trade grew vigorously in China. In 2010, the country's technology trade volume reached RMB 390.7 billion yuan (at current price), more than 40 times that of 1991.

On the one hand, technology trade in developed provinces is increasingly active, absorbing major technologies. Technology trade volume in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guangdong, and Tianjin grew so fast as to rank the national top places by 2010. On the other hand, Beijing's position as a national-level technology trade and transfer center was strengthened. Technology trade volume in Beijing accounted for 40% of the national total in 2010, compared with a mere 24% in 1991. Thirdly, technology trade in Shaanxi and Hubei is becoming more and more vibrant. In contrast, Liaoning and Sichuan suffered a dramatic decline in this regard: their technology trade volume accounted for 18% of the national total in 1991 but only 4.7% in 2010. During this period, Sichuan lost its pride as a sub-center of domestic technology trade.

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Are they safeguarding rights or breaking laws? (2015-07-23,Xinhua)

In China, lawyers who use illegal means to defend the rights of their clients are no longer lawyers.

A group from Fengrui, a Beijing law practice, is suspected of disrupting public order and seeking profits by illegally hiring protesters and swaying court decisions in the name of "defending justice and public interests."

The Ministry of Public Security said nine lawyers and several other suspects have been placed under "coercive measures". Since July 2012, the group had organized more than 40 controversial incidents.

Under the guise of safeguarding the rights of the parties in lawsuits, the lawyers were in fact seeking fame and economic gain. Through illegal measures, they turned legal defense in court into a farce.

In April, in Shenhe District Court of Shenyang City in northeast China's Liaoning Province, Wang Yu, a lawyer from Fengrui Law Firm, and other defenders loudly asked staff in the collegiate benches to withdraw in a bid to delay the trial of a criminal case.

"You are all hooligans! You are beasts in human skin!" Failing to achieve this goal, they shouted curses at judges and court police officers. Then Wang and other petitioners held protests outside the court, trying to influence opinion.

This is typical practice for those lawyers under investigation. Zhou Shifeng, head of Fengrui Law Firm, admitted that the practice employed popular local figures unqualified in law as lawyers, to exploit their standing.

One suspect said he believed Zhou started out seeking justice and protecting legal rights, but eventually reached a point where he was refusing to help migrant workers get back their wages on the grounds that it wouldn't generate his firm enough money.

Zhou is good at performing in court. In May 2014, in a case involving forgery and selling registered trademarks, Zhou insisted on his client pleading not guilty rather than accepting a misdemeanor offence. Zhou did this not in the interests of his client, but in the interests of promoting himself. The court convicted the defendant, but Zhou gained both fame and wealth.

Liu Sixin, who wrote legal texts for Zhou, said that after one year of contact, he realized that Zhou's professional capacity was limited.

Xie Yuandong, another suspect, said Zhou mainly relied on legal texts from Liu. If legal texts did not work, he began to talk nonsense and accuse the court.

Lawless lawyers like Zhou treat trials as performance, as a stage on which to make the public believe judges are not qualified and to encourage the public to pressurize courts.

Instead of debating in court, they tried to attack China's legal system, turning ordinary cases into political affairs in order to gain both fame and wealth.

Such lawyers have lost their legitimacy as lawyers. They should be held criminally accountable.

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White paper grapples with increasing online IP crimes (2015-07-22,China Daily)

With the continued development of the Internet and wider use of personal mobile devices, online platforms have become a new tool and place for intellectual property rights crime, according to a white paper recently released by the Shanghai Pudong district procuratorate.

The white paper for 2010 to 2014 period said criminal cases of infringing upon intellectual property rights keep increasing each year. With the rapid development of the Internet, crimes such as selling goods with counterfeit trademarks and counterfeiting trademarks are particularly acute.

One case in the white paper relates that a farmer with only a junior middle school education profited up to 2.6 million yuan ($419,000) within a year by setting up a one-stop Internet company providing private servers for popular online games.

In order to promote the site, the company illegally copied an operating system. It not only provided an online download site, but also offered 1.27 million copies of pirated CDs to computer malls of 286 cities in 29 provinces and municipalities, earning illegal profits of more than 23 million yuan.

Officials said this was a typical intellectual property rights infringement crime using the Internet.

The white paper also said Taobao, the country's largest online shopping platform, is a major place for online infringements of intellectual property rights. Besides that, a growing number of criminals advertise on WeChat, China's most popular mobile messaging app.

According to statistics, online sales of counterfeit trademarked goods mainly comprise of clothing, bags, shoes and watches, and involve many international brands. The buyers are usually ordinary workers keen to chase such international brands. They purchase the counterfeit goods knowing they are not genuine.

The white paper also said that the impact of intellectual property rights infringements has rapidly increased with the popularization of online information technology. In cases of copyright infringement, for example, users can send digital works to other users via the Internet. They can also copy works and upload them online directly, for any other users to browse and download.

The popularity of smartphones and various apps and the wider use of cloud computing has brought a series of serious challenges to uncover evidence and accurately judge new online crimes, officials said.

In addition, intellectual property rights crimes via the Internet often involve multiple links. They are often well organized with a clear labor division and can easily form a crime chain, which allows the crime to become increasingly specialized, organized and systematic, according to the white paper.

Faced with such characteristics of online intellectual property rights infringements, the white paper suggests intensifying powers to suppress infringers and stricter supervision of intermediary links. It added that to improve intellectual property rights protection, a comprehensive network for preventing and controlling online intellectual property rights crimes should be established.

Since 2014, the Shanghai Pudong district procuratorate has dealt with 77 intellectual property right crime cases, including one copyright infringement using a mobile phone app, which was the first of its kind in the country.

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Innovator's persistence pays off at coal plant (2015-07-20,China Daily)

In the past seven years, Feng Weizhong has managed to save more than 1 million metric tons of standard coal for a Shanghai power company.

Feng's persistent research and innovation in energy saving, emissions reduction and safety-insurance technology in the power industry have paid dividends for the Shanghai Waigaoqiao No 3 Power Generation Co Ltd.

His efforts saw the company reach a peak of 46.5 percent net efficiency, with his innovations saving more than 1 million tons of standard coal from 2008 to 2013.

Feng, general manager of the power plant, was born in 1954. Although he received only five years' formal education at primary school, he finally became a senior engineer after decades of self-study.

"My studies had to stop during the 'cultural revolution' (1966-76), but I never stopped working. Thanks to my father, who believed the country's chaotic situation would be only temporary, I knew the importance of knowledge would be recognized again sooner or later."

In 1971, Feng started work as an apprentice at a coal-fired plant at Chongming Island, Shanghai.

After decades of continuous self-study, he stood out from other workers and became general manager of the newly built two 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power generating units at the Shanghai company.

The Waigaoqiao power plants supply about a quarter of Shanghai's power consumption needs, but coal power, regarded as "dirty energy", has been blamed for increasingly serious pollution in China.

To solve the problem, for the past seven years Feng has tried many times to cut emissions at the lowest cost and by using the best way to save energy.

Based on Siemens AG generator technology and Alstom SA boiler technology, construction at Waigaoqiao cost 8.5 billion yuan ($1.37 billion).

The company's annual average unit net coal consumption rate is 276 grams per kilowatt-hour.

Unit net coal consumption measures the energy efficiency of a coal-fired power plant. The national average in 2013 was 321 grams per kWh, and Waigaoqiao's was more than 10 grams per kWh lower than that of a well-recognized advanced facility in Denmark.

At the same time, Waigaoqiao's emissions have set down a marker for the world.

It had average-level dust emissions of 0.74 micrograms per cubic meter and sulfur dioxide emissions of 14.94 micrograms per cubic meter, less than one-third the maximum allowed under the latest regulation governing emissions.

Despite increased calls for more use of clean energy, coal is still the leading source used to produce electricity in most countries, said Mao Jianxiong, a Tsinghua University professor, quoted by China Electric Power News.

"For example, coal-fired power plants are still the No 1 power contributor in the United States, and up to 90 percent of the power in Australia is derived from coal. In China, more than 70 percent of power comes from burning coal," Mao said.

Feng said that after years of innovation and research, he can prove that a coal-fired plant could be even cleaner than a gas-fired power station.

However, he has bigger goals to achieve, such as lowering unit net coal consumption to 251 gram per kWh and to increase the efficiency rate to 48.92 percent.

