Accusations about China's fake goods 'irresponsible' (2017-06-30,Xinhua)
The European police agency's recent accusation that China is the main source for global fake goods does not stand up to scrutiny, as China has beefed up efforts in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and cracking down on counterfeiting, experts said on Thursday.
"Europol's allegation is irresponsible, and the accuracy and objectivity of the data needs to be further investigated," Sun Jiwen, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), said at a press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.
The comment comes after the Europe's police agency published a report on June 22 claiming that the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong "together are estimated as the source for 86 percent of global physical counterfeiting, which translates into $396.5 billion worth of counterfeit goods each year."
Physical counterfeiting accounts for the equivalent of 12.5 percent of Chinese mainland's exports of goods and over 1.5 percent of its GDP, said the 74-page report, jointly produced by the Madrid-based EU Intellectual Property Office, adding that intellectual property theft was "one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises."
In response to the allegation, Sun said, "The Chinese government has always paid high attention to stamping out counterfeit goods and IPR violations in imports and exports, and has strengthened supervision in such areas."
For example, China launched a campaign dubbed "Qingfeng" in April 2015, aiming to crack down on IPR infringement cases and selling fake products as exports, according to Sun, adding that the campaign has achieved significant results after two years of work.
In the first four months of 2017, customs authorities have seized 930,000 shipments of goods suspected of IPR infringement. The country's quality watchdog has also seized more than 425,000 items including clothes, luggage, toys and electric products that did not meet the quality standard for exports.
Besides, the country has set up three specialized intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, a move indicating that China has been making efforts to improve intellectual property protection during recent years, Chang Yachun, a lawyer specializing in IPR issues at Beijing Kangda Law Firm, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Many domestic companies have realized the importance of protecting intellectual property, particularly when they expand overseas, said Chang. "China has seen robust growth in patent applications during recent years."
In terms of international patent applications, the number of applications from China increased by 44 percent in one year, according to the Xinhua News Agency in March, citing World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry.
In addition to government efforts, China's online platforms have also joined the trend.
E-commerce giant Alibaba has so far rolled out a batch of measures that punish counterfeit sellers, including purging them from the platform based on big data technology and blacklisting them from using credit products under its financial arm Ant Financial, according to a statement Alibaba sent to the Global Times on Thursday. Last year, the platform assisted police in more than 1,400 counterfeit cases.
In terms of the report, experts also raised questions about whether the data collected is convincing.
"It's very hard to get the samples to calculate the proportion of domestic fake goods in the global market," Li Chang'an, a professor at the Department of Public Economics at the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Thursday. "
It may be convincing that they have figures for fake Chinese products in Europe, "but it is suspicious that they calculated fake products in China and even China's share of global fake products," Zhao Ping with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade was quoted as saying in a Xinhua report on Wednesday.
Indeed, the EU is probably choosing a protectionist stance over trade policy, said Li, noting that the report could bring a negative impact to China-made products.
"The EU still has prejudice against Chinese products," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday.
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Progress made in the acceptance, quality of domestic patents (2017-06-29,China Daily)
Experts at a recent forum on high-value patents, organized by the State Intellectual Property Office, called for more attention to be given to encouraging, cultivating and improving patent quality rather than just quantity.
Industry insiders said high-value patents are those that contain the following four characteristics: high-level research outcomes and innovative technology, good stability, promising market prospects and strong competitiveness.
In recent years, Chinese patent authorities have carried out a package of plans to pioneer high-value patent work all over the country and have gained significant experience.
The winning projects of the WIPO-SIPO Award for Chinese Outstanding Patented Innovation, held by SIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organization annually, are the best examples of high-value patents, said delegates at the forum.
"The value of a patent should be displayed in its significance for an enterprise's development, the local economy and even for a country's national strategy," said Zhong Chunyan, a winner of the award.
"Another essential factor is its market value. If a patent is composed of cutting-edge technology but cannot bring the expected market value and income, it cannot be called a high-value patent," she said.
However, the value of a patent is not only reflected in direct economic benefits. In the general layout and the development process of an enterprise, the market value brought by a patent cannot be determined only by economic factors, said representatives at the forum.
The cultivation of high-value patents should involve cooperation among different levels of government departments and diverse industrial factors, said delegates at the forum.
They said such cultivation includes three steps. The first is to undertake patent navigation, which means to perform a comprehensive analysis on the current status and future trend of a key technology.
The second is that people should focus on the quality of the innovation itself, the efficiency of application and the strength of the protections in place.
Finally, professional patent operation is required. The government should foster and optimize the patent management system, to provide a market-oriented service.
According to statistics from SIPO, the average ownership of patents in China has reached 8.0 per 10,000 people. SIPO accepted 1.34 million applications for invention patents last year, ranking No 1 in the world for six consecutive years.
"Currently, China still lacks good-quality patents, but the protection and operation of patents have become generally accepted and understood ideas," said Zhang Zhicheng, an official at SIPO. He added that the organization is making progress in every factor involved in patent creation, application, scrutiny, protection and operation.
"As a special technological product, a patent should have its value realized through commodity circulation and trade," said Xia Pingjian, general manager of the National Engineering Research Center of Digital Television.
"The next step is to study how to improve the quality of the product and expand the market based on those blooming patent fruits," Xia said.
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Experts: China's 2-D barcodes need better security against rivals (2017-06-29,China Daily)
Experts have suggested that China develop its own patent portfolio for two-dimensional barcodes, with a greater focus on core technology.
There are more than 10 versions of the two-dimensional barcode globally. The most commonly used one in China is the QR Code, invented by Japanese company Denso in 1994, said Shen Wei, deputy director of the 2-D Code Security Research Center at a forum held at Tsinghua University earlier this month.
The QR Code has become an international standard, widely used in many different fields.
The company is now working on a new series of patents, including five core technologies - facial, fingerprint, signet, holographic and signature recognition - which could play a significant role when combining two-dimensional barcodes with artificial intelligence, he said.
The new technology can be used in many fields, including media advertising, electronic identification, electronic signature, safe payment and the internet of things.
The applications for the five patents were filed in China in 2013 and are expected to be approved this year, Shen said.
"Denso's patents are ambitious, like a very fine fishing net, attempting to cover every aspect of the future development of barcodes, which may become a monopoly in the technical field," said Wang Yi, deputy director of the technology department of GS1 China, an affiliate of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
In the past 20 years, China has developed patents for two-dimensional barcode technologies.
Wuhan Syscan Technology began researching the encoding and decoding processes for barcodes in 2000. It gained a self-owned patent in 2003 and won the Chinese Patent golden award in December 2016.
The Grid Matrix code, developed by the company and featuring high fouling, buckling and deformation resistance, was applied into a big data cloud platform for traceability of food planting, production, processing, transportation and consumption to guarantee the safety of food.
The platform has entered 156 large supermarkets in Wuhan, Hubei province, as well as other regions such as Hebei and Jiangsu provinces.
The applications of Grid Matrix code also involve internet plus finance, tax, tourism and national security.
He Lihui from the China Registration & Certification of Two-Dimensional Code Center, said although China has many patents for barcodes, few of them dig into the core technology, and this lack of core patents could lead to economic and security risks.
The number of Chinese mobile internet users reached 695 million at the end of 2016, ranking No 1 in the world, statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center show.
Since the internet industry developed so quickly in China, the barcode-related intellectual property plays an important role in protecting internet safety, said Zhong Liduo, founder of GMedia Technology (Beijing) Co Ltd.
"We need to establish an effective authentication management system and technical tools to guarantee the security of information transmitted via the internet," Zhong said.
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Police ensure intl rights protection for all (2017-06-29,China Daily)
Local enforcement cooperates with global partners to tackle cross-border counterfeiting issues
China's police pay equal attention to the innovation achievements of both Chinese and overseas companies and give them equal protection, said an official from the Ministry of Public Security, the nation's top police authority.
Zhang Jingli, deputy director of the ministry's economic crime investigation bureau, made the comments at a conference of the Quality Brands Protection Committee of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment on June 17. He said that the police authorities, as judicial law enforcement, are the "last barrier" to protect Chinese and overseas companies' intellectual property rights.
"The Ministry of Public Security regards fighting against crimes involving IP infringement as an important measure to serve the nation's socioeconomic development and has invested increasing resources in recent years," Zhang said.
With the fast integration of the global economy, especially the rapid development of the internet, the number of criminal cases concerning cross-border counterfeiting is growing sharply, he said.
The ministry has conducted international law enforcement cooperation by organizing joint operations, sharing information, offering assistance in collecting evidence and holding exchange programs.
It has so far established IP criminal enforcement cooperation mechanisms with 35 international law enforcement agencies, such as the International Criminal Police Organization, and has participated in the investigation of more than 40 international cases in the past two years.
Since 2011, the public security authorities nationwide have investigated about 190,000 criminal cases on IP infringement and the manufacturing and sales of counterfeit and substandard goods, involving total potential value of 120 billion yuan ($17.5 billion).
Among those cases, 2,400 were under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Security and all of them have concluded.
The most closely scrutinized areas include counterfeit food, medicines, farming materials and clothes, faked patents and trade secrets violations, said Zhang.
"In terms of strategies, we have optimized the campaign models and improved our capability in terms of digital investigation," he said. He added that they have raided more than 2,000 crime groups with integrated supply, production and sales networks.
In 2015, the police of Haizhu district in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, investigated a case involving partners selling counterfeit New Balance and Converse sports shoes online. The principal defendant was sentenced to four years' imprisonment, and the other was sentenced one year and two months.
The police found only about 150 pairs of shoes at the hideout, but online records acquired from e-commerce platforms showed the group's sales amounted to more than 2.3 million yuan.
The Ministry of Public Security and a number of other national administrations have been cooperating by sharing information and launching joint operations. The nation's administrative enforcement agencies at all levels have submitted 32,000 pieces of evidence to the public security authorities since 2011.
The ministry and many local police forces have also established cooperation with IP rights owners and industry associations, said Zhang.
"It is a statutory duty for law enforcement agencies to fight against infringement and protect IP rights. It is also a challenging task," Zhang said.
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Preferential policies, investment boost bio-pharma sector (2017-06-28,China Daily)
Cooperation with international companies is boosting the development of bio-medicine in Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City as the local government strives to improve the investment environment with better polices and facilities.
The Knowledge City is located in Guangzhou Development District in Huangpu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
On June 23, construction kicked of on a General Electric bio-campus in SSGKC with an official groundbreaking event.
The GE bio-campus is intended to serve as a leading biopharmaceutical and health industrial park. It will add to the attraction, encourage creativity and enhance the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry cluster in Guangzhou, according to Chen Zhiying, member of the standing committee of the CPC Guangzhou Committee and deputy mayor of Guangzhou, who talked at the event.
As a strategic collaboration project between China and Singapore, SSGKC focuses on the development of the advanced manufacturing industry, information technology, intellectual property protection, environmental protection, bio-medicine and healthcare, to establish an innovative knowledge-based hub and an international cooperative platform.
The GE bio-campus is not the only biopharmaceutical company entering SSGKC. BeiGene - an international company aiming to discover and develop immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer - signed an investment agreement with Guangzhou Development District in March, valued at 2.2 billion yuan ($320.6 million). Together, they plan to build an oncotherapy medicine manufacturing center in SSGKC.
Wang Xiaodong, co-founder of BeiGene, said that the project will meet growing demand for bio-medicine development in the global market.
"The capacity for new drug research and development in the field is relatively weak in China. Some patients have to buy expensive imported drugs," said Wang. "What BeiGene wants to do is to make good and afordable anticancer drugs for them."
The State Council approved SSGKC's plans to carry out integrated pilot reforms in intellectual property protection and utilization in July 2016.
The State-level Intellectual Property Rights Utilization and Protection Hub focuses on IP trading, evaluation, pledges, agency services and training. It aims to become more comprehensively embedded to help facilitate the country's economic development.
Patent applications between Singapore and China have increased significantly since the first memorandum of understanding was signed between the two nations' IP offices in 2014, said Daren Tang, chief executive of the IP Office of Singapore.
In 2015, patent filings from Chinese applicants in Singapore increased by 87 percent, while patent filings from Singaporean applicants in China increased by 44 percent compared to 2012.
Since SSGKC started operating in 2010, it has housed 494 registered enterprises with a total registered capital of 82.4 billion yuan.
In 2016, the fixed-asset investment of construction projects in the city reached 3.5 billion yuan, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year.
"2017 will be the year for rapid development in SSGKC," said Zhang Jinghua, executive director of Join& Well Science Park.
Zhang's company, which was established in 2013 in SSGKC, provides a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises to have their own offices in the city.
Zhang said that when he first came to SSGKC in 2010, conditions were poor, with inconvenient transportation, inadequate infrastructure and rudimentary facilities.
With the support of the Guangzhou Development District government, railways and expressways are under construction. New policies have been issued to attract more enterprises.
The arrival of Fortune 500 enterprises, such as GE and BeiGene, has attracted related industries and brought supporting facilities to SSGKC, Zhang added.
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Boost your AIQ-China's Transformation into an AI economy (2017-06-27,China Daily)
Rarely does a new technology transform consumption, production and society. But with artificial intelligence (AI), that technology has arrived. Yet new research conducted by Accenture has found that many large businesses do not fully appreciate the value of AI. The same cannot be said for entrepreneurs and startups, who are in the vanguard of this revolution. Many of them are based in China, which has become a powerhouse of innovation in deep learning, sensors, predictive maintenance and intelligent robotics.
Funding for AI startups worldwide has grown at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 60 percent since 2010. China has filed more than 8,000 AI patents in the five years to 2015, a 190 percent growth rate that outpaces other leading markets significantly.[i] Growth is driven partly by the largest digital user base in the world. China is generating new data, particularly from mobile users, faster than any other country.
For many, AI is a solution to a common problem: the need to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Accenture analysis shows that AI could boost China's productivity by 27 percent by 2035. There is no doubt that AI can automate many processes, strengthening the bottom line.
But AI has a far greater opportunity to create entirely new categories of products and services. It will establish new markets and drive growth. AI's boost of the topline is reflected in our estimate that annual economic growth rates in China could increase from 6.3 percent to 7.9 percent in 2035 if companies harness AI to transform their entire business models. That would generate additional economic output of more than $7 trillion at that time.
To achieve this growth potential means going beyond using AI to do things differently and, instead, using it to do different things. For example, JD.com, the online retailer, is exploring AI to improve internal operations through unmanned warehouses and drone delivery, but is also applying it to personalize the shopping experience and develop new products and services. Alibaba partners with SAIC to connect their cars to the internet and is introducing new cloud-based AI services targeting the health care and manufacturing sectors.[ii][iii] Tencent, the provider of WeChat, is developing virtual assistants and autonomous driving among other applications.
China also has many successful AI startups. For example, Malong Technologies' product recognition AI uses deep learning, which among other uses, that it applies to analyze worldwide fashion color trends to help thousands of textile makers predict global fabric demand.
Breakthroughs such as these require businesses not just to develop innovations, but also to scale them. This means pivoting wisely the bulk of investment from core products and services to new ones while, at the same time, continuing to transform the core. Do companies build in-house capabilities, work with partners or buy technologies from the outside? When looking at a global sample of Fortune 100 companies and Accenture's global index of 100 AI-driven enterprises, we found that 27 percent did one or the other well, and 56 percent did neither sufficiently. Only 17 percent scored high on both counts. This gives these 'Collaborative Inventors' a higher AIQ than the rest.
Companies with a high AIQ use it to focus on three strategic priorities: technology, data and people. 'Collaborative Inventors' know how to integrate combinatorial AI technologies, embracing a platform-based approach.
Most important, people are at the heart of AI. And AI-driven companies need to source a diverse range of talents – from data scientists to behavioral experts to those steeped in functional or industry contexts.
One of the core differentiators of China's AI scene is the establishment of a multi-stakeholder environment that involves both the private and public sectors. For example, Baidu has been appointed by the National Development and Reform Commission to lead the national lab on deep-learning technologies and applications. The lab will not exist in a physical structure, but via a virtual, digital network of researchers working on problems from their respective locations.[iv] China also benefits from having a fast-growing domestic platform economy which provides a foundation from which its AI startups can succeed abroad.
These are early days for AI. In the rush of investment and innovation that we can expect in the coming years, it is therefore important that AI leaders in China remain committed to responsible AI. That means AI-based business practices and technologies must be transparent, accountable and fair. Above all, it means that AI must be human-centric. Responsive and responsible innovators in China will appreciate that AI is not about eliminating people, but elevating them. It's not just about automating what people do, but augmenting their capabilities.
As China advances the Fourth Industrial Revolution through its strength in AI, it can do no better than to adhere to the principle: AI for the people, by the people.
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Student set sights on revolutionizing rice (2017-06-26,China Daily)
Postdoctoral student Yang Jian wants to change the way people buy rice in China.
The 35-year-old founder of Dalian Idami Technology thinks disruptive technological innovation can revolutionize the industry.
"Traditionally, farmers or companies sold their rice in shops, and in recent years they've also started to sell online," he said.
"But we're setting up a new model based on the internet of things and big data."
Yang, who has a master's degree in maritime law and a doctorate in management from Dalian Maritime University, is now engaged in postdoctoral research of business innovation through the application of big data at the China Business Executives Academy in Dalian and Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management.
He met Shao Deji, a rice farmer in Wuchang, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, while helping judge an entrepreneurship competition. Shao was trying to sell his rice online.
"I was shocked to hear that his annual sales could reach 300 million yuan ($44 million), yet he made less than 3 million yuan profit," Yang said.
The entrepreneur tried to give the rice farmer advice, but Shao rebuffed Yang's advances at first.
"It was impossible for me to carry out Yang's plan," Shao said. "I knew nothing about the internet of things, big data or data management."
So the two became partners. Yang is now responsible for technology, management and investment, while Shao is in charge of production and ensuring high-quality rice.
Yang set up Idami at Dalian High-Tech Zone in December 2014, aiming to bring industrial upgrades and change to the rice sector.
The result has been innovation at every stage, from planting to storage, processing to packaging and transportation to consumption. So far, Idami has applied for more than 100 national patents, with 92 having been authorized.
One of these innovations is a self-developed smart rice storage box and cooker.
With built-in infrared sensors for pressure, temperature and humidity, the device can be controlled via an app on the user's cellphone. It measures how much rice is left and tells the user when to order more.
The cooker part is connected to the storage box and a water tap. It automatically cooks rice depending on how many people want to eat.
"We only provide the smart devices to those who buy our rice. This way, we have a stable customer base," Yang said.
"Based on big data from the app, we can better arrange production and provide a better service."
The entrepreneur said this model is turning traditional rice delivery systems on their heads. "It is like how Apple's iPhone erased the need for a keyboard and traditional phone-makers' sales collapsed," he said.
Yang has set up several companies in the past, but he believes this latest endeavor will give him a career for life.
"We're building a giant e-commerce company based on the internet of things," he said, adding that success in the rice sector could lead to expansion to other products such as eggs, milk and meat.
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New energy solutions offer remedy to industrial growth limitations (2017-06-23,China Daily)
Beijing's energy enterprises are making more progress in clean renewable energy amid Beijing's supply-side reform in energy restructuring and environmental protection.
BOE Smart Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese display device giant BOE, was founded in August 2009. Its business specializes in providing innovative models of production and energy-saving equipment, as well as solar power solutions.
The company's operating photovoltaic power stations' volume totals 300 megawatts, with an average annual power output of 330 million kilowatt hours. In 2020, the capacity of their power plants is expected to reach 4,000 mW.
"In the past six years, the production capacity of our parent company BOE has increased 20-fold, but its energy consumption has only increased six times, which shows our efforts in energy conservation," said Song Hangbin, general manager of BOE Smart Energy.
Several years ago, Chinese villagers were not familiar with the concept of new energy. But now, it is common to see the photovoltaic panels on their roofs and many households in North China use solar energy to heat their water, according to Song.
The Chinese government is designing more beneficial policies and new energy funds to support the development of clean energy.
BOE Smart Energy has more than 30 patents in renewable energy. For the next step, it will invest more in the research and development of building smart energy storage and carbon trading models.
Beyond solar energy, renewable energy sources also include wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.
Xinjiang Goldwind Science& Technology Co Ltd, one of China's earliest wind power equipment manufacturing enterprises, has today evolved into a comprehensive wind power solutions provider.
It was established in 1998 in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and launched a subsidiary in Beijing in 2005.
The company owns independent intellectual property rights over the 1.5-6.7 mW permanent magnet direct drive wind turbines, featuring high efficiency and low maintenance and operating costs.
According to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) for wind power development, the total cumulative installed electricity generation capacity from wind power is required to reach 210 million kW by 2020, and the price of electricity generated by wind and coal should be equal.
"In the future, wind power will be the main supply for increasing power demand. In the face of such price trends, we will pay more attention to innovative management and optimization to improve the overall economic benefits of wind power and reduce costs," said Ma Jinru, vice-president of the company.
In 2016, the consumption of all renewable energy power, including hydropower, amounted to 1.51 trillion kWh nationwide, accounting for 25.4 percent of the total electricity consumption, an increase of 0.9 of a percentage point year-on-year, according to the National Energy Administration.
In the same year, Beijing's renewable energy power consumption is 10.7 billion kWh, accounting for 10.5 percent of the city's total electricity consumption, increasing 2 percentage points.
In recent years, China's renewable energy technology has made prominent progress, lowering costs significantly. But the subsidies in renewable energy from the government are still necessary in the short term, according to Li Yangzhe, deputy director of the National Energy Administration.
"However, renewable energy technology has great potential in innovation. If we could effectively solve the problem of improving consumption of renewable power, with all of society making efforts, we would be more likely to achieve the goal of wind and coal producing power at the same cost," said Li.
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Jiading holds intellectual property-focused conference (2017-06-23,China Daily)
More than 300 intellectual property rights experts gathered in Juyuan New Area in Shanghai's Jiading district on June 16 to attend the 2017 Intellectual Property Commercialization Operation Conference.
The conference was designed to bring together the world's top minds to discuss ways to promote intellectual property operation in China.
Shen Huadi, deputy head of Jiading, said that holding such a conference will provide a significant boost to Jiading's core competitiveness.
According to Shen, patent application and authorization in Jiading has risen 30 percent and 9.7 percent year-on-year respectively, making Jiading the third most active district in Shanghai in terms of IPR in 2016.
The increase in the number and quality of intellectual property rights held by companies in Jiading has led the district to seek to better integrate its intellectual property resources with its industrial innovation and economic development strategy, and look for ways to promote independent innovation in the district.
This will help Jiading advance its supply-side reform and upgrade its industries.
The conference was organized by Juyuan New Area, which is home to five national research institutes and over 10,000 enterprises. Juyuan is attempting to use its resources to promote cooperation between research institutes and local government, improve tech services, and create a better environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.
The area has united more than 200 professional institutions to form an entrepreneurship service alliance. It has also set up one national and two municipal-level incubators for tech companies, an academician service center and a variety of fintech platforms.
A research report on patent trade operation in China in 2016 was released during the conference, and an awards ceremony was held to honor the top 10 patent operation institutions affiliated to Chinese universities and the top 10 Chinese patent operation companies in 2016.
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Shanghai Belling's electricity meters show patenting innovation (2017-06-22,China Daily)
Electricity is indispensable for every family. To measure the electricity, there must be an electricity meter. And the little meter is a treasure trove of patents.
Starting in 1992, Shanghai Belling, a State-owned enterprise, took the first steps on its journey to developing the core chips for electronic electricity meters.
In the 1990s, most families were still using mechanical electricity meters. Their accuracy would slowly reduce because of its internal mechanism becoming worn-out.
Electronic electricity meters are better at calculating power and improving accuracy. In 1997, the Chinese government carried out a power grid upgrade project and advocated the use of electronic electricity meters.
It was then that Belling upgraded its products and established its patent pool.
From 1998 to 2000, Belling's chips in electronic electricity meters played a major role in the national power grid transformation program, with annual production of up to 10 million pieces, accounting for 90 percent of the market share at that time.
In 2004, Belling developed a series of new chips that functioned based on digital signals. In the following three years, the largest yield of those chips exceeded 30 million pieces per year.
From 2009 onwards, China has continued to upgrade the power grid by using smarter calculating systems. Belling has expanded its business from focusing on measuring chips to providing the whole electronic electricity meter.
At present, 100 percent of the components and parts can be produced by China independently. Belling is one of the manufacturers that can provide most of the products needed for the electricity network.
The company has been sued several times by international competitors for claimed plagiarism in chip design. However, its operations have been little influenced thanks to its well-established map of patents and integrated circuit designs.
"Core patent protection is the trump card that determines the survival of a company," said Zhou Chengjie, deputy general manager of Belling. "Applying for patents is just like saving against a rainy day."
In an enterprise's general layout and development process, patents' market value cannot be determined only by economic factors, according to a report from a high-value patent forum hosted by the State Intellectual Property Office in April.
Zhou said many others would be able to repeat his company's experience. Through analysis of its rivals' patents, the company found that their instability has become an Achilles heel.
Enterprises should stay calm when facing patent lawsuits, he said. But the most significant step is to build up a core patent pool early on and focus on technological innovation, Zhou added.
In 2007, Belling was recognized as a Shanghai Municipal Intellectual Property Demonstration Enterprise. It has also won national patent awards three times.
By the end of 2016, the company had applied for 564 patents; 361 of them were granted, including 165 patents for invention. The company also owned 220 registered integrated circuit designs at that time.
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China moves up list of top 25 innovative economies (2017-06-20,Xinhua)
China has moved up the list of the world's top 25 innovative economies, rising three notches from 25 to 22, with strong performance in several indicators, according to the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) released last week.
In 2016, it was the first middle-income country to make the list. China's technological innovations have made headlines in recent months, from the launch of its first X-ray space telescope to observe black holes and development of the world's first quantum computing machine, to the debut of its home-grown C919 passenger jet and its successful sampling of combustible ice.
Jointly released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University, and INSEAD, the 2017 GII is in its 10th edition this year. The rankings are a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.
A closer look into the general index shows that China moved up one spot to 16th in innovation quality, retaining its position for the fifth consecutive year as the top middle-income economy and edging closer to high-income economies.
The report showed that China tops in a number of sub-rankings, including domestic market scale, human resources, patents by origin, high-tech exports, and industrial designs by origin.
The world's second-largest economy was once seen as an imitator and the "world's factory," churning out mountains of low-quality goods, but it is becoming capable of producing innovative products and ideas.
China's qualified patents exceeded one million last year, becoming the third country after the United States and Japan to join the world's million patent club.
Meanwhile, the number of "unicorn" companies in China -- young, unlisted companies with a market value of over 1 billion U.S. dollars -- rose from 70 in 2015 to 131 in 2016, most of which are high-tech firms, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
More unicorn companies are expected to pop up in China thanks to the country's support for entrepreneurship and public innovation. One case in point is the bicycle-sharing industry, with two industrial giants, Ofo and Mobike, having received billions of dollars in investment and expanding steadily overseas.
Wu Wensheng, executive deputy head with Great Wall Strategic Consultants, a leading private think tank, attributed China's impressive innovation progress to the country's large talent pool, growing investment in research and development as well as government policy support.
Innovation is at the core of the country's 13th five-year plan, which aims for China to become an "innovative nation" by 2020, an international leader in innovation by 2030, and a world powerhouse of scientific and technological innovation by 2050.
Innovation hubs, incubators and demonstration zones have sprung up across the country, with a string of government preferential policies to nurture start-ups.
However, the utilization rate of innovation resources still remains rather low in China, according to the report released by the Research Center for Technological Innovation with Tsinghua University.
The government should continue to invest in R&D and improve the efficiency of the application of innovation technology and products to convert them into social and economic benefits and boost China's innovation capability in the next 30 years, the report added.
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Innovation surge marks Xiaomi chip evolution (2017-06-16,China Daily)
In 2014, Xiaomi Corp founder Lei Jun called the chip segment the "crown of the smartphone sector". Three years on, he has his own jewel in that crown-the Surge 1, Xiaomi's first in-house chip.
The technology tycoon has fond and vivid memories of a momentous instant that signifies Xiaomi's evolution from a smartphone major into a tech giant.
He recalls a night in September 2015 when, at 1:40 am, in a trial, the Surge 1 enabled the first call between a group of engineers and Lei. "My heart was surging with excitement at that moment. That's how the chipset got its name."
James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, says that although the Surge 1 is still at the entry level, Xiaomi's attempts to make inroads into the competitive industry highlight its determination to differentiate its products from a crowd of rivals and to seek growth via innovation.
The pursuit of innovation was what drove the Beijing-based tech major in 2014. It coasted on the success of its online-only sales model to establish a chip unit, Beijing Songguo Electronics.
It had figured out that reliable access to chips was going to be the key to success in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.
Today, Xiaomi is only the second Chinese smartphone major after Huawei Technologies Co to master chip-design technology.
While Huawei took 10 years to win market recognition for its chipset, Xiaomi took only 28 months to turn the idea of making an in-house chip into reality.
"Rapid technological advances in the past years shortened the research and development process and gave us a late-mover advantage," Lei said in a recent interview.
When Xiaomi was considering the chip unit, several experts had told Lei that it is a high-tech, cash-intensive business. R&D of chips alone would require 1 billion yuan ($147 million; 131 million euros; ￡116 million), and making a success of it would require at least $1 billion.
"If we want to challenge the world's top three players, we must devote long-time efforts to it," Lei said at the time.
After setting up Songguo in 2014, Xiaomi inked a technology transfer contract with Leadcore Technologies, a 100 percent subsidiary of State-owned Datang Telecom.
That partnership helped accelerate the R&D process.
"We have the smartphone shipment scale that can afford a bet on the chip business. We also have lured a number of experienced experts. That's our biggest advantage," Lei says.
Xiaomi's efforts paid off. It was able to launch its first Surge S1-powered smartphone, the Mi 5C, in March. The 1,499 yuan ($218) handset put Xiaomi among global majors such as Samsung Electronics Corp, Apple Inc and Huawei that use in-house chips in their handsets.
At the March product launch, Lei said the Xiaomi chipset's sophisticated design allows more than 1 billion transistors to amplify and switch electronic signals.
So far, the company has poured more than 1 billion yuan into its chip business, partly supported by the Beijing municipal government.
The Surge 1 started as a middle-end chip and is positioned to compete with similar products of MediaTek Inc and Spreadtrum Communications Inc, all of which seek to balance devices' power and performance.
Yan of Counterpoint says Xiaomi needs to be on its toes. "It must delicately handle the relationship with third-party chip suppliers and be wary of any problems that may arise during the mass production stage, for Huawei's 10-year experience told us that the path to self-developed chips is by no means a smooth one."
The intensified push into the chips sector also coincides with Xiaomi's broad efforts to grow its technology patents. The company says it has so far obtained more than 3,600 patents.
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Huawei mulls leading UK court patent decision (2017-06-15,Chinanews)
Smartphone and telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said it is evaluating the decision of a leading court in the United Kingdom over patent infringement that could mean its phones will not be allowed to be sold in the UK, as well as possible steps the company may take.
The High Court of England and Wales recently ruled that Huawei must pay licensing fees to use patents related to 4G technologies in its devices from Unwired Planet International, a US software company that owns thousands of patents obtained from Ericsson, otherwise it will face a sales ban in the UK.
The Shenzhen-based company said in a statement that it has received the decision of the court, but it does not believe that this decision will adversely affect its business operations either in the UK or in other countries.
It said that as it is one of the world's leading intellectual property rights owners, Huawei has a strong record of respecting the IPR of others, in addition to doing whatever is required to protect its own IPR assets.
"Huawei remains committed to providing its cutting-edge products and services to our customers without interruption," the statement said.
The lawsuit between Huawei and UPI has been going on for more than three years. In 2014, UPI sued Google Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei in the UK, claiming the three companies infringed six patents held by it, including five standard essential patents related to 2G, 3G and 4G.
Google was reconciled with UPI as early as 2015. In 2016, Samsung withdrew from the patent war with UPI after the two companies reached a settlement.
The UK market has been an important country in Huawei's global strategic layout. Huawei has continuously increased its investment in the UK since it established its first office in the UK in 2001.
"Huawei could choose to appeal the ruling, or reach a settlement with UPI. It is more likely that the settlement between the two sides will be reached," said Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance.
Wang said the lawsuits could often be seen in the patent wars among multinational companies, adding there are some companies which have no entity business, and survive through initiating patent infringement suits.
Li Junhui, professor of China University of Political Science and Law, said it is urgent that Huawei should conclude a patent licensing cooperation with UPI, otherwise it may suffer greater losses in the UK.
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Five patent giants meet in Malta to share processes (2017-06-15,China Daily)
Heads of the world's five largest intellectual property offices have decided to optimize their work-sharing system, and improve patent quality management and information services in their future cooperation, as discussed at an annual meeting held earlier this month.
Officials from the State Intellectual Property Office of China, the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office - commonly referred to as the IP5 - held the meeting in Valletta, Malta, to celebrate a decade of cooperation, take stock of their achievements to date and decide the future direction of their initiatives.
According to the IP5 Joint Statement, released on June 1, the five offices have envisioned patent harmonization through practices and procedures, enhanced work-sharing, high-quality and timely research and examination results and seamless access to patent information to promote an efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly international patent landscape.
Based on the 2015 and 2016 joint statements, the IP5 heads restated the vital importance of industrial involvement in the organizations' cooperation and renewed their commitment to strengthening dialogue with industry stakeholders from the involved regions, thus ensuring that their efforts effectively support the needs of users.
The offices will "endeavor to strengthen their efforts to explore the potential for harmonizing aspects of their patent practices and procedures to reduce the workload and costs for applicants filing their applications in multiple jurisdictions in parallel" against the backdrop of growing numbers of cross-filings, the joint statement said.
They will work toward the continuous improvement of patent quality and the delivery of high-quality products and services.
Recognizing the Patent Cooperation Treaty as one of the most successful international frameworks for work-sharing, the offices will continue to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization to optimize the functions of the PCT system. The group will establish a collaborative concept for international searches under the PCT and explore other worksharing options tailored to the changing examination environment.
They will also intensify work on the Global Dossier, taking into account users' needs and promoting easy access to and in-depth utilization of patent information.
The Global Dossier is a public service that enables users to monitor how a family of patent applications is progressing at the IP5 offices via a single online source. It is one of the many products developed by the IP5 to allow the offices to share work and speed up patent processing.
Cooperation among the five offices started in 2007 in response to the increasing globalization of the patent process, marked by growing numbers of patent applications and companies increasingly filing their patents with multiple offices.
Accounting for more than 80 percent of patent applications worldwide and about 95 percent of all PCT work done, the IP5 mechanism focuses on the elimination of unnecessary work through improved efficiency, alignment of procedures and the development of shared tools to increase the quality of the patent system while reducing costs for users.
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'Made in China 2025' sees China's economy upgrade (2017-06-13,China Daily)
The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, smart homes and wearable devices are just a few of the high-tech concepts being pioneered and turned into products by Chinese companies.
A visit to the recently-concluded CES Asia in Shanghai, one of the largest exhibitions for high-tech products in Asia, offered a glimpse into how far China has advanced in smart manufacturing, with Chinese firms such as Huawei, Baidu and Haier exhibiting the latest in a series of sophisticated high-tech products, including self-driving vehicles.
Once a world factory known for producing low-value products, China is focusing on the next stage of its development. The "Made in China 2025" strategy aims to avoid "premature deindustrialization," according to Richard Kozul-Wright and Daniel Poon, two senior U.N. officials who recently wrote an article on the strategy.
"If it succeeds, it will have laid the institutional foundations for new sources of growth. And, as the benefits of innovation are diffused throughout the economy, China will move closer to its goal: becoming a high-income country," they wrote.
The "Made in China 2025" strategy, a roadmap released by the State Council in 2015 to guide the country's advanced industrial manufacturing, has seen steady progress in industrial capability, smart manufacturing, innovation, as well as product quality and branding.
A recent case in point was the home-grown passenger jet C919 that took its first test flight last month.
"The top-down design of the strategy is generally in shape, with other complementing plans going smoothly," according to Xin Guobin, deputy head with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
"On the one hand, China has been increasing investment in research and development, leading to fast growth of patents and inventions, while on the other hand, the country has made breakthroughs in developing fundamental technologies, components, material and techniques," Xin added.
Average productivity was up by 38 percent for China's first 109 pilot projects in smart manufacturing, while operating costs dropped 21 percent.