Feng has more than 40 patents in China, the US and the European Union, and the 60-member team that he heads is working to make breakthroughs in next-generation technology.

Li Li, one of the research team members, said he once asked Feng why he looked for new developments each day after achieving so many goals and winning so many patent rights.

"'The answer is the responsibility for history and for the industry's development,' Feng told me."

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Konruns Pharmaceutical drives technological innovation (2015-07-17,China Daily)

Beijing Konruns Pharmaceutical Corporation, based in Zhongguancun Science Park, has 48 intellectual properties and foreign patents from 12 countries.

Its major products include Diao, a medicine to slow tumors, and Suling, which prevents coagulation during operations. The corporation has three innovative medicines and has more than 10 projects under research. The corporation also produces a traditional Chinese medicine that cures gynecological diseases and has been registered as an innovative medicine.

The corporation has completed research in more than ten innovative medicines with intellectual properties. Five of them have been registered as innovative medicines and approved for production.

Suling, a major innovative medicine included in the National 863 Program, is the only one of its kind in the Chinese market with four global firsts. Diao has had great effects in clinical processes.

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Vice premier vows strict punishment on counterfeit products (2015-07-16,Xinhua)

Vice Premier Wang Yang on Wednesday called for better scrutiny and tougher punishments on counterfeit products and intellectual property right infringement.

Wang made the remarks during a meeting of an inter-ministry panel that oversees crackdowns upon IPR infringement and counterfeit products.

The vice premier said law enforcers nationwide have been working very vigorously and have detected and cracked down on many serious criminal cases in sectors of pharmaceuticals, agriculture, building materials and online markets.

A total of 56,000 cases were busted and 7,504 suspects received guilty verdicts in the first five months of 2015, Wang said.

Wang stressed more focus should be put onto infringement and fraud in e-commerce. He suggested law enforcers learn from advanced international experience and use big data to enhance supervision of online economic activities.

Wang also called for laws specially concerning online business to be made to help deal with malpractice and guarantee a fair market.

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City and magazine battle for trademark (2015-07-15,China Daily)

Many Chinese people, especially women and youngsters, link the word Ruili with the renowned Chinese fashion magazine Rayli instead of the Chinese city with the same name. Now, the city government wants to change that.

Ruili is a Chinese trademark used by Rayli Group, who owns the Rayli-series of magazines including Rayli Fashion, Rayli Beauty and Rayli Luxury. Founded in 1995, the publishing house now has a large influence in fashion circles.

The government of Ruili in China's southwestern Yunnan province announced that it wants to try to compete with the magazine for the ownership of the trademark to help build a city brand image at a seminar about intellectual property protection and city brand value, China News Service reported.

The city government invited several law professors to discuss the issue at the seminar.

Ruili borders Myanmar to the northwest, southwest and southeast, and shares a nearly 170-km border with the foreign country.

The city was one of the first three national key pilot zones to test reform and opening-up policies, with two first-class national open ports, two national border economic cooperation zones and a free trade area.

With the development of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor and the ongoing implementation of the "Belt and Road" Initiative, Ruili's advantages in geographic location and policies became more obvious to the world and the region gained a stronger reputation.

The trademark issue, however, has a big negative impact on the further advertising and promotion of the city brand, local officials said.

The China Light Industry Press, parent of Rayli and owner of the trademark, told China Daily that they would not respond to the issue.

Ning Lizhi, dean of the intellectual property institute at Wuhan University, told China News Service that geographical names and trademark registration were complicated.

"They have a conflict in nature. Geographical names belong to public rights and the other is a private right. Also, whether geographical names can register as a trademark is not very clear in legislation, prohibition in principle, but not absolutely forbidden, which adds more complexity to the issue," Ning said.

According to the trademark law, the geographical names of the administrative divisions at or above the county level should not be used as trademarks, but those geographical names with other meanings or those that serve as a component of a collective mark or certification mark should be exclusive.

Whatever the end result, the city government's initiative may promote the tightening up of the trademark law in the future, he added.

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China's innovation ability steadily improves (2015-07-10,People's Daily)

China's innovation ability has improved steadily, ranking 19th amongst the 40 principle countries in the world, according to the report "National Innovation Index 2014" released by Chinese Academy of Science and Technology Development on Wednesday.

The report notes that China's main index of innovation has reached the world advanced level, with a better trend in long-term development. In 2013, China R & D investment reached $ 191.21 billion, surpassing Japan for the first time, and rising to No. 2 in the world. International scientific papers (SCI) have been improved both in quantity and quality. The number of papers ranked second in the world and the number of highly cited papers ranked No. 4 in the world. The number of domestic patent applications has reached first in the world. The proportion of exports of high-tech ranked No. 2 and knowledge-intensive service industry ranked No. 3 in the world.

According to the report, the pattern of global innovation does not change significantly. The top ten innovative countries remained unchanged. United States, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea and Israel are still the 5 most innovative countries in the world. China's National Innovation Index scored 68.4, up 3.2 points over the previous year, positioned in the second-tier.

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Clean Icelandic fuel draws Geely (2015-07-10,China Daily)

Chinese car company invests in renewable methanol firm in bid for joint development of low carbon energy

Even in summer, Iceland can be cold and chilly. But the North Atlantic country has had a warm welcome for Chinese investment in an Icelandic clean-energy company announced this month.

Chinese automaker Geely Holding Group said on July 3 that it plans to invest $45.5 million in Iceland's Carbon Recycling International Inc. CRI is known as a leading company in producing renewable methanol from carbon dioxide, hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water, and electricity for energy storage, fuel applications and efficiency enhancement.

The deal consists of an initial investment and additional purchases in CRI equity over three years. Geely will become a "major shareholder" of CRI and will gain representation on the company's board of directors. It did not specify how much of the company it will hold.

The two companies intend to collaborate on the deployment of renewable methanol fuel production technology in China and explore the development and deployment of 100 percent methanol-fueled vehicles in China, Iceland and other countries.

Methanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that can be blended with gasoline for automobiles and used in the production of biodiesel or fuel ethers. It reduces carbon emissions by more than 90 percent compared with fossil fuels.

CRI's emissions-to-liquid process removes carbon dioxide from industrial emissions, the company says, which can help mitigate environmental impacts.

"This investment will build on our existing methanol technology, facilitating even more valuable solutions and helping to propel this part of our business in China. It will also allow us to promote advanced methanol technology in Europe," says Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Group, based in Zhejiang province.

"Geely and CRI share a vision for a larger role for methanol as a clean and sustainable fuel in China, Europe and the world," Li says.

Geely became the first auto manufacturer in China to conduct research and development into methanol vehicles in 2005. It has since acquired dozens of patents.

"We are committed to achieving the long-term goal of zero emissions mobility through a diverse suite of new-energy solutions, including renewable methanol vehicle technology," Li says.

"Geely Auto has invested significant resources in the development and promotion of methanol-fueled engines and vehicles over a long period and has already made progress with this technology in China."

The company is working with partners across China to expand the use of methanol-fueled vehicles and has deployed fleets of methanol-fueled taxis in cities all over the country.

In March 2013, Geely began piloting the use of methanol-fueled vehicles, and last year it became the first company in China to achieve mass production of vehicles.

China is serious about the use of alternative energy to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels as well as to fight air pollution. The country has set a target of producing and selling 500,000 energy-efficient vehicles a year by the end of this year, and 5 million a year by 2020.

Li says he believes Geely is a natural investment partner for CRI. "With the deepening of this partnership, we will explore the possibility of promoting methanol vehicles that will meet local standards in Iceland and other European countries."

As one of the leading international automotive groups in China, Geely consists of a number of auto brands, including Swedish automaker Volvo Car Corp, the United Kingdom's London Taxi, and Geely Auto, which markets cars in 35 countries across the world.

"Geely is unique in researching and manufacturing methanol vehicles around the world, and so is CRI in converting carbon dioxide into methanol. The cooperation between these two companies will promote the development of clean energy and the carbon cycle economy," Li says.

Geely's Englon SC7 sedan was the first methanol-fueled car to receive approval from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Scientific studies indicate that besides slashing pollution, methanol-fueled cars cost on average 40 to 50 percent less to run than the traditional gasoline-powered equivalent.

Founded in 2006 in Reykjavik, Iceland, CRI has focused on developing technology to produce renewable methanol fuel. Production of renewable methanol is similar to that of conventional methanol, except that carbon dioxide is substituted for carbon monoxide and hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water, according to the company. It operates the world's first renewable methanol plant.

"It's a great pleasure to have Geely Group join our team of shareholders and board of directors. Alongside their growing traditional automotive business, Geely Group is spearheading new-energy technologies and vehicles as one of the important players that will shape the future of the automotive sector," says K.C. Tran, CEO and co-founder of CRI.

"Amid increasing global demand for low carbon intensity fuels, as the first company in the world to develop renewable methanol technology and operate a CO2-methanol plant, CRI is building a pipeline of projects with clients from the power, chemical and steel industries in Europe and China."

CRI has an annual production capacity of 4,000 metric tons of renewable methanol, marketed under the name Vulcanol in Europe, where it is blended with gasoline and used for the production of biofuel.

"Geely Group's investment represents another validation of our business model and efforts and will strengthen our ability to develop and promote methanol as a sustainable transport fuel," Tran says.

CRI's plant is linked to the Svartsengi geothermal station in southwestern Iceland, whose surplus mineral-rich water fills up the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland's most popular tourist attractions.

The plant emits little carbon dioxide, but what is emitted is in a very concentrated form, which makes the transformation of CO2 into methanol financially viable, as opposed to a coal plant, for example, where the separation of CO2 and nitrogen is costly.

Iceland sees China as a key trading partner, becoming the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with Beijing in 2013.

Zhang Weidong, China's ambassador to Iceland, says the China-Iceland free trade pact lowers tariffs on a range of goods and is expected to boost seafood and other exports from the Nordic island nation to China.

Geely's deal is the first direct Chinese investment in Iceland, Zhang says, adding that he thinks more investment will come from China.

Chinese investment has not always had smooth sailing in this country, however. Chinese investor Huang Nubo was stymied in his bid to build an adventure tourism resort on a barren patch of northeastern Iceland that would include an airport, golf course and 120-room hotel.

Iceland rejected his original bid in 2011 to purchase the land that comprises 0.3 percent of Iceland's territory, saying it did not meet the legal requirements on foreign ownership, prompting an angry Huang to blame Western prejudice and unfounded suspicions.

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"Robot supermarket" to open in south China (2015-07-10,People's Daily)

Chinese cities have no shortage of megamalls and markets selling everything a shopper could want. But one new south China retail complex will offer just one thing: robots.

Government officials in Guangdong Province's Foshan City announced Friday that they will open a 20,000-square-meter-plus"robot supermarket" in the city's Shunde District.

The first-of-its-kind center will open to the public in September. It will give robotics developers a place to exhibit and sell their latest models, as well as provide a platform for research and development and intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, said Xuan Ganhua, an official with the local robotics industry area in Shunde.

"It will incorporate robot sales and exhibitions as well as labs where industrial robots are designed, programmed and built," Xuan said, adding that robots at the center will serve different industrial sectors, including automobiles, furniture and machine tools.

An IPR protection court will also be located on the premises, Xuan added.

Officials have set the bar high for vendors, allowing only well-known brands to join. A total of 30 Chinese and foreign brands will have a presence during the initial phase.

"We have already chosen some companies from scores of applications, including German brand Kuka, and we are still in the selection process," said Lie Haijian, deputy district head of Shunde.

Shunde is a model area for robotics development in the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong. The district currently boasts more than20 robotics companies, with the number of robots produced growing30 percent annually.

The main complex of the center has been completed, and workers are decorating the interior, according to Xinhua reporters at the site.


The role of industrial robots is growing in China as the country's manufacturing industry feels the pinch of a worker shortage and soaring labor costs.

Last year, some 56,000 industrial robots were sold in the Chinese market, up 54 percent annually. According to the International Federation of Robotics, China will have purchased400,000 industrial robots by 2017.

"The 'supermarket' will be conducive to development in the robotics industry in China because it will bring the world's latest technology into one platform," said Yang Yang, General Manager of Changsha Chaint Robotics Co., Ltd.

Despite growing demand, China's domestically produced robots still lag behind international producers. Last year, robots from domestic producers only accounted for 28.6 percent of the total sold on the Chinese market, and even robots classified as domestic rely on key imported components.

"The new 'supermarket' gives companies from home and abroad a chance to compete and learn from each other," said He Minjia, General Manager of GSK CNC Equipment Co., Ltd., a Guangzhou company focused on numerical control of machine tools.

"It might be difficult to present all kinds of robots in just one supermarket, but I think it sets up a very good example of how the industry could go in the future," He added.

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Phone firms dial into smarter world (2015-07-10,China Daily)

Chinese manufacturers aim to take a bite out of Apple, at home and abroad

For Zhou Hongyi, China's smartphone market is like "an ocean of blood", and yet it is an ocean he is happy to dive into. "I'm getting into this because I believe you can shake up any market, and those at the top cannot stay there forever," says Zhou, founder and CEO of Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd.

Zhou was speaking at a news conference on May 6 at which Qiku, his smartphone brand, was unveiled.

Global smartphone shipments surpassed 1 billion units last year, a year-on-year increase of 40 percent, according to market researchers International Data Corp. It is expected China's shipments alone will reach 360 million this year.

China is a key market for smartphone companies worldwide, not only because the country has 1.3 billion potential customers, but also because it dominates global smartphone manufacturing.

With a share of such a massive pie up for grabs, unconventional players such as Qihoo 360 Technology are going up against more-established companies by launching their own mobile devices.

Zhou has promised that his "exquisite" handsets will beat rivals on both quality and price.

The 45-year-old, who headed Yahoo China in the early 2000s, defeated Internet security firms that charged customers royalties by introducing free anti-virus software products about a decade ago. Qihoo 360 accounts for the lion's share of the for-private-use, free online security market.

Qiku is a joint venture with Coolpad, already a major contract smartphone maker in China, and is expected to unveil three handsets running on an Android operating system in June.

"Our device could easily sell at 5,000 yuan ($800; 730 euros), but we will offer buyers a remarkably lower price," Zhou said, without elaborating on the products.

Gree Technology, one of China's largest home appliance producers, has already released its smartphone, part of a strategy to enter the smart home market and the Internet of Things sphere.

"Our first phone has gained two key official licenses," its president, Dong Mingzhu, said. "Customers can use Gree phones to control wirelessly connected household appliances, such as refrigerators, ovens and televisions, making their lives more convenient."

Internet companies, including Tencent, are also keen to cater to China's growing legion of mobile users, estimated at 557 million. At the recent Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, the company launched an operating system for smartphones and smart watches.

Ren Yuxin, the chief operating officer, said the system, TencentOS, will improve the experience on social networking apps and allow users to enjoy high-quality services from different smart devices.

Alibaba Group, another Internet giant, also has an operating system, Yun OS, and in February bought a minority stake in smartphone manufacturer Meizu Technology.

After six years of rapid growth in the demand for mobile handsets, competition is now fierce, according to an IDC report on May 11.

About 98.8 million devices entered the Chinese mainland market from January to March, down from more than 103 million during the same period a year earlier, the report said. The 4.3 percent decrease was the first since 2009, the so-called dawn of the smartphone era.

Apple Inc, Xiaomi Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd were the top three vendors in the first three months in terms of shipments, accounting for more than 39 million devices during the period, almost 40 percent of the market share, the report said.

Antonio Wang, an analyst for IDC, says shipments could continue to drop over the coming quarters due to weak demand. "The number of first-time buyers has slumped because the penetration rate is extremely high," he says.

Hours after IDC warned of the potential trend, Apple CEO Tim Cook created an account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like service, hoping to attract Apple fans. The account gained about 200,000 followers in the first hour.

Apple is facing the strongest challenge in China, as Xiaomi and Lenovo Group Ltd are fast encroaching into the United States company's high-end user base. The two companies, along with Apple and Samsung Electronics Co, have all claimed pole position in the IDC rankings over the past five quarters, more evidence that the country's smartphone market is a battlefield for vendors.

An array of vendors, including Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo, are also battling it out in the market for mobile devices costing up to 3,000 yuan.

"With more outsiders entering the game, competition has got more fierce, so overseas manufacturers will need to find a unique feature to attract Chinese buyers," says Wang Jingwen, an analyst with Canalys China in Shanghai.