The ministry has approved 12 pilot regions for the strategy, including cities such as Ningbo in Zhejiang Province and three city clusters in provinces such as Jiangsu. Some of them will be designated as national demonstration areas, which will receive favorable policies in investment, financing and other fields.
"The strategy has sometimes been portrayed as a return to old-school top-down mercantilist practices and import-substitution policies. But that reading overlooks China's active experimentation with industrial and financial policies. In fact, that experimentation may hold valuable lessons for policy evaluation and innovation elsewhere," according to Kozul-Wright and Poon.
Still there is much room for improvement, especially in the safety and stability of some products, and China has to import high-end equipment, core chips and key materials, according to Luo Wen, another senior official with the ministry.
"China will prioritize developing new information technologies and new material, while keeping steady industrial investment, expanding consumption and promoting international capacity cooperation," Luo said.
The European Union Chamber of Commerce claimed in a report in March that China's support for high-tech manufacturing would lead to worsening treatment of foreign companies, while allowing government-subsidized homegrown players to compete unfairly.
However, many have been eager to point out that central support of such industry is a common practice worldwide.
"Government guidance and financial support towards the high-tech sector are common global practices as the market entails huge investment and poses much risk and uncertainty," according to Xin. "Policies and measures under 'Made in China 2025' are applicable to both domestic and foreign businesses, and all companies will be treated equally."
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Innovation surges in Xiaomi evolution (2017-06-12,Chinanews)
In 2014, Xiaomi Corp founder Lei Jun called the chip segment the "crown of the smartphone sector". Three years on, he has his own jewel in that crown - the Surge S1, Xiaomi's first in-house chip.
The technology tycoon has fond and vivid memories of a momentous instant that signifies Xiaomi's evolution from a smartphone major into a tech giant.
He recalls a night of September 2015 when, at 1:40 am, in a trial, the Surge S1 enabled the first call between a group of engineers and Lei. "My heart was surging with excitement at that moment. That's how the chipset got its name."
James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said though the Surge S1 is still at the entry level, Xiaomi's attempts to make inroads into the competitive industry highlight its determination to differentiate its products from a crowd of rivals and seek growth via innovation.
The pursuit of innovation was what drove the Beijing-based tech major back in 2014. It coasted on the stupendous success of its online-only sales model to establish a chip unit, Beijing Songguo Electronics.
It had figured out that reliable access to chips was going to be the key to success in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.
Today, Xiaomi is only the second Chinese smartphone major after Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to master chip-design technology.
While Huawei spent 10 years to win market recognition for its chipset, Xiaomi took only 28 months to turn the idea of making an in-house chip into reality.
"Rapid technological advances in the past years shortened the research and development process and gave us a late-mover advantage,"Lei said in a recent interview.
When Xiaomi was mulling the chip unit, several experts had told Lei that it is a high-tech, cash-intensive business. R&D of chips alone would require 1 billion yuan ($147 million), and making a success of it would require at least $1 billion.
"If we want to challenge the world's top three players, we must devote long-time efforts to it," Lei had said then.
Xiaomi did just that.
After setting up Songguo in 2014, Xiaomi inked a technology transfer contract with Leadcore Technologies, a 100 percent subsidiary of Datang Telecom, a State-owned telecom company.
That partnership helped accelerate the R&D process."We have the smartphone shipment scale that can afford a bet on the chip business.We also have lured a number of experienced experts.That's our biggest advantage," Lei said.
Xiaomi's efforts paid off. It was able to launch its first Surge S1-powered smartphone Mi 5C in February. The 1,499 yuan ($218) handset put Xiaomi among global majors such as Samsung Electronics Corp, Apple Inc and Huawei that use in-house chips in their handsets.
At the March product launch, Lei said Xiaomi's nail-size chipset's sophisticated design allows more than one billion transistors to amplify and switch electronic signals.
So far, the company has poured more than 1 billion yuan into its chip business, partly supported by the Beijing municipal government.
The Surge S1 started as a middle-end chip and is positioned to compete with similar products of MediaTek Inc and Spreadtrum Communications Inc, all of which seek to balance devices' power and performance.
Yan of Counterpoint said Xiaomi needs to be on its toes. "It must delicately handle the relationships with third-party chip suppliers and be wary of any problems that may arise during the mass production stage, for Huawei's 10-year experience told us that the path to self-developed chips is by no means a smooth one."
The intensified push into the chip sector also coincides with Xiaomi's efforts to grow its technology patents. The company said it has so far obtained more than 3,600 patents.
Last year alone, it filed over 7,000 more patent applications, most of which will likely be approved in two to three years.
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Shanghai procuratorate offers bilingual legal document in IPR cases (2017-06-10,Chinanews)
Shanghai procuratorate has begun to offer rights and obligations notifications in both Chinese and English for cases relating to intellectual property rights (IPRs).
Starting Friday, procuratorates in the city will issue the new rights and obligations notifications to parties involved in IPR infringement cases.
Dozens of international brands, including Amore Pacific and Adidas, were shown the bilingual document on Friday, according to a spokesperson with the Shanghai Municipal People's Procuratorate.
In 2013, procuratorate bodies in Shanghai began to notify IRP victims of their rights and obligations within three days of IPR infringement cases being accepted.
The bilingual document will help the aggrieved parties better claim their rights and perform obligations and will address misunderstandings caused by inaccurate translation, said the spokesperson.
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Chinese college students invent, patent 'sunflower' solar water heater (2017-06-09,Chinanews)
Seven students at North China University of Science and Technology recently invented a "sunflower" solar water heater, which has obtained four patents for utility models and three for invention, all authorized by China's State Intellectual Property Office, CRI reported on June 8.
Peng Can, one of the designers, was responsible for auxiliary circuit control and interpretation at the university's Maker Space. According to Peng, the plane of illumination of the water heater can chase sunlight, just like sunflowers do. The heater is composed of spherical photosensitive sensors, photovoltaic cells, a heating tank, a temperature-preservation water tank, a thermostatic valve and a rotating base. The solar-energy utilization ratio of the students' heater is nearly double that of others currently on the market.
Peng added that, since the Maker Space was launched in October 2015, it has offered students a platform for entrepreneurship, innovation and exchange. The university strongly supports students' creativity and absorbs all relevant costs so that students can unleash their innovation to the fullest possible extent.
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Section 337 investigation sparks fears of patent war (2017-06-08,China Daily)
US company iRobot claims six of its patents for robotic vacuum cleaners have been infringed
A recent Section 337 investigation application filed with the United States International Trade Commission marks the start of a "patent war" concerning robotic vacuum cleaners that is expected to affect the industry worldwide, industrial insiders said.
Leading manufacturer in consumer robots iRobot, headquartered in the US, filed the complaint against 11 rivals - including three from the Chinese mainland - in April, claiming they had infringed its six patents and requesting the commission to issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
Pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act 1930 of the US, the investigations launched by the ITC are often related to claims involving intellectual property rights.
As the largest robotic vacuum cleaner provider in the US, iRobot has roughly 300 patents granted on its home turf and more than 900 patents issued worldwide.
The patents include technologies for obstacle detection, autonomous floor cleaning and remote control scheduling for autonomous robotic devices.
"As a pioneer in consumer robots for the home, iRobot has invested significantly in the development of robotic technologies and the protection of our intellectual property," Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot, said in a statement.
"The filing of this litigation signals our commitment to protecting our investments," Angle said.
Zhou Nan, secretary general of the consumer electronics branch at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, told Shanghai-based China Business News at a news conference in early May: "Generally, a Section 337 investigation involves two to three patents, yet this case concerns six, evidence that iRobot is well prepared."
"We encourage the Chinese companies to actively respond to the investigation," Zhou said. "Otherwise, they might be prevented from entering the US, a huge market with enormous potential."
One of them is Shenzhen Ilife Technology, which has exported its proprietary brand to the US.
The other two companies, Shenzhen Silver Star Intelligent Appliances and Suzhou Realpower Electrical Appliance, are original design manufactures for brands such as Hoover, Bobsweep and Black & Decker, the US and Canadian companies also involved in the investigation.
Liu Gang, a senior analyst with Iptalent Consulting, based in Beijing, told Chinese media: "Some outstanding ODMs are expanding their businesses, building proprietary brands and thus competing with previous collaborators, generally with their high-cost performance, which has significantly affected the market."
"The move of iRobot aims to elbow its potential competitors out," Liu said.
According to the company, iRobot has captured approximately 60 percent of the global robot vacuum cleaner market and generated $660 million in business revenue last year.
Yet its market leadership is challenged in China, where domestic manufacturer Ecovacs has held the No 1 position in recent years, with a market share of nearly 70 percent, according to Beijing Business Today newspaper.
To date, Ecovacs has filed more than 1,000 patent applications, including 120 international filings via the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Data from market research firm GfK show that robot vacuum cleaners worth about 5 billion yuan ($735.85 million) were sold retail in China in 2015. The amount was forecast to rise to 7.5 billion yuan this year and 12 billion yuan in 2018.
Chinese brands accounted for 80 percent of the domestic market last year, where online deals contributed 89 percent of the total transactions in the country, according to GfK.
In China, a key market with growing opportunities for iRobot, Angle told CBN his company needs to improve its local teams for better management of distribution channels, especially in e-commerce.
A growing number of cost-effective China-made robot vacuum cleaners are popular with overseas buyers on major sales portals including Amazon, along with increasing exports from Chinese ODMs.
Currently, around 300,000 robot vacuums are exported to the US and Europe every month, a marked jump from some 50,000 units a year ago, China Electronics News reported.
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Expert calls on China,US to work together (2017-06-05,China Daily)
Chinese scientists and enterprises should collaborate with Silicon Valley in major areas, especially in basic science research, for the benefit of mankind, said Zheng Xinli, a noted Chinese economist.
Collaboration between the two sides will be conducive to breakthroughs in fundamental research, which requires a tremendous amount of talent, materials and funding, said Zheng at the US-China New Economic Policies Conference held on Saturday in Burlingame, California.
"Significant breakthroughs are being made in such areas as quantum communication, life sciences and new materials. In some areas China enjoys advantages. It's doing just as well as Silicon Valley," said Zheng, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, and former senior advisor to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Last year, China launched the world's first quantum communication satellite. In the nuclear power arena, China is leading in the technology that will influence the energy crisis and climate change.
Compared to the US, China lacks innovative universities and the capability of training innovative students, which is the "shortest plank" (of a wooden bucket) for China, according to Zheng.
"China does not have well-developed venture capital and private equity systems. Monopoly profits lead state-owned enterprises to have little incentive for innovation," he said. "Most of the innovation happens with privately owned enterprises - two-thirds of the patents were filed by the private companies."
To learn from Silicon Valley's innovative experience and system will be a challenge for China to make reforms and progress in technology, he said.
Zheng also told the conference that China has two "bay areas" - the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area and the Shanghai-Hangzhou Bay Area. Just like the San Francisco Bay Area, home to Silicon Valley, the two bay areas in China are expected to contribute to the country's scientific and technological research as well as economic development.
The San Francisco Bay Area provides a favorable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, but the two bay areas in China are facing several problems that need to be addressed.
Urban-rural isolation and high housing prices are among the major problems that impede scientific and technological progress and healthy competition, said Zheng.
"The two bay areas in China should learn from the San Francisco Bay Area," he said.
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Homegrown medical device industry needs innovation and boost (2017-06-05,China Daily)
The home-grown industry of medical devices is underdeveloped in China as domestically made products account for less than one percent of the market value, according to experts and industry insiders.
In 2016, the market of medical equipments both the homegrown and the imported, is valued at 6.7 trillion yuan, but those designed and made by domestic companies totaled only 30 million yuan, industry report said.
Nie Honglin, founder and CEO of Shanghai Ezisurg Medical, the first hi-tech innovation company in China dedicated to making minimally invasive surgery devices for tumor disease, said with insufficient patent protection, the Chinese practitioners are usually reluctant to invest heavily into research and product innovation.
The industry within the county fledged based on massive copy of imported products and can only make the low-end kinds, he said.
To take control of the high-end market, Nie suggested the government introduce more encouraging measures and show more respect to research and development efforts by medical scientists to enhance innovation.
Zhi Xiuyi, an expert in lung cancer at Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing, said no more than 10 percent of the Chinese cancer patients can land a minimally invasive surgery.
Domestically made equipments are rarely seen in such advanced areas, he said.
Nie Honglin said the joint effort and partnership among medical device industry, hospitals, and clinical doctors would help enhance research and development of innovation products.
Minimally invasive surgery should have less operative trauma, other complications and adverse effects than an equivalent open surgery.
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German innovation elite hail Chinese premier's speech at China-Germany forum (2017-06-04,Xinhua)
Germany's innovation elite hailed China's pledge to promote cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the two countries and to strengthen protection of the intellectual property rights (IPR).
Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the pledge here in a speech on Thursday at the China-Germany Forum: Shaping Innovation Together.
Li said that Germany has some 1,300 "hidden champion" companies and China has hundreds of thousands of high-tech SMEs, and that "China is ready to work with Germany to set up a government mechanism for SME cooperation, and promote networked and clustered innovation cooperation."
Christian Stienen, CEO of Germany's Juelich Studies Center, described Li's speech as "very informative," saying innovative and constructive SMEs act as the backbone of German economy.
Wang Zi, general manager of the Berlin branch of China's innovation incubator Techcode, said he was encouraged by the Chinese government's pledge to attach importance to innovative SMEs.X Gong Xin, manager of international sales at Germany's FemtoFiberTec GmbH, said he believes that the cooperation will expand from between big firms to grassroots enterprises in the two countries.
"In the process of innovation cooperation, China strictly protects IPRs of enterprises and does not require compulsory transfer of technology," Li said during the speech at the China-Germany forum.
Manfred Jagiella, CEO of Germany's EH Conducta, said China's willingness to strengthen the IPR protection is "impressive," which will become "a cornerstone for the bilateral cooperation."
Stefan Magerstedt, head of KHS company's innovation department, said Li's speech orients China's future development, and that China attaching importance to the IPR of both Chinese and foreign businesses is vital to upgrading the bilateral cooperation.
Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, a sinologist at the University of Tuebingen, said he sees many cooperation opportunities ahead not only in the fields of technology and manufacturing, but also in the culture sector.
In addition, Li called in his speech for the two countries to speed up efforts to synergize their development strategies, namely, China's innovation-driven development strategy, "Made in China 2025" and "Internet plus," and Germany's "Industry 4.0" and High-Tech Strategy, and to roll out more pilot projects.
Dieter Spath, president of Germany's National Academy of Science and Engineering, said that the manufacturing industries in China and Germany overlap in some areas, leading to competitions. He hopes the two countries will upgrade the industrial chain and promote coordination.
Heiner Lang, senior vice president of Bosch Rexroth AG, said the Chinese premier's speech at the forum encourages him to continue the cooperation with his Chinese business partners and the investment in China.
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Intl fair boosts global trade in services (2017-06-02,China Daily)
Event focuses on digital technology, $72.18 billion in agreements signed
The signing ceremony was a highlight at the end of the 2017 China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services, which served as a major event and facilitated 241 agreements with a total value of $72.18 billion.
The fair, also known as the 2017 CIFTIS, took place from May 28 to June 1 and received about 72,000 exhibiting participants and visitors from 96 countries.
Visitors and business partners communicated interactively in the 50,000-square-meter exhibition area, according to the organization committee.
"This year's fair resulted in plentiful and prominent fruits, which have played a crucial role in deepening global cooperation in trade in services, promoting the freedom of markets, boosting industries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province," said Yan Ligang, deputy director of the 2017 CIFTIS organization committee.
Beijing Theme Day saw the signing ceremony of more than 40 major agreements for projects to be launched in Beijing, with the projects' total value reaching $15.1 billion.
Among those agreements, 75 percent are engaged in finance, culture, technology, computers and information services.
2017 CIFTIS has also facilitated 169 agreements related to the Beijing area, with a total value of $55.2 billion.
The fair was a medium to display new phenomena such as convention and exhibition services, e-commerce, healthcare, cultural innovation, global trade and high-tech innovation.
The 2017 China Digital Creativity and Innovation Summit held on the last day of the fair highlighted the digital technology involved in video content innovation.
Industrial insiders gathered at the summit, exchanging information and seeking winwin cooperation in the fields of content creation, resource sharing, industrial integration and investment.
With the theme "Top the Innovation, Crown the Content", the summit invited video experts and enterprise heads to take part in a discussion to further explore the content and form of programming from the children's perspective.
As one of the organizers of the summit, the children's channel on Tencent Holdings' video website announced its hopes for new TV programs, copyright introduction and advertisements.
For those just starting up a business, it is common to outsource their accounts and tax management work to professional accounting agencies. Though their businesses are diverse, their requirements in accounting and tax services are often the same.
Beijing Huacai Accounting seized upon the common demands of those small and microenterprises, generalizing a systematic service procedure based on the information collected through their big data platform.
The innovative procedure provides a solution to challenges in sharing information in different regions and has set up a national-level service network.
"For our company, the 2017 CIFTIS is not only a stage on which to show our own business, but also a platform where we can exchange information with our business partners. We are looking forward to witnessing the improvement of the whole accounting industry via the high-tech methods brought about by the internet, artificial intelligence and big data," said Yang Mengyi, board secretary of the accounting company.
Some traditional intellectual property agencies' services usually include patent application, litigation and analysis. However, for the next generation of enterprises, the intellectual property means much more.
Iptalent Consulting, an IP management agency, is innovating their business model by introducing a combined method to manage their clients' intellectual property and business.
The company has gathered hundreds of lawyers, consultants, patent agents, technical experts and management experts in the past 20 years to provide comprehensive IP consultant services.
"Our idea is that all the advantages of enterprises can be expressed through their intellectual property," said Liang Yan, deputy general manager of the company.
"Through the fair, we performed in-depth communication with our business partners and identified potential customers."
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Auction sees $15.8 million in projects sold (2017-06-01,China Daily)
More than 600 intellectual property projects were sold at auction during the 2017 China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair, which was held on May 26 and 27 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, with total value of 108 million yuan ($15.8 million).
The projects included trademarks, patents and domain names, and covered a wide range of sectors including IT, new energy, new materials, electric vehicles and medicine.
All the auctioned projects were exhibited on the internet and the auctions were held through both online and offline channels, "so that the value of the intellectual properties will attract wider public attention", said Xie Xuhui, chairman of IP service website Wtoip, organizer of the auctions.
"China has a large IP reserve, and currently the biggest problems with IP are its trade and use," Xie said.
Zhu Hongren, standing deputy director-general of the China Enterprise Confederation, said that compared with one-on-one transfers, IP and technology auctions allow more companies to participate in the selection and competition to increase the trade and commercialization of IP.
More than 1,300 projects were exhibited at the 2017 China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair. One of the highlights was the robots.
A waiter-like robot, developed by a Guangzhou company, will serve coffee or wine in restaurants and refill the cup or glass as needed.
A patrol robot equipped with a rotating camera on its head can recognize and record faces of passersby and compare them with a database. It can send an alert to the police when it finds a wanted person.
A Tianjin-based high-tech company brought a robot designed to care for the elderly to the fair. It can monitor users' health conditions and will send a message to their children's smartphones when intervention is necessary.
There was also a defense system against "black flights" by unmanned aerial vehicles that endanger civil aviation safety at airports.
Its developer said that when the system's radar finds a drone in a restricted area, an optical detector will be activated to monitor its movements, while an electromagnetic device will give it a lethal attack by jamming its control signals, forcing it to land.
The fair attracted many top scientists from China and overseas.
A special campaign was held to show and promote more than 400 techniques developed by some 60 academician-led teams.
One of the projects, developed by a team led by Liu Renhuai from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, focused on the reuse of kitchen waste. It uses biochemical methods to convert the waste into alcohol, diesel, animal feed and other products with high added value.
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China's AI business ready to lead the world (2017-06-01,China Daily)
Over the past week, the Internet has yet again been buzzing about the future of artificial intelligence (AI).
And once again, the heat was generated by AlphaGo, Google's AI program, which completed a 3-0 clean sweep Friday over Ke Jie, the current world No 1 Go player.
In contrast to the generally negative reactions to AlphaGo's 4-1 victory over South Korean master Lee Se-dol in March last year, people are now more optimistic towards the future of AI.
"AlphaGo was not designed just to play Go," said Qian Jianlun, a Go teacher in east China's Zhejiang province. "As an AI project, it will change a lot of aspects of our lives."
Full speed ahead
Qian's words echoed the overall positivity shown by the status quo of China's AI industry.
According to data from iiMedia Research, a major research institution, China's AI industry increased by 43.3 percent in 2016, surpassing 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion), and is expected to reach 15.21 billion and 34.43 billion yuan in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
The numbers were driven by a boom in the amount of research taking place in the industry. China has applied for 15,745 AI patents, ranking second worldwide, according to Liu Lihua, vice minister of industry and information technology.
Favorable policies came as a consequence. Over 40 robotics industry parks have now been or are currently being set up around the country, and for the first time ever, AI was included in the government work report Premier Li Keqiang presented to the Fifth Session of the 12th National People's Congress in March.
"We will accelerate research and development, and commercialization of new materials, artificial intelligence and develop industrial clusters in these fields," the report read.
"AI has become a key driving force behind Chinese companies," said Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu, China's Internet giant.
"In the AI era, China can innovate not only in products, but also in technologies," he added.
Data set the base
For insiders, the further development of China's AI industry will continue to count largely on data.
"The core of AI development lies in the massive amounts of data," said Li Kaifu, chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital company aiming to create successful Chinese start-ups.
"In China, we have a huge database, and it has proved to be quite valuable for us," he continued.
Bai Chunli, president of Chinese Academy of Sciences, agreed. "By 2020, China will hold 20 percent of the global data, which is expected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes," he stated at an expo on big data Monday.
AI has been playing a bigger role in people's everyday lives. For example, an AI system monitoring vehicles to intelligently control traffic was applied in east China's Hangzhou, and increased vehicle passing speeds by up to 11 percent during its trial last year.
"China is already leading the world in fields such as computer vision and automatic speech recognition," Liu Lihua added.
"We believe that AI presents the most favorable opportunity for us to lead the world," Li resonated.
Business yet to unite
However, for some, what has been transpiring in the industry is not enough for it to successfully achieve sustainable development.
Despite predicting that China's AI market will enjoy a 50-percent annual increase, way above the global rate of 20 percent, McKinsey and Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, also noted that less than 25 percent of the AI industry insiders in China have over ten years of experience in the business, while in the United States that number is 50 percent.
Also, the country's AI companies are yet to join forces.
"There's been a lack of technical collaboration in our AI industry," said Wen Xiaojun from CCID Wise, a major Chinese think tank. "The inter-connectibility of products is poor, and there is no efficient coordination between upstream and downstream producers."
He believes an industry service platform needs to be set up to boost functions including research and development, application and product examining.
"We need such an incubation center for AI to prosper," he added.
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Sany helps out with major rescues overseas (2017-05-31,China Daily)
Company says the approach is key to its successful overseas development
Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd said that its involvement in major disaster rescues - as well as boosting its efforts in localization - has been key to its successful and evolving overseas development.
According to the leader in heavy machinery manufacturing in China, Sany has helped in about 50 overseas disaster rescues since 2001.
Additionally, about 70 percent of its overseas employees are locals, said Li Jingjing, vice-president of the company.
Founded in 1994, Sany Heavy Industry has branches or offices in more than 140 countries and regions.
Last year, the company donated 200,000 yuan ($29,000) to Ethiopia for the development of clean energy and helped construct solar power stations at the village of Hadar near where Lucy, the famous early human-like female anthropoid fossil dated back 4.4 million years, was found in 1974.
"Villagers here used to use diesels to generate power, which was very unstable," she said. "A continuous and stable power supply can help guarantee local people's daily lives and protect ancient relics."
The project was still in operation, Li added.
"Flooding and landslides are very common during the rainy season in southeastern areas like India and Thailand. We give them a hand when it is needed," she said.
In 2014 a village in western Indian city, Pune, was hit by heavy rain and a landslide. In response, Sany sent three large excavators to help rescue 22 people.
The company also donated a pump truck worth around $1 million to the Tokyo Electric Power Company in 2011 to cool down the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant after the explosion.
"The unmanned truck, which was under remote control, prevented humans from being exposed to nuclear radiation," Li said.
Sany sent cranes to save 33 men trapped 700 meters underground when a collapse occurred at the San Jose mine in Chile in 2010.
The company's cranes, pumps and other equipment were also used in the post-disaster reconstruction, she added.
"We don't regard our overseas branches as Chinese companies, but as local ones which are integrated into local society and culture," Li said.
"Job opportunities, training of local staff and transfer of patents are ways to achieve localization."
Some top level management are hired locally.
Amri Tarek, the former ambassador of Tunisia to China, was appointed vice-president of Sany Group last year, in charge of projects conducted in economies along the Belt and Road, including a wind power project in Egypt and construction project in Saudi Arabia.
Tyson Teh PouMa, an Indian employee working at the company's industrial park in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province, said he hoped to bring the experience and techniques he learnt in China back to his hometown.
The company offered training for more than 2,000 workers on operation and maintenance of equipment as well as commercial and engineering training projects for foreign middle managers and engineers, Li said.
She said the company aimed at hiring more local female employees in the future, to help improve the employment of women in some countries and regions.
Li added that the company was also working on providing incentives to local middle and executive management to buy their houses.
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Chinese market, German innovation a recipe for success (2017-05-27,Xinhua)
Combining German technology with Chinese efficiency, innovation is a keyword in Sino-German economic cooperation, say attendees at the Asia-Pacific Weeks (APW) event in Berlin.
The 12th APW, taking place from May 15 to 28, is a unique platform in Europe for interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe.
The China Forum attracted more than 100 Chinese and German delegates from governments, enterprises, industry organizations and institutions to discuss innovation in the Sino-German economic and trade relationship.
Despite sluggish global growth, Sino-German cooperation remains strong and there are frequent high-ranking visits between the two sides, Zhang Junhui, minister of the Chinese embassy in Germany, said during the forum, adding that Chinese leaders are expected to visit Germany later this year.
Data show that the trade volume between the two countries reached 170 billion euros (about 190 billion U.S. dollars) last year and China surpassed the United States to become Germany's largest trading partner, Zhang said.
According to Zhang, there are currently some 8,200 German companies operating in China and over 2,000 Chinese companies in Germany.
According to Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI), a Berlin-based foreign trade and investment promotion agency, China invested in 281 projects last year in Germany, holding its position as the largest foreign direct investor nation in Germany for the third consecutive year.
"China has been the country with the largest number of investment projects in Germany for three consecutive years, which shows the trust of Chinese companies in Germany as an investment destination," said Benno Bunse, CEO of GTAI.
"Through investment in Germany, more and more Chinese enterprises are able to explore the international market and to enhance their own brands and technology," he added.
China is one of the most important oversea markets for ALBA, said Zhang Pei, Berlin Representative ALBA China at ALBA Group, which focuses on waste disposal and resource regeneration.
She said during a discussion panel that German companies have good technology patents, but it would still be difficult for them to be successful when they go to China single-handedly.
The best way to success is to find a Chinese partner with an international perspective on the Chinese market, in order to adapt the German technology to actual practices in the Chinese market, she said.
Under the current situation, China urgently needs the world's leading solutions to solve its own problems related to urban waste. Meanwhile, German companies like ALBA also need broader markets after years of development in the German domestic market, according to Zhang.
"China's broad market and German technology is the best combination," she believed.
Zhang was echoed by Markus Gerlach, representative of German company CNP-Technology Water and Biosolids GmbH.
Gerlach told an audience that opportunities should be seized to deepen the cooperation between Sino-German enterprises in the field of water disposal.
The investment in water conservation infrastructure in China has bright prospects and the Chinese government is willing to invest in infrastructure and environmental protection to ensure the quality of economic development, Gerlach said.
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Nation's medical imaging industry enters new era (2017-05-26,China Daily)
Medical imaging changed the face of medical science and now it is big business.
In China, the market is estimated to grow between 600 billion yuan ($87 billion) and 800 billion yuan by 2020 from 400 billion yuan in 2015.
Diagnosing major health problems has been revolutionized by imaging technology, which creates a visual representation of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention.
But the process is still suffering key problems, according to a report by Firestone Inventing, a consulting company specializing in the medical industry.
"China's medical imaging sector is growing at a rate of 30 percent annually, but the demand for superior medical treatment can not be met at present," said Ni Meng, founder and chief executive officer of Wingspan Technology Inc, a medical imaging company.
Long waiting times, poor diagnosis rates and data managing problems plague the industry here.
But the government is making inroads into tackling the challenges with policies that will open up new opportunities for the medical imaging sector.
One of the priorities will be to manufacture high-tech equipment in China by domestic companies as patients are demanding state-of-the-art treatment techniques.
"Home-made medical imaging equipment is going to be a future direction," said Zhang Jiang, general manager of Ping An Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in various sectors including healthcare.
"Medical imaging is a core technology of diagnosis, especially for cases such as cancer screening. In fact, more foreign companies are investing in Chinese firms that make domestic medical imaging equipment."
Still, problems persist. The Firestone Inventing report showed there were just 402 Chinese companies manufacturing the equipment, accounting for only 10 percent of the market.
In addition, the healthcare sector lacks imaging technology in ophthalmology and dentistry.
"The major breakthrough for China is to upgrade it by producing high-end products instead of mid－to low-end devices," said Yang Hongfei, chief executive officer of Firestone Inventing in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
During the past five years, there has been a rapid growth of Chinese patents covering the sector. The country now ranks third in terms of the number of medical imaging patents filed behind Japan and the United States.
"Big data and artificial intelligence are going to lead the development of medical imaging sector," the Firestone Inventing report highlighted. "Artificial intelligence provides medical imaging with intelligent analysis applications. As for big data, it offers detailed analysis into patients' health."
Last year, the State Council issued a guideline on promoting the application of medical big data in clinical diagnosis, and medical research and development.
Big data are a term used for crunching vast amounts of statistics to show trends and flaws in market information.
"From human body X-rays to telemedicine and medical imaging, we are on the brink of entering a new age of artificial intelligence," said Mou Xiaoyong, president of United Imaging Healthcare.
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CAAS has provided major contributions to the industry (2017-05-26,China Daily)
National agriculture germplasm banks
The crop germplasm lays a solid foundation for the development of modern seed industry and innovation of agricultural science and technology. They serve as a strategic resource to guarantee food security, ecological civilization and sustainable agriculture development. The 18 affiliated institutes of CAAS, including Institute of Crop Sciences, Institute of Cotton Research, Institute of Vegetables and Flowers and Institute of Plant Protection, have carried out many instances of collection and investigation on resources of crop germplasm, domesticated animal species and microorganism strains.
Technological innovation in wheat genetic improvement and its application in varieties development
Wheat is one of the most important crops in northern China. In the 1950s, a group of pioneer scientists such as Jin Shanbao, Dai Song'en, Zhuang Qiaosheng, and Dong Yuchen, established the wheat improvement program at CAAS. During the last 60 years, significant achievements have been made in improving breeding technologies and variety development. In total, 95 invention patents and plant protection rights of new varieties have been granted. More than 500 publications in peer-reviewed international journals have been published, ranking second globally in wheat genetic improvement.
Hybrid rice and super rice series varieties
Rice is an important crop in China. It is of great significance for the country in innovating rice breeding technologies and cultivating high-quality, high-yield and multiresistant rice varieties. CAAS' China National Rice Research Institute and Institute of Crop Sciences have conducted researches on Chinese super-hybrid rice and global green super rice, respectively. They have cultivated a large number of super rice varieties, preliminarily solving the contradiction between fine quality and high disease resistant capability.
CCRI-series cotton varieties
Cotton is a strategic supply that bears on national economy and people's livelihood. Innovating cotton breeding technologies and cultivating high-quality, high-yield and multi-resistant cotton varieties are important to increase farmers' income, meet the needs of textile, increase international competitiveness and guarantee cotton security. CAAS' Institute of Cotton Research and Biotechnology Research Institute have organized about 300 major scientific projects for the research and cultivation of new cotton varieties featuring precocity, fine quality and transgenesis.
Vegetable varieties of Institute of Vegetables and Flowers
Vegetables are indispensable in people's daily diet as they provide diversified nutrition such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber that are necessary for the human body. Vegetable production is an important component of China's agricultural production and new vegetable varieties are the foundation of the industrial development. CAAS' Institute of Vegetables and Flowers has organized many major scientific research projects centered around vegetable breeding. It has innovated the main vegetable cell engineering breeding and molecular marker-assisted selection breeding technologies, cultivating more than 200 new cabbage, pepper, Chinese cabbage and cucumber hybrid varieties. It took the lead in China in studying advantages of main vegetable hybrid seeds, analyzing qualities of main vegetable varieties and their genetic characteristics of disease resistance, and discovering a third cell genetic mechanism of potato 2n gametes.
Animal nutrition standards and green animal farming
Livestock and poultry production is a pillar sector of China's agriculture. It is of great importance in guaranteeing food security, solving farmers' employment and promoting the development of food processing industry. The feed industry lays a substantial foundation for the development of modern animal production and aquiculture, and also serves as an important value-added channel for crop production and by-product processing industries. With growing demand for improved quality and efficiency, livestock and poultry production has been transforming from high consumption, high pollution and low output to security, ecology and high efficiency.
Vaccine against avian influenza
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) could lead to a 100 percent death of chicken and is the top infectious disease for chicken industry. Its outbreak in China in 2004 seriously harmed the healthy development of China's chicken industry. Avian influenza severely harms the healthy development of the chicken raising sector. Incidents of avian influenza viruses infecting human also made it a focus in the public health security field.
FMD is listed the top one animal infectious disease in China. A wide epidemic of the disease not only harms husbandry production but also brings big influence to market circulation of animals and animal by-products, people's life and economic development. The Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute at the CAAS led some other organizations to create the only foot-and-mouth strain library domestically. It drew the first molecular evolution tree in Chinese research history of animal epidemic disease and epidemiology, revealing the causes and laws related to the foot-and-mouth animal epidemic diseases.
Plant diseases and insect pests management for cereal crops
Plant diseases and insect pests are major biological disasters that influence the safe production of cereals in China. The Institute of Plant Protection, Institute of Crop Sciences and China National Rice Research Institute at the CAAS have led several organizations to launch large projects mainly studying comprehensive solutions to wheat-related plant diseases and insect pests. They worked out key technologies for monitoring, early warning and integrated management of the wheat diseases and insect pests and formed technological systems that can be applied to different wheat areas.
Medium and low-yield fields management and regional development
Soil fertility is the basis of agricultural production and guarantees food safety. The Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Farmland Irrigation Research Institute at the CAAS have started several national projects and studied the improvement of medium and low-yield fields, digital soil and the efficient use of fertilizers. The organizations have launched studies about saline-alkali soil in northern China as well as the improvement and use of low-yield rice soil in southern China since the 1960s. They systematically researched technologies for applying fertilizers in the 1980s and made great achievements related to proportioning and application. amount and time, as well as ways of different fertilizers.
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Go-ahead city hailed as the ‘Silicon Valley of hardware' (2017-05-26,China Daily)
Private companies in the southern Chinese industrial heartland of Shenzhen have moved well beyond their roots as simple hardware manufacturers to emerge as powerful global innovators.
Technology and telecommunications giants like Huawei, ZTE and Tencent have all come from Shenzhen, and are now powering the development of a whole ecosystem of tech companies. These include not only domestic startups, but also multinationals looking to leverage their strengths.
Even international companies like HAX, a San Francisco-based hardware startup accelerator, have set up in Shenzhen. As general partner Benjamin Joffe declares in a video on the firm's website about Shenzhen: "It's the Silicon Valley of hardware."
This ecosystem in Shenzhen has helped Chinese companies make their mark as global innovators.
The two companies heading last year's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) list for patent applications are based in Shenzhen. These are ZTE, with 4,123 applications, and Huawei with 3,692.
"China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from Made in China to Created in China," said Francis Gurry, director general of the WIPO.
China may not have Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Amazon, but it does have its own successful online services companies such as Baidu, RenRen, Weibo, WeChat and Taobao. And most of these firms began in Shenzhen.
But these are not simply copycats of their international counterparts. While they do serve the same primary functions, they come loaded with innovations that are making global companies sit up and take notice.
The biggest success story is likely WeChat, the messenger app by Shenzhen-based tech giant Tencent. The app currently has 889 million monthly active users, more than 10 million official accounts and 200,000 third-party developers.