According to Analysys International, Apple's market share was just a single digit last year, although that is largely because it targets mid- and high-end buyers.

"The mobile market in China is heavily contested, and local vendors are quickly gaining market share," Wang at Canalys China says, adding that Chinese brands have dominated the mid-range and budget markets.

Some manufacturers are challenging Apple in the high-end market, too, by offering quality products at more affordable prices.

China's largest smartphone producer, Xiaomi, which has been running for four years, sells its entry-level product, Mi Note, which has a 5.7-inch (14.5 cm) screen, for 2,299 yuan. By contrast, the iPhone 6 Plus, equipped with a 5.5-inch screen, sells for more than 6,000 yuan.

However, Wang at Canalys China says price is no longer the main focus for Chinese buyers. "As expectations increase in line with spending power, combined with rising market saturation, there is a major shift to devices that provide better user experience," she says.

Looking ahead

Chinese smartphone producers are latecomers to the market compared with Apple and Sumsung, yet they are eager to build their legend through innovation and design, as well as price.

Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO of Xiaomi, says his company's success is based on in-house innovation and a unique relationship with its customers. Xiaomi sold 61.12 million smartphones last year, up 227 percent on 2013, and most purchases were made in China.

The company will "consistently focus on" product innovation and strive to produce high-quality, high-performance devices that ensure great user experience, Lei says. "We have to outperform Apple in some areas. It represents the rising power of Chinese innovation and creativity."

At Xiaomi's development center in a northern suburb of Beijing, 1,800 developers, many aged about 30, have been busy updating the MIUI, an intricately tailored Android operating system for its mobile devices, Lei says.

Eric Chen, who is starting his second year at Xiaomi as a software engineer, says he is excited to be working on one of the most talked-about smartphones in the industry.

"It makes no difference for me to work for a local company or a foreign one," says Chen, who previously worked for a major overseas brand. "The salary is OK here. As long as the company is passionate about new ideas, it is a good place to work for an engineer. I like working for a startup company rather than at (a large company such as) Apple."

Lei says his company will introduce more products that use top-tier technologies and are available at low prices. "We value innovation," he says. "Xiaomi will have tens of thousands of patents in 10 years' time."

The biggest innovation breakthrough has come in software and user experience, he says. The MIUI can automatically block scam calls while putting through calls from delivery services using a constantly updated phone number database. Xiaomi is also building deeply localized services in China, including free Wi-Fi connections in at least 50,000 restaurants and railway stations.

Tian Zheng, a senior analyst at Analysys International, says Xiaomi's ambitious attempt to build a wider ecosystem in online media, smart homes and other markets is what makes the company stand out. The company has overtaken Samsung to become the top smartphone maker in China, in terms of shipments, at the end of last year, he says.

Another major domestic smartphone producer, Huawei Technology, also contributes its success to innovation. The company, once an obscure electronics plant with a registered capital of 21,000 yuan, is now a global giant that generates more than $46 billion in annual sales.

Executives at Huawei say the company's many years of investment in research and development is finally paying off. The company entered the foreign market 16 years ago and in 2010 restructured its business units to improve its global business.

"We have 16 research centers globally, so we can take advantage of more international talent to upgrade our products," says Guo Ping, chief executive of Huawei. "We hired Russians to write algorithms, French experts in product design, and Japanese scientists to develop new materials.

"Each year we have more than 10,000 graduates joining us as engineers... They will safeguard our competitiveness in the global market."

Huawei is also taking advantage of its relationship with carriers to launch smartphones. In the past year its flagship handset, Mate 7, has been in short supply amid huge demand, quite an achievement given the tough competition.

The company has ambitious goals in the consumer electronics sector - it unveiled its first smartWatch in March, taking on the Apple Watch - and is aiming for a bigger presence in developed markets where profit margins could be higher.

Branching out

Chinese manufacturers are not only confining themselves to the domestic market. They plan to sell their products abroad to boost demand and profits, to offset rising labor costs and slow sales growth in China.

Companies such as Xiaomi have already started with overseas sales, primarily aiming at emerging economies in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The major players even have plans for the US market, despite Apple's dominance, as it offers the highest average profit margins. Xiaomi, which already sells its accessories there, is mulling such a move.

However, Wang at Canalys China warns that it will not be easy. "In developed markets, (Chinese) vendors will find it even harder to build brand awareness," she says. "Most consumers already use smartphones made by the big players such as Apple and Samsung. The operators usually set higher standards for smartphone products."

Cheng Lixin, senior vice-president of telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp, says he has high hopes for its products in the US. "We aim to be one of the top three global smartphone vendors in the world's most competitive market within three years."

That goal is considered aggressive even by the standards of world-famous brands such as Google and Microsoft. However, Cheng, who is in charge of North American operations, says he believes ZTE's strengths in innovation, executing brand campaigns and an "affordable premium" customer strategy all make the target achievable.

"As the world's most important (telecom) market, the US is also a vibrant place for marketing and handset development," he says. "Success in the US will help us explore other markets."

The plan is to impress US customers with high-quality, low-price devices, he says. "Because ZTE is rolling out high-performance handsets at relatively low prices, buyers in the US do not need to pay $500 or even $300 for a smartphone with high performance."

ZTE has invested heavily in the US in recent years, setting up five research centers and recruiting more than 300 employees, about 80 percent of them local. "Only a truly localized company will have a chance to succeed in the US," Cheng says.

According to Strategy Analytics, the US was the best-performing overseas market for ZTE last year. Shipments of its devices rose in the high double digits, even as competitors' shipments were flat or lower, the research firm said. ZTE had 20 million active users in the US as of Dec 31.

Like Samsung, ZTE provides low-end and high-end devices in the US, offering 69 models in total.

Last year, higher sales of 4G network equipment and smartphones lifted the company's global net profit by 94 percent to 2.63 billion yuan. In the smartphone sector, the company shipped 48 million devices, with 70 percent sold outside the Chinese mainland.

Bryan Wang, China director of Forrester Research, says the US is one of the most difficult markets for any emerging player. "About 90 percent of phones (in the US) are sold via carrier channels, so a deep and healthy relationship with the carriers is vital."

As pre-paid and contract phones are sold in partnership with carriers in the US, ZTE said it is already taking advantage of its deep ties with companies such as AT&T and T-Mobile to sell devices.

"We always produce above-standard devices with highly functional features," Cheng says. "After working together for more than a decade, the carriers trust our capabilities in research and development."

Oppo Electronics Corp is also one of the companies aiming at the global market.

"Oppo operates in 22 countries, including China," says Sky Li, vice-president and managing director of international mobile business. "The Southeast Asia region is our first overseas market, and it is the market where we first started our overseas expansion. In 2009, we started selling our products in Thailand. And that helped us accumulate experience to work in other foreign markets."

The company sold 30 million units of smartphones last year, and this year expects the figure to reach 45 million, he says.

Some Oppo products are sold in Europe and the US through e-commerce platforms, but Li says the company has no specific timeline to properly enter those markets.

"We try to understand the different demands our global customers might have. So we rely on localization to develop new products."

Yan Zhanmeng, a senior analyst at IDC China's cellphone market research department, says: "It is likely that in about five years, some big domestic brands such as Huawei can develop into a global brand that can challenge Samsung and Apple."

Yan says Chinese smartphone makers enjoy the advantage of having strong supplying chains, and China also has some strong manufacturing centers as Shenzhen, which can support the development of local smartphone manufacturers.

But there are also some challenges for the Chinese smartphone manufacturers. "Chinese smartphone manufacturers still lack core technologies such as some core chips and high-end screens," says Yan.

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For some Chinese universities, it is all about the name (2015-07-09,People's Daily)

A good brand name is worth more than gold. It's an age-old rule in sales and, it turns out, is also true for Chinese universities.

The importance of a university branding recently became apparent after Nanchang University in east China's Jiangxi Province declared "Nanda" the school's nickname, sparking protest from Nanjing University, one of the country's top colleges also located in the east.

After catching wind of Nanchang's attempt to adopt "Nanda", Nanjing University officials explained they have used "Nanda" as a registered trademark in both Chinese and English as early as 2002.

Nanjing University later filed a complaint to Nanchang University and Ministry of Education, with the ministry telling the two schools to settle the issue on their own.

Chinese people like using abbreviations for nicknames of colleges. An abbreviation usually contains two characters. The first is usually the abbreviation of the place where the university is located, and the second, without fail, is "da", an abbreviation of "daxue", or university.

The trouble, however, is that too many locations carry the same character or have similar pronunciation in pinyin. In the case of Nanchang University and Nanjing University, both locations have the same character "nan".

"Nanda" has long been accepted nationwide as referring to Nanjing University, which has a history of more than 110 years. Nanchang University, on the other hand, was established in 1993 after Jiangxi University and Jiangxi Industrial University merged.

According to Zhang Lei, head of Huaxia Trademark Service, a company specializing in trademark affairs, Nanchang University committed trademark infringement as Nanjing University possesses all legal rights to the colloquial name "Nanda" and can defend any misuse by others.

But why did authorities of Nanchang University risk a trademark case?

Online critics believe they just wanted a free ride by using the reputation of the more famous and influential Nanjing University.

The row between the two universities reflects the fact that some university management cares too much about superficial matters while educational and academic development seems to come second.

In the eyes of some school leaders, a name can mean the difference between success and failure when recruiting students and wooing their parents.

There's another form of obsession with names. Higher education institutions in China often prefer the word "university" to "institute" or "college" in their title since it is believed that "university" sounds much more superior.

Thus, there has been a renaming trend since the 1990s, with many "colleges" and "institutes" becoming "universities."

The renaming trend has resulted in blind expansion of campus infrastructure and facilities as colleges push to meet the requirements to become a "university."

On the contrary, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the world's most prominent universities and home to dozens of Nobel Prize laureates, bears the word "institute" in its name but is still considered among the most prestigious.

There is a very good solution for Nanchang University. Instead of using "Nanda," it should build its own brand and reputation, with its own traditional colloquial name, for example "Changda," which is more accepted and appears in its school anthem.

With years of efforts from teachers and students, it is possible that one day "Changda" might become more famous than "Nanda."

As Mei Yiqi, president of Tsinghua University in the 1930s, once said, "what makes a good university is not how many buildings it has, but how many great scholars, professors and masters it boasts."

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Nation no longer a 'wasteland' for entrepreneurs (2015-07-07,China Daily)

China's Xiaomi Redmi 2 smartphones are displayed to the media during their launch in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 30, 2015.

Rising generation of business leaders creates value-added solutions

People unfamiliar with recent developments within China generally believe that the nation lacks innovation capabilities as well as the infrastructure to support entrepreneurship. The stereotypical view, often fueled by Western media, portrays China as an "innovation desert" full of copycat companies that make shanzhai (fake) products.

They describe a China that lacks innovativeness due to an inadequate system of intellectual property protection, a rote-learning educational system that stifles creativity and a business landscape dominated by State-owned enterprises.

This perception is based on China's history, but it does not reflect current realities. Worse, it fails to recognize the emerging wave of innovation from China.

Understanding innovation in the context of contemporary China requires a broader definition of innovation, beyond the classic product or technology-centric view espoused by Western management theory. We suggest a broader interpretation of innovation that includes solutions that offer added value to customers or businesses, which may be manifested in a variety of forms, but are not limited to low-cost disruptions or technological breakthroughs.

To better understand this broader view of innovation, we should look deeper into examples coming from China.

Three layers of innovation

In our view, there are three essential layers of innovation: people, organization and market.

At the core are people. Large corporations often find it difficult to maintain the same level of creativity and freedom, both of which are conducive to the innovation process, as exists within startups. In China, a growing culture of mass entrepreneurship and relevant favorable policies are emerging. As a result, we are witnessing rapid growth in startups, which serve as the breeding ground for creative entrepreneurial minds.

Inspired by successful examples of private entrepreneurs, a "why-not-me" mentality motivates aspiring young entrepreneurs to create solutions that deliver value. This new breed of young entrepreneurs are adept at identifying new and creative ways to add value to consumers' lives within a volatile and sometimes sub-optimal environment.

Among the entrepreneurs who were born in the 1980s and 90s, there is a strong sense of entrepreneurial zeal and optimism ignited by recent successful examples of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Jack Ma, Xiaomi Inc's Lei Jun, Tencent Holdings Ltd's Pony Ma and many others.

There are other factors in play that are creating a more favorable environment for innovation. These include China's grassroots' openness to the world, experienced returnee entrepreneurs with expertise and access to a global pool of resources gained from their experience abroad, and simply China's scale that allows good business ideas to scale up rapidly.

China's large population base also helps increase the probability of success from "trial and error" experimentation with new solutions. Many grassroots entrepreneurs are able to spot market imperfections and leverage that contextual understanding to create relevant solutions.

Lei Jun is a case in point. Xiaomi's approach to innovation relies on a deep understanding of customer needs and continual feedback to tailor products for specific usage requirements.

Second, organization. Organizations typically resist change when they become successful. As markets mature, market leaders often lose their competitive edge as they fail to anticipate change, typical across numerous global industries.

As we know, China's market changes fast. Many Chinese companies are very young and have a higher risk appetite for opportunities and radical innovations. A well-known case is how Haier Electronics Group Co Ltd achieved significant growth when it introduced a washing machine capable of cleaning not only clothes but also potatoes.

This demonstrates Haier's awareness of indigenous demand from China's lower-tier cities and the company's customer-centric management philosophy.

Entrepreneurial Chinese organizations can be described as hungry, agile and nimble. They continually push for growth because there is no legacy of success to protect. This innovative character results in higher levels of patent activity and investment into research and development.

Third and last is the market. Critics often point to the flaws in China's lack of market-centricity when expressing concerns about the future. These criticisms often dwell on the dominance of SOEs in certain sectors, a lack of transparency, the abundance of government incentives pushing for technological change without oversight mechanisms and the heavy presence of government investment to drive the economy.

SOEs will continue to play a major role in China, but private companies have emerged across multiple sectors (including foreign entities in China) and will become the dominant forces of innovation and economic expansion. In open sectors, competition has become intense as foreign corporations, SOEs and local private companies vie for a piece of the pie. Deregulation has been a major driver for China's growth over the past couple of decades and that will remain the case.

Over the past couple of decades, China's market has experienced unprecedented economic expansion, aided largely by government policies that provided top-down support at national and provincial levels. Tangible benefits include science and R&D parks as well as industry clusters throughout China. The supporting foundation for continued growth and innovation is also falling into place, including fast consumer adoption of the Internet, creation of startup incubators, and increased sources of funding for new businesses from venture capital, private equity and angel investment.

Innovation breeding ground

China is a complex, diverse and dynamic market, characterized by intense competition. Chinese companies are emerging with unique capabilities to win the bases of competition through lower cost, better quality and faster execution.

Innovative Chinese companies such as Baidu Inc, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, Haier and others have demonstrated unique capabilities and an innovation mindset well-suited to China's unique context. Such businesses have proven capable of building cross-industry ecosystems for collaborative innovation and a willingness to "boundary jump" across traditional industry lines. These ecosystems exhibit "biodiversity", which makes the entire value chain more robust and sustainable; of course, up to certain limits.

The China context can be described as a highly complex, diverse, dynamic and discontinuous environment accentuated by time-space compression. Within this breeding ground, innovative Chinese companies are leveraging this market context to deliver exponential growth.

Edward Tse is founder and chief executive officer and Bill Russo is managing director of Gao Feng Advisory Co, a global strategy and management consulting firm based in China.

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Guangzhou Knowledge City starts to take shape (2015-07-04,China Daily)

After driving northeast for 35 minutes on the highway from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, while enjoying the picturesque views of South China, I arrived at Jiulong Avenue which runs through the core area of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC), an iconic project involving China-Singapore cooperation. Driving further south along the boulevard, I arrived at an exhibition hall in the heart of the Southern Start-Up Area (SUA), the Knowledge City's 6.27-square-kilometer center.

What was once a vast rural area five years ago is now a huge development site, with ofice buildings, research centers, shopping malls and highrise residential buildings in various stages of development. Construction of Jiulong Avenue and the neighboring roads are almost complete. A subway that links SSGKC with Guangzhou's city center is under construction and is expected to be in operation by 2017.

When all the planned construction is completed, SSGKC, which covers 123 sq km, hopes to become a unique, vibrant and sustainable city accommodating half a million people, including professionals and talents.