When Facebook bought messenger service WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion in 2014, investment firm CLSA valued WeChat at more than three times WhatsApp's selling price. They estimated the Chinese competitor's worth to be "at least $60 billion".
In a note published shortly after the WhatsApp purchase, CLSA analysts said that although WeChat lags behind WhatsApp in user-based numbers, WeChat contains more active revenue streams that make it a more valuable investment.
They estimated that WhatsApp only generates around $1 per download. In contrast, it said WeChat could generate around $142 per user from "mobile games, advertising, e-commerce, O2O (online-to-offline commerce), mobile payment and Internet financing".
The report also noted some favorable market conditions for WeChat given that Asia leads the global mobile game market and China's poor infrastructure makes "e-commerce, online-to-offline payments and mobile payment" a bankable opportunity.
WeChat has indeed played to the needs of its uniquely Asian market with tailored cultural offerings, such as the WeChat red envelope function.
Based on the Chinese tradition of giving red packets filled with money during festive occasions, Tencent offers users the chance to send up to 200 yuan ($29) in virtual credit through the app.
Launched in 2014, the app counted 20 million transactions via the red packet function in the first two days of the lunar new year. The following year, the number grew to 3.2 billion.
In 2016, WeChat recorded 32.1 billion red packets sent in the period from Feb 7 to 12 during the Chinese new year festival alone.
The red packets also feed into WeChat's other functions. Recipients can use the credit for a range of payments, such as movies, paying off bills and topping up mobile game credits.
The streamlining of consumer data in WeChat is a marketing dream come true, given that similar data is very fragmented in other parts of the world.
The evolution of WeChat and its parent Tencent has tracked the evolution of its home base, Shenzhen, and its emergence as a tech hub that rivals California's Silicon Valley.
Shenzhen is slowly shaking off its reliance on manufacturing. The city's mayor recently announced that more than 17,000 manufacturers have closed down in the past five years due to the authorities' industry upgrade plans.
And as it cultivates its own culture of creation and innovation, it is taking steps to shift from a Made in China mentality to Created by China.
Expected to be a significant contributor is the emergence of maker spaces — creative community workspaces with the tools to encourage learning, invention and innovation.
As David Li, one of the founders of China's first maker space XinCheJian, famously declared: "In the old days, if you wanted to be innovative, if you wanted to have the latest technology, you would go to Silicon Valley for electronics. But today, it's Shenzhen."
He made the bold statement a couple of years ago, but it is increasingly true today.
With a population of 1.4 billion, China has an online presence that is already enormous and likely to grow even larger.
Shenzhen maintained its position at 22 in the latest Global Financial Centres Index, released in March by the British think tank Z/Yen Group.
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Thunder Power to join electric car race in China (2017-05-25,China Daily)
Thunder Power, a Hong Kong-based startup carmaker, has debuted its brand in Beijing, unveiling ambitious plans to tap into the world's largest new-energy vehicle market.
It has been 21 months since the startup premiered its first concept vehicle at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show.
A prototype electric sedan shown on May 23 features a 125 kWh battery capacity, providing a range of up to 650 km, a new benchmark in the EV industry. Half an hour charging will enable it to run 300 km, according to the carmaker.
The range is the result of its lightweight body, low air drag and more efficient battery pack, according to its Chairman & CEO Wellen Sham, a Chinese American born in Hong Kong.
With a choice of motor options available, the sedan offers system power of up to 430kW, ensuring no compromises in driving pleasure for tomorrow's striving consumer.
Sham said Thunder Power's core competence lies in its proprietary technologies in the fields of battery management, thermal management and chassis technologies.
With over 350 patents filed in the US and China, more than 70 have already been granted, including a modular chassis system which allows the development of future models in different segments in a faster and more cost-effective way than the traditional approach.
Production is due to start for Asian markets in late 2018 at its plant in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province — the result of a multibillion yuan partnership with a local industrial fund.
By 2022, the plant's production capacity is expected to reach 100,000 units a year, with its total investment to reach 7.2 billion yuan ($1.05 billion).
Sham said Thunder Power has also commissioned JP Morgan to finance $500 million for its development.
Christopher Nicoll, the carmaker's sales and marketing director, said the company will take a city-by-city approach and first target at non-first time car owners.
The automotive veteran, who worked at Jaguar Land Rover and Fiat, said the brand will build a network of 100 dealerships by 2021 in China and 50 dealerships in Europe.
Thunder Power has recently signed an agreement with the Catalan authorities in Spain to build its European manufacturing site in the country.
When asked about future products, Sham said they will feature more cutting-edge applications.
"Our next generation of products will continue to focus on incorporating technology to enhance the driving experience, but some of the key focal points will be to converge a selection of applications, electrification and autonomous driving capabilities, such as optimizing 3D parking and integrating biometric sensors."
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China applies for 23,000 integrated circuit patents since 2008 (2017-05-24,China Daily)
China has applied for over 23,000 domestic patents on integrated circuits since 2008, an official told a press briefing Tuesday.
Over the last nine years, the country also applied for more than 2,000 international patents on integrated circuits, often known as chips, according to Ye Tianchun, head of the Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
In 2008, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved a major project on integrated circuits.
Since then, more than 30 Chinese-developed devices and products have entered the market, raising some of the country's tech enterprises to world-leading levels, said Ye.
The project set the country's business innovation on the right track, as China previously relied heavily on imported integrated circuit products, said Chen Chuanhong, an official at the CAS.
"When our chips thrive, our economy will also prosper," he added.
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Hangzhou bicycles get electric upgrade (2017-05-19,China Daily)
Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, is planning to upgrade its public rental bicycles from strictly pedal power to electric hybrids.
The first batch of 5,000 hybrid bikes will be rolled out in three months, offering a faster option for bike riders, said Wu Guoxiong, deputy manager of Hangzhou Public Bicycle Traffic Service Development Co.
Hangzhou has 85,800 bikes for public rental, including 56,300 from Wu's company.
"We plan to replace all our regular bikes with smart bicycles by the end of next year," he said.
Traditional bikes have limitations, he said. "According to our data, people will ride 33 minutes for about 3 kilometers, on average, for each use. They will feel uncomfortable or tired when the time or distance exceeds that."
The new bikes will give people another choice. By inserting a portable battery, the human powered bicycle easily converts to electricity, so riders can extend their riding distance to 10 km and raise the maximum speed to 15 kilometers per hour, he said.
The State-owned company came up its plan for a bi-functional bicycle two years ago to meet the needs of residents whose jobs are 7 to 8 km from home. The plan and model were discussed and revised many times until it was agreed that the new shared bikes would have a removable battery.
People can choose to either rent a bicycle, or rent a bike and a portable battery as a package. The battery port is beneath the bike's front basket, along with an LED headlight, integrated power supply and control module.
The bike gets an electrical assist from a drive mechanism designed as part of the rear wheel hub - which is designed in the shape of an osmanthus, Hangzhou's city flower.
Thousands of photovoltaic power stations will be built and connected to the public bicycle stations, providing continuous energy to charge the batteries.
Bike rentals will follow the previous standard - no charge for the first hour, 1 yuan ($0.15) per hour for the next two hours, and 3 yuan per hour for time over that. Battery rental is 1 yuan for half an hour.
People will be able to rent a battery from a cabinet installed nearby, and the cabinet works as the battery charging station. Each cabinet can hold 24 batteries. As a bonus, the battery can be used to charge a cellphone, too.
The company has applied for patents on the innovative technology for the hybrid power bicycle.
"It is not about competition. We are in the public welfare business. This innovation could increase residents' efficiency, saving them time," Wu said.
"The charge for portable batteries may even out the rising manpower cost."
Wu Lei, a 33-year-old salesman in Hangzhou, told China Daily, "It is good news for me. I will definitely choose the smart bicycle."
Wu works about 12 km from his home. Currently, he usually drives to work. But parking and traffic jams are a headache.
"It will save me time and money," he said.
Hangzhou was one of the first to create a public bicycle transportation service in China. It has had bike rentals since 2008.
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Tunghsu pursues expansion through M&A, partnerships (2017-05-18,China Daily)
With its research and development prowess and intellectual property management expertise, Tunghsu Group is exploring diverse businesses and seeking industrial breakthroughs.
The largest flat panel display glass manufacturer in China, which joined the ranks of the world's top four in the industry by production capacity in 2015, is an emerging force for its rapid expansion in the graphene sector.
It announced last week that it has poured approximately 80 million yuan ($11.6 million) into buying a 51 percent stake in MS Technology in Beijing, a high-tech company focusing on graphene research and application, including LED lighting.
The investment is another key move for Tunghsu in the new material's industrial application, after its acquisition of G-King, a Shanghai-based graphene company, last year, said Wang Zhonghui, deputy general manager of the group company's subsidiary Dongxu Optoelectronic Technology.
Tunghsu launched what is reportedly the world's first graphene battery in 2016, beating lithium-ion batteries in longevity and able to completely recharge in less than 15 minutes, according to the company.
Revolving around the signature product is a protective network, comprising patents, trademarks, software copyrights and trade secrets, said Zhang Xiaoyu, chief IP officer and assistant president of Tunghsu Group.
Of its more than 1,500 patent filings, 32 are related to graphene, Zhang said, adding all the five international filings via the Patent Cooperation Treaty are also concerning the new material.
Currently, the company has more than 1,000 patents, some 90 trademarks and nine software copyrights.
After a series of mergers and acquisitions of graphene businesses in China, overseas investment projects are also under negotiation, he said, declining to reveal more details.
"Our IP team has had full participation in such M&A and technology deals," Zhang said.
"The team's opinions have a crucial impact on whether to continue the deals, as the analysis of targeted IP assets can spot legal risks and give a clue to their technological and business value," he noted.
To date, Zhang's team has issued more than 60 due diligence reports for roughly 70 M&A deals.
About 30 patent engineers work with the group company to support its entire business, ranging from R&D to production and sales, said Guo Feng, IP director at Tunghsu Group.
At the company's headquarters in Beijing, an eight-strong IP management team includes six experts who previously worked as patent examiners at the State Intellectual Property Office for at least five years on average. Guo himself is one of them.
Making full use of patent information, the IP team published a monthly report to the management, analyzing the company's own patents and also conducted research into its major rivals' technological trends, Zhang said.
To sharpen its edge in innovation, Tunghsu has also cooperated with top higher education and research institutes in the graphene field, including the Beijing Institute of Technology and Shanghai Jiaotong University.
The company has bought more than 10 patents from the two schools, resulting from their respective cooperative projects.
After a joint venture with the Beijing institute, focusing on graphene research and production, in 2014, Tunghsu announced in April to found a graphene research and application center in Barcelona with the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Spain, also known as ICN2, a top European research institute.
In addition, the company has established three graphene industrial funds, each with at least 100 million yuan, in cooperation with different local governments to incubate startups and encourage innovation.
Targeted beneficiaries are high-tech companies with proprietary IP core technologies in the industry, according to Tunghsu.
The ministries of industry and information technology, science and technology, and finance, together with the National Development and Reform Commission, have issued guidelines for industries that create new materials, such as graphene, seeking to improve innovation.
China hopes to develop the stable supply of advanced basic materials by 2020, to provide 70 percent of critical and strategic new materials the country needs, while making technological breakthroughs in frontier materials, such as graphene and nanophase materials, according to the guidelines.
The output value of the country's new material industry has more than tripled in five years to nearly 2 trillion yuan as of 2015, Xinhua reported.
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Cleaning up polluted water gets a boost from brand new method (2017-05-18,China Daily)
A new technology has appeared to help China - and everyone - with their water pollution problems.
It comes courtesy of Beijing-born MIT post-doc Xiao Su, his mentor Professor T. Alan Hatton and team, who just won the 2016 MIT Water Innovation Prize, as well as last year's Veraqua Prize, an award focused specifically on water purification methods for pollutants in China.
China faces a diverse range of pollution, Su said in an email to China Daily: Industrial, urban wastewater and agricultural, chemical pollutants such as organics and heavy metals are a major problem, with pharmaceuticals, dyes and personal products present in urban sources or pesticides and herbicides in rural areas.
The big challenge right now, Su explained, is the inefficiency of existing technologies to remove really toxic, yet often diluted contaminants (micropollutants), present at low parts-per-million or -billion levels.
Su and Hatton describe their new approach in the current issue of the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
Their system uses a novel electrochemical process to selectively remove organic contaminants such as pesticides, chemical waste and pharmaceuticals, even when they are present in small - yet still dangerous - concentrations.
The current methods of sifting out such trace amounts of toxins include filtering the water through a membrane, which is expensive and not 100 percent effective, or electrodialysis, which requires high voltages that often produce unwanted side reactions, Su said.
As Hatton put it, "In our case, you can just flip a switch."
In their system, the water flows between chemically treated surfaces that act as positive and negative electrodes and undergo reactions to become positively or negatively charged and can be "tuned" to bind with a specific pollutant. The team used ibuprofen and pesticides to demonstrate their model and removed molecules at parts-per-million concentrations.
Su said their system "can have a key impact in addressing these pollution problems in China, as we provide the necessary selectivity to remove these toxic species across a range of concentrations, even very small".
Su claims their technologies can "achieve dramatically higher, over 100 times more selective, performances".
Using electrochemistry makes the system more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as there is no need for chemical additives or tons of solvents to reboot the operation.
The process can be scaled from home to community. "For home filtration, our system is perfect for removing any trace contaminants in tap water," Su said.
"We can also be deployed in small communities of 500-1,000 people, and integrate our systems with solar panels. This way, we can reach remote and rural areas and also ameliorate the cost of electricity," he said.
From a practical point of view, Su said they are working prototypes and exploring pathways to commercialization. "Our timeline is for the first prototypes to be developed by the end of this year, latest mid next-year, and the scale-up process to hopefully lead to a competitive product line by the end of 2018," Su said.
In additional to all the good things the technology can do for the environment, it also shows promise for two other uses - upstream water purification to help recover valuable species and selectively "mining" or "recovering high-value compounds in a chemical or pharmaceutical production plant, where they might otherwise be wasted," Su said.
The researchers have applied for a patent on the new process.
"We expect our system, ,with some further scale-up development, to make a real difference in helping China conquer their challenges, as an energy efficient, high-performance alternative to conventional methods," Su said.
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Pilot program in China to commercialize new pharmaceutical drugs (2017-05-18,Chinanews)
Chinese pharmaceutical companies have always found it difficult to commercialize their patents. A national pilot program will help to solve that problem.
More than 300 small- and medium-sized biopharma companies have settled in the Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, which is part of the city's plans to strengthen medical research and development projects.
For the last four years, Zhangjiang's pharma companies have been showing great potential: one out of three new drug patents approved by the government now comes out of Zhangjiang, and one third of the government funding for new medicine research goes into Zhangjiang. But the end results aren't so good: very few of Zhangjiang's new drugs are ending up on sale.
The bottleneck lies with a long-standing regulation from the State Food and Drug Administration: pharmacy companies that want to market their new drugs have to produce the medicine at their own facility. But many companies don't have enough money to build a costly production line. So they have to sell their patents cheaply to other companies, making far less money than they would have if they can sell the drugs themselves.
That's about to change, however. The Shanghai government is now working with a German pharmaceutical manufacturer to help more small- and medium-sized local pharmaceutical companies get their medicines to the market.
"The new government trial will help to save all that trouble. Companies with new drug patents approved can hire contract manufacturers to mass produce their drugs while still enjoying the patent rights," said Wang Lanzhong, general manager of Shanghai Zhangjiang Biotech and Pharmaceutical Base Development Co., adding that this new system helps encourage more innovation, as research companies now don't have to worry about building facilities and can be more focused on R&D.
The company that will be doing the producing is the German firm Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), the first and only qualified contract manufacturer so far approved by the Zhangjiang government's pilot production plan.
The logo of the German firm Boehringer Ingelheim. /boehringer-ingelheim.com
The company has invested more than 70 million euros (about 78 million US dollars) in its first-phase project. At least four Chinese pharma companies have signed contracts with BI to industrialize their new drugs. Zhangjiang authorities also set up a 50 million yuan (about seven million US dollars) fund to insure the trial products.
BI says it hopes it will act as a bridge for China's young pharmacy companies to the rest of the world.
"We hope that this site in China will help improve the quality of the medicines here and help Chinese medicines enter global markets. We understand that different regions have different standards for new drugs, but we can solve that by improving quality so they can meet all the standards. Also, we can help foreign pharmaceutical companies enter China by introducing Chinese standards to them. So it can help companies both here and abroad," said Luo Jiali, general manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharmaceuticals.
In January this year, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the 13th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Biopharmaceutical Industry, which specified the top priorities as being accelerating innovation, production and the industrialization of new medicines. The plan includes nine other similar pilot projects that are being launched nationwide.
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Chinese law firm to better protect IPR for Belt and Road companies (2017-05-17,Chinanews)
A leading Chinese law organization promised to continue helping companies in Belt and Road countries to enter the Chinese market with better protection of intellectual property rights (IPR).
"Following the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the office will continue to provide professional and efficient IPR services for companies from Belt and Road countries to trade and invest in China," Ma Hao, president of China Council for the Protection of International Trade (CCPIT) Patent and Trademark Law Office, told Xinhua.
Representatives from over 130 countries and regions were in Beijing for the forum held on Sunday and Monday.
Ma said the office will increase cooperation with IPR organizations in Belt and Road countries and help companies to improve IPR protection and management.
According to Ma, CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office has applied 353 patents and registered 1,844 patents in China for companies from over 30 Belt and Road countries, including Russia, Israel and Singapore, since 2015.
The office also helped Chinese companies entering Belt and Road countries, he said.
It has applied 278 patents and registered 1,467 trademarks for Chinese companies in Belt and Road countries since 2015, Ma said.
He mentioned the illegally registration of the trademark of Chinese oil company Sinopec in Africa as an example.
With the help of the office, the Sinopec trademark was declared null and void by the African court.
Beginning service in 1957, CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office is one of the oldest and largest intellectual property law firms in China.
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Intellectual property platform to become largest of its kind (2017-05-16,China Daily)
The Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone's intellectual property rights service platform is set to become the largest of its kind in the municipality due to planned improvement projects.
It is also expected to become the largest IP service platform in the country within three years, according to Shanghai Jingyuan Group, whose subsidiary company is in charge of constructing and operating the platform.
To protect the intellectual property rights of innovation-oriented enterprises in Zhangjiang, Shanghai Jingyuan Group has been focusing on IP services and working to establish an IP-friendly environment for startups in the zone.
"This IP environment is essentially a community that offers IP-related services for newly established technology companies that don't have enough assets and capital to protect their core technologies," said Qiu Kejun, general manager of Shanghai Jingyuan Group.
According to Qiu, this style of IP service innovative community assists its members with the creation, protection, management, use and transfer of IP rights in all aspects. It offers both online and offline whole-industry-chain services to members, setting it apart from traditional patent agencies.
Helping to commercialize smaller startups' IP for practical use is an important part of Jingyuan's IP services. Qiu said there are a lot of potential projects, however, they are not well applied and are stuck in a dormant state.
In this situation, the platform has the role of identifying potential projects, especially those from newly launched enterprises, and trying to transform these IPs into products that benefit society, Qiu said.
The IP platform includes a financial mechanism that helps to solve any financial bottlenecks in startups' initial development stage. This move can allow them to pay more attention to research and development around their innovative products.
The platform has extended its services to cities in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shandong provinces. It has more than 40,000 registered members so far, including IP rights owners, service providers and buyers.
In addition, Jingyuan also helps a number of domestic enterprises to export their technologies and IP rights, such as those related to intelligent manufacturing technologies, as well as solar and wind energy.
In the next three years, Jingyuan plans to serve 200,000 enterprises from all industries, offer training to over 15,000 IP professionals, attract over 300 overseas management personnel, and introduce and invest in more than 300 IP projects.
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Innovation hub supports city's medical industry development (2017-05-16,China Daily)
Shanghai's active demonstration area assists with every stage of new tech creation, use
As a vital element of Shanghai's innovation development, the city's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has actively supported the development of the medical industry, which will also serve the national Healthy China 2020 plan.
The zone is home to more than 70,000 scientific and technological companies, accounting for roughly 80 percent of the total number in Shanghai. It is also home to more than 1,400 research institutes. Many of the companies and institutes are in the medical and healthcare industry.
Each year, the zone witnesses a number of scientific and technological innovation achievements. One of them in the medical technology industry is a magnetically-controlled endoscope system for digestive tract examination.
The medical capsule robot combines various cutting-edge technologies, including sensors, optical imaging, image processing, wireless communications and device packaging, according to the developer, Ankon Technologies.
"The product has a series of breakthroughs in product design and development for gastric screening and early diagnosis," said Ji Pengsong, president of the company.
Resembling a medicine capsule, the robot weighs less than 5 grams. But, this tiny robot comprises more than 300 parts with over 40 international patents, the developer said.
The patient swallows the capsule with water. Then the robot inside the capsule takes photos automatically as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. After that, the robot capsule is expelled by the patient.
Ji said the entire process is convenient and can be finished within 15 minutes.
Approved by the China Food and Drug Administration in 2013, the capsule endoscope system has been used in nearly 1,000 hospitals and medical centers across the country. Last year, the China Health Promotion Foundation included the robot capsule system in a health management demonstration project.
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare is another representative for scientific and technological innovation in Zhangjiang. The company specializes in developing and manufacturing advanced medical products and providing innovative healthcare solutions, covering the entire healthcare cycle, from diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy to medical IT solutions.
For quite a long time, high-end medical equipment in China's medical institutes mainly originated from multinational companies and usually involved high costs.
The high-end medical imaging industry itself has a higher threshold and is a multi-disciplinary industry, covering research and development and manufacturing. The industry has very high requirements in terms of machinery, mathematics, physics and fine processing, said Zhang Qiang, co-president of the company. For many years, the company experienced difficulties in attracting international professionals in medical imaging, he said.
Zhang said the R&D and manufacturing of imaging equipment in China have long been middle- or low-end. The company wants to form its own advantages through innovation to close the gap with foreign medical equipment companies and meet global competition head-on.
Over the years, the company has cultivated a series of key technologies in the high-end medical imaging equipment field, and independently developed and manufactured a batch of star products.
The company's CT, MI, MR, and Digital X-ray Radiography products boast high-definition image quality and low-dose technology. They can assist medical professionals make diagnoses and help patients to receive treatment, according to the company.
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare also develops and manufactures advanced radiotherapy equipment supported by real-time, high-definition imaging. It offers solutions to provide accurate treatment of lesions at an early stage, minimize damage to normal tissues and improve diagnosis and treatment results.
With the continuous innovation seen in domestic technology, the industry can expect a new round of product price reduction and more benefits for patients, industry experts said.
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CCPIT office lends expertise to companies at home and abroad (2017-05-14,China Daily)
Rich human resources are among the cornerstones of the CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office's steady development and success in handling international intellectual property affairs in the past 60 years, the organization's deputy head said.
The office at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade began to offer trademark services in 1957 and patent services in 1984. It has been chosen as a top intellectual property agency on the Chinese mainland by Chinese and foreign organizations for several consecutive years.
"One of our main strengths is that we have a strong expert team," Long Chuanhong, deputy head of the office, said. "Nearly 300 patent and trademark attorneys work with our office and their average practicing time exceeds a decade."
Many of the attorneys have trained in overseas IP law, learned about related foreign practices and handled foreign cases.
The office helped a large Chinese oil company to win its trademark registration right in Africa and the case changed local juridical practice related to trademark application principles, Long said.
With the office's aid, a large automobile enterprise succeeded in a trademark scramble with noted foreign companies in Europe and Australia.
The office's large expert team also ensures comprehensive solutions and excellent services are provided to companies, Long said.
Shouldering social responsibilities is a key component of the office's values, he said. It has assumed secretariat responsibilities for Chinese branches of two international organizations: the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property and the Licensing Executives Society International.
The law office has cooperated with other organizations under the CCPIT system, offering IP training to Chinese companies.
Ma Hao, the law office's head, was selected to serve as president of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property in September 2016, the association's first head from China since its foundation 120 years ago.
With the ongoing Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Long said that Chinese enterprises and individuals have increased their patent filings in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative in recent years.
Chinese people filed 4,834 patent applications in Belt and Road economies in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 47.1 percent.
With 3,017 patent filings from China last year - up 131.5 percent year-on-year - India was the top destination, followed by Russia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, in terms of the number of Chinese applications.
In comparison, China received 3,697 patent filings from applicants in 37 economies along the Belt and Road in 2016, a year-on-year rise of 18.2 percent. Singapore, Israel, India, Saudi Arabia and Russia were the top five sources of filings.
Long said that many of the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road adopted important international treaties relating to IP, such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which makes it convenient for companies to file patent and trademark applications abroad.
The High-level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the Belt and Road was hosted in Beijing in July 2016 to strengthen IP cooperation among involved countries and regions.
At a roundtable meeting during the conference, IP organizations from different countries agreed on an initiative to promote cooperation.
As more Chinese companies develop in the markets involved in the Belt and Road, Long suggested the businesses apply for patents and trademarks before exporting products.
In many cases where noted Chinese brands had been registered by others abroad, the Chinese companies had to abandon their well-established brands or to pay a high price to take them back, he said.
Long also advised that Chinese enterprises pay attention to preventing IP risks and avoiding IP infringements while doing business overseas, whether they be participating in exhibitions, producing and selling products or building factories with partners.
Though the business of Long's office is mainly from overseas, it has actively developed the Chinese market in recent years.
The office is also expanding services, helping companies to establish in-house IP management systems and formulate strategic plans in the hopes of becoming a top international IP expert, Long said.
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TCM to take off in B&R countries (2017-05-12,Chinanews)
China's "One Belt, One Road" (B&R) initiative offers the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sector great opportunities to expand its international influence and make use of global resources, TCM industry players and experts said Thursday.
But they also noted that it may still take years for people in African and European markets to accept TCM and for drug authorities in countries along the route of the B&R initiative to approve the sale of extracted condensed pills, or Chinese patent medicines (CPM).
"The B&R initiative has been a boon for the TCM industry in countries along the route like Nepal, where traditional Chinese practices like acupuncture, moxibustion and cupping are gaining momentum," Jia Qingliang, president of the China Hospital in Katmandu, capital of Nepal, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Jia's hospital now treats 20,000 patients each year, "a significant increase" from 2009 when the hospital first opened.
As TCM is increasingly being accepted among the Nepalese public, Jia is now cooperating with Tai'an Chinese Medicine Hospital in East China's Shandong Province to build up a TCM Center in Nepal to train professional TCM practitioners. The center was approved last year and listed in the central government's TCM projects under the B&R initiative, according to Jia.
Like Nepal, a total of 183 countries and regions, some of which are located along the route of the B&R initiative, have seen the influx of the TCM industry, according to a white paper released by the State Council, the country's cabinet, in December 2016. Also, TCM has been partly or wholly legalized in B&R countries such as Singapore and Thailand, media reports said.
One of the reasons behind TCM's popularity is that "most countries along the B&R route such as those in Southeast Asia are still developing countries suffering from inadequate healthcare and medical systems," Zhang Yansheng, head researcher with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Therefore, TCM is seen as a "convenient, simple and inexpensive option," he noted, giving it huge market potential in those countries.
"It's like using the rural areas to encircle the cities, which is a great water-testing opportunity for the TCM industry to establish its global reputation," Zhang added. Also, the TCM industry's expansion overseas enables domestic pharmaceutical companies to "take advantage of global resources and import herbs and materials for traditional cures at lower prices," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday.
For example, Dong'e Ejiao Pharmaceutical Co, maker of Ejiao, a kind of gelatin made from donkey hides to treat ailments such as colds and insomnia, has previously imported donkeys from Niger, an African B&R country, in order to meet soaring demand, the company's CEO Qin Yufeng told the Global Times in an earlier interview.
Another reason to be positive about the outlook for the TCM industry is that Chinese authorities rolled out a roadmap to boost TCM in countries along the B&R route in January.
Under the plan, the country will set up 50 TCM communication and exchange centers in B&R counties and promote 20 TCM international practice standards from 2016 to 2020.
Long way to go
However, experts pointed out that the TCM industry is not so well-recognized outside Southeast Asia, especially in African and European markets where Western medicine is strongly established.
Bai suggested that TCM exports should be prioritized when Chinese culture is being promoted overseas. "Do you remember the sudden demand for Korean cuisine led by the South Korean TV drama Dae Jang Geum? We should learn from it and produce high-quality films and TV dramas that are distributed to B&R countries and feature TCM," Bai noted.
Jia also complained that the legal system in Nepal does not allow his hospital to sell CPM.
"It might take a prolonged period for medical regulators to register and approve a specified CPM product. Maybe it's the time for the Chinese government to step in and make a joint application for domestic drug-makers," Bai suggested.
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Alibaba's next online stop: the whole world (2017-05-11,China Daily)
With growth slowing in China, the internet behemoth unleashes AliExpress for global e-commerce dominance, applying lessons from Tmall
For Carine Danblier, 51, a Belgian housewife based in Brussels, shopping on Chinese online marketplace AliExpress has proved to be nothing short of a treasure hunt.
Every week, she snaps up cooking accessories, shoes and electronic gadgets directly from China via AliExpress, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding. A few taps on her device keypad, followed by a few days in wait－that's all it takes for the tamper-proof parcels to materialize at her doorstep.
So impressed was Danblier with AliExpress that she created a Facebook page just to share images of the goodies as well as information on online deals. Two years on, the page has 100,000 followers.
Alibaba has also become famous in Europe for its Singles Day shopping extravaganza on Nov 11, which created a buzz on online social media. The shopping fest has made Alibaba the world's top e-commerce marketplace by transaction value. It reported a gross merchandise volume of $485 billion in fiscal year 2016. This is higher than $482 billion in revenues netted by Walmart Inc in the same period.
Alibaba is expanding overseas aggressively using AliExpress, in the process taking on global rivals such as Amazon and eBay.
Founded in 2010, AliExpress is the equivalent of Alibaba's business-to-customer site Tmall, but targets only overseas customers. It has attracted more than 100 million international buyers as of April, said Dai Shan, president of Alibaba's business-to-business unit.
Following a decade of explosive growth, China's online retail market is expected to slow down to a 15 percent compounded annual growth rate, consultancy Mintel has projected. This means internet behemoths like Alibaba need to foray abroad for new sources of income.
AliExpress is gaining traction among users such as Danblier by reshaping their shopping behavior and building a personal rapport, said Zuniga Perez Pell, an employee at AliExpress' Spanish operations.
"Wedding is perhaps the most important occasion for women. In the past, Spanish women never bought wedding dresses online. But now, taking a look at AliExpress before buying is becoming a ritual," he said.
Agreed John Arregui, a regular Spanish shopper on Ali-Express. His personal favorite is footwear. "I really like the clear assortment of all types of shoes, and I'd say China-made footwear is of superb quality."
Alfonso Noriega Gomez, economic and commercial counselor of the Consulate General of Spain in Shanghai, believes e-commerce is an essential engine to promote trade and economic relations and a major conduit for products made around the world.
"Through Tmall and Tmall Global, Chinese consumers are able to enjoy products from Spain. We hope AliExpress can bring alive the virtual Silk Road by connecting Chinese merchandise with countries including Spain," he said at an AliExpress conference in Hangzhou earlier this month.
Customers from more than 220 countries and regions have placed orders via the platform, according to the company. The top three countries ranked by total spending are Russia, the United States and Spain.
Apart from Spain, AliExpress also found early success in Russia, by offering Chinese products including clothing and car parts at a lower price. It also advertised its services and teamed up with local payment providers. The platform has been Russia's biggest shopping site since 2014, according to researcher TNS.
A wide array of goods, partnerships with several key Russian payment providers, and a strong social media presence have helped make AliExpress the top player, said Shen Difan, general manager in Russia.
"AliExpress is planning to tie up with more local vendors, ship from local warehouses, and provide local after-sales service, including a no-excuse return policy in 72 hours," Shen said.
Relatively super-quick delivery has become the real gamechanger. In Russia, parcels normally take weeks, or even up to two months, to reach buyers. Backed by big data technology, AliExpress has managed to shorten the delivery period to just four days.
This is part of an even bigger goal of global delivery within 72 hours in three to five years, using algorithm-based realtime analysis by Cainiao Network Technology Co Ltd, Alibaba's smart logistics network.
Alibaba will be wading into a number of markets where no single player has yet to dominate. Challenges abound.
Many developing nations still lack the infrastructure crucial to widespread adoption of e-commerce.
According to Wan Lin, Cainiao's president, the logistics network has teamed up with various postal services to ensure faster customs clearance, including a partnership with US Postal Service, Brazilian Post and Australian Post. It has picked up a stake in Singapore Post.
It will manage logistics globally and provide users with global traceability of their parcel shipment movement.
AliExpress aims to build a "cyber Silk Road" and serve up to 1 billion people from overseas, Shen said. "The Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to strengthen infrastructure, economic and trade ties in the Eurasian and Africa region, will lend AliExpress new momentum to grow its customer base tenfold in less than seven years."
That creates a win-win scenario for both global shoppers and export-driven Chinese manufacturers, who are transitioning from being original equipment manufacturers to providers of higher-end branded products.
Napearl, a Chinese curtain maker, is riding the consumption boom overseas. Via AliExpress, the company receives regular orders from US customers for tailor-made curtains used in villas. Its monthly revenue could top $500,000, said Wang Yuting, its operations director.
Also reaping the gains is earphone maker Bluedio. According to Li Jiacheng, its marketing head, sales on Singles Day last year surged 120 percent compared to the previous fest.
"We've devoted a 30-people taskforce to research and development of critical technologies, and are on course to bagging a handful of patents. We're building our own brand, and AliExpress is a good starting point," Li said.
To date, AliExpress has groomed and fostered over 1,000 smaller merchants whose monthly sales in cross-border deals have surpassed $500,000 each.
"While globalization offers many benefits to multinational corporations, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to unlock the potential of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) by enhancing connectivity, and e-commerce is a critical channel to reach that goal," said Zhao Lei, a professor at the Institute for International Strategic Studies, which is part of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China.
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Chinese firms add high-tech wings to shared development on Belt & Road (2017-05-10,Xinhua)
The minute when Drozdov Evgeny tried MIUI, an android firmware modified by the Chinese smartphone maker of Xiaomi, the 28-year-old Russian young man simply fell for it offhandedly.
Evgeny now works for a Russian software company. In 2011, fascinated by Xiaomi's produce, he launched his own online forum to share the latest versions of MIUI ROMs with other fans all across Russia. The Chinese company has now designated his cyber community, which at present has 11,000 registered members, as its official fans' forum in the country.
In fact, Xiaomi, as well as many other Chinese high-tech companies, have been supported by the Belt and Road Initiative in recent years as they tap into foreign markets and see their competitiveness snowballed worldwide, especially in the developing countries in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Together, they have not only offered customers worldwide both quality and more affordable alternatives to end-products by global smartphone giants like Apple and Samsung, but have also been promoting other modern-day information technologies that can change the way of life for local people for the better.
NOT JUST SMARTPHONES
Apart from Russia, Xiaomi has over the past few years achieved notable market success and become increasingly popular in other countries. The company ranks the third in smartphone sales in both Indonesia and Ukraine, according to Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi.
In India, another market Xiaomi has invested very heavily, the company released late last month a new model of smartphone called Redmi note 4A. So far, its monthly sales have surpassed 1.5 million. In a recent interview with Xinhua, Lei said the most important advantage the products of his company boast is their higher level of cost efficiency to the international big name competitors.
"In the past, only those with medium or high incomes were able to enjoy the high-tech products, a scenario we hope to change, and we are working to enable more people to have access to the latest technologies," Xiaomi's Senior Vice President Wang Xiang told Xinhua.
According to Lei, Xiaomi stresses very much on research and development of technologies and innovation. He noted that the company filed for over 7,000 patents globally last year alone on technologies developed on its own.
He also said Xiaomi is working hard on two fronts now. One is to attempt breakthroughs on core technologies like chips, while the other is to strike cross-licensing deals with the world's telecommunication giants like Microsoft and Qualcomm so as to avoid patent disputes in its ever expanding foreign adventures.
Besides smartphones, Xiaomi has also been promoting its wearable fitness-tracking devices like smart wristbands. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), Xiaomi has been the world's second largest wearable device vendors for two consecutive years since 2015.
The IDC also reported that Mi band 2, Xiaomi's latest smart bracelet, is the highest selling heart rate sensing fitness tracker in India in the fourth quarter of 2016.
"The essence of the Belt and Road initiative lies in the fact that it has promoted cooperation and collective development of the countries on its routes," said Wang.
It has improved the environment for the growth of the economies and enterprises, he said, adding that Xiaomi has benefited from the initiative and forged harmonized and stable partnership for win-win result with the firms covered by the initiative.
KNITTING INFORMATION NETWORKS
Meanwhile, Chinese companies, especially those that are hosted and supported by Zhongguancun, a high-tech hub in the Chinese capital city, are also trying to share with other countries their expertise in telecommunication and information technologies.
In 2015, China's DaTang Telecom signed a cooperation agreement with Ecuador's Yachay City of Knowledge to build a 4G TD-LTE laboratory.
The 4G TD-LTE is China's homegrown fourth generation telecommunications technology. The latest GSMA Intelligence data show that in Latin America, 4G connections more than doubled in 2016, up from 51 million a year earlier, suggesting a fast growing market demand.
According to the pact, Datang is going to prepare the Ecuadorian side in its efforts to apply the 4G telecommunication networks in the country and train for it a team of professionals.
Also, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group -- which is engaged in the customized solution provision for telecommunications carriers, vendors, service suppliers and component manufacturers -- has in recent years cooperated with telecommunications operators in Cambodia, Russia, Ukraine and Tanzania, in the capacity of a provider of technologies and equipment for public networks there.
Apart from that, Sida Times -- a Beijing-based TV network provider -- now has become the fastest growing digital TV operator in Africa. It is now doing business in 20 African nations like Kenya and South Africa with more than eight million subscribers.
NEW DAWN FOR E-COMMERCE & FINANCE
With the widespread use of mobile telecommunications technologies, a new age for electronic commerce is also dawning and some Chinese firms are spearing ahead.
Jack Ma, founder of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba group, made a proposal earlier this year in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur for setting up an e-commerce hub in the Southeast Asian country.
With the plan, Alibaba seeks to work with the Malaysian government in developing a digital free trade zone in the country so as to empower local small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and to boost regional free trade. It is also part of Ma's efforts to promote the idea of building the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).
Tang Joo Shen is the sales director of an instant coffee manufacturing firm based in Malaysia's southern city of Melaka, known as Aik Cheong Coffee. The business, born in 1955, is one of most popular local coffee brand. Aik Cheong Coffee sells its products in a dozen of countries, like China, the United States, Canada, as well as other European and Asian nations.
However, Tang complained that trade protectionism has in recent years been a big challenge for his company, with some countries slapping up to 30 percent tariffs on coffee products. He believes that the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) can help refresh the global trading system that fits this era of the Internet, which will make it easier for the developing economies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to get better access to global markets.
Also in Beijing's Zhongguancun, IZP Technologies, a group company of Internet cross-border trade and big data, is also using modern-day science and technology to serve international traders from Europe to Africa and to the Middle East in a smarter way.
The company mainly focuses on offering a payment system to allow direct settlement between the Chinese yuan and local currency and a Visa-like payment card that also promises lower fees. The IZP is also setting up a "big data" platform with data mining capabilities claiming to offer up to date information.
TOWARD COMMON DEVELOPMENT
The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. So far, China has invested more than 50 billion U.S. dollars into the program. It has won support from over 100 countries and international bodies, and more than 40 of them have signed cooperation agreements with China.
The Zhongguancun Administrative Committee -- the government's administrative organ that oversees the development of the high-tech hub -- has for years played a key role in encouraging Chinese technology companies to explore foreign marketplace within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Zeng Xiaodong, international business director of the committee, told Xinhua that technology cooperation has been one of his organization's priorities to achieve win-win outcomes.
As Xiaomi is selling cell phones in Indonesia, it is also building factories there. It also plans to 100 percent localize production of its smartphone products in the Southeast Asian nation as of 2017. Its investment moves would mean lots of job opportunities for the local population.
In Ecuador, DaTang's program is also going to help with the nation's job creation and to upgrade its industries. Ultimately, the project will play a positive role in promoting telecommunications development both in the country and in the South America continent.
In his speech at the World Economic Forum in the skiing resort of Davos, Switzerland, Xi said the initiative originated in China, but it has delivered benefits well beyond its borders.
By improving infrastructure inter-connectivity, the Belt and Road creates a better base for economic development in many countries, said Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Chairman Hans-Paul Buerkner at the forum earlier this year.
Specifically, "it will bring more people together, providing more opportunities to have jobs, as more small and medium-sized enterprises alongside are expected to be established," said Buerkner.
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Ankon Technology to work with IBM Research (2017-05-05,China Daily)
Two companies team up to improve access to gastrointestinal care in remote areas, Wang Hongyi reports from Shanghai.
Shanghai Ankon Technologies recently announced plans to work together with IBM Research to explore the possibility of applying advanced cognitive imaging technology to screening for digestive tract diseases.
One of the world's largest corporate research organizations, IBM Research cooperates in research with partners across many disciplines to address some of the world's biggest medical challenges.
Such a partnership is also Ankon's latest attempt to improve the treatment of digestive diseases, said the company, which is located at Shanghai's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, home to roughly 80 percent of Shanghai's scientific companies. It works to develop endoscope robots for examining the digestive tract.
Its product NaviCam, a magnetically-controlled endoscope system used for regular stomach health checks and early stomach tumor screening, won China's Medical Progress Award in March.
Approved by the China Food and Drug Administration in 2013, the capsule-like system weighs less than 5 grams and can be swallowed with water. The patient's condition can then be recorded as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract.
Comprised of more than 300 parts and involving more than 40 international patents, the medical capsule robot combines a plethora of cutting-edge technologies, including sensors, optical imaging, image processing, wireless communications and device packaging.
The robot inside the capsule can take photos automatically as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. The examination is conducted based on the anatomical structures of the stomach, the developer said.
"The entire gastric examination process can be completed within 15 minutes, and there is no adverse reaction," said Ji Pengsong, president of Ankon.
After the examination, the robot capsule is expelled naturally. Patients need no anesthesia.
The new procedure is convenient and comfortable, especially for sensitive people, such as children, the elderly or patients with cardiovascular diseases, Ji noted.
The domestically developed endoscope robot is a shining example of the next generation of technology in the field, he said.
China sees more than 600,000 new gastric cancer cases each year. Effective early detection has long been an important issue for medical staff.
Liao Zhuan, a gastroenterologist at Shanghai's Changhai Hospital, said about 80 million people have refused gastroscopic examinations due to fear of pain and discomfort during the procedure, which may be contributing to a higher incidence rate of gastric cancer in China.
So far, the capsule endoscope system has already been used in nearly 1,000 hospitals and medical centers across the country.
Last year, the China Health Promotion Foundation included the robot capsule system in a health management demonstration project.
To benefit more patients and expand the medical services to more remote areas, Ankon also developed a nationwide online medical network for cooperation between experts and scholars in the field from around the country.
The platform is able to run a digestive system healthcare database that connects more than 1,000 experts and doctors from the country's top hospitals and medical institutions.
Hospitals or health inspection agencies can upload patients' data to the cloud platform, which will then be read by a team of experts remotely.
Patients do not have to travel a long way to talk with an expert face-to-face at a large hospital. Via the online platform, transfer of medical images and consultations with experts can be done directly, no matter where the patient is located. Patients can be given advice for further treatment, transferred to larger hospitals for surgery or receive treatment in local medical communities.
"More convenience will be created for patients with the innovative intelligent medical care platform, which integrates big data," said Li Zhaoshen, a member of the Chinese Medical Association's digestive endoscopy branch. "With such a platform, doctors can provide medical services to patients on a larger scale, especially for those in remote, less developed areas with fewer medical resources."
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Potevio tech branch harnesses IP investments to propel growth (2017-05-04,China Daily)
A growing core patented technology portfolio is becoming the driving force behind Potevio Information Technology's diverse business expansion, said Tao Xiongqiang, president of the high-tech company in Beijing.
"Benefiting from our innovation and research revolving around IP work, we have filed nearly 1,600 patent applications, covering 3G/4G networks and information security technologies," Tao said.
More than 90 percent of the filings are targeted at invention patents, the most stringent of the three patent types in China. Some 500 applications were filed last year, a roughly 30 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the company.
To date, the company has been granted more than 600 patents, with more than 30 of them included in new industrial standards.
"We focus more on our IP quality and focus on its management and value," Tao said.
The subsidiary of China Potevio, a large State-owned corporate group, has long specialized in information technology research and development.
As an expert on telecommunication and big data analysis, Potevio Information Technology has made forays into diverse sectors including 5G-based autonomous driving, smart city projects, electric vehicles, big data applications, cyberspace security, energy conservation and business incubators.
Electric vehicle service providers vary in their business models, Tao said, adding that some feature their innovative batteries and some do better in connectivity technology.
"In comparison, ours have an edge on others in using telecommunication technologies to develop a more efficient information network, which helps our electric vehicles to plan reasonable travel routes and manage power consumption," said Fu Ailing, vice-president of Potevio Information Technology.
Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that more than 500,000 new energy vehicles were made in China last year, accounting for more than a half of the global total.
The number of new energy vehicles on roads in the country has surpassed 1 million, taking up a majority share of the world market.
Potevio Information Technology has built 74 charging stations in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, serving approximately 3,900 electric vehicles in the city, one of the largest urban new energy vehicle infrastructure networks in service in the world.
The company's new energy vehicle network has expanded into more than 20 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, for private and business travel and logistical use.
When it comes to developing smart cities, Potevio Information Technology has spotted more niches with its technological prowess.
The company helps governments to develop an online integrated administrative service network and has aided the police in expanding online security systems. Its products also include technological solutions designed for power grids, the internet of things, urban rail transportation, smart healthcare and services for the elderly, and petroleum and gas exploration, production and transmission.
Potevio Information Technology invested in a healthcare service company, but the investment was in the form of IP assets, rather than money. Its IP investment was counted as a 30 million yuan ($4.4 million) stake in the joint venture.
"Investing in the form of IP eased our tension in capital and enabled more funds to be diverted to research and development of new technologies," Tao said.
The IP assets have brought the company more returns. From 2014 to 2016, it gained a patent portfolio-collateralized credit line of nearly 300 million yuan from Bank of Beijing.
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Laser radar robots will transform daily life (2017-05-03,Chinanews)
A robot took over duties of guiding visitors to exhibition booths at the China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair recently.
The "host" had no one in the background moving its parts by remote control. This robot is smart enough to "see" its surroundings because of laser radar embedded in the machine's software.
Shanghai-based Slamtec manufactured the robot. The laser radar allows the robot to scan its surroundings in fractions of a second. It also has "brain" software to enable the robot to choose the best routes to guide visitors to a given exhibit.
Google's driverless car is perhaps the best-known application of laser radar technology. The system accounts for almost one-third of the cost of Google driverless cars priced at about US$7,500, said Kong Huawei, Shanghai director at the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Science.
"It is costly to develop radar fitting stringent requirements on precision and reaction speeds," he said.
By tolerating some margin of error in what its robots can do, Slamtec has whittled the cost of laser radar systems to within 1,000 yuan (US$145), making the technology more accessible to common business and home applications.
The first robot vacuum cleaners were a big hit with householders a few years back. The robots bustled along floors, sucking up dirt and dust. When they hit a wall or piece of furniture, they automatically shifted course.
In the space of just a few years, that sweeper — called a "headless chicken" by one of my friends — is obsolete. The new versions have embedded radar.
"Vacuum cleaners have become a main beneficiary of cheaper laser radar technology," said Lin Ling, chief strategy officer at Slamtec.
The new cleaners can scan the layout of a whole room and clean it in orderly routes, much like a human would, he said.
Slamtec expects sales of the sweepers to top 200 million yuan in the coming two years, said company founder Chen Shikai.
Google's driverless car uses a radar system that scan the whole space around it rapidly. Slamtec uses a simpler radar sensor that catches pictures in two dimensions.
Other companies are stepping into the segment. Xiaomi, a domestic electronics company, said it has sold more than 55,000 radar-equipped robot sweepers in the past eight months at its official Tmall.com store. The sweepers costs 1,699 yuan each.
"The low price is no surprise because of the cheaper radar component nowadays in China," Lin said.
On Zhihu, a Chinese crowd-source Q&A platform, information about Xiaomi's sweeper attracted nearly 500,000 page views. In one post, a buyer complained that the machine is too noisy and that its laser radar went haywire after two days' use.
"Even if our rivals found the same laser supplier as us, they haven't mastered our industrial savvy," Lin said.
Slamtec was started in 2013. Its name is derived from the technology called "simultaneous localization and mapping," an algorithm that enables a robot to map an unknown environment while at the same time tracking its location.
The company has a patent that safeguards its application of the technology for at least five years.
The vacuum cleaner is only one common application of Slamtec technology. Across China, it has taken over 80 percent of the laser radar market, including robots in shopping malls, hospitals and banks, said founder Chen.
It even succeeded in an unmanned driving test for a Shenzhen-based automobile company by coupling laser radar with a navigation system.
"Our rivals have learned that high-quality laser radar can enable robots to 'see' clearly, but they are still struggling with how to make them walk," Chen said.
Slamtec is now in a new round of fundraising, after it has secured 3 million yuan in 2014 from angel investment and went on to receive financing of US$10 billion in 2015.
China's service-robot industry will grow over 15 percent annually in the coming two years, with the market valued at about 24 billion yuan this year, according to the China Robot Industry Alliance.
Sweeping robots alone could generate 7.5 billion yuan in sales this year and 12 billion yuan in 2018, according to China Electronics News.
Chen said his decision four years ago to give up a job at Microsoft and found Slamtec was the right one. "Sooner or later, robots will replace computers and mobile phones as the mainstream digital application," he said.
At the Slamtec booth at this year's technology fair, I asked over 10 visitors what they thought of the robot sweeper.
"If I can buy one for several hundred yuan, why not?" said one visitor.
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China's biotech sector to exceed 4 percent of GDP by 2020: authority (2017-05-03,People's Daily)
China's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) issued a special plan for biotechnology innovation in the 13th Five-Year Plan which says that China's biotech sector will exceed four percent of GDP by 2020, Xinhua reported on April 28.
According to the plan, China is to make some major achievements in biotechnology by 2020, which will promote its development in fields including medicine, agriculture, resources, and environmental protection.
A large number of new technologies have emerged with China's rapid development in biotechnology in recent years, said Zhang Zhaofeng, Director of MOST's Science and Technology for Social Development.
He added that by 2020, China will build 10-20 science parks for biomedicine with a total output value surpassing 10 billion RMB ($1.45B). And for the past five years, China has ranked second in the world in terms of published papers and patent applications.
But China's biotech development still faces some hurdles. The country lacks original scientific discoveries and disruptive technologies and doesn't always transform ideas into results.
As for the weak links, Zhang notes that relevant departments adhering to independent innovation will fully develop across all industries and take the lead in some.
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China eyes booming biotech and medical industries (2017-05-02,China Daily)
China plans to build 10 to 20 professional biotechnology and medicine zones each with a total output value of 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) by 2020, an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology said Friday.
Five to 10 professional biological manufacturing zones will also be established each with the same amount of output value by that time, said Zhang Zhaofeng, who is in charge of biological and medical technology, at a meeting on social development and sci-tech innovation held in Wuhan, capital city of Central China's Hubei province.
China has ranked second worldwide in the number of published papers and biotechnology patents for five consecutive years, according to the ministry.
In 2015 alone, China witnessed the publication of more than 80,000 life science papers and applications for over 20,000 biotechnology patents, it said.
More efforts are needed to boost the use of biological big data and protect biological resources, as well as to develop new vaccines and antibodies with independent intellectual property rights, it said.
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New portal provides direct link between research and rights (2017-04-28,China Daily)
A patent service portal tailor-made to colleges and universities officially went online on Wednesday, after a trial period of about six months.
The service platform, featuring cloud-computing technologies, was developed by the China Patent Information Center, an affiliate of the State Intellectual Property Office.
It is designed to offer one-stop services ranging from the management of patents, IP service providers and inventers to inquiries, reminders and searches, said Zhang Dongliang, director of the center.
"After research initiated in March 2016 and covering 17 higher learning institutions in various cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, we found that 92 percent of respondents are concerned with patent management covering the entire process," Zhang said.
Their patent management needs involve the real-time tracking of filings' legal status throughout the entire process, from application until the patent is either granted or invalidated, he added.
Since the center originally launched the online patent management system trial last September, nearly 40 schools have signed up to use it.
As a major force of innovation in China, universities and colleges have long been a patent powerhouse, reporting an estimated 20 percent rise in average annual patent filings from 2011 to 2015, according to the Ministry of Education.
The online system can help universities and colleges to improve their patent management, facilitating an increase in innovation quality and efficiency, Zhang said.
The launch was part of an open house event at SIPO on the same day, which attracted nearly 400 IP service providers, innovative businesses' representatives and primary school students.
SIPO Commissioner Shen Changyu said during the event that China has yet to create more patents concerning core technologies, well-known brands and internationally influential copyrighted works, despite topping global rankings for patent and trademark filings for years.
He cited annual chip exports as an example, which were worth more than $200 billion and accounted for approximately 80 percent of China-made related products.
The shortage of high-quality IP requires increased efforts in IP creation, protection and use to promote the country's shift from being a frequent filer to a strong IP powerhouse, the commissioner said.
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JD branch embraces timestamp technology (2017-04-28,China Daily)
China's leading e-commerce platform JD.com's home appliances sector introduced timestamping technology by cooperating with UniTrust Time Stamp Authority last week, as part of its efforts to better protect the intellectual property rights of online shops.
A timestamp is an electronic certificate that keeps track of the creation and modification time of a document. It shows who uploaded the works and when.
Shop owners on the platform can apply for timestamps for their self-made works, including photos and words submitted to the website, to be certified as the owner of the works. Anyone who copies or uses these works without permission will be violating intellectual property rights, said Zhang Changli, chairman of Beijing UniTrust Tech Service Co Ltd, operator of the timestamp authority.
The company has provided technical support for UniTrust Time Stamp Authority - the only such authority in China - since 2006, together with the National Time Service Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The technology has been used in healthcare, electronic documents, finance and justice.
He Chao, director of the home appliances department of JD.com, said fake trademarks, patents and pictures are common on e-commerce platforms, and shop owners have become more aware of the situation.
Traditional methods of IP protection need a long time and involve high costs, while timestamps are a useful tool to guarantee the rights of shop owners and the reliability of the JD platform, he said.
"Timestamps, as evidence easily gained and approved by legal institutes, can reduce costs when defending rights on our platform," he said.
Zhang said UniTrust's copyright protection service can grant rights certificates in less than a second thanks to the timestamping technology. So far the company has helped its clients to win about 800 IP cases.
"We want to promote online shop owners' IP awareness and encourage them to release their works on the internet without worrying about being copied," he said.
Yu Cike, director of the copyright management department at the National Copyright Administration, said the administration encourages e-commerce platforms to use high technology such as timestamping to protect intellectual properties.
UniTrust has expanded its business in countries such as the United States, Japan, Germany and South Korea.
It cooperated with German-based automobile company Volkswagen in protecting luxury car designs and recording customer service phone calls, according to Zhang.
"Many documents were stored in electronic forms. Timestamps can be used to confirm who created them and when. The cost of finding and confirming evidence in disputes could be reduced in such fields as commerce, tax and cultural businesses," he added.
So far, about 50 courts in China have used trusted timstamps in about 1,000 cases, he said.
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Chinese people show growing satisfaction to IPR protection in 2016 (2017-04-27,Xinhua)
Chinese people were more satisfied with intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in 2016, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
Satisfaction to IPR protection rated 72.38 (out of 100), said the report issued by the Patent Protection Association of China, China Trademark Association and Copyright Society of China to mark the World Intellectual Property Day on Wednesday.
The fifth annual report surveyed 12,600 people including IPR holders, the public and professionals.
According to State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), 87,000 cases related to IPR infringements were cleaned up during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).
A total of 322,000 cases related to other business infringements, including trademark rights, confidentiality, and counterfeiting were dealt with during the period.
An official with the SIPO said that result of the survey will assist the revision of the Patent Law.
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Mobike facing trial over QR patent (2017-04-27,Chinanews)
Mobike has been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit by an individual who claims the bike-sharing company has stolen his patented QR recognition technology.
According to the website of the State Intellectual Property Office, Hu Tao designed the system for motorbike owners, aiming to allow them to unlock their bikes without a key to reduce the risk of theft.
Users are given an exclusive QR code that they need to store on their mobile phone and have scanned by the micro-camera installed on their motorbike. If the code matches, the bike will be unlocked. Otherwise, an alarm will be triggered.
Hu applied to the office in 2013 and was granted the patent last May. He claimed Mobike infringed his patent and he is demanding 620,000 yuan ($89,970) in compensation. Shanghai Intellectual Property Court accepted the case last Friday, and will open the trial in the near future.
Mobike was established in 2015 in Beijing and made its debut in Shanghai last April.
Beijing Intellectual Property Court accepted a similar case against Mobike last March, when the firm was sued by Shenzhen-based digital-lock developer Lingling Kaimen, according to China National Radio.
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Processing of patents speeds up (2017-04-26,China Daily)
China's intellectual property authority is making an effort to shorten the review time for patent applications, a senior official said on Tuesday.
"Last year, the average review time for a patent application in China was reduced to about 22 months, faster than the United States and the European Patent Office, and slightly slower than Japan and South Korea," said Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, during a State Council news briefing.
Wednesday is World Intellectual Property Day.
The office aims to provide efficient review services to applicants, Shen said. Reviews on average took at least 25 months between 2006 and 2010. That was reduced to at least 22 months between 2011 and 2015 and then to no more than 22 months in 2016.
In the US, review time is more than 25 months on average, and at the European Patent Office it's 26 months.
To shorten review time, the Chinese patent office has taken steps including increasing the number of patent reviewers.
The office "has 11,000 patent reviewers - the biggest IP office in the world", Shen said. "This is how we have kept an efficient review system as the number of patent applications have grown rapidly."
The office has also adopted new models, such as collective review, to keep review time under control, Shen said.
Expedited handling is available for patent applications related to State interests and core technology. Those applications can be reviewed in eight months.
China had nearly 3.5 million patent applications last year, up by 23.8 percent year-on-year. Among them, patent applications for inventions increased by 21.5 percent year-on-year to 1.34 million.
The number of Chinese international patent applications filed under the World Intellectual Property Organization's Patent Cooperation Treaty reached 40,000 last year.
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Big fine for ripping off UN’s name (2017-04-26,Chinanews)
A culture exchange and conference service provider in Shanghai has been fined 400,000 yuan ($58,820) for using the name and logo of the United Nations without authorization in its promotions, the city's market watchdog said yesterday.
Shanghai Youxiang Culture Development Co was found to have used the Chinese and English names of the UN and its logo on its website, WeChat account, weibo account, promotion materials and contracts without a permit since February last year, according to Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau.
The company was also found to have organized people to attend conferences in the United States under the guise of a UN global youth summit, the bureau said.
The company's illegal profits, including conference attendance fees totaling 6 million yuan, had been confiscated and it was ordered to rectify, the bureau said.
The bureau exposed 10 typical cases involving trademark violations yesterday, two of them violating the Disney trademark.
Shanghai Jinyong Culture Art Design Co was found using Disney's trademark on its website since last April without authorization. The firm was fined 10,000 yuan by Jinshan District Market Supervision and Management Bureau.
A woman was fined 4,200 yuan for selling counterfeit clothing bearing the Disney trademark. Qingpu District Market Supervision and Management Bureau confiscated the goods.
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Top court releases intellectual property protection outline (2017-04-26,Chinanews)
China's top court has released an outline on the judicial protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) between 2016 and 2020, ahead of the World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on Wednesday.
The outline released by China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Monday is the first of its kind in China since the country opened the first legal case of patent dispute in 1985. Since then, the country has heard more than 792,000 civil cases involving IPR.
The outline puts forward eight goals, such as establishing a high-quality cadre of judges, as well as a long-term mechanism for international judicial cooperation on IPR, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
China closed a total of 171,708 IPR cases in 2016, said Tao Kaiyuan, vice president of the SPC, up 20.86 percent from 2015.
The SPC dealt with a total of 177,705 IPR cases in 2016, an increase of 19.07 percent from the previous year, according to a statement released on the website of SPC.
Those included the "Qiaodan" case, which was listed by the SPC as one of the top 10 IPR cases in China in 2016 for other courts to refer to.
The case featured US basketballer Michael Jordan suing Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear and shoes manufacturer, for unauthorized use of his name and identity, as the brand name is the Chinese transliteration of the name "Jordan."
According to Tao, the SPC will look to significantly improve its ability to provide judicial protection in the next five years, and make more contribution to the international efforts on IPR protection.
China has also made stronger efforts to better protect IPR as part of its larger effort to create a more innovative economy.
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Firms raise the stakes in battle for innovation (2017-04-25,China Daily)
Su Tongqiang and his ceramics company in Shandong province have bid farewell to wafer-thin profit margins, making an extraordinary transformation thanks to the business dynamics of adding value.
"Some years ago my company made a meager profits of less than 2,000 yuan ($290) from shipping more than 70,000 cups overseas in one container," Su said.
"Climbing the value chain was the only way to survive," added the entrepreneur, who owes his company's robust health to years of research and development. The company now holds more than 100 patents.
"The profit from one expensive cup is equivalent to dozens of cheap ones," Su said.
The transformation of Su's company is testimony to China's broader economic restructuring.
China is moving toward an economy based on innovation and services, reducing reliance on investment and exports of low value-added goods.
"China's transition to slower but structurally rebalanced growth continues," the World Bank said in a report earlier this month, noting that economic growth will continue to moderate as capacity is cut and credit is kept on a tight leash.
The revenue of Su's ceramic company grew 30 percent in the first quarter. The string of upbeat macroeconomic data in the first quarter, meanwhile, also pointed to a firming in the broader economy and progress in economic restructuring, giving policymakers some room for maneuver.
GDP growth in Q1 stood at 6.9 percent, up slightly from 6.8 percent in the previous quarter, with 77.2 percent of it driven by consumption, 12.6 percentage points higher than the 2016 level. The service sector rose 7.7 percent year-on-year, out-pacing a 3 percent increase in agriculture and 6.4 percent in secondary industries.
"Consumption is playing a more prominent role in driving growth, evidence of progress in economic restructuring," said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet.
Innovation is critical to Su's and other Chinese businesses' progress up the value chain, an uphill battle they have to fight as improved salaries and living conditions for China's workers have allowed other countries to occupy the market for low-end products such as shoes and toys once cornered by China.
Industrial output growth in the high-tech manufacturing sector reached 13.4 percent in Q1, outstripping the 6.8-percent registered across all industrial companies.
The domestic wave of innovation and start-ups means new business and new consumption, according to Mao Shengyong, an official at the National Bureau of Statistics.
China still has a long list of reform tasks, many intertwined with one another, which when added to global risks like US interest rate increases and protectionism makes policymaking tricky, analysts said.
China should continue to reduce excess capacity, curb credit, lower debt leverage in the corporate sector and reform State-owned enterprises, said Sudhir Shetty, chief economist of the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region.
That view is echoed by the DRC's Zhang, who said that policy should focus on cutting overcapacity, reducing inventories, deleveraging, lowering costs and strengthening weak links to generate long-term growth and meet new consumer demand.
"Supply-side structural reform can force Chinese businesses to increase their competitiveness and improve overall growth quality, although the process will be painful," said Cai Zhizhou of Peking University.
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China solves 171,708 IPR cases in 2016 (2017-04-25,Xinhua)
China solved a total of 171,708 intellectual property rights (IPR) cases in 2016, said Tao Kaiyuan, vice president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Monday.
The number is a 20.86-percent increase from 2015, while the SPC dealt with 177,705 IPR cases in 2016, up 19.07 percent from the previous year.
Those included the "Qiaodan" case, which was listed by the SPC as one of the top ten IPR cases in China in 2016 for other courts to refer to.
The case featured Michael Jordan suing Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear and shoes manufacturer, for unauthorized use of his name and identity, as the brand name is the Chinese transliteration of the name "Jordan."
The SPC also released an outline on the judicial protection of IPR between 2016 and 2020 on Monday, putting forward eight goals, such as establishing a high-quality cadre of judges, as well as a long-term mechanism for international judicial cooperation on IPR.
According to Tao, the SPC will look to significantly improve its abilities in judicial protection during the five years, and will provide more experience for the international efforts on IPR protection.
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IPR infringements against Chinese companies on the rise (2017-04-25,Xinhua)
Chinese companies have been facing an increasing number of intellectual property right (IPR) infringement cases, a customs official said Tuesday.
Zou Zhiwu, deputy head of the General Administration of Customs (GAC), said customs seized 7.58 million units of goods suspected of infringing the IPRs of Chinese companies in 2016, up 13.2 percent from the previous year.
Last year, GAC took measures on 12 IPR protection cases in which foreign infringement violated the rights of Chinese companies, up from 4 cases in 2015.
GAC will continue its focus on IPR infringement and fake products attempting to cross the border to maintain trade order, he said.
Chinese companies are becoming more aware of IPR protection and had filed 27,873 IPRs with GAC by the end of last year, Zou said.
In 2015, GAC started a three-year campaign to protect the image of "made-in-China" products internationally, with a focus on products exported to Africa, Arab countries, Latin America and countries along the Belt and Road.
Zou said the country had seized 43,300 shipments of goods suspected of IPR infringement during the campaign.
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China launches IPR Awareness Week (2017-04-21,Xinhua)
China launched a week of campaigns to raise awareness of protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) Thursday.
The campaign, jointly organized by 23 agencies, will feature events across the country, including press conferences, forums, lectures and the release of a whitepaper on judicial protection of IPR, running up to April 26, World Intellectual Property Day.
Addressing the opening ceremony, State Councilor Wang Yong said that China needs sound IPR protection to foster innovation. Wang also called for better international IPR cooperation in creating an inclusive and open environment for innovation.
China has become the largest source of patent applications, trademarks and industrial designs, said Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The number of Chinese international patent applications filed under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty exceeded 43,000 last year, up 44.7 percent, according to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).
IPR authorities had handled over 80,000 cases involving patents, trademarks and copyrights, said Shen Changyu, head of the SIPO.
In the first quarter this year, more than 2 million pirated publications were seized, said a joint statement issued Thursday by China's National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications and the National Copyright Administration.
China also launched a national copyright monitoring website Thursday, which would provide 24/7 monitoring of the Internet and identify suspected rights infringements.
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Beijing sees robust patent application growth (2017-04-20,Xinhua)
The number of patent applications in Beijing hit nearly 190,000 in 2016, up 21 percent year on year, according to local authorities.
Among the applications, more than 100,000 were for invention patents, which increased around 17 percent from a year earlier, said Pan Xinsheng, spokesperson of the Beijing intellectual property bureau Wednesday.
Last year, more than 40,000 invention patents were authorized, up 15 percent year on year, among a total of over 100,500 recognized patents.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court handled over 10,600 intellectual property rights (IPR) cases in 2016.
Specialized IPR courts were established in 2014 in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, leading to a significant improvement in IPR regulation.
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Taking China's university innovation to market (2017-04-19,Xinhua)
Zhang Xiao and her fellow students at Tsinghua University's School of Aerospace Engineering have an idea that could save more lives.
The second-year graduate student and her colleagues developed a technology to painlessly detect diseases such as early-stage liver cancer.The technology has won several patents, but the students had no clue how to get it on the market.
"It turned out that a startup company is the only way to protect our patents and make the best use of it. I also want to learn how to protect our intellectual property as a startup," says Zhang, a biomechanics major.
Now she is taking an entrepreneurship course at Tsinghua's Beijing campus.
The two-credit elective course-Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Silicon Valley Insight-was jointly launched by Tsinghua's School of Economics and Management, and Facebook.
The 200 attendees from many fields of expertise get insights into Silicon Valley's latest innovations and entrepreneurial practices.
Moreover, they must come up with their own business ideas and form a team of five to develop a business plan.
The five members play the role of chief executive officer, chief marketing officer, chief design officer, chief brand officer and chief technology officer. Each team will make their final presentations and give project demos at the end of the course.
Zhang has never studied business before.
"My project in this course is actually from my lab. We basically solved a technical problem and now we need to commercialize it," she says. "Through this course, I am expecting to figure out how we can commercialize scientific achievements and the whole procedure."
The Chinese government is keen to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation, and the Ministry of Education has instructed all colleges and universities to set up compulsory or elective innovation and entrepreneurship courses.
Tsinghua University is a pioneer in this field. In 2013, it launched x-Lab, a university-based platform designed to foster student innovation and entrepreneurship. X-Lab operates under the auspices of the School of Economics and Management and links 14 schools and departments across the university.
It aims to help students master the basics of innovation and business startups through courses, workshops and competitions. It also introduces student entrepreneurs to investors, mentors and team members.
Mao Donghui, executive director of x-Lab, sees technology talent and scientific breakthroughs in abundance at Tsinghua. But many students tend to focus only on their research discipline and have a narrow base of knowledge, Mao says, and it's necessary to nurture awareness of how technology relates to innovation and the potential for entrepreneurship.
"Some research findings by Tsinghua students are better than their international peers', such as Silicon Valley companies. And many of them have begun to recognize startup opportunities and to develop their technology-led ideas into early-stage businesses or commercial projects," Mao says.
"The creativity of students is like a seedling in a pot. Only when the seedling is planted in good soil and well-nurtured can it flourish. We want to try every means to boost their understanding of innovation and startups."
Although many universities recognize the importance of entrepreneurship education, questions remain. How should entrepreneurship courses be conducted? Who is qualified to teach these courses?
In an open online discussion in March, Vice-Minister of Education Lin Huiqing said that inviting entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who have hands-on experience into classrooms will help improve entrepreneurship education.
She said the Ministry of Education and local education sectors will build an online platform listing a talent pool of more than 10,000 innovation and entrepreneurship mentors by the end of 2017.
Tsinghua has been exploring new ways to enrich their entrepreneurship education, including encouraging students to think with a global perspective.
In 2016, Tsinghua invited US venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel to teach a one-credit elective course "Start-Up Thinking". Thiel is famous for his start-up course at Stanford University. As well as bringing the latest ideas in innovation and entrepreneurship, he also encourages students to compare and analyze entrepreneurship and venture capital in China and the United States.
Tsinghua has been updating entrepreneurial courses to incorporate new trends and to meet students' needs in starting businesses.
X-Lab's Mao says Tsinghua's IP and Business Strategy course informs students how to protect intellectual property as a startup.
"Students lack business experience and can overlook problems. Without proper patents, a startup can be less appealing for investors and even face patent-infringement lawsuits," says Mao.
"In this course, we invite intellectual-property specialists as well as chief IP officers from world-leading companies such as Qualcomm, IBM and Tencent.
"They discuss how these mature companies deal with intellectual-property issues, which is valuable for students planning startups."
Entrepreneurship courses also create platforms for alumni networking. Hu Changran selected the Silicon Valley Insight course. The undergraduate majoring in electronic engineering has an idea for automatic composition, an artificial intelligence adaptation for music. He hopes to meet other entrepreneurial hopefuls through the course.
"I want to discuss startup ideas with students from different disciplines, which will help give me a more comprehensive view," Hu says. "I also hope to find some future partners."
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Stronger prospects ahead for alloy allies (2017-04-16,China Daily)
Amorphous metal expertise gives Eontec a head start in expansion
Mention of "amorphous alloys" may not ring a bell, but if you consider Huawei smartphone frame hinges or Tesla car door lock cases, you will get a sense of how widespread their applications are. It is something that Dongguan Eontec Co is well aware of and keen to exploit on a global scale.
"I believe 2017 will mark the beginning of a golden era for the amorphous metals industry. Eontec aims to be a respected company in the world," says Li Yangde, chairman of the new materials company, which is based in Guangdong province and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
In November, Li led Eontec to a controlling 46 percent stake in California-based Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. This is expected to benefit both companies, according to a report by Essence Securities.
In March last year, Eontec initially bought an 18 percent stake in Liquidmetal. It then spent $55 million for an additional 28 percent stake, which also saw Li becoming Liquidmetal's CEO in December.
From Eontec's perspective, the investment is worth every dollar spent, since Liquidmetal specializes in the research, development and commercialization of amorphous metals - expertise that would complement Eontec's strengths.