City planners explained that the city is positioned to attract knowledge-based industries, including next-generation information and communication technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and clean technology. Through these, SSGKC hopes to serve as a model and catalyst for economic upgrading in South China.

As of the end of June, SSGKC had introduced 109 high-end industrial projects with a total investment of 39 billion yuan ($6.3 billion), according to city officials. The development of infrastructure is also accelerating. A total of 152 infrastructure and public service projects are expected to be completed in the next few years. Five years after SSGKC was established, the city's future prospects have attracted people to move to and live in the area.

Opposite the exhibition hall is SSGKC's first business park, Ascendas OneHub GKC, an integrated business park jointly developed by Singapore's Ascendas Group and GKC JV company. The 30-hectare business park will be developed to provide 600,000-sq-m of floor space for offices and related facilities, offering a one-stop "work, live and play" location for innovation and knowledge-based enterprises.

Construction of the 200,000-sq-m first phase area is on schedule and due for completion by early 2017. The first buildings are expected to ready for occupancy by the end of 2015. The park is targeting Fortune 500 enterprises, transnational corporations and independent innovation enterprises with advanced technology. Planners said industries would include next generation information and communications technology, culture and creative, services outsourcing, energy saving and environmental protection.

Next to the Ascendas One-Hub GKC is the Dongfang International Healthcare Valley. Occupying a planned area of 2 sq km, the valley will provide a cooperation platform between existing medical care resources in Guangzhou and high-end medical research institutes from Singapore, the United States and other countries. The project envisions an international healthcare services hub, including research and development, medical treatment and disease prevention, and rehabilitation services. It aims to attract world-class medical research and service institutions, promote high-end medical care and pharmaceutical industries and offer customized, international and comprehensive care to patients.

The first phase of the project includes the Sun Yat-sen University-afiliated South China Tumor Hospital, Guangzhou Taihe Cancer Hospital, Guangzhou Royal Cancer Hospital and two proton therapy centers, making it one of the most advanced tumor treatment and rehabilitation centers in South China.

Another zone in the SUA, which SSGKC has prioritized for development, is the Intellectual Property Rights Utilization and Protection Hub (IP Hub), which spans 49 hectares and aims to become a demonstration zone for Sino-Singaporean cooperation in areas related to intellectual property.

In the next few years, more effort will be put into developing the IP Hub, which is endeavoring to bring in Singaporean and international experience, said city officials. Planners envisage that the IP Hub will attract and encourage research and technology based companies to be based in SSGKC, giving them access to resources and information regarding patents, copyrights and trademarks both in China and worldwide.

The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court and the Patent Examination Cooperation Center of the State Intellectual Property Office, Guangdong Ofice, have commenced construction in SSGKC. The former is a new setup in China to focus on handling intellectual property litigation, and the latter is one of the largest centers outside SIPO's headquarters in Beijing.

Opposite the IP Hub is Fenghuang Lake, which was developed by the government. In addition to two successful lakeside residential developments, Horizon and Vanke, the Hong Kong-listed developer KWG has also started a commercial development at a plot adjacent to Ascendas Onehub GKC. The Central Resettlement Area has been completed and residents have already moved in.

The Guangzhou Greenland project, which is under construction near the lake, is another integrated community, where residents will be able to enjoy commercial developments, including high-end hotels, clubhouses and shopping malls. The development aims to create an integrated "live, work and play" environment.

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Big Pharma looks to long term in China (2015-07-03,China Daily)

While r&d potential attractive, climate made tougher by price pressure, regulatory complexities

Despite China's ambitions to promote its pharmaceutical sector, it is likely to continue to depend on significant contributions from foreign companies for some time. While the situation provides opportunities for big pharma companies to expand their markets in China, they are also hoping that offshoring research and development to China may contribute to reconfiguring their R&D models with its weak record of producing new drugs.

Drawing on interviews with pharma R&D centers in Shanghai, patent analyses and industry reports, we conclude that, despite considerable investment by big pharma companies in R&D centers in China, the investment is still in its very early stages, with Big Pharma aware that its success in the Chinese market depends on long-term investment.

With China accounting for less than 3 percent of the global revenue of most big pharma companies, the complexity and fragmentation of China's market present challenges. With the local market dominated by generic drugs, and with the state determined to reduce the cost of its burgeoning health budget, largely made up of the cost of pharmaceuticals, the opportunities for expanding market share in China will be restricted.

China's emergence as a significant force in the global pharmaceutical value chain coincides with what appears to be a critical juncture in the global pharmaceutical industry, with falling revenues and competitiveness and a possible need to reinvent the global R&D model. Among the main reasons for the falling revenues is the so-called patent cliff, with the period covering the patents of former high-revenue blockbuster drugs about to expire, as well as a dearth of new drugs, and competition from generic drug manufacturers - many of which are in less-developed countries such as India and China - becoming increasingly intense.

These pressures are also why emerging regions such as China hold out significant hope for reducing costs, for market expansion, and for reconfiguring the drug development model.

With their lower costs and also because of their potential market growth, both India and China have emerged as important offshore centers for preclinical R&D, large clinical trials and contract manufacturing. China has abundant science and technology graduates, but its pharmaceutical or biomedical ecosystem is still in the early stages, so there is a scarcity of leadership and management skills. In fact, the head of Astra Zeneca's R&D in Asia pointed out that since it takes 10 to 15 years to bring a drug to market from initial development, and because of China's shortage of experienced toxicologists, pathologists, statisticians and clinicians, it could take several decades before a pharmaceutical ecosystem is fully developed.

One area in which both countries already play a significant role is as providers of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Between 2007 and 2011, Asia's portion of the global API market went from 24 to 28 percent and is expected to reach a value of more than $50 billion by 2017.

A regulatory loophole the China Food and Drug Administration has been battling against is the ambiguous definition of chemical entities, which allows industrial-grade factories to produce and export intermediaries or chemicals that eventually end up in APIs intended for human use. Despite China's efforts to attract investment in high-end API and finished drug dosage manufacturing, Western pharma companies are reluctant to outsource these activities because it constitutes the last step in the production process and because of the difficulty in monitoring the quality of regulations in China. Yet with its huge population of potential participants in clinical trials, China presents opportunities to Big Pharma to reduce the cost of this essential aspect of development.

Part of the response of China's hospital system to the pressure on its services is to enroll patients in international clinical trials, which are profitable for hospitals.

Estimates suggest China has 114 million diabetics and perhaps as many as 493 million prediabetics. The projected program of urbanization will increase these numbers significantly. Together with the rapid aging of China's population, which will have an estimated 223 million people aged 65 and over by 2030, this will put extra pressure on the health system. The huge growth in demand for healthcare and China's expenditure in biomedicine - an estimated $71 billion in 2011 - partly explains the increased focus by Big Pharma in establishing manufacturing and R&D centers in China. According to a consultancy report, because of the uniqueness of the genomics and metabolomics of the Chinese population, this will demand new R&D investment by multinationals in Asia and will also give competitive leverage to domestic R&D entrants.

While China presents obvious opportunities for a global shift in big pharma, Western companies face a unique complexity in China, particularly with its fragmented market, with 3,700 domestic companies accounting for 75 percent of annual sales, of which 95 percent operate in the low-value generics market. They also highlight the negative effects of a three- to four-year time lag between drug registration in Europe and in China because of the critical regulatory issue requiring foreign pharma companies to conduct clinical trials in China prior to their product launches.

With 40 percent of China's healthcare budget being spent on medicine compared with 10 to 12 percent in the West, it is not surprising that big pharma companies in China are experiencing political pressure to reduce prices.

It is also no surprise the Financial Times reported that, although China is already an important market for big pharma companies, it contributes only 1 to 3 percent of global revenue for most foreign companies. Because of various government restrictions, foreign pharma companies opt for partnerships, and while increased collaboration between Big Pharma and contracting companies in China entails sharing knowledge about how to run long-term projects, they rarely involve the transfer of core intellectual property.

According to industry consultants, the failure by Chinese policymakers to create more effective regulatory infrastructure, to reform education and allow public-private partnerships to drive research are slowing the development of a more innovative environment in China for drug development.

Yet because of the growing significance of the Chinese market, multinationals such as GSK, Lily and Novartis are already moving into a more mature phase in the R&D space in China. The level of investment in China by big pharma companies to date reveals significant commitment to this market. The strategy of developing China as a major pharmaceutical R&D hub, however, is likely to be a long-term one with a view to developing significant market share in the coming 10 to 20 years, as growth opportunities in other markets decline.

Already some foreign companies have faced significant fines for being associated with the common practice of offering poorly paid Chinese doctors incentives for promoting their drugs.

Unlike in developed countries, doctors at main hospitals primarily dispense drugs in China, which can create an environment where corruption may flourish. The anti-corruption push has been focused on foreign companies, with GSK seeing a significant reduction in sales because of negative publicity. Although many acknowledge that illegal practices are widespread in the pharmaceutical sector, some suggest foreign companies are more easily targeted as part of the anti-corruption push.

While some have interpreted the crackdown on corrupt practices as a growing hostility to foreign companies, others suggest it is a relatively easy way to give a wider message to the sector, including local companies, and also to put pressure on companies to reduce costs.

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Intellectual Property laws get acted out (2015-07-03,China Daily)

As more and more Chinese companies go global, and foreign companies explore the Chinese market, the issue of intellectual property rights is taking center stage like never before.

Loeb and Loeb, a US-based law firm, sponsored a tour of mock trials from June 19-22 in Beijing and Shanghai as a way for Chinese and US companies to learn about the similarities and differences between each countries' intellectual property rights (IPR) laws.

It was the 7th year of the Sino-US IPR Mock Trial Program, organized by John Marshall Law School, and the first time sessions were held in Shanghai, in cooperation with China University of Political Science and Law.

"Clients in America have issues come up with Asia, and especially China, so we need to better understand how IPR law works in China, in order to effectively work with our clients in the US, and the same the other way around," said Douglas Masters, an attorney with Loeb and Loeb.

The whole-day format of the mock trial consists of a morning session focusing on Chinese law and an afternoon session on American law.

This year's theme focused on the contrasts between American and Chinese trademark law, China's having been amended last year.

"This program is very important because it creates a close-to-real court scene with real procedures, real evidence, witnesses, jury and a real judge, to give a realistic view of a trial for the audience to see and experience IPR better," said Masters.

"We also have programs organized to have Chinese lawyers and examiners spend one semester or summer course in the law school in the US to take lectures and tutorials on IPR," said Arthur Yuan, an attorney in Loeb and Loeb.

"Hopefully in the future, we will have more programs to welcome Chinese and US attorneys or students to participate in and learn from each other," said Yuan.

Loeb and Loeb's IP practice helps clients around the world establish, acquire and protect intellectual property, as well as develop and implement strategies to manage intellectual property portfolios and maximize profits.

It now only has two overseas branches in Hong Kong and Beijing, as it foresees China becoming the most promising market in the world.

"Even though growth is slowing down, there are still a lot of Chinese companies connecting with us to raise money or deal with financial issues," said Masters.

In recent years, China's central government has been trying to improve its IPR legal framework and enforcement.

In 2014, with improved IPR management, China received the most patent applications in the world for the fourth year running, reaching 2.36 million, with 928,000 patent applications for inventions, up 12.5 percent from 2013.

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Expo Milano uses Nuctech security kit (2015-07-01,China Daily)

The ongoing Expo Milano 2015 in Italy, a focus of worldwide attention, is being kept safe during its six-month run by a Chinese company's advanced security inspection equipment.

Beijing-based Nuctech Co Ltd provided the expo with a large mobile inspection device to check containers and vehicles coming in and out of the exhibition venue. Made with home-grown technology, the device has more than 100 patents.

Nuctech was founded in 1997 at Tsinghua University, one of China's most prestigious universities specializing in science and technology. It is now a leading security inspection service provider both in Chinese and overseas markets.

The company's scanners and monitoring machines have been sold to more than 130 countries and regions and are widely used in civil aviation, customs and urban subway and railway networks.

Nuctech also provides tailor-made products for high-level events, such as the Summit of the Americas this year, the 2014 World Cup tournament, the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, for example, Nuctech leased about 600 pieces of equipment to use at 11 of the 12 World Cup stadiums across the country.

Currently, Nuctech has developed more than 160 types of security inspection products in 21 categories, from X-ray imaging to radiation detection, with proprietary intellectual property rights.

The company has focused on IP protection and management since its establishment to maintain a competitive edge amid fierce global industrial competition.

"Most of our customers are from overseas and our major foreign rivals who are concentrated in the United States and Europe are adept at operating and managing IP rights, so Nuctech considers the IP issue a top priority and has implemented a comprehensive IP strategy for years," Chen Wei, vice-president of the company, told China Daily.

"We organize IP-related training for new employees and have incentives to encourage researchers to file patent applications," Chen said.

Nuctech now has more than 400 technicians and researchers and every year its research and development investment accounts for about 10 percent of the company's sales revenue. Last year, Nuctech generated nearly 3.2 billion yuan ($515.2 million) in sales, he said.

The company filed more than 2,200 patent applications by the end of 2014, including 961 applications in 32 foreign countries. More than 1,200 patents were authorized. Nuctech also owns more than 200 Chinese and overseas trademarks.

Patent pre-warning analysis is another sector Nuctech highly values, according to Chen.

"Before entering into a new market, we will entrust professional IP agencies to do comprehensive patent searching and analysis of our products to avoid the risk of patent infringement," he said.

The company is also continuing to improve its overseas patent layout.

All these efforts have helped Nuctech win several IP lawsuits and project overseas bids.

In August 2011, for instance, the United States Patent and Trademark Office found that a patent application of a British research institute was similar to a Nuctech US patent.

To solve the problem, the US patent authorities applied the so-called interference proceeding, a system used in US patent law, to determine which applicant was the first to invent.

Chen said at the time the US had not shifted from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system, and the patent law ruled that companies or individuals who were the first to invented the technology owned the patent rights, which was different from most other countries.

The British research institute claimed it invented the related technologies earlier than Nuctech.

"The involved patent is a very important one, so losing the case would cause a huge negative impact to the company in terms of international patent layout and global marketing," Chen said.

After pouring lots of manpower and financial resources into collecting evidence and investigating, Nuctech successfully proved that it was first to invent and use the technologies so owned the US patent.

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Annual awards recognize brand protection efforts across China (2015-07-01,China Daily)

The Quality Brands Protection Committee of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment announced its annual list of best-practice cases in intellectual property protection from last year at a ceremony to celebrate its 15th anniversary on June 17 in Beijing.

This year's list included a counterfeit Schneider trademark case in Zhejiang, a case violating Sony's design patents in Guangdong, a software copyright infringement on Microsoft and an unfair competition case involving Victoria's Secret in Shanghai.

The QBPC also unveiled its list of 2014-15 model cases harmonizing administrative and judicial IP enforcement.

The committee started the best-practice cases campaign in 2002, aiming to review and evaluate IP cases from the previous year and help its member companies protect their rights by exchanging previous experiences.

For the first time, five enforcement agencies won awards for outstanding protection of quality brands this year.

George Chao-Chi Chu, member of the US Advisory Committee on Trade Policy Negotiations, said in a speech at the ceremony that IP protection is a worldwide issue and suggested not using American standards to solve the issue in China.

"Foreign business entities in China might encounter some difficulties in dealing with the Chinese consumers in both governmental or public sectors because China has a different system, law and culture from Western society," he said.

"Therefore, the best way to be successful in China is to comply with the Chinese law and respect the Chinese culture and its interests."

Chen Xiaodong, chairman of the QBPC, agreed, saying that the IP infringement is "a global problem that requires comprehensive solutions combining economic, political, legal, social, cultural and scientific methods, with long-term joint efforts from the entire world".

"I am impressed by the trend that the cost of IP rights violation has been on the rise over the past years as the government pays increasing attention to IP protection, and it is easier to defend rights," he told China Daily.

He said one example was a trademark lawsuit in Guangdong, in which the right owner Luis Vuitton asked for civil damages before criminal penalties, and the request was supported by the local court.

He also noted another trend is that civil cases are becoming diversified, with increasing cases involving unfair competition, business secrets and copyright alongside trademark disputes.

He said the QBPC will cooperate with China's central and regional governments, companies, agencies and associations, as well as the international community, to help strengthen the nation's administrative and judicial IP enforcement and foster a fair market environment.