Eontoc is the only company in the world that can produce molding for bulk metallic glasses (another name for amorphous alloys), which are used in the consumer electronics, automotive and healthcare sectors.
The alloys combine a number of desirable material features, including high tensile strength, excellent corrosion resistance, very high coefficient of restitution and excellent anti-wearing characteristics. A typical alloy is almost 1.5 times harder than stainless steel and about 2.5 times stronger than titanium.
"We are now planning to enter the US market and become a leading player," says Li.
Such ambition stems from Liquidmetal's strong patent portfolio, high reputation and reasonable prices. Liquidmetal has 128 patents in the United States.
Abdi Mahamedi, former chairman of Liquidmetal, says the company has invested substantially in the development of new processes and technologies like injection molding, as well as in developing relationships with customers outside the conventional application areas.
So, Liquidmental has potential customers even in segments like consumer electronics, surgical and medical equipment and aerospace.
"Liquidmetal needed more capital and size to commercialize its efforts. It also needed a low-cost manufacturing partner, both of which Eontec brings to the table now," says Mahamedi.
So far, Liquidmetal's technology can produce only smaller precision parts weighing less than 100 grams each, Mahamedi says. Since Eontec is capable of manufacturing larger parts, their partnership will create a more diverse range of parts made of amorphous alloys as well as a large base of customers.
Eontec's mature technology and cost-effective materials could help turn the loss-making Liquidmental profitable. Although Liquidmetal's losses started in 2012, its patents, sales network and brand equity will likely make Eontec a global player.
"Eontec will step up the pace of integration with Liquidmetal. We'll bring Eontec's experience in manufacturing to Liquidmetal. We'll expand the application of amorphous alloys to areas like consumer electronics, automotive, medical equipment and sports goods," says Li.
Eontec is already eyeing potential opportunities in the automotive, healthcare and aerospace industries. What's more, since 2015, US automaker Tesla has been using Eontech's amorphous metals in its car door-lock cases.
"Tesla's door-lock cases have a strong impact resistance. This helps them withstand opening and closing of car doors tens of thousands of times," says Li. "Although this business is still small, we have confidence the future will be brighter."
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Alibaba acts on malicious claims (2017-04-13,China Daily)
Major e-commerce platform Taobao announced in late March that 9 million online merchants have been involved in disputes due to complaints related to just 83 malicious trademarks.
Malicious trademarks are generic terms or commonly used descriptive words such as "slip-on" shoes.
Last year, a man surnamed Wen, who opened a women's shoe shop on Taobao, said he received a complaint from the owner of trademark Yijiaodeng, which literally means "slip-on". The filer of the complaint claimed the "slip-on casual women's shoes" sold at Wen's shop had violated his trademark rights.
Daily sales exceeded 2,500 pairs at Wen's shop, so he paid 20,000 yuan ($2,900) to the trademark owner to avoid the shoes being removed from Taobao because of the trademark infringement allegation.
"It's a protection racket," Wen said. "They even told me that I could beat my competitors by reporting on them."
Commodities with the keyword "holey", for example, totaled more than 2 million on Taobao. The trademark owner of "holey" has complained about 731 apparel products.
Ye Zhifei, director of the intellectual property protection department of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - Taobao's operator - said the massive amount of meaningless complaints lead to a waste of IP protection resources on the e-commerce platform.
"The cost of malicious trademark registration is low while the influence is vast," Ye said. "They complained about high volume products on Taobao on purpose."
By the end of March, Alibaba had found 83 such malicious trademarks on its Taobao and Tmall platforms, which had made complaints against 110,000 commodities from 15,000 stores. The amount of compensation surpassed 1 million yuan, according to the data released by Alibaba's platform governance department on March 27.
What's worse, nearly 60 million commodities could become the targets of those trademarks and 9 million stores could be involved.
Liu Xiaochun, a law expert at China Youth University of Political Studies, said the existence of malicious trademarks shows loose examination in the registration procedure. He suggested a blacklist of malicious trademarks be set up to better monitor the application and registration of trademarks.
"Removal of commodities causes heavy loss. Although they could come back on the shelves, previous trading records will no longer exist, leading to an indirect negative impact," Liu said.
Du Ying, a professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics' School of Law, called for closer cooperation between the e-commerce platforms and the administrations, in order to establish a quick response mechanism to find and invalidate malicious trademarks, and minimize their impact on market order.
"Exercising trademark rights should not lead to monopoly," Du said. "Monopoly contradicts why the trademark law was made."
Alibaba sued Hangzhou Wangwei Science Technology Co Ltd, an intellectual property complaint agency in February for unfair competition, asking for 1.1 million yuan, marking the first case for the platform to solve the malicious trademark problem.
Since it was founded in 2013, Wangwei has complained about more than 1,000 online stores, but withdrew 60 percent of them when the store owners appealed, according to Alibaba's statistics.
It also showed 17.8 percent of the complaints about counterfeit products from the company were proven to be inaccurate.
"Some people have registered many trademarks but produce no product, which has largely disrupted the market order," said Zhang Mao, director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China. "Malicious registrations will not be approved and existing malicious trademarks should be invalidated."
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Mobike faces mobile unlocking court battle (2017-04-13,China Daily)
Lingyun Technologies alleges bike-sharing company, among others, has used its protected designs without permission
While the convenience of scanning a QR code on a Mobike frame to unlock the vehicle has partially contributed to the growing popularity of the brand, the technology has locked the Beijing-based bike-sharing company in a legal wrangle with a company from a different line of business.
Lingyun Technologies, a digital lock developer headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, filed a complaint against Beijing Mobike Technology with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court in March, claiming the leading bike-sharing service provider infringed on one of its patents related to access control.
Lingyun also lodged an enforcement request against Mobike with the Beijing IP Office for another patent, which concerns authorization and access control technologies.
Both the court and the office decided on March 7 to take up the investigation.
"While many companies - not just in the bike-sharing service sector - have infringed on our patents, it is out of the question to sue them all," Cheng Yue, co-founder of Lingyun and also one of the inventors of the patented technologies involved, told Sznews, a Shenzhen news portal.
"We are targeting Mobike, because it is a leading player in its field," he said, asserting that his company holds seminal patents vital to cellphone-lock technologies.
More than 1 million Mobikes are in service in 34 cities across the country. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen host more than 100,000 each, Caijing, a business magazine, quoted Cao Guoxing, the company's chief public relations officer, as saying.
Zhang Yaoguang, chief technology officer of Lingyun and also a co-inventor of the patented technologies, told the magazine that unlike previous direct links between access control equipment and mobile terminals such as smartphones, the patented technologies involved in the dispute enable a change in data transmission paths, traveling from a user to a cloud server before the feedback returns to the user. That is the key to this form of remote unlocking.
"Our key technologies concern the process of a cloud server verifying user information," Zhang said.
Lingyun and Mobike are not competitors, as they focus on different businesses. Cheng compared the patent dispute between them to that between chip developer Qualcomm and electronics maker Apple.
"We want to warn other companies through this case," he said, adding that his company may continue to initiate legal procedures against others, if it can prevail over Mobike in the current case.
Except for the bike-sharing service sector, Lingyun's cellphone-lock patents can be used in other industries including security and telecommunications, he said.
Li Zhanke, an attorney representing Lingyun, told Chinese media: "With increasing use of smart-lock technologies, Lingyun will take a series of legal actions against suspected patent infringements to defend its rights."
In response, Mobike said in a statement that it has long been dedicated to promoting technological innovation, and respecting and protecting IP. Based on preliminary analysis, the company said it cannot agree to the plaintiff's assertions and will seek legal solutions to address the dispute.
Mobike filed a request with the Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office in late March, seeking invalidation of one of the two involved patents.
Hu Weiwei, founder of Mobike, said in an earlier public speech that her company has made enormous efforts in research and development. The company's CEO Wang Xiaofeng also noted that the current focus of Mobike is market expansion and technology upgrades.
SIPO's patent search system shows Mobike has filed 32 patent applications in China, with the filings showing that 12 utility models and five industrial designs were granted.
In contrast, Lingyun has 10 applications, with one invention, four utility models and one industrial design granted.
Liu Yinliang, an IP professor at Peking University Law School, said the media's intense interest in the case shows rising protection awareness among Chinese companies and the public, China IP News reported.
"No matter what the final result could be, this will help the industry to recognize the significance of enhanced IP protection," Liu said.
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Zhuzhou develops into renowned exporter of locomotive products (2017-04-11,China Daily)
The output of the railway industry in China's electric locomotive capital, Zhuzhou, is expected to exceed 200 billion yuan ($29 billion) by 2020, officials said at an international transit summit in Zhuzhou.
Zhuzhou, a small city with a population of 4.05 million in Central China's Hunan province, was known as the Engine Valley of China, partly due to its production of China's first electric locomotive in 1958, and partly because its self-developed products, including maglev trains, have been exported to more than 70 countries and regions, making it the world's largest supplier of electric locomotives with a 27 percent share of the global market.
CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co Ltd, one of 300 rail transit manufacturing enterprises in Zhuzhou, signed a deal with Czech rail operator Leo Express in December 2016 to sell three electric multiple units (EMUs) for $21 million, marking the first such deal with a European Union member in China, according to Liao Hongtao, deputy general manager of CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive.
Since the EU has strict standards on the safety and reliability of trains, the deal showed the international market's recognition of Chinese manufacturers, Liao said.
After one month, the company had sold four electric locomotives to Macedonia to run on the pan-European electric railway line 10.
A repairer of imported steamers as far back as 1936, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive now produces 60 percent of domestic locomotives.
Its products include high-speed trains, new energy automobiles, intercity EMU trains, mass transit vehicles and middle-to-low-speed magnetically levitated (maglev) rail lines, according to the company's website.
CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd, another local locomotive maker, exported eight-inch insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) chips to India in November 2016, which will be put into the transformers of 100 locomotives in India to make electric trains more energy-efficient, according to a Xinhua report.
The company built China's first and the world's second eight-inch IGBT chip production line in 2014. The chips have various uses, from high-speed rail to the aerospace and aviation industries, the report said.
CRRC Zhuzhou Institute has three listed subsidiaries, five overseas technical research centers, more than 2,000 patents and has helped set 69 international standards in the locomotive industry, said the company's representative.
"Rail transit is the pillar industry of the city," said Yang Weiguo, mayor of Zhuzhou. "We are now constructing an international rail transit equipment manufacturing base through the upgrading of rail transit products, localization of supporting industries, globalization of the market and integration of the development of the industry with that of the city."
The output of Changsha's rail transit industry reached 100.4 billion yuan ($14.6 billion) in 2015 and this figure is expected to double in five years, Yang said.
"We expect to develop Zhuzhou into a first-class research and manufacturing center, as well as China's biggest service center for the rail transit industry," he said.
Zhuzhou is also developing new energy automobiles, wind power generation and other green products.
Liu Youmei, director of the experts' committee of CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, said: "Related technology in rail transit has been weighted on high speed and heavy loads. In the future, it should give more emphasis to intelligent and environmentally friendly modes."
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Local maglev technology now a global industry leader (2017-04-11,China Daily)
Rail equipment sector enjoys boom times as transport unites cities and drives provincial economy
As one of the most dynamic emerging industries in China, the rail transport equipment business is playing a major role in the manufacturing sector in Central China's Hunan province during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period.
The industry is involved with many cutting-edge research institutions and manufacturers, including Fortune Global 500 companies.
Local players own more than 700 patents in the field, ranging from electric locomotives and cargo trains to high-speed and intercity express trains. More than 70 percent of the products in the Hunan market were developed locally.
Hunan officials said that the high-speed railway system has not only shortened the travel time between cities, but also accelerated the flow of capital, technology, information and human resources.
The provincial capital Changsha is now the hub of three high-speed railway lines, and is designed to have a subway system of 12 lines with a total length of 456 kilometers by 2030.
Hunan's rail transport industry has generated annual revenue of 200 billion yuan ($29 billion), and is leading the nation in related research and development.
The first subway line in Changsha started operations on April 29, 2014, making the city the 20th on the Chinese mainland to have a subway system.
In late December 2015, China's first domestically designed, low-speed maglev rail line started trial operations in Changsha. In the following year, it attracted delegations from 35 countries and regions including Singapore, Austria, Germany and Brazil. Many domestic cities also are planning to build such systems.
"I believe that the Changsha maglev system will grow and develop fast, as the concept of green and low-carbon development has become a consensus nowadays," wrote Du Jiahao, the provincial Party chief, for local newspaper Hunan Daily.
The provincial government signed an agreement with the National University of Defense Technology last September to build a maglev technology research center.
Zhou Xiaoming, general manager of Hunan Maglev Co, said the center is conducting research on mid-speed maglev systems where trains run at 160 kilometers per hour. The technology will be applied in Changsha's second maglev line in Xiangjiang New Area, a major investment project planned to start construction this year.
The International Maglev Conference 2020 will be held in Changsha.
Rail a key part of planned three-city cluster
On Dec 26, 2016, the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan intercity railway was completed. The system has 21 stations and is 95.5 km long. Its trains run at a speed of 160 kph, so it takes about 40 minutes to travel between the cities.
The system dispatches a train every hour, but this rate will increase in the future.
According to a plan initiated more than a decade ago, Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan are being integrated in urban planning, infrastructure construction, industrial development and market systems.
As the economic heart of Hunan, the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city cluster is home to more than two-thirds of the province's large companies, and contributes about half of the provincial GDP. It is also a national pilot area for a resource-conservative and eco-friendly society.
The intercity railway system has become a popular option for people in the three cities. According to statistics from the local railway authority, at least 80 percent of seats on the intercity trains were occupied during the Spring Festival holidays earlier this year.
A Xiangtan resident surnamed Liu said it took him less than 10 minutes to transfer from the intercity line to a train to Xi'an in Shaanxi province during the holidays, thanks to the easy connection between the intercity lines and the existing railway lines and stations.
"Although slower than the high-speed trains, the intercity railway lines have many stations in the urban areas, providing more convenience to those who work and go to school in Changsha and live in Zhuzhou or Xiangtan," said transport expert Zeng Xing.
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Commanding the world's respect (2017-04-10,Chinanews)
Mention of "amorphous alloys" may not immediately ring a bell, but think frames of mobile phone hinge of Huawei or door-lock cases of Tesla cars, and you will get a sense of how widespread their applications are - something Dongguan Eontec Co Ltd is well aware of and keen to exploit on a global scale.
"I believe 2017 will mark the beginning of a golden era of the amorphous metals industry. Eontec aims to be a respected company in the world," said Li Yangde, chairman of the new materials company, which is based in Guangdong province and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
In November, Li led Eontec to a controlling 46 percent stake in California-based Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. This is expected to benefit both companies, according to a report by Essence Securities.
In March last year, Eontec initially bought an 18 percent stake in Liquidmetal. It spent $55 million for the additional 28 percent stake, which also saw Li becoming Liquidmetal's CEO in December.
From Eontec's perspective, the investment is worth every dollar spent as Liquidmetal specializes in the research, development and commercialization of amorphous metals－expertise that would complement Eontec's own strengths.
Eontoc is the only company in the world that can produce molding bulk metallic glasses (another name for amorphous alloys), which are used in consumer electronics, automotive and healthcare sectors.
The alloys combine a number of desirable material features, including high tensile strength, excellent corrosion resistance, very high coefficient of restitution and excellent anti-wearing characteristics. A typical alloy is almost 1.5 times harder than stainless steel and about 2.5 times stronger than titanium.
"We are now planning to enter the U.S. market and become a leading player," said Li.
Such ambition stems from Liquidmetal's strong patent portfolio, high reputation and reasonable prices. Liquidmetal has 128 patents in the United States.
Abdi Mahamedi, former chairman of Liquidmetal, said the company has invested substantially in the development of new processes and technologies like injection molding, as well as in developing relationships with customers outside the conventional application areas.
So, Liquidmental has potential customers even in segments like consumer electronics, surgical and medical equipment and aerospace.
"Liquidmetal needed more capital and size to commercialize its efforts. It also needed a low-cost manufacturing partner, both of which Eontec brings to the table now," said Mahamedi.
So far, Liquidmetal's technology could produce only smaller precision parts weighing less than 100 grams each, Mahamedi said. Since Eontec is capable of manufacturing larger parts, their partnership will create a more diverse range of parts made of amorphous alloys as well as a large base of customers.
Eontec's mature technology and cost-effective materials could help turn the loss-making Liquidmental profitable. Although Liquidmetal's losses started in 2012, its patents, sales network and brand equity will likely make Eontec a global player.
"Eontec will step up the pace of integration with Liquidmetal. We'll bring Eontec's experience in manufacturing to Liquidmetal. We'll expand the application of amorphous alloys to areas like consumer electronics, automotive, medical equipment and sports goods," said Li.
Eontec is already eyeing potential opportunities in automotive, healthcare and aerospace. What's more, since 2015, US automaker Tesla has been using Eontech's amorphous metals in its car door-lock cases.
"Tesla's door-lock cases have a strong impact resistance. This helps them withstand opening and closing of car doors tens of thousands of times," said Li. "Although this business is still small, we have confidence the future will be brighter."
Some of Liquidmetals's business orders could come to Eontec. According to Liquidmetal, Apple Inc recently extended its 2015 deal to keep the rights to an innovative alloy that the tech giant needs for its production processes.
"We will continue to work with the 'fruit' company," said Li.
The Essence Securities report said amorphous metals will be widely used in the consumer electronics industry. Eontec has been a supplier of card slots and hinges to Chinese phone makers such as Oppo, Huawei, Lenovo and Coolpad.
Its next plan is to provide amorphous metal frames to more mobile phone makers at home and abroad. "This is a profitable market and our final goal in the consumer electronics industry," said Li, adding that many mobile phone makers showed interest in forging cooperation with Eontec.
Li said Eontec is aiming to set up an industry alliance for amorphous metal players. The planned association would co-invest, share orders and go overseas together to develop members' businesses.
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Huawei wins case vs Samsung (2017-04-07,Chinanews)
A Chinese court has ruled Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Chinese subsidiaries must pay 80 million yuan ($11.6 million) to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for patent infringement.
The court ruling marks the Chinese smartphone maker's first victory in safeguarding its intellectual property in the local market.
Huawei filed a lawsuit against Samsung's two units in China, one in Huizhou in Guangdong province and the other in Tianjin, as well as Samsung China Investment Co Ltd and two Fujian-based electronics companies, claiming that more than 20 models of Samsung smartphones and tablet products, including the flagship Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, have infringed its patents.
The Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court in Fujian has ordered the five companies to stop infringing patents and asked the three subsidiaries of Samsung to compensate for the loss.
Huawei said it fosters industrial innovation and healthy development of the industry by respecting and protecting intellectual property.
Samsung declined to comment on whether it will appeal the ruling.
The judgment is the first of a series of lawsuits filed by the Chinese tech giant against Samsung.
In May 2016, Huawei filed lawsuits against Samsung in Shenzhen and California for patent infringements.
Huawei said several of its cellular communications technology and software inventions have been used in Samsung smartphones without permission.
Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, said Huawei is a patent giant in the global market, and has been planning to collect copyright fees from domestic and foreign telecom companies.
Huawei has signed reciprocal patent agreement with Apple Inc in 2015.
"The smartphone patents were dominated by foreign telecom firms including Qualcomm Inc, Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj in the past, and China has no right of speech in this sector. Huawei, as a rising and top-ranking Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker, has played a bigger role in standards setting, especially with 5G, and boasted more patents in recent years," said Wang.
The patent wars among tech giants are common. Apple and Samsung have been battling over patents since 2011. Both companies have said that the other has violated its patents related to mobile technology and design.
Wang said there is no doubt Huawei's stance will set an example for its rivals, and highlight the significance of innovation and patents.
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BOE records growth in 2016 patent applications (2017-04-06,China Daily)
BOE Technology Group Co recorded extraordinary growth in its international patent applications during 2016, an increase of 36.3 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
BOE filed 1,673 applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2016, ranking eighth worldwide, together with ZTE and Huawei.
BOE’S IP capacities went from strength to strength and played an important role in the global market, making it the second largest corporation in the semiconductor industry after Samsung Electronics, according to the 2016 State of Innovation report released by Thomson Reuters.
Founded in 1967, WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.
BOE is a supplier of internet of things technologies, products and services, with core businesses including display devices, smart systems and healthcare services, widely used in a broad spectrum of applications.
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Plan to revitalize traditional crafts (2017-04-05,China Daily)
A new plan aimed at further promoting traditional Chinese crafts, especially those listed as part of the country's intangible cultural heritage, has been issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet.
The Plan on Revitalizing China's Traditional Crafts, released on March 24, aims to inject momentum into the protection of Chinese culture and heritage.
It calls for better management of the industry and increased market competitiveness, with substantial improvements to be made by 2020.
According to the document, traditional crafts are set to play a more significant role in creating jobs, with the incomes of practitioners to be increased and industrial structures to be diversified. The country is also set to establish a national catalog of traditional crafts and increase the number of intangible cultural heritage inheritors.
Migrant workers are being encouraged to return to their hometowns to develop traditional crafts and grow their local cultural industry, with favorable polices being put in place to help them.
More efforts will be made to improve the design, production and quality of traditional products, as higher-quality materials and a modern management system are introduced.
The document also encouraged enterprises and practitioners of traditional crafts to protect their secrets, apply for trademarks and know their intellectual property rights.
In the meantime, further efforts should be made to enhance the promotion and sales of traditional products, the document said, recommending displays and roadshows at popular tourism sites.
The document also called for universities, enterprises and institutions to host seminars and training sessions for inheritors and practitioners of famous traditional crafts.
In addition, the country will support eligible universities to set up majors and courses in traditional crafts and cultivate professional talent. The country will continue to promote intangible cultural heritage education in universities, and in middle and primary schools, in an effort to enhance awareness.
As the Chinese economy grows, more attention has been attached to soft power, leading to cultural heritage, including traditional crafts, being promoted more by the central and local governments. To date, China has more examples of intangible cultural heritage listed by UNESCO than any other country in the world, with 38 entries.
The Plan on Revitalizing China's Traditional Crafts came as a result of the Ministry of Culture's announcement in January last year that it was compiling a new guideline to better protect traditional crafting techniques, especially those in danger of dying out.
Currently, the country has about 1,700 nationally-recognized inheritors of intangible heritage and the Ministry of Culture raised the subsidies they each receive to 20,000 yuan ($2,900) per year at the time of last year's announcement.
Xia Xueluan, a visiting professor of sociology at Sanya University in Hainan province, stressed the importance of preserving traditional crafts for the generations to come.
"Despite the government's efforts to conserve these techniques, some are still vanishing. The plan sets a direction for local authorities to protect this intangible heritage," Xia said, adding that the result will depend on how the plan is carried out.
Xu Chaoxing, a maker of pottery known as celadon in Longquan county, Zhejiang province, said the plan will help boost traditional crafts, which are an essential part of Chinese culture.
Longquan celadon is a type of green-glazed pottery that dates back more than 1,700 years. It was listed as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2009.
Xu has been making the traditional ceramics since 1956 and has personally witnessed the craft's revival and resurgence.
"I will continue to embrace 'the spirit of the craftsman' (a concept introduced by Premier Li Keqiang during last year's two sessions) and improve the techniques I utilize, which I hope will, in turn, contribute to the revitalization of China's traditional crafts," Xu said.
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Shanghai asked to do more on innovation (2017-03-30,Chinanews)
Shanghai should strengthen support for startups and talent as well as improve management of intellectual property rights to boost innovation and entrepreneurship, local political advisors said yesterday.
These moves will help turn the city into a global tech and innovation center by 2030, the advisors said.
Shanghai has built 18 city-level innovation platforms to support its ambition. The Zhangjiang High-Tech Park has been labeled as the national technology park.
But Shanghai should expend more efforts to create a top Internet company in the city along the lines of Baidu in Beijing, Alibaba in Hangzhou and Tencent in Shenzhen, the members said during a meeting of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Shanghai has the means to tap the huge potential and opportunities in Big Data, artificial intelligence and industrial Internet in China because the city leads in these sectors nationwide, the advisors said. Shanghai is offering subsidies to attract overseas talents and engineers.
Shanghai should also improve intellectual property rights management. The city aims to build an Asia-Pacific IPR trade center, said Shanghai CPPCC member Zheng Long.
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11 on trial over counterfeit baby formula (2017-03-30,China Daily)
Suspects face up to life imprisonment for selling, producing fake products
Eleven people face criminal charges for producing and selling counterfeit baby formula involving top brand names, according to a court in Shanghai.
The defendants each sold up to 3.6 million yuan ($524,000) worth of counterfeit baby formula between August 2014 and September 2015, the Shanghai No 3 Intermediate People's Court said on Wednesday. More than 30,000 baby formula tins with counterfeit Beingmate and Abbott trademarks were produced.
The trial started on Monday and ended on Tuesday, the court said. The suspects face criminal charges including producing and selling fake or substandard products, and illegally producing registered trademarks, the court said.
Niu Bei, a publicity official at the court, said the court will hand down a verdict soon.
Five of the defendants, including Gu Chuansheng, representative of Jining Jingu Packaging Co, in Jining, Shandong province, were accused of producing tins with Beingmate and Abbott logos and filling them with other brands of milk powder, the court said.
Four others were accused of producing and selling fake or substandard products for assisting in the production of the tins, according to the court.
Two were accused of selling fake or substandard products that they knew were counterfeit, the court said.
The fake baby formula was produced and sold in Shandong and Hunan provinces. Shanghai-based Abbott Co reported the case to the police in September 2015, the court said.
Those producing and selling fake or substandard products can face up to life imprisonment according to the Criminal Law.
Food safety has been a top concern for Chinese in recent years, especially after melamine-tainted baby formula caused at least six infant deaths and made a further 300,000 ill in 2008.
A series of measures have been taken in recent years to make punishments stricter for food safety violations.
The revised Food Safety Law, adopted in October 2015, requires quality control covering the whole process of baby formula production, and requires that all batches of baby food be inspected before they are sold.
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Revised guidelines set to protect business models (2017-03-30,China Daily)
Recent plan emphasizes patentability for emerging sectors and software
The revised Guidelines for Patent Examination, a new set of rules regulating patent filings in China, will take effect on Saturday, ushering in expanded intellectual property protection for business models, the internet, e-commerce and big data, experts said.
"The changes in the latest guidelines signal a major revolution in our IP legal framework, expanding patents' coverage," said Wu Handong, a renowned IP law expert and the former president of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Hubei province.
Among the major amendments is one concerning business models. Under the current Patent Law, they are generally excluded from patent claims.
Yet, according to the new guidelines, filings involving both business methods and technical characteristics are now patentable.
Wu cited the United States to illustrate that there is precedence for such legislation worldwide.
Filings featuring the combination of business models and technology still need to meet the patentability requirements of novelty, inventiveness and usefulness, he said.
A host of innovative business models in such sectors as finance, leasing, auctions, investment, marketing and advertisement are emerging amid the rapid development of internet technologies, offering more user-friendly experiences and increased efficiency in the distribution of social resources.
Their filings can now be patented as encouragement and protection of technological solutions concerning business models, according to the State Intellectual Property Office.
Innovations by business models draw a throng of imitations from other enterprises keen to cash in. As a result, the innovators' accomplishments go unrewarded, as they cannot obtain justified returns from their investments, Wang Honglei, an IP attorney based in Guangdong province, told business portal Caixin.
The new guidelines open a door to protection of innovative business models and methods, Wang said.
Another highlight in the guidelines concerns the distinction between computer programs and related inventions. The former are generally considered unpatentable as they are "rules and methods for mental activities", while the latter are eligible for patents.
A lack of distinction between the two in the previous regulations tended to result in rejection of patent applications for the related technologies.
Software is, in essence, a technological solution based on computer language, Wang said. Before the amendment, it was a common practice to "bind software to hardware" in patent filings in a bid to increase odds of approval, he said.
The amendment will change the industry practice and reduce difficulties in maintaining rights in subsequent patent disputes, he noted.
With software protection on the rise, software's value will gain more acceptance and consumers will become more willing to pay for it, helping to create a friendly environment for developing high-quality software, he added.
In addition, the revisions also include a period extension for consulting and duplicating patent applications, which will help to monitor processing and improve patent quality. The amendment will prove to be of great significance to the entire IP system, Caixin quoted Zhang Taolue, an associate professor at the Tongji Law School in Shanghai, as saying.
The new guidelines still face challenges in implementation, Zhang said. "While advanced international practice can be taken as a reference, it still needs to be tested in practice."
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Mobike's secret to leading the bicycle pack (2017-03-27,China Daily)
Bike-sharing service provider Mobike has rolled out a series of tweaks to make its bicycles lighter and more comfortable to ride.
"The bike is constantly getting cooler and lighter, to meet the growing needs of our users, of whom 80 percent are the post-'80s and '90s generation," said Xu Hongjun, general manager of Mobike's manufacturing base in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.
The company has chosen Beijing and Shanghai to introduce new machines in tens of thousands. Notable improvements include lighter bikes (weight down by 3 kg to 23 kg), an adjustable seat as well as a basket, and disc brakes at the rear for greater control.
According to Xu, each fleet of bikes is custom-produced to suit the city and climate where it will be introduced. In Beijing, for example, the bikes use cold-resistant batteries, and tires with deeper tread to give better grip on icy roads in winter.
Bikes in Wuxi, a rain-prone eastern Chinese city, have extended mud guards on both front and rear tires to protect riders from splash back.
These tweaks have not come at the expense of classic features that have attracted many of Mobike's customers, such as its easy-to-use V-shape frame, dust-proof paint, airless tires, and magnesium alloy wheels. The GPS-equipped smart lock also remains, which is key to Mobike's online-to-offline business model.
Charged with constant development and innovation, Mobike's Wuxi production line is in high demand. Not only does it have to be able to produce enough bikes to match the ever-growing demand of the market, but it has to maintain the high quality of end-products that made the company a success so far.
Such demands on the production line are not a problem for the moment, according to Mobike founder Hu Weiwei, who revealed in a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang earlier this year that the Wuxi manufacturing base is capable of producing 14,000 units per day.
The manufacturing base was just a two-story factory in Wuxi's Hongshan town a year ago, but today it consists of two buildings taking up nearly 30,000 square meters. It also serves as Mobike's R& D center, applying for and receiving 30 technology and design patents such as the smart lock and magnesium alloy wheels.
Without the base, much of Mobike's core ambitions would never have been realized and its future not as bright. This integral part of the business is what Mobike CEO Wang Xiaofeng calls the company's "core competence".
"Many people may misunderstand the manufacturing sector in modern ways; they assume it is a place where workers assemble things with a straight face," Wang said. "They couldn't be more wrong, there are a lot of technical details in it. If an internet company underestimates the importance of manufacturing and the supply chain, it will lose everything."
Mobike is also in negotiations with Wuxi authorities to further expand its base as it expects demand to continue to grow.
In just two short years since the new public bike-sharing system was introduced, the market has been flooded with millions of bicycles. There are an estimated 3 million public bikes operated by 29 different brands and service platforms across dozens of cities, according to statistics from the association of the bike industry in Tianjin, the country's largest bicycle manufacturing base.
Mobike, however, has managed to stand above the rest and become a clear market leader with 3.1 million active monthly users and a 72.5 percent market share as of December, according to a report by Trustdata. It leaves ofo in a distant second position with a 21.8 percent market share, and all other brands combined with less than 10 percent share.
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China court overturns iPhone sale ban (2017-03-26,Xinhua)
A Chinese court has ruled in favor of Apple Inc. in design patent disputes between it and a domestic phone-maker, overturning a ban on selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in China.
Last May, a Beijing patent regulator ordered Apple's Chinese subsidiary and a local retailer Zoomflight to stop selling the said phones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing services Co. (Shenzhen Baili) lodged a complaint to it, claiming that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed upon by the iPhone sales.
Apple and Zoomflight took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office's banning order to court.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday revoked the ban, saying Apple and Zoomflight did not violate Shenzhen Baili's design patent for 100c phones.
The court ruled that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban while there is no sufficient proof to claim the designs constitute violation of intellectual property rights.
Representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili said they would take time to decide whether to appeal the ruling.
In another related ruling, the same court denied a request by Apple to demand stripping Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phones. Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection to court.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board's decision. It remains not immediately clear if Apple will appeal.
Apple phones are popular among China's urban young people, but the sale faces stiff competition from domestic phone makers, which produce a wider range of affordable and quality smart phones.
Last year, three domestic brands -- OPPO, Huawei and Vivo -- outperformed Apple as China's top selling phone brands, according to a report by the International Data Corporation.
OPPO sold 78.4 million handsets in China last year, tailed by Huawei with 76.6 million units.
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Entrepreneurs urged to heed intl IP rules (2017-03-24,China Daily)
Rapid globalization makes adherence to such norms crucial, says top expert
Entrepreneurs should ensure they are primed to keep up with the pace of global expansion, in which intellectual property rules have been deeply embedded, said Wu Handong, a renowned IP expert.
Wu, former president of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Hubei province, who was named one of the world's 50 most influential figures in the IP sphere in 2009 and 2011 by the British magazine Managing Intellectual Property, made the comments in an interview with China Daily prior to his attendance at the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia being held in Hainan province.
Wu will deliver a keynote speech at an IP session during the forum on Friday. The forum opened on Thursday and will last through Sunday.
"IP rules are a standard part of international trade," Wu said. "They ensure a healthy global business environment."
Thus Chinese companies involved in foreign trade need to learn the rules when it comes to IP. They include the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, which is an international legal agreement between all members of the World Trade Organization, signed in 1994, as well as an array of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements covering IP protection, he said.
Wu also noted the importance of conducting research into unilateral IP sanctions imposed by the United States, including via Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, which allows it to impose trade sanctions on foreign countries that either violate trade agreements or engage in other unfair trade practices, as well as Section 337 investigations into companies' suspected violations and the "notorious market" list aimed at both online and brick and mortar marketplaces.
Data from the General Administration of Customs show that China reported a 0.9 percent year-on-year drop to 24.33 trillion yuan ($3.53 trillion) in foreign trade last year.
Foreign exchange fluctuations and price falls in international bulk cargo markets contributed to the reduction in trade, Gao Hucheng, then minister of commerce, said at a news conference in February.
Xing Houyuan, deputy director of the China Service Outsourcing Research Center affiliated with the ministry, told the Beijing-based Economic Information Daily that as China advances supply-side structural reforms, the industrial restructuring is being reflected in foreign trade.
Wu said the Belt and Road Initiative, a strategy proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to increase international cooperation via the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, has provided more opportunities for higher-level opening-up and continues to facilitate trade and investment.
The IP veteran called on Chinese companies to develop a global strategy and mindset as well as legal awareness as they look to compete on the international stage. He encouraged those companies going abroad to shift their focus from their competitors' prices to patented technologies and well-established brands.
"Increasing proprietary intellectual property is key to improving their competitive edge," Wu said, adding that winning domestic patents will not, by itself, help Chinese companies to expand abroad.
Improving technologies, promoting participation in formulating international industrial standards and fostering business brands have all been earmarked as major tasks in a foreign trade development plan for the 2016-20 period released by the Ministry of Commerce at the end of last year.
The latest data from the World Intellectual Property Organization show that international patent applications from China filed via the Patent Cooperation Treaty numbered 43,168 in 2016, ranking the country third on the PCT chart by country, after the United States and Japan.
WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry said at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 15: "China's performance is quite extraordinary. In terms of international patent applications, the number of applications from China rose by 44.7 percent in one year."
The country has maintained annual double-digit growth in PCT filings since 2002.
With 4,123 applications, a year-on-year surge of 91.3 percent, Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE reclaimed top spot among the world's largest 10 PCT corporate filers last year, followed by its Chinese and US rivals Huawei Technologies and Qualcomm, respectively.
The ranking shows ZTE's improvement in innovation in the sphere of information and communications technology and also reflects the fact that the company both respects and has mastered international IP rules, its Chief IP Officer, Shen Nan, told Chinese media.
Despite only ranking 34th on the list, e-commerce colossus Alibaba still managed to come second among the world's dotcom enterprises, behind Google.
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Processing the world's phosphorus perfectly (2017-03-24,China Daily)
Wengfu blazes a trail with frenetic expansion and big technology emphasis
In 2007, China's Wengfu (Group) Co achieved what was then truly extraordinary - the State-owned phosphorus and chemicals manufacturer outplayed many European and US counterparts to win the bid for what was then the world's largest mineral-processing project in Saudi Arabia.
That set the tone for its frenetic global activity ever since. It launched a number of projects in northern and western Africa, as well as the Middle East.
Today, Wengfu is pressing ahead with more than 30 overseas projects in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Kenya, most of which make use of its technologies related to mining and processing.
That's not all. Wengfu's senior executives say the company is now set to continue its overseas expansion into economies covered by the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through an infrastructure and trade grid along the ancient Silk Road route.
In the past three years, China signed around 50 government-level cooperation agreements in the Belt and Road countries and regions, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner.
Outbound investments in economies along the Belt and Road are worth more than $50 billion, and have resulted in better-than-expected achievements, says He Lifeng, minister of the NDRC.
Companies such as the Guizhou-based Wengfu can take some credit for that. The SOE is adopting diverse models of cooperation to gain a firmer foothold in foreign markets that lack the ability to mine or process natural resources like phosphorus, an essential mineral.
From Wengfu's perspective, rich ores overseas need to be exploited further. Its overseas goal is consistent with the current domestic situation. The chemical producer has been largely reliant on the domestic market so far.
It made a profit last year, but it was small as the rebound in coal prices pushed up its already-high costs. Revenue remained around 40 billion yuan ($5.79 billion; 5.38 billion euros; 4.68 billion), according to Jin Gang, assistant general manager of Wengfu and a deputy who attended the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing earlier this month.
By 2020, Wengfu plans to invest about $4.3 billion to spur growth, and part of the budget will be allocated to strengthening efforts in overseas markets, especially along the Belt and Road, he says. "Technology exports will remain our priority."
Founded in 1990, Wengfu started operations in 2000. Since then, it has mastered its low-cost, high-yield phosphorus mining technology, which helps extract 95 percent of the mineral from phosphate ore after removing impurities.
Jin says Wengfu's overseas strategy has evolved in the past decade from exporting raw material, like phosphate fertilizers and processed products like iodine, to transferring higher-value-added technologies.
Such a change dovetails with the government's endeavor to increase the share of high-value services in China's exports.
The group also owns national-level laboratories and research facilities for post-doctoral researchers. This initiative has resulted in more than 2,000 patents so far.
Zhang Tao, CEO of Wengfu Engineering and Contracting Co, the subsidiary in charge of overseas business, says Wengfu's business connections overseas vary with client needs, but its focus is fixed on giving full play to its technologies and professional services.
The company is in talks with some parties to finalize investment terms for building factories in Belt and Road countries and regions. It will apply its world-class technology to extract anhydrous hydrogen fluoride, or AHF, at a lower cost. AHF is a chemical product extracted from phosphorus for industrial use.
"Many markets have shown strong interest in such projects," Zhang says. "We will decide by evaluating the quality of mineral deposits, the investment environment and the market size. For other potential clients, we could tailor services to their preferences - say, we may send our consultants or provide EPC projects" - a reference to engineering, procurement and construction, a common form of contracting in the section.
Wengfu has faced its share of legal, cultural and religious challenges overseas. The only way out was to join forces, Zhang says.
"Vicious competition always drags everyone down. Chinese companies need to beef up their respective advantages," he says.
He cites Wengfu's collaboration with China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corp, its one-time competitor, for the second phase of Saudi Arabia's project.
"Our partner has more experience in networking and project management in Saudi Arabia, while Wengfu, a latecomer, uses technologies to its advantage. It was a win-win for both of us."
Thus far, Wengfu has implemented projects in partnership with many Chinese machinery producers and construction firms.
Zhou Liqun, general manager of state-owned China Chengtong International Investment Co, says prudent risk management plays a key role in fulfilling the goal of overseas investment.
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IP body drafting new regulatory framework to boost innovation (2017-03-24,Chinanews)
China would improve the regulatory framework for intellectual property rights to better drive innovation, a senior official with the nation's top patent office said during Boao Forum for Asia on Friday.
Shen Changyu, commissioner of State Intellectual Property Office of China, said China is drafting the intellectual property rights laws and regulations under the framework of the General Principles of Civil Law, the latter of which is a civil code planned to be enacted in 2020.
The judicial departments would step up efforts to strengthen enforcement of intellectual property rights laws, according to Shen.
Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said innovators, both domestic and foreign, need a more transparent and more predicable regulatory framework for intellectual property rights, because it would decrease the costs of developing new products, which can be very time consuming.
Wu Handong, former president of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said a better intellectual property regulatory system would help Chinese manufacturing sector catch up with developed countries.
Although China remains a powerhouse in the manufacturing world, lack of innovation is one key factor that makes the sector lag behind the United States, according to Wu.
"Innovation and entrepreneurship could thrive when patents are well-protected," said Wu.
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China continues to top global trademark application (2017-03-23,Xinhua)
China filed 3.69 million trademark applications in 2016, up 28.4 percent over 2015, the the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) said Wednesday.
The number of valid trademarks registered in China was nearly 12.4 million by the end of 2016.
China has led the world in terms of trademark filing for 15 years.
China's cabinet, the State Council, has set specific goals and tasks for the development of intellectual property during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
A trademark festival will be held in September, focusing on the role of trademarks and brands in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Wang Peizhang, secretary-general of the China Trademark Association.
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Protect IP rights before going overseas, companies urged (2017-03-23,Chinanews)
Chinese companies with aspirations to go global should ensure their intellectual property rights are protected before expanding into overseas markets, a top IPR expert said.
Chen Hongbing, head of the World Intellectual Property Organization's China office, said that as more enterprises go out, it is essential they understand the laws and regulations in other countries to avoid patent disputes.
"China is on the edge of a historic transition," he said in an exclusive interview with China Daily. "With globalization and regional economic integration, the country's commodities, technologies, brands and capital are moving into overseas markets at a rapid pace.
"In this process, innovative products and technologies need to be protected with IPR. ... Otherwise, difficulties may arise."
The central government has put more emphasis on innovation in recent years, leading to a series of technological breakthroughs. In 2015, China's patent office received a record 1 million applications, the most reported in any country in a single year.
"The number of patent applications has soared, which shows a rising awareness about IPR, improvement of IPR system operations and an uplift of overall innovation performance by the country," Chen said.
IPR protection has become a major part of many companies' strategic management to promote their competitive edge and reduce dispute risks, he added.
WIPO's data show that 43,168 Patent Cooperation Treaty applications were filed from China last year, the third-highest worldwide — another sign of the importance China attaches to patent protection in overseas markets. For international registration of trademarks, the applications from China under WIPO's Madrid System hit a record 3,200 cases last year, a year-on-year growth of 68.6 percent.
Chen said major Chinese companies such as ZTE, Huawei, BOE and Xiaomi have enlisted WIPO's services to protect their innovations and branding overseas.
Francis Gurry, director-general of WIPO, said, "China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from 'made in China' to 'created in China'."
The organization, a United Nations agency with 189 member states, offers a wide range of global IP services, including the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Madrid System for the international registration of trademarks.
The Madrid System allows companies to seek protection of their trademarks in more than 100 countries by filing just one registration at WIPO.
"Without the service, companies have to register their trademarks in different countries. This takes time, energy and money," Chen said.
"With different languages, legal systems and cultures, it's not easy to go through the process country by country."
A convenient and effective system for cross-border patent protection is key to companies going global, he said, adding: "WIPO's Global IP Services are increasingly recognized by Chinese companies and innovators. In central and western regions, they have also shown a growing interest, and in coastal areas, they are using the services widely now."
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Beijing court rules against Sony China for patent infringement (2017-03-23,Xinhua)
A Beijing court on Wednesday ruled that Sony Mobile Communications (China) had infringed the patent of a Chinese Internet company and should pay over 9.1 million yuan (1.3 million U.S. dollars) for the latter's losses.
The lawsuit, filed in 2015 by Xidian Jietong, a wireless network communications company in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an, accused Sony of infringing its copyright of WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI).
Beijing Intellectual Property Court (BIPC) ruled against Sony and told the company to compensate Xidian Jietong for economic losses and stop production and sales of mobile phones equipped with the technology.
About 35 models of Sony phones including L39h (Xperia Z1) and L50T (Xperia Z2) are using the technology.
All mobile devices have been required to conduct WAPI function tests before they get access to the internet on the Chinese mainland since 2003. Xidian Jietong obtained the patent in 2005.
The negotiations on the patent infringement between the two companies failed in 2009.
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Armor made with 8,000 copper coins gets patent (2017-03-22,Chinanews)
A villager in Jing'an county, eastern China's Jiangxi Province, has been awarded an appearance design patent for knitting a suit of armor using more than 8,000 copper coins.
The armor, shining in sunshine, appears majestic. It's flanged with leather and copper rivets, and decorated with a Tai Chi- Eight Diagram design on the front as well as a black waistband. Eight Diagram is also known as Bagua, used in Taoist cosmology.
The armor is Zhang Canjin's second recent work. The first, which took him about two months, has been sold.
"I didn't think that I could get a national patent when I started knitting the armor," said Zhang, 52, who lives in Huanglong Village.
He said knitting is one of his interests. "The old craft was not very popular when I was young, and it was difficult to find enough copper coins," Zhang said, adding that he did not knit often.
"In ancient times, copper coins represented fortune and wealth. Linking the copper coins one by one had the positive meaning of accumulating wealth," it was noted. However, few people know the craft of coin knitting nowadays. Zhang said he hopes more young people can learn and inherit it.
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Capital's IP court boosts quality of hearings (2017-03-22,Chinanews)
Beijing Intellectual Property Court said on Wednesday that it has increased efforts to deal with patent disputes and improve the quality of its case hearings.
Since being established in November 2014, 3,693 patent disputes have been filed with the court, 1,760 of which have been concluded.
Patent cases made up almost 17 percent of the total IP disputes the court handled over the past two years, with 20 percent of these emanating from overseas.
"Although hearing patent disputes takes up a lot of time and energy, we always pay great attention to them because the quality of patents indicates our country's pace of innovation," said Chen Jinchuan, vice president of the court.
An increasing number of disputes relate to core technology and foreign enterprises, which Chen said shows China has become a major market for IP that is gaining in trust among foreigners.
The court has handled patent cases involving Apple Inc, the technology giant from the United States, as well as Chinese internet major Baidu.
So far, the court has set up 12 teams specializing in hearing patent disputes and appointed 39 technical investigators.
"The investigators have a technical background, coming mainly from academic institutes and the nation's patent administrations and colleges," Chen said. "These talented people make a big contribution to improving our efficiency and accuracy in case hearings."
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China resolves 87,000 IPR cases in 2011-2015 (2017-03-19,Xinhua)
A total of 87,000 cases related to infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR) were cleaned up during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), according to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).
The office also announced that 322,000 cases related to other business infringements, including confidentiality, counterfeiting, and trademark rights, were dealt with.
Shen Changyu, head of the SIPO, said establishment of IPR protection centers will be accelerated this year to facilitate the handling of IPR cases.
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New Chinese language teaching method uses Latin spelling (2017-03-18,Chinanews)
An educational institution in Dalian in Northeast China's Liaoning province, has begun teaching foreigners the Chinese language using the letters of the Roman alphabet.
"By adopting the spelling and pronunciation of the alphabet that the westerners are familiar with, we help overseas students learn Chinese much faster than traditional methods," said Bi Zhen, innovator and patent owner of the method named "Learning Chinese Quickly".
Starting with listening and speaking, the method puts the emphasis on meaning and grammar simultaneously.
Unlike pinyin - a system developed in the 1950s using Latin letters to make the language more accessible - the spelling used in this method attempts to more closely match the western pronunciation of letters.
The method also uses computers to assist the teaching and learning.
"Practice with overseas students, businessmen, tourists, and even the sight-impaired have proven the convenience and accuracy of using computers to assist with writing," Liu Zhigong, president of Huali (Dalian) Educational Consulting, said.
After about 100 hours offline study, students of Chinese starting from zero can gain the ability for self-study and even be able to read classic works, Liu said.
Liu's team is developing a mobile phone app based on the same method.
"With that app, a foreigner can learn Chinese more conveniently," he said.
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Chinese scientists develop test to warn against toxic smog (2017-03-17,Xinhua)
Chinese scientists have developed a testing method, using yeast genes marked with fluorescence, to give a real-time warning when substances hazardous to humans appear in smog.
Scientists with the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering of Peking University said Friday that they had obtained a national patent for the air pollutant warning system.
Yao Maosheng, a chief scientist with the Peking University program, said PM2.5 was fine particulate matter that caused smog.
The research team has selected yeast genes that have reactions to particulate matter from smog air samples obtained from different regions around the world.
Yao explained that the research team used brewer's yeast for testing PM2.5. The gene sequencing of yeast was completed in 1996, and scientists have now been able to trace genes in yeast that have reactions to PM2.5 and mark them with fluorescence.
By monitoring the movement of the fluorescence-marked genes, scientists can give real-time alerts when the density of poisonous substances in PM2.5 rises.
"In future research, the team hopes to determine which substances in the smog are disease-causing virulent strains," Yao said.
The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is China's most heavily air-polluted area.
China has deployed equipment for round-the-clock online monitoring of PM2.5, and strengthened research on smog to improve the precision of measures to fight it.
Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday that China would set up a special fund and pool the country's best scientists to find out the unique cause of smog that frequently blankets northern China.
Speaking at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual national legislative session, Li said the government was determined to spend as much as needed for the research to fight and win the battle against smog.
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China to step up IPR trials to stimulate innovation (2017-03-12,Xinhua)
China will step up the trials of intellectual property right (IPR) cases in 2017 to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship of diverse entities, a work report of the Supreme People's Court said Sunday.
In 2016, China improved IPR protection rules by making judiciary interpretations on the trials of certain kinds of cases, including patent right cases, according to the report delivered by Chief Justice Zhou Qiang to the National People's Congress.
Last year, China tried a series of trademark cases lodged by U.S. basketball icon Michael Jordan, demonstrating the country's stance and determination to reinforce judicial protection for intellectual property rights, the report said.
Michael Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear and shoe maker, for unauthorized uses of his name and identity in 2012.
The SPC in December 2016 ruled in favor of Jordan, saying that the company's use of Chinese characters translated from "Jordan" as a trademark violated Michael Jordan's right to his name and broke the Trademark Law.
The court also ruled that Jordan has no exclusive rights to the use of the word "Qiaodan," which is the pinyin (phonetic spelling) of the Chinese characters for Jordan, and rejected his claims in this regard.
Three IPR courts in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou explored the application of punitive damages to solve problems including low infringement costs and high costs for safeguarding rights, the report said.
Four IPR tribunals, in charge of trans-regional IPR cases, opened in the cities of Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu last year, it said.
Chinese courts at different levels concluded some 147,000 IPR cases in 2016, boosting mass entrepreneurship and innovation, according to the work report.
Last year, China prosecuted 21,505 people for crimes in this regard, including IPR infringements, according to a work report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) delivered by Procurator-General Cao Jianming.
Last year, 29 provincial-level regions set up information sharing platforms for law enforcement and criminal justice to crack down on IPR infringement and fake products.
This year, the SPP will prioritize the punishment of IPR-related criminal cases, among others, the report said.
Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, told the press on Sunday that the country will coordinate efforts of different government departments and industries for IPR protection this year.
The country will also create IPR protection centers, reinforce law enforcement and nurture IPR-intensive industries, Shen said.
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Protecting IPR in China to be made easier, official says (2017-03-12,China Daily)
China will continue to step up efforts to protect intellectual property, with the aim to make it easier and cheaper for innovators to safeguard their rights, the IPR chief said today.
Shen Changyu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions that administrative law enforcement will be strictly carried out, particularly in the fields of social affairs, the internet and safety issues.
The number of patent disputes reached nearly 50,000 last year, up by 40 percent year-on-year, he said.
In 2015, China filed a record 1 million patent applications, the most by any country within a single year.
"China has already become a powerful economy in terms of intellectual property, but there is still space to better use innovations," Shen said.
He added that his office will establish a scientific mechanism to distribute the profits from innovation to benefit more innovators.
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Major science innovation projects set for this year (2017-03-11,China Daily)
China will launch all 15 of its major science innovation projects this year, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said on Saturday.
Wan, speaking at a news conference in Beijing, said these projects include cutting edge technologies from quantum computers to advanced manufacturing. Planning on these projects began in 2016 and all projects will be completed by 2030, he added.
"These projects belong to key and advanced scientific fields, but they also have to be practical," he said. "Technological innovations will guide and reform traditional industries."
Projects such as quantum communication and computing, brain studies, and integration of space and ground information have already launched, Wan said.
The new batch of projects, such as new material, Internet security, and advanced robotics, will complement and build on previous scientific achievements, Wan said.
"Different Technologies develop at a different rate, so we have to adopt a dynamic approach during planning," he said.
By 2020, China will complete the 16 major sciences projects planned in 2006, ranging from advanced computer chips to new telecommunication technologies.
From 2011 to 2015, China invested more than 180 billion yuan ($26.1 billion) in 10 major civilian science projects. In return, these projects produced 1.42 trillion yuan in revenue, Wan said.
Companies, universities and research institutions produced more than 11,000 patents and 8,470 technology standards; 240,000 researchers participated in these major projects.
"We are drawing power from all sides, as well as the market economy, to build major scientific projects of the future," Wan said, adding that these new technologies will improve our environment and medicine, and contribute to China’s economy and society.
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Trump trademark approvals in accordance with law: China regulator (2017-03-11,Xinhua)
China's trademark registration and examination process is strictly conducted in accordance with the law, a business regulation official said Friday.
In 2006, 120 Trump trademarks started to be applied in China, with 77 having been successfully registered so far. Recently, 44 trademarks have passed preliminary examinations, said Zhang Mao, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
"China's trademark law treats all applications equally, be them from domestic or foreign businesses," the official said.
Zhang made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session, in response to a question on the latest approvals of Trump trademarks in the country.
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Tsinghua to develop chips with UK company (2017-03-10,China Daily)
Beijing－Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd is teaming up with Britain's Dialog Semiconductor Plc to develop smartphone chips, in a deal that will help the Chinese technology giant expand its growing semiconductor empire.
Unigroup mobile-design subsidiary Spreadtrum RDA and the British supplier of chips to Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads are considering a joint venture in eastern China, in which the pair will jointly design communications components.
Dialog, which gets almost 70 percent of its revenue from Apple according to data compiled by Bloomberg, will help Unigroup with crucial mobile power management technology, in return for bigger access to the Chinese smartphone and Internet of Things market.
The Chinese company is keen on a deeper foray into the Internet of Things, a market that will blossom in coming years as devices in the home increasingly become connected. Unigroup is simultaneously devising an ambitious expansion in memory chips.
It has begun building a $30 billion memory-chip production complex in China that will become the country's largest when completed.
Spreadtrum RDA plans to launch its first chip for fifth-generation wireless networks in 2018.
Spreadtrum RDA Chairman Leo Li said: "We started as a low-end maker, and now after years of R&D investment, we're looking forward to gaining a bigger presence in the high-end sector. That is why we have joined hands with Dialog."
Unigroup bought Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics Inc about three years ago and merged them to form a new mobile chip unit, which now competes with MediaTek Inc on the lower end while Qualcomm Inc dominates the higher end.
Spreadtrum RDA's biggest customer today is Samsung Electronics Co, Li said.
Spreadtrum RDA had revenue in 2016 of 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), up from 10.9 billion yuan a year earlier, the company said on Thursday. The company is now valued at about $8.5 billion, according to its website.
Asked about reports about a potential IPO down the line, Spreadtrum RDA's Li said the chip designer may need to raise capital in the future to buy companies and patents. He declined to elaborate.
Li said: "It's a Three Kingdoms situation in the global smartphone chip-making industry. Qualcomm, MediaTek and Spreadtrum RDA are the only three major players."
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Govt toughens stand against illegal trademarks (2017-03-10,China Daily)
Anyone caught using illegal trademarks will have his crime noted in the credit system and named in public, said Zhang Mao, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said at a news conference in Beijing on Friday.
Zhang said 12.37 million trademarks have been registered in China, with 3.69 million applications submitted last year, an increase of 28 percent year on year, which shows that Chinese people's awareness of intellectual property protection has increased.
Zhang said the administration cracked down on 28,000 trademark infringement cases last year and will continue to increase penalties on counterfeiters.
"The authorities have also been promoting the facilitation of trademark application," Zhang said, adding that "with a total of 56 trademark agencies launched in prefecture-level cities, companies can directly apply for trademark in their local areas."
"Although the total number of Chinese-owned trademarks is big, we still lack high-valued brands, which does not do justice to China's new path of economic development, he said.
Zhang said electronic application of trademark will be further promoted as 80 percent of trademarks are applied online. And the cost of application will be significantly reduced.
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XXHVA's patent authorized by US for first time (2017-03-10,People's Daily)
Clutch Device of Gear Transmission System of a Circuit Breaker Spring Operating Mechanism, an invention patent of Xi'an XD High Voltage Apparatus Co., Ltd. (XXHVA), has recently been authorized by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent is the first patent of the company authorized by European and American countries.
XXHVA is in Xi'an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone.
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China cracks down on 28,000 trademark infringement cases in 2016 (2017-03-10,Xinhua)
China cracked down on 28,000 trademark infringement cases last year, said Zhang Mao, head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), at a news conference on Friday.
The country will continue to execute related laws, improve social credibility system and increase penalties on counterfeiters, he said.
The improvement in legal system and the development of a credibility system are two key steps needed to fight counterfeit and substandard products, he added.
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Industrial park to commercialize military technology (2017-03-09,China Daily)
An industrial park for businesses that produce civilian aviation products using military aviation technologies was opened in Huanggu district, Shenyang city on March 6.
The industrial park will serve as a comprehensive service platform for scientific research, production, aviation technology commercialization and informatization.
In Guanggu district of Shenyang city, another industrial park with a focus on the integration of military technology with civilian products has successfully commenced operations.
The Junwei industrial park has developed over 160 categories of thermal batteries and 30 categories of lithium batteries, resulting in 11 patents and independent intellectual property rights. A complete industrial chain for producing thermal batteries and lithium batteries is gradually taking shape at the Junwei industrial park.
The newly established industrial park, together with the Junwei industrial park is expected to boost the development of the transformation of scientific achievements, and the integration of military technology with civilian products.
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Chinese companies' EU patent filings up 42% (2017-03-09,Xinhua)
Increasing numbers of Chinese companies applied for patents in the EU last year, and the total number of applicants surpassed that of South Korea for the first time, according to the European Patent Office.
The most applications came from the US, with 69,399, according to a report released by the EPO on Tuesday. Next came Japan and China, with 51,082 and 43,743, respectively. Patent filings from China saw the largest growth of 41.5 percent year-on-year, according to the EPO.
China was also the only one to record double-digit growth in applications among the top 10.
Chinese telecommunications services provider Huawei Technologies was the second-largest patent applicant at the EPO in 2016, with 2,390 filings. It surpassed South Korean conglomerates Samsung and LG, the report showed.
Medical technology remained the field with the greatest number of patent applications in 2016, according to the report.
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Administrative, judicial reforms for IP system (2017-03-09,Xinhua)
Deputies of China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body, called for intellectual property reforms in administrative and judicial systems at their ongoing annual plenary sessions, also known as "the two sessions".
Delivering his annual Government Work Report on Sunday, Premier Li Keqiang noted that China will also pilot comprehensive IP administration and improve existing systems concerned with IP creation, protection and usage.
The State Council released a policy in December aimed at creating a pilot program for comprehensive IP administration. Under the current system, multiple government departments are involved in IP governance.
They include the State Intellectual Property Office, which is in charge of patent administration; the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which oversees trademark matters; and the National Copyright Administration, which supervises copyright issues.
This multi-channel management mechanism is also used by local governments, which needs reform to ensure stronger IP protection and improved government efficiency, according to the policy document.
To address the problem, the pilot program will feature an integrated enforcement team, according to industry insiders.
The first batch of cities to adopt the pilot program is expected to be announced this March, according to an official familiar with the IP administrative reforms, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
SIPO, SAIC and NCA are currently working with other government agencies to finalize the list.
Li Xin, a CPPCC National Committee member from Guangdong province in South China, called for the province to be included in the first batch of cities. "Guangdong meets all the requirements for a pilot city stipulated in the policy," Li said.
The policy outlined that several cities should feature in the first batch, and they should demonstrate innovative flair, an accelerated pace of economic transformation and marked progress in IP-driven development.
Shanghai's Pudong New Area, which is home to a free-trade zone, launched an integrated IP administration and enforcement system in January 2015.
The city is also home to one of China's three IP-dedicated courts, with the other two being located in Beijing and Guangzhou.
Zhao Wen, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, who is from Shanghai, suggested extending IP courts' jurisdiction to include criminal cases.
Currently, the IP courts are authorized to hear civil and administrative IP cases, which differs from the practice in many other courts, where one team hears the three types of IP cases, Zhao said.
Six provincial high courts, 95 city-level intermediate courts and 104 lower-level courts had adopted the integrated practice as of July 2016.
"Top policymakers need to place more emphasis on IP case jurisdiction, the structure of administrative departments and discipline in schools in order to improve technological innovation," Zhao said.
While Zhao called for existing IP courts to have wider jurisdiction, other members are seeking support for the establishment of new courts.
Zhang Jian, an NPC deputy and president of the Anhui High People's Court, said the province will explore the feasibility of setting up an IP court in its 2017 plan for implementing the country's IP-driven development strategy.
With rich research resources including the University of Sciences and Technology of China, Hefei, capital of the province, has been named a national pilot innovative city and granted National IP Model City status. It was given approval to become a comprehensive national science center in January, the second such center in the country after Shanghai.
The intermediate court in Hefei established its IP tribunal in 1996 and the court in the Hefei State Hi-tech Industry Development Zone is recognized as the province's pioneer of integrated IP legal practices. The two courts have heard nearly half of the province's IP cases, according to Zhang.
"To meet the pressing need for both IP protection and the accelerated development of technological innovations, I have suggested establishing an IP court in Hefei," Zhang said.
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PLA patents declassified for civilian use (2017-03-07,Xinhua)
Military and defense contractors to have R&D expenses reduced
The People's Liberation Army has declassified and made public more than 2,300 national defense patents, PLA Daily reported on Sunday.
The National Defense Intellectual Property Rights Bureau of the Central Military Commission's Equipment Development Department has declassified about 3,000 national defense patents and opened 2,346 of them to the public, according to PLA Daily.
It said it is the first time the PLA has declassified and made public military patents since it began to register such patents in 1985. The measure is intended to facilitate the transfer of military technologies to civilian industries to boost the coordinated development of the civilian and defense sectors, the report said.
The patents can be viewed at weain.mil.cn－a website managed by the CMC Equipment Development Department's Procurement Information Service Center－in the "Patent and Achievement" section where a total of 101 pages of detailed patent entries are available for public viewing.
The first several pages checked by China Daily contain a wide range of patents, such as those relating to missiles, aircraft, communications, vehicles and tracking systems.
Each entry lists details of the patent, including its designated code, the dates of its submission and approval, its inventor and his or her employer, its function and the patent's agent and its legal status.
PLA Daily said that previously, it was difficult for defense patents, which are generally classified and not available for public searching like those for civilian use, to be transferred to civilian users because of the absence of related policies and poor communication between the PLA and civilian sectors.
It said that in 2015, the military started to organize patent holders to review their patents and determine whether the patents could be declassified.
The bureau plans to establish regulations on the confidentiality and declassification of national defense patents, pledging to declassify and publish patents on a regular basis, PLA Daily reported, saying these measures will help to make good use of defense patents and to nurture innovation in the development of weapons and equipment.
A defense technology industry observer in Beijing, who wished to be identified as Wu, said that opening suitable defense patents to the public benefits businesses, as they can use these patents to save on their research spending.
"Military and defense contractors can also save research and development funds, because in the past, many defense technology researchers had no access to patent information that was submitted by other researchers, which led to them conducting research that had already been done," Wu said.
"Now they can check with patent information before embarking on a new project, which will save money for the PLA and their employer," he said.
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Fake Terracotta Warriors exhibit site sparks legal dispute (2017-03-03,China Daily)
The Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, is home to the world-renowned Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). However, some 1,000 kilometers away, full-scale replicas of these awe-inspiring figures are on display at 5,000-Year Culture Expo Park in Anqing, Jiangsu province.
The unauthorized exhibition has sparked headlines in the Chinese media and triggered a debate about whether the display constitutes an intellectual property infringement.
The replica group of more than 1,000 terracotta figurines made by a Xi'an company is located at a scenic site called 1,000-Year Dream within the expo park in Taihu county, and covers some 667 square meters, Yin Zhaoping, CEO of the park, was quoted as saying on the China National Radio website.
The site also includes other attractions such as replicas of the Great Wall and Mount Huaguo, or Flowers and Fruit Mountain, home of the legendary Monkey King in the classic novel Journey to the West. Visitors outside of Taihu county can visit the park for 120 yuan ($17), while those from the county can enter free of charge.
"We have no intention of infringing any intellectual property rights," the Xi'an-based Chinese Business View newspaper quoted Yin as saying.
A sculpture of Qinshihuang, the first emperor of a united China in the Qin Dynasty, standing on the replica of the Great Wall, distinguishes the Anqing exhibition from the real one in Xi'an.
Unlike many other operators in Xi'an who cheated tourists by claiming that their fake Terracotta Warriors were real, Yin said "we have never claimed that our place is Pit No 1" of the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum.
"Everyone knows that the real Terracotta Warriors are in Xi'an. What we do is to present the ancient emperor's resolution to unite the country."
Wei Guo, an IP attorney in Anhui, said in his written legal opinions offered to the park that he doubted if the museum has the right to use cultural heritage as a means through which to apply for trademarks, and thus subsequently close the park's exhibition.
Yet Liu Zhihan, an associate researcher of an IP research center at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Chinese Business View that the expo park has profited from the display of counterfeit terracotta figurines, which has affected the museum's business and violated the Unfair Competition Law.
The museum claims in a public statement on its official website that it possesses all legal rights to the names "Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum" and "Museum of Qinshihuang's Terracotta Army", and has the exclusive right to use all related registered trademarks.
The statement cited the Anqing site as one example of an unauthorized exhibition and said the museum reserves the right to take legal action over the issue.
Hou Ningbin, head of the museum, told CNR that "we had no prior knowledge of, nor gave consent to, the Anqing exhibition".
"Our attorney will send a lawyer's letter to the park's operators to inform them of the violation. We will then look to enter discussions with them to resolve the issue."
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China to continues action against online counterfeits (2017-03-03,Xinhua)
China will continue to act against fake goods sold on the Internet as the e-commerce boom continues, an official said on Thursday.
"We will maintain our hard-line stance in our campaigns this year, with cyberspace the main battlefield," Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesperson Sun Jiwen told a Thursday press conference.
The MOC will work across regions and cooperate with businesses to use big data to track piracy.
With the world's largest online shopping platform, China continues to grapple with counterfeit products. In 2016, more than 170,000 cases of IPR infringement and counterfeit products were dealt with and nearly 20,000 suspects arrested.
Online sales of consumer goods in China shot up by 26.2 percent to 5.16 trillion yuan (around 750 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
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3M gives kids' respirators to education foundation (2017-03-02,China Daily)
US-based manufacturing giant 3M recently donated kids' respirators worth 200,000 yuan ($29,100) to the China Next Generation Education Foundation - after the debut of its newly launched children's respirator in Shanghai - as part of the company's long-term commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups.
The new product was designed to fit smaller faces and is expected to filter more than 95 percent of PM2.5, dust and other particulates to help children and teenagers enjoy better and healthier breathing, said Stephen Shafer, president of 3M Greater China Area.
"Compared to adults, children and teenagers have more vulnerable and sensitive respiratory systems, so they have higher requirements for air quality," he said.
3M, founded in Minnesota in 1902, has diversified operations in communications, transportation, automobile and medical health, and posted sales in 2015 of $30.3 billion.
The company began producing respirators in 1967 and currently has more than 400 patents for respiratory protection. The company won plaudits in China after donating 500,000 N95 masks when SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) hit the country in 2003.
Its cash and product donations given to global education, community and environmental programs reached $65 million in 2015.
3M China, which was founded in 1984, was the first wholly owned overseas company outside the special economic zones in the Chinese mainland. Currently it has 12 subsidiaries, 11 factories, two research centers and more than 8,200 employees.
It has played a role in disaster relief in China, including the 2010 Yushu earthquake in Northwest China's Qinghai province, when it gave a product donation of around 640,000 yuan.
In 2014, 3M China cooperated with the Shanghai Charity Foundation and United Way, one of the world's biggest charitable organizations, in a long-term charity project to help 30,000 Chinese children whose parents are migrant workers.
As part of the project, about 170 volunteers from 3M China visited seven kindergartens in five cities in September 2016, where they taught children to sing English songs and basic hygiene such as washing their hands.
The company also donated visual testing charts, hand sanitizers, adhesive bandages and thermometers to the kindergartens.
"We want to encourage more companies and individuals to care and help those people in need," said Xue Yong, director of corporate strategy, e-commerce, marketing and communications of 3M in China.
In 2016, about 600 employees from 3M China attended voluntary activities, with combined service time of 1,500 hours.
The company said its total donations exceeded 10 million yuan by 2016 for such causes as the conservation of freshwater, disaster relief in stricken areas and care for sanitation workers and migrant workers' children.
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Graphene patents lay base for industry boom (2017-03-02,China Daily)
China filed more applications for the material than any other country in 2016
As the world's largest patent filer in the sphere of graphene, China is forecast to enjoy brisk growth in the industry over the next five to 10 years, according to industrial insiders.
An industrial report recently released by the Jiangnan Graphene Research Institute in Jiangsu province showed that the number of patent applications in the sector surpassed 50,000 worldwide by September 2016.
China contributed nearly half of them, more than any other country. The United States took second place, followed by South Korea and Japan.
Despite the large number of patent applications, Chinese filers have yet to improve the quality of their patents, Zhang Zhaohui, president of the institute, told China Intellectual Property News.
Utility models, a type of patent with less stringent requirements than invention patents, accounted for approximately 29 percent of domestic graphene patents in 2016, while the same proportion in overseas patents was 5.2 percent, Zhang said.
The majority of the Chinese filers focused on the domestic market, with far fewer applications filed abroad than their peers in the US, South Korea and Japan, which could hinder their future global expansion, he said.
The report found that China has been a target market with enormous potential since 2009, with major graphene researchers and companies from foreign countries frequently filing patent applications with the State Intellectual Property Office.
Through the Made in China 2025 initiative, a 10-year plan issued by the State Council in May 2015 to promote advanced manufacturing, the country's graphene sector is projected to generate 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) in annual industrial output value in 2020 and 100 billion yuan in 2025.
Known as a "wonder material" for its unusual properties, graphene is reportedly less than 0.34 nanometer thick, about one millionth of a piece of paper, yet is over 100 times stronger than the strongest steel. The substance is efficiently conductive, flexible and almost transparent.
Since Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, scientists at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, were awarded the 2010 Nobel prize in physics for their "groundbreaking experiments" on graphene, the two-dimensional material saw a massive influx of investments into its research.
Graphene can be used in modern machinery and equipment manufacturing, such as in the aerospace and aviation industries, as well as integrated circuits and daily necessities, Liu Zhongfan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Chinese media.
The number of graphene manufacturers in China increased to more than 400 in 2016 from some 300 in 2015. The sector generated around 3 billion yuan in total sales last year, China Intellectual Property News reported.
National standards regarding graphene materials' terms, definitions and codes are still pending the administrative approval.
After they roll out, the national standards will help the industry to grow more healthily, the newspaper quoted Chen Ya, a patent engineer at 2D Carbon (Changzhou) Tech Inc Ltd, as saying.
"The shortage of unified industrial standards makes it hard to tell the technical properties of related products, which left the industry in sort of chaos," Chen said.
"Many of the businesses are floundering through their research and development, as it is hard to find a mature technological development trend to follow in the emerging industry."
Academician Liu told The Paper, a news portal headquartered in Shanghai, that the industry needs more government support and larger corporations' participation, as the graphene industry is still in its infancy and thus requires huge investment, which small businesses cannot afford.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) for New Materials in 2012 and included graphene in a list of sectors that would receive priority support from government.
In 2014, graphene was again listed as one of 20 key new materials that the country decided to promote.
Zhang suggested the government coordinate innovation resources all along the industrial chain and foster and regulate the strategic industry through model projects.
"As a new material, graphene still has a long way to go from research to massive commercialization," he said.