Although the committee represents the interests of overseas companies in China, it has made effort to help domestic companies improve their IP protection and management by organizing training programs to share their experience, Chen added.

It also has established partnerships with overseas organizations such as RusBrand, the largest association of fast moving consumer goods manufacturers in Russia.

Alexey Popovichev, executive director of RusBrand, said in a letter to the ceremony that the increase of cross-border illicit trade is "undoubtedly the most significant problem" the two countries will face in the near future.

"Fighting cross-border illicit trade of counterfeit goods between Russia and China through the partnership between RusBrand and QBPC not only protects the consumers of the two good nations and legitimates the interests of the brand owners, but also facilitates the trade and economic development in Russia and China," he wrote.

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Can US SMEs afford to log on to Alibaba? (2015-07-01,People's Daily)

China's e-commerce market£­specifically Alibaba's online shopping site, Taobao£­isn't on Rob Wray's radar right now, but he says it might be in two years.

"China ¡­ is a low priority due to our experiences with Chinese banking and business complexity," said the Baltimore businessman, who owns Mp3Car, a small company selling electronics on Amazon and eBay in the United States. "Our focus is on building in the US, where we're based, and in other rapidly expanding markets that are less complex to enter."

It's not ideal, but Jack Ma may be happy with that.

Ma, the chairman of Alibaba, traveled to New York and Chicago this month, giving speeches and writing newspaper opinion pieces to urge small and medium-sized enterprises in the United States to consider using his e-commerce platforms, Taobao and Tmall, to reach Chinese shoppers.

"Today, China's middle class is almost the same size as the US population. We think that in 10 years more than half a billion Chinese people will be middle class," Ma told an audience at New York's Economic Club on June 9. "The demand for good products, good service, is so powerful. ¡­We need more American products."

His target is to get 10 million SMEs from around the world using Taobao and Tmall, and China's other major e-commerce players, such as, Dangdang and Jumei, will have equally ambitious plans.

Although analysts and industry insiders agree there are terrific opportunities here for US businesses, opinions are divided on whether the potential profits outweigh the potential pitfalls.

According to Eguan, a business consultancy in Beijing, online cross-border sales were worth more than 80 billion yuan ($13 billion) in 2013, up 75 percent year-on-year. The company predicts, by 2018, Chinese consumers will spend 1 trillion yuan on purchasing products from overseas.

"The Chinese market is becoming the center of the business world in terms of how consumers are using e-commerce platforms to buy products," said Oliver Rust, managing director of Nielsen China. "E-commerce has become bigger and broader. It's a significant market."

China now has about 360 million online shoppers and a sales value of 2.8 trillion yuan, he said.

When it comes to separating the major players, e-commerce expert Wang Xiaoxing said Alibaba stands out because it is more of an intermediary. Individuals and companies have used Taobao to sell everything under the sun since it launched in 2003. Tmall, which opened five years later, is more used by companies offering relatively higher quality products.

"Alibaba doesn't own or deliver any product. It's a collection of independent stores," said Wang, an analyst for Beijing consultancy Analysys International. "Reaching out to SMEs in the US is natural for Alibaba because serving small businesses is built into its genes.

"It's complicated serving so many SMEs, but Alibaba has done it successfully in China. It's no surprise Ma wants to copy the model in the US now it's been listed," he added, referring to the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange last year.

Taobao vendors are required to run their own stores: They upload photos and product descriptions, handle packing and shipping, and manage after-sales services. Like eBay, a user's reputation is enhanced£­or completely destroyed£­by ratings and comments left by customers.

In China, people today even use "taobao" when they mean to say online shopping.

"Alibaba is the unquestionable leader in online shopping in China," said Teng Bingsheng, an associate professor of strategic management at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. "This is a big advantage when attempting to get US companies to believe they can have a bigger chance of success in the Chinese market than through similar platforms."

Last year, transactions on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms totaled $161 billion, far more than the $77.6 billion reported by Amazon.

Meanwhile, data released by New York consultants Forrester Research showed Tmall and are dominating China's e-commerce market. Tmall holds a 57-percent share of the business-to-consumer market, while holds 21 percent.

Different expectations

There is no denying the lure of China's e-commerce market. China will become the largest market for buying and selling products online across international borders by 2020, according to a report by Alibaba and global consultancy Accenture.

The value of products sold by online retailers to overseas consumers will reach nearly $1 trillion by 2020, with China the driving force for growth, the report said.

Yet some analysts are skeptical about the ability of US SMEs to use Chinese e-commerce platforms, citing the tough competition and barriers of entry. They suggest that small retailers may also not be equipped to deal with a customer base with differing shopping expectations.

"The smaller companies£­and this is not an Alibaba point, it's not a China point£­have very limited ability to manage any major undertaking," said Frank Lavin, founder and CEO of Export Now in Akron, Ohio, which advises businesses accessing China's e-commerce platforms. "If you're only a $5 million company, the entire management team is one or two people. You're asking them to work with a series of somewhat complicated issues on foreign exchange, remittance, and logistics. They just don't have the management team to do that."

Lavin, who served as undersecretary of commerce during the George W. Bush administration, said China is the easiest market for US companies to enter, but they still need capability and capacity, while smaller companies£­in the $1 million to $10 million range£­will have difficulty.

To get an online store up and running on Alibaba, an overseas company would need to design and build a Chinese-language website, pay a deposit to Alibaba, and pay for trademark registration, which could cost $50,000 to $100,000, he said. To advertise their brands and services, companies may need to spend another $100,000 to $200,000.

"In terms of value, cost-benefit for a company, that's fantastic. But again, if your total sales are $2 million and say it's $100,000 just to get in the game, that's 5 percent of your total sales," he said.

Alibaba already works with US retailers such as Costco, GNC, Forever 21, Patagonia and Under Armour. However, observers say smaller companies may be hindered by the difference in online shopping culture.

Carl Miller, managing director of San Francisco-based Global Retail Insights Network, a nonprofit organization that helps retailers go global, said Chinese consumers' expectations differ from their American counterparts. Customer service is a big part of the online shopping experience, something US retailers may have difficulty adapting to.

"Most Chinese consumers are going to be utilizing chat£­text chat or talking to a customer representative£­to talk about the product, to verify the authenticity," he said. "They'll sometimes want to barter, and one of my main concerns when I heard (about Ma's speech) is: How are all of these smaller companies going to actually have the time and energy to provide, or even outsource, customer service that's going to adequately represent their product?"

A case in point is Xue Chanchan, a public relations worker in Beijing, who said Taobao is her No 1 choice for shopping online because of the after-sales services. "I can see the store and talk to the owner. On other platforms, I can only call customer service instead of the store itself. This way, I feel more assured."

Zia Daniell Wigder, vice-president and research director at Forrester Research, is optimistic about small US retailers on Alibaba, especially those who would be dealing with international customers, shipping, customs, and local currencies for the first time. She said the Chinese company can help streamline these processes because of its market dominance and vast infrastructure network.

"There certainly are differences (between US and China e-commerce), but a lot of them are surmountable issues," she said. "Cross-border online shopping is growing incredibly quickly. It's not just between the US and China, but between a large number of different countries. Alibaba's opportunities in Brazil and Russia, and other places like that, have grown substantially, so they're looking to penetrate what is the other extremely large e-commerce market in the world, which is the US."

Michael Tudor, CEO of Ripen eCommerce, a consulting company, told Forbes last year that Alibaba's Tmall and Taobao, along with Alipay, its third-party online payment platform similar to PayPal, can help small businesses in the US "who don't have the resources to meet the challenges of the Chinese market".

For a small US retailer to be successful in China's e-commerce marketplace, Kosha Gada, principal at AT Kearney's media, consumer and retail practice, said they will need understand the market demand, build a brand, and have a firm grasp on logistics and operations.

"It's a different market from the US, and companies will need to accurately assess the competitive landscape," she said, warning that electronic payment is not as developed in China as in the US, raising the risk of fraud, while shipping can be a hassle due to undeveloped infrastructure outside of major cities.

Teng at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business offered one more piece of advice for US companies: Watch what Chinese tourists buy in bulk abroad. "Chinese are seeing the world," he added. "They know what the good products are, they aren't easily swayed by novelties."

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