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Businesses can register trademark in Shanghai (2017-03-02,Xinhua)
Businesses in Shanghai can save time and money as they can now apply to register a trademark in the city after its first trademark registration window started operation in Xuhui District yesterday.
"It will significantly improve the efficiency of trademark application and save time and cost for businesses that want to register trademarks in Shanghai," said Lin Haihan, director of the trademark department at the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce.
The window, approved by the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China, is located on the first floor of the Xuhui District Administrative Service Center at 969 Nanning Road.
The window will check whether the trademark being applied for has been registered or is similar to existing trademarks. It will report the application materials to the state administration's trademark office, which will review the application and decide whether to give the approval.
The review will take nine months.
In the past, businesses in Shanghai had to visit the Beijing office for the trademark application process.
Shanghai's registered trademarks surpassed 700,000 as of the end of last year, of which 1,331 are the city's famous trademarks, according to the local industry and commerce administration.
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Cutting-edge technology, higher quality transforming image of 'Made-in-China' (2017-03-01,Xinhua)
With unremitting efforts of Chinese industries to move up the global value chain, more consumers around the world are recognizing the higher quality and cutting-edge technology of "Made-in-China" products.
China introduced the "Made in China 2025" blueprint in May 2015, listing several tasks for the manufacturing industry, including boosting innovation, fostering Chinese brands and promoting service-oriented manufacturing.
Thanks to the country's innovation drive, high-tech products made in China and indigenous Chinese brands have in recent years entered daily life of worldwide consumers and taken a growing share of the international market.
More and more users and observers have come to agree that "Made-in-China" is now more about high technology and quality and less about large quantity at low prices.
FROM "MADE IN CHINA" TO "CREATED IN CHINA"
In many countries, including the Czech Republic, "Made-in-China" once meant cheap commodities. Nowadays, this impression has begun to change.
With China-Czech trade on the rise, more Chinese high-tech products are entering the Czech market, noted Cheng Yongru, commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in the central European country.
Those Chinese products once peddled with low prices now have been replaced by quality ones, Cheng added.
In the Czech Republic, as well as across Europe, Chinese telecommunications, electronic and mechanical equipment companies are gaining a larger market share.
For example, the share of Chinese tech giant Huawei in the Czech smartphone market has exceeded 24 percent, ranking third after Apple and Samsung.
As a matter of fact, Huawei already became the world's third-largest smartphone brand in 2015, with a shipment of 108 million devices.
Huawei's fast growth stems from its long-term investments in research and development (R&D).
The company invested 38 billion U.S. dollars in R&D in the last 10 years, Richard Yu, head of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, told Xinhua during the Consumer Electronics Show held last month in the U.S. city of Las Vegas.
In 2015 alone, Huawei spent 9.2 billion dollars on R&D, making it a larger investor in R&D than Apple and Cisco and the ninth largest among all its peers across the world, added Yu.
As of June 2015, Huawei had submitted more than 76,000 patent applications in China, the United States and Europe.
According to a report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last November, China surpassed the United States, Japan and South Korea to rank top in the world for patent applications, receiving over 1 million applications in 2015.
Last August, China also joined the ranks of the world's top 25 innovative economies in the Global Innovation Index released by Cornell University, international graduate university INSEAD, and the WIPO.
"This is in keeping with all the developments that we have seen in China in recent years, including the use of innovation as a major component in the transition of the Chinese economy from 'made in China' to 'created in China,'" said Francis Gurry, director general of the WIPO.
QUALITY & COST-EFFECTIVE
In Fiji, an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, low-end products from China such as textiles and petty commodities for daily use still take up a significant market share. However, products such as buses, personal computers and mobile phones are quickly making their presence felt.
On the streets of the Fijian capital of Suva, as well as on Queens Road connecting Suva with the tourism hub of Nadi, old buses are typically out-of-date Japanese ones manufactured more than a decade ago, while new buses tend to be Chinese brands, such as King Long and Yutong.X Vodafone and Digicel are two major mobile telecommunications carriers in Fiji. The former's base stations are provided by Chinese company ZTE, while the latter uses base stations manufactured by Huawei.
In electronics stores across Fiji, Chinese mobile phone brands such as Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, OPPO and OnePlus are popular and seen by many locals as being more cost-effective. They compete face to face with Apple and Samsung.
In the realm of personal computers, Chinese brands, led by Lenovo, take up a considerable market share, while in the home appliances sector, TV sets, air conditioners, washing machines and microwave ovens manufactured by Chinese companies such as Haier, Hisense and Gree are widely seen on the Fijian market.
For a developing country with humble purchasing power, cost performance is one of the key concerns for local customers, and Chinese electronic products are typically seen to better address those concerns.
After his recent visit to China, Sitiveni Qiliho, commissioner of the Fiji Police Force, expressed his strong interest in acquiring Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles, which he said will greatly help the police better monitor illegal cultivation of marijuana.
Chinese drones tend to be more affordable, Tiale Vuiyasawa, a senior official with Fiji's Ministry of Defense, told Xinhua.
Liao Xiaoping, secretary general of the Fiji-China Business Council, said that in recent years Chinese products no longer feature large quantities supported by low prices, and the change reflects progress of Chinese technology.
CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY FOR OLYMPICS
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro saw a widespread use of 360-degree cameras capable of providing high-definition surveillance. They were installed on Rio's streets and a number of venues to serve the international event.
Those cameras were produced by Dahua Technology, a video surveillance equipment manufacturer headquartered in east China's Zhejiang Province, and its products accounted for 80 percent of all security equipment used during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Alongside Dahua's presence is the growing trade between China and Brazil. China surpassed the United States to become Brazil's largest trading partner in 2009, with Made-in-China products becoming commonplace in the daily life of Brazilians.
According to Brazilian official statistics, high-tech commodities imported from China, such as telecommunications equipment, mechanical engineering equipment and cars, made up a larger share of total imports last year, while goods such as clothing, textiles and toys saw a decrease.
"Today, there are a lot of high-tech products in our lives," said Diogo Gomes, an editor of Brazilian news weekly IstoE. "We are surrounded by mobile phones and computers that were produced in China."
Mauricio Santoro, a professor of international relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, said more and more competitive Chinese high-tech brands have entered the Brazilian market and gained recognition and public praise in the South American country.
"This reflects China's rising capability in scientific and technological innovation and Chinese enterprises' global vision on development," he said.
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Xiaomi launches smartphone with own chip Pengpai S1 (2017-02-28,China Daily)
Chinese tech firm Xiaomi launched a chip wholly developed by its subsidiary Pine Cone Electronics, and a version of its flagship device, the Mi 5c, which is powered by this chip, the Pengpai S1, in Beijing on Tuesday.
Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, said the chip, developed under the goal of keeping a balance between performance and energy consumption, took over 28 months. This was much shorter than other chips, as the company, as a smartphone vendor, could develop the chip while also developing end products, he added.
Generally it takes $1 billion and over 10 years to develop a chip, as the fingernail-size part, which integrates more than 1 billion components, is very complicated.
But the company decided to develop its own chip and saw it as a necessity for a smartphone vendor, with the ambition to be the champion in the sector, to own key parts such as the chip.
He disclosed that the company started R&D on key technologies on the chip, the screen, the camera, the battery, the connector and artificial intelligence in recent years.
During the process, the 7-year-old company was granted 3,612 patents, among which 1,767 pieces were granted overseas. Lei added that the company has applied for more than 16,000 patents. It generally takes two to three years for a patent to be granted.
"We named Pine Cone's first chip Peipai S1, to show our full excitement when we saw it could make a phone call on Sept 24, 2015, and light the screen on Sept 26, 2015."
Xiaomi became the fourth company in the world to manufacture the whole smartphone plus the chip after Apple, Samsung and Huawei.
Lei said technological innovation will help Xiaomi remain the "coolest company" to its Mi fans.
However, Jin Di, research manager at IDC China, said the newly released chip is a big milestone for Xiaomi itself and can showcase its strong R&D capacity, but it is hard for the chip Pengpai S1 to be labeled as a technological breakthrough, as the chip industry worldwide is rather mature.
Jin said that because huge amounts of money might have been needed in R&D in the early stages, the chip might not affect Xiaomi's profitability in the short term, but it is unpredictable in the long run.
But Xiaomi's capacity in chip-making will surely facilitate its advancement in the smart home sector, she added.
Lei said that his company is not launching a chip that only exists in planning but is one that has entered mass production.
The Mi 5c will be available as of March 3, at a price tag of 1,499 yuan.
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China's IPR bullet train runs between Beijing, Guangzhou (2017-02-26,Xinhua)
Bullet trains with Chinese intellectual property rights on every component started running between Beijing and Guangzhou on Saturday.
Run by the Beijing Railway Bureau, the 2,200 km journey take less than ten hours.
Development of the train has taken about four years, according to the China Railway Corporation.
The China-standard bullet train made its first passenger trip in August last year between the northeastern cities of Dalian and Shenyang.
China is home to 22,000 kilometers of high-speed railway lines, about 60 percent of the world's total.
High-speed rail is the top transportation choice for Chinese people, with over half of China's railway passenger trips made on bullet trains.
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Reform to boost technology innovation (2017-02-24,China Daily)
Prospect of profit is the best motivation for driving forward the new ideas essential to boosting the economy
The Chinese government has put technology innovation high on its agenda over the past few years and has made many achievements.
The country's investment in technology has been growing quickly. In 2015, its entire spending on research and development reached 1.42 trillion yuan ($210 billion; 190 billion euros; 170 billion), second in the world. It has 3.95 million R&D researchers - the most of any country globally.
China approved more than 1 million patents for inventions in 2016.
China has also made major scientific and technological achievements in many sectors, including manned spacecraft, deep-sea manned submersibles and supercomputing. Of the 180 hot and emerging research topics globally in 2016, China performed well in 30 of them, the second-best performance in the world, behind the United States.
Technology has also been boosting economic development. The contribution ratio of scientific and technological advancements to economic and social development increased to 55.3 percent in 2015, while in 2010 it was only 50.9 percent.
Moreover, the technology innovation system has also been improving consistently, as the government has taken many steps to reform it.
But there are still some problems to solve, compared with some highly innovative countries.
China's innovative ability is still relatively weak. It has been bringing in technologies - and innovations on existing technologies - but hasn't put much focus on the invention of new technologies. This leads to the situation that China relies on other countries for some core technologies.
For example, in the electronics and information industry, about 80 percent of high-end chips and about 90 percent of basic software are imported.
Meanwhile, China lacks innovative talent, especially at the high end. The country's education system focuses on cultivating knowledge-based talent, but there is a shortage of innovative talent, especially high-level scientists and technologists.
The technology talent's abilities have not been fully exerted yet, and the ratio of technology achievements that have been put into commercial use is still low. In the past few years, as China has invested more in technology, many academic achievements have been made, but many of them have not been turned to commercial use.
China now wants to speed up its technology system reforms by breaking down all barriers to innovation. Based on a series of talks by President Xi Jinping, there are two focuses for reform in the technology sector: innovation in finance and improving incentives.
At present, China invests a lot in technology development, but projects that are worthy of substantial investment get little money, while others receive ongoing investment. It shows that the current allocation of capital has some problems that need solving. I think the main principle for reform should be making the market an important force for allocating resources, under the supervision of the government. Different kinds of projects need to be treated differently.
For those technologies that are of key importance for the country, and that are unable to profit in the marketokace, government should invest.
But for applied technologies whose research achievement can be commercialized, it could be transferred through the market, or be put into commercial use and turned into real products. So this kind of investment could mainly be invested by the companies or through social capital.
The government should open more sectors to social capital, such as railways, telecom and electricity, and also boost the integration of technology and finance.
China should also create more incentives for technology innovation. Technology innovation has a long industrial chain comprising government, companies, research institutions and researchers. It is only when all the parties in the chain are motivated that technological innovation will be boosted.
The Chinese government now has strong motives for technology innovation, as using innovation to promote development has become a strategy for the country. But to activate the companies, research institutions and research fellows, an effective incentive system is needed.
The motivation for companies to innovate is profit, so the government should make a good market environment for fair competition and strengthen IPR protections, making sure that companies' innovation will be profitable.
China should also pay more attention to researchers, encouraging them do great things but also reward them with good career and good pay, so that they enjoy proper profit from their research achievements.
There are several other issues that technology system reforms should deal properly with:
First, with its strategy of technology development, the government should have a global perspective. It needs to see the trend of world technology development and make proper plans for China. So it is important for China to use innovation resources both domestically and overseas. China should have more communication and cooperation with the outside world in technology innovation, bring in the best resources, integrate with the global innovation network and attract leading global talent.
Second, the country should improve the top-level design of its innovation strategy. China has put forward many different development strategies and incentive policies in different sectors, and these strategies and policies are not well connected with each other. So it is important that China make all these policies go with one another and help one another. When many resources are scattered in different systems and departments, low efficiency is the result.
Third is to strengthen protection for intellectual property. China should have a complete set of laws and regulations to protect the intellectual property rights of companies.
Last but not least, China should speed up the transfer of technologies into commercial use, which could then boost the economic and social development. In the past two years, China has made laws to push forward the transformation; the next step is to better carry out the policies and make the transformation process quicker.
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iQiyi.com raises new funds in battle for market share (2017-02-23,China Daily)
iQiyi.com Inc, the Netflix-like video streaming arm of Chinese online search engine giant Baidu Inc, has raised $1.53 billion of new funds to compete with its domestic rivals in the ongoing battle for market shares.
Baidu invested $300 million via the form of a convertible bond issuance. Other backers include Hillhouse Capital, Boyu Capital, IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital China, iQiyi said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li, said: "iQiyi has been a quality asset and an important part of our ecosystem. With continuous support, Baidu will empower it with artificial intelligence technologies in the future."
In October, 2016, iQiyi said in an annual marketing conference in Shanghai it planned to invest at least 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion), almost equivalent to the raised money, on content in 2017, covering self-produced dramas, virtual reality shows and other programs.
Ma Shicong, an analyst at Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys, said: "I expect the money to be spent heavily to acquire patents and exclusive contents, produce originals and develop the paid subscription models."
Ma added that Baidu aimed to beef up the further development of its video streaming subsidiary and gained strengths to nail the Chinese entertainment market.
The video streaming sector has become hotly contested in China. Three major internet giants－Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, the so-called BAT, has invested a lot in their entertainment arms, betting big on China' booming market.
Ma said: "China's video streaming market is growing rapidly. The three giants need to invest lots of money to fuel their subsidiaries' future development and then can take bigger parts of the market. The competition in the entertainment sector will become fiercer."
Statistics from app tracker App Annie showed that China's live streaming market was expected to reach $5 billion by the end of 2017.
According to App Annie, in the period from November 2015 to October 2016, iQiyi ranked the top video-streaming app by revenue in Chinese market. While its two major competitors Tencent Video and Alibaba-backed Youku Tudou Inc ranked in the third place and fifth separately.
Founded in 2010, iQiyi said it had 481 million monthly active end users at December 2016 with an above-average growth rate. And it announced in June 2016 that it had more than 20 million paid subscribers.
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BOE holds most patents globally in 2016 (2017-02-22,China Daily)
BOE, a Beijing-based technology company, saw a breakthrough in its core businesses as a total of 7,570 patents in display devices, smart systems, and healthcare services were approved in 2016, ranking first in the world.
The market share of smart phones, tablets, and laptop display screens produced by BOE leapt to the first place in the world by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016. Their market share for display screens ranked second globally, and that of TV LCD screens ranked third.
Founded in 1993, BOE Technology Co is a supplier of internet of things technologies, products, and services. BOE’s three main businesses are display devices, smart systems, and healthcare services. Products produced by BOE are widely used in a broad spectrum of applications such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, healthcare, finance, and wearable devices.
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SUCE listed as a famous trademark (2017-02-22,China Daily)
SUCE, a protective clothing brand, was listed as a famous trademark in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region on Feb 15, according to a report on Karamay Daily.
Owned by Xinjiang Shoot Industry And Trade Co, SUCE manufactures protective clothing for special occupations with an integrative design and development, marketing and manufacturing services.
Boasting four utility model patents, the company was awarded “honesty enterprise” in 2014 and was ranked as one of the Top Ten Brands of business suits twice in Xinjiang from 2013 to 2015.
Enterprises with Xinjiang famous trademarks enjoy special supportive policies from the government for a three-year period. Since May 2016, 21 companies have been awarded the accolade.
The famous trademark scheme has been carried out by the government since 2003, to help with the development and improvement of enterprise brands, and to ensure economic prosperity in Xinjiang.
By the end of January, registered trademarks within the validity period in Xinjiang have reached 1,777.
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Firm loses copyright lawsuit (2017-02-21,Chinanews)
A local company that sold cashmere products near the Bund has been ordered to pay 700,000 yuan ($101,816) in compensation to a Shandong company.
In a trademark-infringement lawsuit, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court said Shanghai Rongshang Investment Management Co was found cashmere products in its store at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and at another boutique store on the Bund.
The products were branded Ruyi in Chinese and Ruyee in English. But Shandong Ruyi Group had registered Ruyi for its cashmere products, which had gained some popularity, the court said.
Besides, the pronunciation of both Ruyi and Ruyee was the same, causing a lot of misunderstanding among buyers.
The court therefore ordered Rongshang to stop selling the products and pay a compensation of up to 700,000 yuan to Shandong Ruyi.
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Guangdong takes front seat in budget revenue (2017-02-20,China Daily)
Guangdong province reported highest public budget revenue of 1.04 trillion yuan ($151.4 billion) in the country in 2016, while three provinces suffered declines.
Shanxi, Xinjiang and Heilongjiang province registered negative growth in fiscal revenue, dragged down by the soft commodity price and capacity reduction, according to the 21st Century Business Herald.
The contract comes as modern services play a vital role in leading provinces. Tertiary industry accounted for 61.3 percent of Guangdong's GDP growth in 2016, up from the national average of 51.4 percent.
About 49.3 percent of above-scale industrial output in Guangdong came from advanced manufacturing, according to the newspaper. Research and development expenditure rose to 2.58 percent of the GDP in 2016, which led to a 21 percent increase in effective patents.
Guangdong's gross fiscal revenue rose 9 percent to 2.28 trillion yuan last year, while public budget revenue attributable at provincial level jumped 10.3 percent in comparable terms to 1.04 trillion yuan.
Jiangsu province and Shanghai followed with last year's budget revenue of 812 billion and 640 billion yuan respectively.
Beside the third place in absolute figure, Shanghai also reported the fastest growth in budget revenue, a year-on-year increase of 16.1 percent, according to the newspaper. The growth is boosted by tax revenues from innovation and technology sectors.
The revenue surge even outran Shanghai's GDP growth of 6.8 percent. Tertiary industry accounted for the city's 70.5 percent of GDP.
Despite an expanding revenue gap between the eastern regions and the rest, most of the central and western provinces saw stable fiscal expenditures thanks to the transfer payment from the central government, said the newspaper.
In the work report by Shanxi government, officials attributed the reasons behind budget revenue decline to the structural problem of its economy which centered on mining and State-owned enterprises.
Xinjiang reported a 2.4 percent in budget revenue, as dragged by the price cut of crude oil and natural gas. The province vows to optimize fiscal expenditures and win over more subsidies from the central government to upgrade the economy, said the newspaper.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the country's fiscal revenue stood at 15.96 trillion yuan in 2016, increasing 4.5 percent year-on-year.
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Emerging innovation powerhouse with new patent policy (2017-02-20,China Daily)
Some recent headlines claim Chinese companies overwhelmingly "don't innovate", "lack creativity" and with the help of the Chinese authorities are "thieving" US intellectual property. They also claim the new administration in the United States has vowed to tackle this "massive theft".
But other headlines state China is a "top innovator" because it receives the most patent applications of any country and that the Chinese government strongly supports this growth through strategic planning.
These disparate narratives suggest that China's patent policy has either failed to make China an innovative country, or it is already an innovation powerhouse.
The fact is, China is not yet a top global innovator, although it is innovating, is serious about protecting IP and is strategically advancing in these areas. As such, the new US administration should look beyond misleading headlines and develop a nuanced policy response to these shifting dynamics.
China is the world's leading filer of domestic patent applications and it has significantly contributed to this accomplishment by providing various incentives for patenting. However, the quality of many of China's patents, and therefore the extent to which they represent true innovation, has come under scrutiny in recent years.
In response, the Chinese government has proposed a series of important guidelines and plans in the last three years to better incentivize quality patents. These include the recently issued National Intellectual Property Development Strategy which sets ambitious targets to stimulate valuable patents (alongside its target for every 10,000 people to own 14 invention patents by 2020). It says, for example, 2 trillion yuan ($291.4 billion) in technology contracts should be registered and $8 billion in export income from royalties and franchising fees should be accrued from Chinese IP by 2020.
China has also developed a range of initiatives attempting to better encourage usage of inventions, recognizing the significant gap between patenting and commercialization. For example, the latest draft revision to the patent law adds an entirely new chapter of instruments to facilitate patent commercialization. Also, China's patent and trademark laws were recently revised to, among other things, more than double the remuneration for inventors at universities and public research institutes provided they commercialize their inventions.
Although China experiences many IP rights infringements, IP laws are generally enforced in the country and the government is seriously improving IP protection. China is home to more patent lawsuits than any other country but also has relatively strong institutions for reasonably adjudicating these disputes. And not only foreign companies enforce IP protection in China. In fact, in part because their innovation capabilities, many Chinese enterprises have grown to a critical level where they need IP protection as much as foreign companies. Most of the IP lawsuits in China (more than 98 percent) are between domestic companies, not between foreign and domestic enterprises.
Moreover, in the last few years, the Chinese leadership has made improving IP protection a national priority. In 2014 and 2015, the first specialized IP courts in China were established in three major cities (in addition to the many IP "tribunals" already in place throughout the country), making China part of a limited number of countries to have such a mechanism. Plus, there have been an incredible number of recent legislative changes improving IP protection, including dramatically increasing statutory damages that courts can award for IP infringement. And foreign companies today generally win their IP cases in Chinese courts.
Also, in the last three years, the Chinese authorities have significantly strengthened regulation of abuse of patent monopolies and proactively enforced these new rules.
What does this mean for the US?
Supported at least partially by the State, the likely increase in the quality of Chinese patents should better foster innovation, which will create collaborative opportunities and a wealthier consumer base from which foreign companies can profit.
At the same time, these developments will increase competition. Also, stronger IP institutions and new IP laws will enable some Chinese enterprises to better litigate against their foreign counterparts. And new regulations will restrict certain IP monopolies.
These dynamics show that China's IP and innovation capabilities, and the State's role in building them, cannot be distilled into the simplistic media headlines currently dominating some discourses. Instead, they present more nuanced challenges and opportunities.
Of course, the US authorities should continue their productive work engaging China on IP protection. But the sooner the new US administration realizes that China in fact can innovate, the faster American policymakers can respond to reality. That will allow the US to craft the type of foreign and domestic policy needed to keep America competitive in a changing world where China, too, may eventually be an IP and innovation powerhouse.
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Cultural fair brings old crafts back to daily life (2017-02-20,China Daily)
The curtains rose at the 10th Cross-Straits Folk Culture Fair in Fuzhou, Fujian province on Feb 9, which displayed a line of eye-opening ancient handicrafts.
The exuberant cultural fair was launched in the city's Huahai Park, as the subtropical coastal city enjoys a warm early February, with the air suffused with the tweeting of birds and the aromas of spring flowers.
All these provided a festive atmosphere for visitors to join the two-day event that presented ingenious craftsmanship in various forms, as well as fascinating folk performances, intriguing lantern riddles, and chances to sample local tea and traditional snacks.
Rice gain sculptures
Creating intricate artworks from grains of rice has been practiced by artists in Gaolou village for some 300 years, but after 70 years of neglect the few remaining masters of this art form are now in their 80s or 90s, putting the handicraft under the threat of extinction.
Fortunately, thanks to the instruction from these old masters, a young man called Chen Guorui has learned the skill and is giving the art form a new lease of life. To welcome the Year of the Rooster, Chen spent 18 days making a statue of a rooster without any historical works to use for reference.
After finishing this challenging work, Chen started considering how to prolong the lifetime of a rice threads work.
A signature image in Chinese poetry when it depicts a misty rainy day, coir raincoats are one of the brilliant Chinese inventions from ancient times. Made from web-like fibers peeled from palm bark, the coat is weaved layer upon layer like a piece of armor. People still wear the coats today in some regions in China.
Wu Xungui, a 50-year-old resident of Dongqiao, is now the only person left in his hometown who practices this ancient craft.
The raincoat on display at the cultural fair took Wu three days to make, and is reminiscent of those bygone days.
Lacquer thread sculpture
Originating in Quanzhou city, Fujian's unique, delicate lacquer thread sculpture art evolved from ancient techniques used to decorate Buddha statues dating back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). Lacquer threat sculpture eventually developed into its own form around the turn of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644, 1644-1912).
Producing a lacquer thread work is an intricate process requiring delicacy at every step, from making the paste wax, rubbing the lacquer thread into varied forms, to twisting the lacquer threads into elaborate patterns and finally covering it with gold foil.
This demanding craft requires great patience, but the end result is dazzling.
Clad in traditional costumes, two women of the She ethnic minority from Luoyuan county, one of the areas in China with the highest populations of She people, showed visitors how to fabricate colorful cloth with tools made from timber and bamboo.
She people’s traditional attire is made from homemade ramie cloth, and is embellished with geometrical patterns and laces featuring birds and flowers. The most renowned example of She clothes making is the fenghuang zhuang, or phoenix costume, a beautiful traditional outfit usually worn by She women during important festivals. The phoenix costume was added to China’s national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2008.
However, this handicraft is under threat as few people are planting ramie, the raw material used to make the homespun cloth. Nowadays, only a handful of people wear traditional She attire, and only on special occasions.
The locals are now pinning their hope for a renaissance of the dressmaking art on tourism, according to Zhong Caitong, a male of She ethnic group.
Made of wild grape vines, Yongtai county’s weaving products exhibit an interesting and valuable aging effect. The items become more attractive as their colors deepen over time, explained Zhang Qingming, curator of Yongtai’s exhibition area at the festival.
Zhang has been promoting the craft as a brand, applying for trademarks and registering two patents. And the products have won favor in the Japanese market with choice pieces sold at up to 46,000 yuan ($6,700). Zhang also brought quality products to show at the fair, where one handmade bag was tagged at nearly 9,000 yuan.
The prices are reasonable given that grape vines growing in the wild are not easy to gather, and that now, as with many other traditional crafts, the weaving art faces a problem of a lack of talented practitioners, according to Zhang.
Zhang’s effort did not come to nothing. The enduring charm of the artifacts caught the discerning eyes of international luxury brands, some of which have expressed interest in cooperating with him.
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Chinese affordable lung cancer drug hits market (2017-02-20,Xinhua)
A generic targeted drug to treat cancer manufactured by a Chinese pharmaceutical company hit market over the weekend.
The new gefitinib cancer-treating drug, whose Chinese commercial name is Yiruike, was produced by Qilu Pharmaceutical (Qilu). Its release ends an almost decade-long monopoly by Iressa, developed by British multinational biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and introduced to China in 2005.
A generic drug is a pharmaceutical drug that is equivalent in dosage, strength, quality, and intended use to a brand-name product manufactured by its original developer. Generic drugs often become available after the patent protection on the original drug expires.
Yiruike was approved for marketing by China's State Food and Drug Administration after Iressa's patent protection expired in April 2016, Qilu sources said.
A panel of Chinese pharmacists, headed by professor Yang Guoping with Central South University, have endorsed Yiruike.
The drug is a much-needed first line medicine used in targeted therapies against non-small-cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 80 percent of lung cancer cases in China.
Gefitinib specifically works against the epidermal growth factor receptor EGFR, whose function is to put the brakes on cell growth. In non-small-cell lung cancer, the mutation of EGFR leads to a proliferation of cells, forming fatal tumors.
Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer in China.
About 591,000 people die from lung cancer in China every year, according to the national cancer center. There are about 733,000 new cases every year.
Targeted therapy has emerged over the past decade as a promising treatment for advanced lung cancer patients, those who do not respond well to chemotherapy. The price of targeted therapy drugs are exorbitant for most working class families.
The gefitinib targeted therapy proved so popular that in 2014 a Chinese charity began helping lung cancer patients who could not afford to buy the drug. The cost for a week's dosage exceeds 10,000 yuan (1,470 U.S. dollars).
Qilu's general manager Li Yan said Yiruike, at less than 2,000 yuan a pack, is a fraction of the price of the previously available drug, meaning more people in need can be helped.
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Trump wins trademark case in China (2017-02-17,Chinanews)
Victory based on law, not a sign of bilateral ties: experts
U.S. President Donald Trump has won the right to use his name as the trademark of building construction services in China, a move which experts said was in line with relevant Chinese laws and should not be interpreted as an indication of bilateral relations.
The 10-year right to use the trademark was supposed to take effect on Tuesday, three months after the State Administration of Commerce and Industry announced on November 13 that Trump's application for the "TRUMP" trademark had passed a preliminary review and would seek public feedback for three months.
The registration signals the first trademark Trump has been granted in China during his presidency, following decade-long efforts to "wrest back" his name from a Chinese citizen named Dong Wei, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Dong filed the trademark application in December 2006 for use in the decoration and repair of residential properties and hotels, which was two weeks earlier than that of Trump.
As a result, Chinese authorities turned down Trump's application due to the "first come, first serve" mechanism.
Since then, Trump has appealed to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), and after being rejected, he brought the case to the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court and Beijing High People's Court, arguing that he was famous enough to "defend his own name from Chinese individuals who seek to trade off his reputation." His appeals were turned down as well.
The last ruling against Trump was in May 2015. Trump again brought the case to the TRAB in June and won, according to financial news website caixin.com.
Limited political implications
Zhou Dandan, a lawyer from the Beijing-based Unitalen Attorneys at Law who handled the case, said that the decision was based on Chinese trademark law. "Under the regulation, other individuals except the person himself are forbidden from registering the names of prominent political, economic, and religious figures," Zhou told the Global Times on Thursday.
Trump was little-known in China 10 years ago, and the trademark registered by Dong was not linked to the U.S. president at that time, she noted. But when Trump became president, "abundant evidence became available invalidating Dong's trademark," Zhou said.
Trump's right to use his name in construction services after many years of failure has sparked concerns in the U.S. over whether the ruling has broader political implications.
Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that "any special treatment from China would mean that Trump effectively accepted a present from Beijing, an act that would violate the constitution."
But Zhao Zhanling, legal counsel of the Beijing-based Internet Society of China, said that such concerns are overblown, as the "TRUMP" trademark is not that significant to the Trump Organization.
"The company has not marched into the Chinese market, and is not likely to do so during Trump's presidency, as its operation focuses on real estate development, which is a complicated business in China involving acquiring land and obtaining certificates from local authorities," Zhao told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"So what is the significance of giving a gift that brings virtually no benefits to Trump's conglomerate?" Zhao asked.
The Associated Press also cited analysts as saying that bilateral relations also "played a role" in China's granting of the trademark to Donald Trump.
Trump has recently softened his stance on China. Last week, Trump agreed to support the one-China policy in a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
However, experts noted that a trademark weighs "as light as a feather" in China-U.S. relations. "It is fairer to say that economic and trade relations, such as the imposition of anti-dumping tariffs, are areas reflective of bilateral relations."
In December, basketball legend Michael Jordan won a trademark battle against China-based Qiaodan Sports Co, which sounds like Jordan in Putonghua.
Impact on domestic brands
Domestic products such as toilets, pacemakers, poker and condoms whose trademarks sound similar to Trump are likely to take a hit following the case, experts warned.
Shenzhen-based Chuangpu Industrial Co, which makes Trump-brand luxury toilets, is one of the potential victims. The company's spokesperson, who preferred not to be identified, told the Global Times on Thursday that the company will "seek friendly communications" with Trump to defend its right if the U.S. president files a case against the toilet manufacturer.
He stressed that the company's brand dates back to 2001, when Trump was little known in China.
When it expands overseas, Chuangpu Industrial will "adjust its brand name accordingly," he said.
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Cheap, do-it-yourself purifiers prove to be a big hit (2017-02-17,Chinanews)
China's frequent bouts of smog make air purifiers a must buy for many residents, but the high price of these machines is often off-putting.
A top-of-the-range purifier can cost many thousands of yuan, making them a luxury that not everyone can afford.
It was this dilemma that inspired Thomas Talhelm, assistant professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago, to develop a more affordable option.
He began researching do-it-yourself purifiers while living in Beijing as a Fulbright scholar, doing PhD research in 2013.
"I started to look into why purifiers are so expensive. How do they work? What's in there?"he said.
"It turns out purifiers are shockingly simple. It's a fan and a filter. And the main filter in purifiers — high efficiency particulate air filters — were invented in the 1940s. They're not some company's patent. They're a commodity."
So Talhelm bought the cheapest filter he could find, strapped it to a fan and began to run some tests. He called his creation the Original DIY.
"The Original DIY is incredibly simple. It's not going to win a beauty contest, but the data shows it reduces PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns that is damaging to human health) in the home,"he said.
Convinced he was on to something, the inventor set up a company called Smart Air and began to sell his creations for 200 yuan ($29).
"I have used it in an 8-square-meter bedroom and the filter turned black within three hours,"said one netizen, on the company's Taobao page.
"I can feel the air in my bedroom become much better."
Song Guangsheng, director of the National Quality Supervision and Inspection Center for Indoor Environment and Environmental Products said it was important that purifiers could handle a certain volume of air and questioned whether cheaper fans would be able to do so.
Besides their capacity to handle air, brand name purifiers are also made with intelligent controllers to ensure electrical safety, which add to their cost, he said.
Most air purifiers sold in Beijing are produced to the latest national standards, but different products vary greatly in efficiency, according to a survey conducted by the China Consumers Association between September and November last year.
The survey covered 16 brands of indoor air purifiers, including Philips, Panasonic, Sharp and some domestic brands such as Supor, which cost between 1,111 and 9,990 yuan each. The results showed that higher prices do not necessarily correspond to better performance.
According to a nationwide quality inspection conducted last year by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, one quarter of air purifiers sold on the domestic market are substandard, due to an inability to remove pollutants or failing noise standards.
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Forum outlines state of IP affairs (2017-02-16,China Daily)
A growing number of lawsuits, as well as a reformed judicial system and enhanced protections, are some of the leading features of China's current intellectual property business, said officials, scholars and company executives at a recent forum in Beijing.
Fan Liming, vice-president of Shanghai-based IP service provider Sinofaith, said IP judicial innovation in China has seen some "exciting signals" in recent years, such as the establishment of three dedicated IP courts and the promotion of a mechanism in which criminal, civil and administrative IP cases are heard at a unified division in a court.
IP rights infringement is also being punished more, he added.
A guideline issued by the Supreme People's Court in November 2016 called for increased compensation from rights violators as a means of enhancing protection.
In a patent ruling made by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court in December, the defendant was ordered to pay a total of 50 million yuan ($7.2 million) in damages to the patent right owner, the highest damages amount in the history of the court. The case involved the sale of USB key products to banks across China using a patent called "physic identification method and electronic device".
The compensation included 1 million yuan in litigation costs, and it was the first time that a Chinese IP court had ruled on hourly attorney fees in a judgment.
The Beijing IP court received 10,638 lawsuits in 2016, an increase of 11.7 percent from a year before, and it adjudicated on more than 8,000 cases, a rise of 49.3 percent.
Jiang Bo, head of the legal affairs department of Chinese internet giant Tencent, said the country's online copyright environment is improving, and internet companies agree that they should respect copyright and develop the copyright market in cooperation.
"It will require joint efforts from the judicial and administrative authorities as well as self-discipline from internet companies," Jiang said.
As China continues its transformation into a strong IP nation, it needs an improved IP operation system so that it can efficiently use its existing assets while encouraging further innovation, said Lei Xiaoyun, head of the patent department at the State Intellectual Property Office.
Lei called for an IP operation and service system that integrates platforms, institutions, capital and industries. "The operation platforms are like highways and the cars running on them are like IP projects," she said.
"The companies, universities, research institutions and IP operation agencies are like car factories and we can compare capital to a gas station that fuels everything."
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International filings set to hit 60,000 annually by 2020 (2017-02-16,China Daily)
By 2020, the number of international patent applications filed via the Patent Cooperation Treaty is projected to reach 60,000 in China, doubling the figure of 2015, according to a recent national plan.
The national plan for intellectual property protection and utilization during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) was released by the State Council in December last year.
"The number of PCT applications is an important indicator to reflect industrial innovation capability and also a major index to evaluate international competitiveness of enterprises," Li Shunde, a professor of law and intellectual property rights at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Intellectual Property News.
The goal set in 2020 was therefore an important initiative to encourage market players to participate in global competition during the period of 2016-20, which focuses on deepening reform, further opening up and implementing innovation-driven development, Li said.
In the World Intellectual Property Organization's 2008 world company PCT rankings, Huawei Technologies topped the list with 1,737 PCT applications. This was the first time for a Chinese company to rank first in the world in this field.
In recent years, some Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, have maintained their high rankings in PCT applications worldwide. Benefiting from their overall layout and accumulation of PCT applications, these companies have established a solid foothold amid fierce international market competition.
"It indicates that the ones with more PCT applications will have an edge in development in the context of global economic integration and the internationalization of market competition," Li said.
The number of PCT filings in China has witnessed a significant increase over the past few years. In 2015, the country was listed in the world's top three, dealing with more than 29,000 PCT filings, 2.4 times more than those of 2010. Last year, the figure increased to 45,000, 93 percent of which were from Chinese applicants.
To see this figure increase by 30,000 PCT applications in five years is feasible, but won't be easy, said Tao Xinliang, head of the School of Intellectual Property Rights at Dalian University of Technology.
"It requires constant guidance and support from management departments, scientific planning and layout from companies, and specific services and comprehensive support from society," Tao said.
Given the fact that China is carrying out its Belt and Road Initiative, domestic companies aspiring to go global will enjoy a better political and social environment and the initiative will encourage them to make more PCT applications, Li said.
"Quantity is of course important for PCT applications, but quality is a key to winning," Tao said.
According to the State Intellectual Property Office, Chinese companies have high-quality PCT applications mainly in the field of telecommunications, while foreign applicants have the edge in the fields of machinery, chemistry and photoelectricity.
Tao suggested Chinese applicants make more efforts in these weak fields to improve the overall international layout of the country's PCT applications.
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Trademark law set for major shakeup (2017-02-14,Chinanews)
New regulations to clarify the use of brand logos and prevent infringements will come into force soon.
If you were setting up a business in China, you might think that names such as "Harry Potter", "007" or "MacKFC", would be fantastic for new products or services, and you would probably be thrilled to discover that they haven't been registered as trademarks.
In the past, you may have gotten away with registering such trademarks, but if you use any of these names after March 1, you will quickly find yourself in trouble. On that date, a regulation regarding trademark protection will come into force to prevent companies from riding on the coattails of well-known brands.
The regulation, issued by the Supreme People's Court, the nation's top legal chamber, took three years to formulate. It stipulates that well-known characters, including those in books and movies, who are protected by copyright law cannot be used as trademarks by any entity that does not hold the copyright, unless they have been granted specific permission.
To help courts at all levels to implement the new regulation nationwide, details of five rulings handed down by the Supreme People's Court in recent years have been issued as legal precedents.
In 2011, one of the benchmark lawsuits was decided in favor of Danjaq LLC, the producer of the James Bond movies, which brought litigation against a Chinese condom producer that had used the Chinese characters for "James Bond, 007" and the name in English on the logo for its products.
The company, called "Bangde 007" in pinyin, the romanized form of Chinese, and pronounced "Band 007", argued that its "Bongde 007 Bond" trademark had been approved in 2002 by the trademark review and adjudication board at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. Moreover, it was being used for a category of goods wholly unrelated to the fictional character or the movies.
The Beijing High People's Court ruled that the company had violated the "principle of good faith" required under China's trademark law when a trademark is registered.
In addition, the prior right (or copyright) of the James Bond character had long been established, and trademarks are not allowed to infringe on an existing right, according to the court.
"The application for registration and the use of a trademark shall be made in good faith" was written into an amendment to the trademark law, which took effect in May 2014.
The amendment also stipulated that attempts to register a trademark would not be approved if the name infringes on a prior right or is regarded as a malicious application of an unregistered trademark that has been used by another entity.
"The amended law can be seen as a turning point in trademark protection in China, after which there has been a discernible shift towards greater protection for brand owners", said Edward Chatterton, a Hong Kong-based partner at the international law firm, DLA Piper.
Trademark approval offices and the courts have been more willing to rule on grounds of bad faith in cases of trademark piracy and invalidate maliciously registered trademarks, Chatterton said.
A guidebook issued by the Beijing High People's Court in January 2014 makes it clear that copyright is one of the prior rights mentioned in the amendment to the law.
Song Xiaoming, head of the civil division of the Supreme People's Court, said the name of a work of art and characters associated with it are not usually protected by Chinese copyright law.
However, works and characters that have attained a certain level of popularity carry a significant commercial value, which generates a legal right that should be protected, he said.
The regulation declared protection of the title of a work and the characters in it as trademarks, which demonstrates the top court's stance in encouraging honesty and integrity in business operations, he added.
Meanwhile, the Supreme People's Court has urged all courts to avoid overprotection of titles and characters, and protection should not be extended to those regarded as being fully in the public domain.
In recent years, the number of lawsuits related to trademark protection has risen rapidly at courts across the country, especially since 2011, when the courts were given the final say on trademark disputes instead of the trademark review and adjudication board at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and its branches.
In 2015, more than 24,000 trademark cases were filed in courts across the country in 2015, a rise of 13 percent from the previous year, according to the latest annual report on the protection of intellectual property rights, published by the State Intellectual Property Office.
Case numbers rise
According to statistics from the top court, more than 2,600 trademark cases were heard by the Beijing High People's Court between 2002 and 2009. In 2013, the number rose to 2,161, and in 2014, the court heard nearly 8,000 such cases.
In 2015, more than 7,500 cases were filed at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, which was founded in November 2014-73 percent of them were related to trademarks, in addition to patent and copyright cases.
"The clear aim of the Chinese government, transmitted through the administrative bodies and courts throughout the country, is to deter trademark squatting and trademark infringement", Chatterton said.
"There is a lot of work to be done," he added, saying that he hopes the courts will require all parties in litigation to disclose a larger number of relevant documents in trademark cases to make it easier for trademark holders to prove the damage that has resulted from the infringement.
In addition to judicial efforts to strengthen the protection of trademarks, administrative organs at all levels have joined forces to tackle the problems involved in trademark registration, and reduce the risks of infringement.
Wang Lianjie, head of the Intellectual Rights Infringement Complaint Center in Beijing, said the application of trademark right, copyright and patent right, which together constitute intellectual property rights, is under the jurisdiction of three administrative departments.
For example, trademark registration has to be approved by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and its branches, instead of the State Intellectual Property Office and its branches, she said.
She added that a pilot program has been launched to simplify government administration and better protect the three rights in Shanghai, which are now being overseen by the local Intellectual Property Bureau.
"It is international practice to grant one government entity, instead of three of them, the authority to oversee the protection of the three types of rights because they are closely related to each other. The initiative in Shanghai will be extended to other regions of the country as well as to the administration at the central government level," Wang said.
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HBO sues Chinese restaurant for trademark infringement (2017-02-13,Chinanews)
HBO, the U.S. premium cable and satellite television network, has sued a restaurant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province for infringing its trademark.
The restaurant, named HBO Studio Restaurant, has been running its business in the city for five years, and registered the trademark HBO on July 4, 2012, earlier than the U.S. company's registration in China.
The co-owner of the restaurant Zhang Jian said that his establishment is licensed to do business in the catering industry, while the U.S. company focuses on the film and television industry. There is no direct conflict of interest in this case, Zhang said.
The U.S. company sent a legal notice to the restaurant, together with documents to back up its trademark infringement claims, while HBO Studio Restaurant enlisted the help of a trademark agency to help mount its defense.
China's top court ruled in December of last year that three trademarks registered by Fujian-based Qiaodan Sportswear had violated the rights of basketball legend Michael Jordan.
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Top 10 Chinese mainland companies granted most patents in 2016 (2017-02-10,China Daily)
More than 1.3 million patent applications for new inventions were filed in China last year, the most of any country in the world for the sixth year in a row, according to the State Intellectual property Office (SIPO).
The number of patent applications submitted in China increased 21.5 percent from last year.
Around 404,000 patents were issued by SIPO in 2016, 302,000 of which were related to domestic inventions.
State Grid Corp of China, the nation's electrical power giant, scored the most patents with 4,146 to its name.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, submitted 4,906 patent applications last year, the most of all mainland companies, and was granted 2,690.
Here's the top 10 mainland companies with the most patents granted in 2016.
No 10 Shanghai Huahong Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp
No 9 Lenovo Group Co Ltd
No 8 China National Petroleum Corp
No 7 Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai
No 6 Tencent Holdings Ltd
No 5 JD.com Inc
No 4 ZTE Corp
No 3 China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec)
No 2 Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
No 1 State Grid Corporation of China
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SIPO targets relief of overburdened patent processing system (2017-02-09,China Daily)
The State Intellectual Property Office has taken steps to relieve the pressure on China's patent examinations system in the wake of the rapidly increasing number of applications in recent years.
The steps, which were outlined by SIPO officials at a recent news conference, include an optimization of the office's resources and workflow to address the problem of managing lengthy examination processes, which put additional pressure on the system.
Zheng Huifen, head of SIPO's patent examination affairs department, said the examination period for invention patent applications remains roughly 22 months, while it stands at three months for utility and design patent applications.
"SIPO has adopted a whole-process segmented target management model and has given its patent examiners improved resources to clear up those applications that have been at the examination stage for too long," she said. "It is not easy to ensure that the patent examination period is stable and efficient considering the annual growth rate of applications in China."
The average length of time for patent re-examinations, the process in which an inventor can have a patent reexamined after his or her initial application was rejected, was 11.9 months in 2016, 1.8 months shorter than a year before.
At the same time, patent invalidation requests were resolved in 5.1 months on average last year, 0.7 month faster than in the previous year.
Ge Shu, deputy chief of the Patent Re-examination Board, said innovative management models have been introduced to streamline the reexamination procedures.
China's first patent law took effect in April 1985, and in the following 25 years, international patent applications outstripped domestic ones. This changed in 2011 when domestic applications surpassed international ones for the first time, said Gong Yalin, head of SIPO's planning and development department.
Now, China is the third country in the world to have more than 1 million domestic invention patents in force, after the United States and Japan, and has ranked first in the number of annual invention patent applications for six consecutive years.
In 2015, SIPO became the first office in the world to receive 1 million applications in a single year.
"The achievements have been made thanks to China's enhanced efforts in IP protection and utilization," Gong said. "They have shown how the patent system can guarantee and encourage innovation."
However, officials have called for higher quality patent applications and improved patent layout in the near future.
Last year, domestic patent outnumbered overseas ones in China in 29 of the 35 technical fields set by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The other six fields include optics, engines, and semiconductor and medical technology.
Among patents that have maintained their validity for more than 10 years in China, nearly two-thirds are from overseas. In the field of transportation, there are 5.7 times more foreign patents than domestic ones, according to SIPO spokesman Hu Wenhui.
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Court punishes counterfeit chocolate producers (2017-02-09,China Daily)
Eight people have been sentenced to between one and five years in prison and face a total of 6.21 million yuan ($901,704) in penalties for producing and selling fake branded chocolate.
Xinwu District People's Court in Wuxi, Jiangsu province in East China, handed down the ruling in mid-January, having heard the trademark case three times.
The court decision reflects equal protection for trademark owners, Jiang Shaowen, vice-president of the court, told Chinese media.
"Trademark protection shows respect for a company's branding efforts and helps to maintain a fair environment for market competition," Jiang said.
The investigation into the case was listed among other major legal actions overseen by the Ministry of Public Security during its Sharp Sword crackdown campaign in 2016. The program targets counterfeits in sectors such as food, medicine, construction materials and products related to agricultural production.
In this case, the discovery of the illegal action was attributed to a shop owner's business prudence.
Soon after Valentine's Day in 2015, the shop owner, surnamed Ji, who specializes in wedding candy retail trade in Changzhou, a city neighboring Wuxi, received many complaints from his customers that their Dove-branded chocolate bought from his shop tasted strange.
Ji contacted his seller Xu Liujun about his concerns. Xu promised that all the chocolate was authentic and he even gave Ji a telephone number of a so-called licensing agent, who turned out to be Xu's wife, surnamed Li.
"Don't worry, the chocolate may taste different due to the variation in production procedures and storage environments," she said to reassure Ji.
Despite the couple's promises, the shop owner, facing mounting pressure from customers canceling their orders, sent some samples of the purchases from Xu to Dove chocolate manufacturer Mars China. The test results showed they were all fake.
Thus, Mars reported the case to the police in Wuxi in March 2015.
From January to February 2016, the police discovered three illegal production and sales sites in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. They seized more than 300,000 fake Dove and Ferrero chocolate granules, as well as stockpiles of counterfeit trademarks, which amounted to millions of yuan in potential sales.
Of the defendants, Zhang Chengbing, Wang Jiacai and Xu Shaobing were sentenced to between four and five years in prison and were fined amounts ranging from 1.63 million yuan to 1.85 million yuan.
The three are residents of Wuhu, Anhui province. They liked to gamble and had huge debts. To pay off the money, they recruited workers to counterfeit branded chocolate since September 2014.
A 9-kilogram box of counterfeited Dove chocolate cost them about 300 yuan to make and was sold to wholesalers at 440 yuan to 480 yuan, nearly half of the price of the genuine product. In the first month of production, they raked in a total profit of 690,000 yuan.
Later, due to a disagreement over the earnings distribution, Wang pulled out and founded another illegal plant with his relative Hu Kehua to fake Ferrero chocolates.
An illegal industrial chain was formed, covering raw materials supply, production, wholesale and retail, said Liu Bowen, the judge presiding over the case.
The illegal sales covered different cities and provinces, the judge added.
All these aspects were factored into the final court decision, Liu said.
Liao Zhaohui, sales manager of Mars China in East China, said: "We are pleased with the sentence."
"Our company has no tolerance for the production and sale of counterfeits, since Dove entered China approximately 20 years ago," Liao said, adding that Mars will increase cooperation with the authorities in fighting fakes, in addition to enhancing quality control within the company itself.
Lyu Mei, an official at the Jiangsu provincial prosecutor office, said: "Well-known brands are most vulnerable to attack."
Lyu's office dealt with more than 190 trademark cases in 2016, accounting for 76.8 percent of the total involving intellectual property infringements in the year.
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Guangdong sees robust growth of high-tech firms (2017-02-08,Xinhua)
South China's Guangdong Province saw robust growth of high-tech firms last year with heavy investment during a national innovation drive.
The number of high-tech companies in Guangdong's Pearl River Delta region, a manufacturing center, reached 18,880 in 2016, up 78.8 percent over 2015, according to data released at a provincial innovative development conference held Tuesday.
Government investment in science and technology in the delta region soared 88 percent.
The number of high-tech firms neared 20,000 in Guangdong last year, ranking the first nationwide, said the provincial government. It aims for an increase of about 3,000 high-tech firms this year.
Boosted by the innovation-driven model, the number of invention patent applications in Guangdong also increased by 50 percent last year.
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“Pu’er dendrobe” becomes China geographical indications certification trademark (2017-02-07,People's Daily)
Examined and approved by the Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Pu’er dendrobe was registered as a national geographical indications certification trademark, thus becoming the first national geographical indications certification trademark in the development history of forestry in Pu’er.
During the past years, Pu’er Municipal Party Committee and Pu’er Municipal Government have attached great importance to the development of dendrobe as an industry. Across the city, the area of dendrobe greenhouses and the cultivation technique in imitation the wild conditions of dendrobe has already reached more than 16,000-mu, covering one seventh of the entire country and one fourth of the whole province. More than 400 companies and professional co-ops engage in the planting and operation of dendrobe such as dendrobium officinale, dendrobium stem, dendrobium chrysotoxum and so on.
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Top 10 Chinese regions with most innovation patents (2017-02-06,China Daily)
Beijing tops the list of Chinese cities securing highest number of patents per 10,000 people in the country, according to government figures.
The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) said with 76.8 patents Beijing takes the crown, followed by Shanghai, 35.2 patents per 10,000 people, and Jiangsu province, 18.4.
It added that the average number of innovation patents has reached 8 per 10,000 people in the Chinese mainland.
"Eighty-five percent of the patents were filed in sectors such as telecommunications, computing, digital communication and audiovisual technologies," said the authorities.
Based on the statistics of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the total volume of China's international patent applications ranked sixth around the globe in 2016.
Gong Yalin, head of planning and development division of the SIPO, said there's still a large gap between developed countries and China when it comes to applying for international patents.
He added that China has still fallen behind in such industries as optics, engine, transportation, semi-conductor, audio-video technology and medical technology.
Here's a look at top 10 cities that secured highest number of patents in the country.
No. 10 Shandong province, 6.3
No. 8 Liaoning province and Anhui province, 6.4
No. 7 Shaanxi province, 7.3
No. 6 Tianjin, 14.7
No. 5 Guangdong province, 15.5
No. 4 Zhejiang province, 16.5
No. 3 Jiangsu province, 18.4
No. 2 Shanghai, 35.2
No. 1 Beijing, 76.8
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Nearly 3,800 arrested for IPR crimes in 2016 (2017-01-24,Xinhua)
Nearly 3,800 people in China were arrested for crimes related to intellectual property rights (IPR) violations last year, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced Tuesday.
Over 7,000 people were prosecuted for violating IPR in 2016, the SPP said.
According to official statistics, over 3,500 people were arrested for crimes involving trademark infringement, accounting for over 92 percent of all IPR offenders in 2016.
Other IPR crimes in China last year included infringement of copyright and commercial secrets, said the SPP.
Procuratorates nationwide have stepped up efforts to protect IPR by enhancing supervision over administrative and public security organs in transferring and filing IPR violation cases, according to the SPP.
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Hubei man applies for patent for upgraded capsule hotel room (2017-01-23,People's Daily)
An upgraded, multifunctional capsule room was recently created by Zhu Qinghong, a hotelier in Xiangyang, Hubei province.
The room has soundproof walls, a basic framework, a ceiling and a roll-down door. Unlike traditional capsule hotel rooms, the ceiling in Zhu's room can be easily opened and closed with a remote control, giving guests more space and fresh air. Currently, Zhu is waiting to receive a patent for his invention.
Asked why he wanted to create a new and improved capsule room, Zhu explained that he was looking for a new way to make money from his hotel business. After developing the concept in his head, he began construction of the room and the patent application process last November.
Currently, the room is just a basic model; more amenities will be installed in the future. Zhu also intends to make the layout of each room easy to change.
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ChemChina seeks US anti-trust approval for Syngenta deal (2017-01-21,China Daily)
China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina, said on Friday that it has sought the US anti-trust regulator's approval for its planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss crop protection and seed group Syngenta AG.
"We have filed an HSR Act with the FTC after good communications with the case team. We believe the US anti-trust process is on track," ChemChina said in an email, referring to the US anti-trust Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees mergers.
A Syngenta spokesperson also confirmed the companies had recently submitted the transaction to the FTC after a constructive engagement with the authorities.
"ChemChina and Syngenta remain fully committed to the transaction and are confident of its closure," Syngenta said.
Sources close to the deal expected an approval soon, given the small revenue that ChemChina generates from the US via Adama, a maker of generic versions of pesticides without patent protection, and its minor overlap with Syngenta products.
The deal has already won approvals from regulators in several markets, including a US national security panel and Australia's competition watchdog.
Earlier this month, companies proposed minor concessions to the European Commission's competition watchdog with one source close to the deal estimating the overall divestment from Adama at less than $500 million.
Recently, the European Commission extended the deal review to April 12, and a top Syngenta executive said earlier last week that it was "highly optimistic that by the date we will have made sufficient progress in the US and EU to be going forward".
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Segway's 'mobility robot platform' to begin mass production (2017-01-21,Xinhua)
A China-made mobile robot is set to begin mass production for consumers later this year.
Ninebot (Beijing) Tech Co Ltd, backed by Smartphone maker Xiaomi, unveiled its self-balancing two-wheeled robot on Thursday in Beijing.
Named "Loomo", the robot was transformed from the Ninebot Mini series scooter, which was first launched in October 2015, months after the company made an announcement to acquire the 12-year-old US-based balancing-scooter pioneer Segway Inc, and became one of the largest patent holders in the industry.
The acquisition followed an $80 million investment in Ninebot by Xiaomi, Sequoia Capital and other investors.
The original prototype of the robot was debuted at the international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early last year in Las Vegas.
The core business of the startup has then expanded to two main categories: Segway PT (Personal Transportation) and Segway Robotics.
An artificial intelligence system was installed in the robot to establish look, listening and speaking skills by Intel's computing unit and a variety of sensors, such as RealSense depth perception sensor and microphone array sensor.
On the hardware side, Segway Robot provides a hardware extension bay that connects to additional accessories.
During this year's CES, the company collaborated with BMW to deploy a customized parking assistant service for the latter's vehicles.
Sarah Zhang, senior director and head of Robotics Business Operations of Ninebot, told China Daily that the company is looking forward to working with more auto manufacturers to implement the service for drivers and also is willing to create customized service for high-end parking lots, similar to the charging piles that set up for Tesla drivers.
Pu Li, vice president of Ninebot Inc, mentioned that Ninebot provides an open platform and has unveiled a software developer kit (SDK) for developers to write their own applications for the new robot.
According to the company, the developers' project started in 2016 and has received thousands of applications from around the world for applying the authorization of development for Segway Robots.
Short-listed candidates chosen by the company will be qualified to purchase the developer version of the robot and receive technology support from Ninebot.
Pu noted that currently 70 percent of the registrations that come from developers, who are aiming to implement robot services, focus on industries such as general public services, medical care for elders, remote collaboration, games and entertainment, education and R&D on artificial intelligence.
"Speaking of business models, we want to accomplish a win-win beneficial success with third-party developers through application R&D and business cooperation," according to a written statement of the Ninebot Inc.
From February 10 to 12, the company will be a robotic platform sponsor of a healthcare robotics hackathon in Singapore.
The event will be hosted by MIT Hacking Medicine, originally a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student-run group that brings together innovative thinkers to solve healthcare's most pervasive problems.
Segway Robot will provide 5 Alpha robots for the teams who participate to the event.
Zhuang Yongjun, chief technology officer at Qihan Technology Co Ltd, a Shenzhen-based company focused on robotics innovation, artificial intelligence and video analysis technologies, said: "Medical assistant robots, elderly-care robots and education assistant robots will be some of the core segment markets in the future."
According to Xinhua News Agency, China's service robotics has been leading the world in firefighting, disaster relief, health care and catering.
In April last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled an ambitious plan to sell more than 30 billion yuan ($4.6 billion) worth of domestic service robots by 2020, to meet the demand from healthcare, education, entertainment, medical and defense industries.
Latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics show that an estimated 94,800 professional service robots will be installed between 2013 and 2018 across the world, with total sales of $17.1 billion. Medical and military robots accounted for 55 percent of the total sales.
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Shanghai and Stanford oncology centers join forces (2017-01-20,China Daily)
Two leading oncology centers in Shanghai and the US state of California have joined forces in the battle against cancer, signing a strategic cooperation agreement in Anting town, Shanghai's Jiading district on Jan 18.
The Shanghai Cell Therapy Group, a conglomerate located in Jiading that focuses on the development of cell therapy, cell storage, gene testing and other treatments, and Stanford Medicine's Radiation Oncology Center, based in Stanford, CA, have agreed to cooperate on the development of oncotherapy technology.
The cooperation originated from previous exchanges between the two institutions, during which both sides agreed that it is possible to combine radiation therapy and immune therapy to cure cancers.
According to the deal, they plan to build an international radiation oncology and immune therapy research center, as well as a world-leading medical treatment center chain offering a combination of radiation therapy and immune therapy.
The two parties will also hold academic conferences and training programs regularly, and will work together on scientific research for mutual benefit.
The Shanghai Cell Therapy Group is China's first conglomerate focusing on a complete immune cell industrial chain. Its businesses cover the R&D, production and clinical application of cell therapy, cell storage, gene testing, medical cosmetology and healthcare.
The company has multiple self-developed patents and technologies. It has also launched a medical program, aimed at giving effective and affordable treatment to 60 percent of Chinese cancer patients in the next decade.
The Radiation Oncology Center at Stanford Medicine is a world-renowned research center founded by Henry Kaplan, who developed the first high-energy linear accelerator for therapeutic use in the 1950s.
The center aims to bring the most advanced care to the patients by being at the cutting edge of research and technology. One recent example is that it performed the first stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) treatment in the world using the Truebeam linear accelerator.
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Predatory mites reduce pesticide use in China (2017-01-19,Xinhua)
Farmers in east China's Fujian Province are not worried about pesticide residues, thanks to pathogen-carrying predatory mites.
The multi-target biocontrol system, developed by Zhang Yanxuan of Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, can reduce pesticide use by up to 50 percent.
Zhang started breeding mites -- a small invertebrate closely related to spiders -- in 2005. His company now has a yearly production capacity of 800 billion predatory mites, used on over 20 crops including citrus, apples and cotton. The critters have been exported to the Netherlands, Germany and Canada.
As their natural enemy, these predatory mites prey on red spider mites, rust mites and other pests, but proved useless against pest insects, which forced farmers to return to pesticide.
After years of experiments, Zhang has succeeded in infecting his mites with a insect-killing fungal pathogen.
"The entomogenous fungus attached to hairy predatory mites can infect and kill various kinds of insects but is harmless to the mites themselves, humans and animals," Zhang said.
Zhang has invented a patent container for releasing mites dusted with the pathogens in the field.
"We've used the method on more than 1.2 million hectares, in over 20 provinces," Zhang said.
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Protection needed for booming AI businesses (2017-01-19,China Daily)
New technology could help China to gain and maintain an edge over foreign competitors
Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo, which is capable of playing the board game Go against human players, has been making waves since it became the first computer program to beat a professional human Go player without handicaps in 2015.
As of Jan 5, AlphaGo had an online record of 60 consecutive wins, and as it continues to grab headlines, intellectual property protection concerning AI technologies has also become a hot topic among industry insiders.
Internet-related technologies promote innovation and growth in the sector, Sun Zhenan, deputy chief engineer with the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a forum on AI and its intellectual property in mid-December last year.
"In particular, the emergence of deep learning and big data has led to explosive growth in the AI sector," Sun said.
Patent filings in the sector have maintained a steady growth momentum over the past two decades, with the United States taking the top spot, followed by China and Japan, according to reports in the Chinese media.
The three countries contributed 73.85 percent to the total patents concerning AI technologies worldwide, according to a report on global AI development, which was released during the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, last November.
With its technological edge in research into voice, text, image and facial recognition, China is well placed to compete globally when it comes to AI, Sun said.
The accurate voice recognition system developed by Baidu, China's leading search engine service provider, is a prime example. The technology, which can recognize both English and Chinese speech, was ranked among the 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2016 by the MIT Technology Review.
Wang Haifeng, vice-president of Baidu, told Chinese media that the future of any technology depends on its ability to make a user's life easier. "The simplicity and user-friendliness of any piece of technology makes it accessible to both children and the elderly, and this is where voice technology stands out."
In comparison, the US takes the lead globally in developing brain-inspired cognitive systems and computing models, neuromorphic chips and quantum computers, experts said.
Different from the US, which places greater emphasis on fundamental research, AI technologies from China focus more on commercial use.
Industry insiders have called on Chinese companies to focus more on the cutting edge of AI research and development.
An appropriate patent strategy is crucial to protect AI research, said an official at the State Intellectual Property Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Many AI technologies involve interdisciplinary research and, as a result, their patent filings tend to be complicated, the official said.
Ma Xiaoya, a partner at a Beijing-based IP agency firm, said patent filings in the AI sector generally cover the collection and processing of mass data, model training, deep learning, algorithm optimization and functional modules. These are easily classifiable as non-patented intelligence activities.
Thus, patent filers need to pay attention to the required documentation for specific technological resolutions, she noted.
The choice of the location and timing for patent filings has a close proximity with the patented technologies' industrialization and commercialization.
The Wuzhen Report found that the US, China and the United Kingdom contributed 65.73 percent of the world's AI businesses.
In China, the businesses cluster into such metropolises as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, which accounted for 7.4 percent of the world's total.
The boom is being fueled by the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions that are sweeping the globe, as well as an influx of capital to the sector.
Japan's SoftBank Group spent more than $32 million in taking over chip designer ARM Holdings in the UK in July. Chinese home appliance manufacturer Midea announced in May its proposed purchase of German robot maker Kuka Robotics.
The report showed the investment in the sector in 2010-15 surpassed the total of the previous six decades in China.
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Infringement war not yet won, despite big victories (2017-01-19,China Daily)
The Chinese government, judicial institutions and companies have introduced numerous innovative measures in recent years to protect intellectual property rights, in the face of ever-more sophisticated infringement methods, according to officials and industry insiders speaking at the seventh China IP International Annual Forum that was recently held in Beijing.
Lin Guanghai, vice-presiding judge of the IP tribunal at the Supreme People's Court, said that courts nationwide accepted more than 132,000 IP civil cases in the first 11 months last year, along with more than 6,000 administrative cases involving trademarks and patents.
Song Yushui, vice-president of the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, said she has witnessed a rise in certain types of cases in recent years, including those involving strategic high technologies, those in which both parties are foreign and those involving large compensation claims.
"The Beijing IP Court is becoming a preferred venue for filing international lawsuits," Song said.
The court has taken a range of steps to enhance protection, such as larger fines and introducing an innovative burden of proof system. It has also hired industry experts to consult in some of the more complicated technical disputes.
In addition, the National Copyright Administration is regulating online copyrights by categorizing them. The categories include online music, literature, cloud storage, apps and app stores, said Duan Yuping, deputy director of the copyright management division at the NCA.
The administration's key targets include 16 websites for video streaming, 20 for music and 20 for literature, requiring that licensing certificates are provided for all content.
Since 2005, the NCA has organized the annual anti-online piracy Jianwang Operation, in cooperation with other administrations. It had investigated in more than 5,000 cases by 2015, involving total fines of over 15 million yuan ($2.2 million). In 2016 alone, 290 illegal websites that provided unlicensed content were shut down.
"We are glad to see that the measures taken over the past few years and efforts from many sides have led to positive changes," Duan said.
Despite the progress, a number of challenges remain, said Fan Liming, vice-president of Shanghai-based IP service agency Sinofaith.
The first challenge is the quality of IP, he commented, adding that a high-quality IP nation is the result of strong innovation ability combined with strong motivation, both of which take years to cultivate.
Another challenge is brought by the development of e-commerce and online music platforms. "The main battlefield of IP protection is moving to the online world today," Fan said. "The technical problems must be solved by technical means."
He suggested using professional software and big data to deal with online counterfeiting, and called for a "well-regulated and healthily-developing" internet economy, jointly built by the government, rights owners, platform operators, IP service agencies and consumers.
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Pursuit of quality set to drive innovation (2017-01-19,China Daily)
China has set its sights on improving the quality of its intellectual property in a bid to encourage innovation, a senior official said.
"The quality of IP is not keeping pace with the quantity. The development in different regions is still unbalanced and protections are still not strict enough," said Gan Shaoning, deputy commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, at a news conference on Tuesday in Beijing.
According to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, China received around 1.1 million patent applications in 2015, ranking top globally for the fifth consecutive year. China also became the first global economy to file more than 1 million patent applications in a single year.
"China's patent system encourages innovation, but there is still an imbalance between the number and quality of patents. This is mostly evident in the shortage of the number of key and refined patents and the unbalanced patent layout," Gan said.
In December, the State Council released a plan to guide the nation's IP development during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period.
According to the guideline, China aims to increase its invention patent ownership from 6.3 per 10,000 people in 2015 to 12 per 10,000 in 2020. It is also targeting a rise in the number of international patent applications, from 30,000 in 2015 to 60,000 by 2020.
The plan also calls for IP efforts to focus on seven major areas, including the improvement of the legal system, quality and benefits, industrial upgrading, and international cooperation and exchanges.
China will also improve IP rules and regulations in emerging fields, including internet-based businesses and big data, according to the plan.
The country also joined the ranks of the world's top 25 innovative economies in the Global Innovation Index released by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and WIPO in August.
"This is in keeping with all the developments that we have seen in China in recent years, including the use of innovation as a major component in the transition of the Chinese economy from 'made in China' to 'created in China'," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
"While the Chinese mainland continues to drive global increases, IP use grew in most countries in 2015, reflecting its increasing importance in a globalized knowledge economy," he added.
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Ex-Huawei employees under probe for violations of IPR, report says (2017-01-19,Chinanews)
Law enforcement officers in China have taken six former employees of Huawei Technologies Co's consumer business group into custody as part of an investigation into an alleged violation of intellectual property rights (IPR), media reports said Wednesday.
News begun circulating on Wednesday morning that some former Huawei employees had taken internal material to join LeEco and phonemaker Coolpad, financial news website caixin.com reported on Wednesday.
Huawei confirmed the news, saying that the six people had actually worked in the company's research and development division and were not managers, as some rumors claimed, Caixin reported.
Huawei declined to comment on the matter when reached by the Global Times on Wednesday.
LeEco, the largest shareholder of Coolpad, said in a statement sent to the Global Times late Wednesday that it had no connection with the matter and it always attaches great importance to IPR protection.
Among the allegedly stolen materials was the design of Huawei's smart watch, Caixin reported, citing insiders.
Huawei shipped 139 million smartphones in 2016, up 29 percent from 2015, according to media reports in January that cited company estimates.
The revenue of its consumer business group jumped 42 percent to 178 billion yuan ($26 billion) in 2016.
In 2015, Huawei became the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million smartphones in a single year.
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China registers one million domestic patents, issues new guidelines on IPR (2017-01-18,Chinanews)
China's central government is making moves to improve protection and use of intellectual property (IP), with figures showing that China has become the third country in the world to register one million active domestic patents, following only the United States and Japan.
The State Council, China's cabinet, issued new guidelines on the development of IP in the country, laying out the goals and major tasks for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and usage as part of the current Five-Year Plan, which covers the period between last year and 2020.
Among the highlights, the guidelines call for the improvement of rules and regulations related to IPR in newly emerging fields, including e-commerce and big data.
"The plan has set out a number of goals we are aiming to achieve in the development of IP by 2020, including an overall improvement to its protection, practical application and competiveness," said Gan Shaoning, Deputy Director of the State Intellectual Property Office.
It is also expected that patent ownership will increase from 6.3 per 10,000 people in 2015 to 12 per 10,000 in 2020. Additionally, IP royalties earned abroad are expected to rise from 4.4 billion US dollars in 2015 to 10 billion dollars in 2020.
"China received 1.1 million patent applications in 2015, making us the first country in the world to surpass the one-million mark. We had one million active domestic patents last year, only after the United States and Japan. Our current IP regulations are providing the basic protection of innovation, but we still face two major challenges – we need more patents on core technologies and more diversified allocation of patents," said Gong Yalin, another official with the State Intellectual Property Office.
China's IP authorities say the country has established a complete and internationally recognized legal system for IPR protection with Chinese characteristics, which incorporates both administrative and judicial protection. However, Gan admitted that there is room for improvement, noting that China has a short history with IPR.
"China is willing to enhance IPR cooperation and share our experiences of development with our counterparts across the world. At the same time, we oppose unfounded accusations and abuse of IPR to exercise trade protectionism," said Gan.
Over the past five years, Chinese authorities have launched 14 sets of laws and regulations involving IPR, in addition to investigating 87,000 cases of patent infringement. During that same period, China has entered IPR-related agreements with 63 other countries.
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China makes plans for stronger IPR protection (2017-01-18,Xinhua)
China will encourage innovation through better protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
A guideline has set targets to improve IPR rules and regulation in emerging fields, including Internet Plus, e-commerce and big data.
Patents are expected to increase from 6.3 per 10,000 people in 2015 to 12 per 10,000 in 2020. Royalties earned abroad will rise from 4.44 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to around 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, if expectations are met.
At a press conference explaining the guideline, Gan Shaoning, deputy head of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said that China has a complete, internationally recognized legal framework for IPR protection.
STRONGER INSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION
China has already introduced tougher penalties, but there are still shortcomings, including insufficiently rigorous protection and recurrent violations. Last year, in a circular on private investment, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) called for yet tougher punishments for IPR violations.
China's courts heard 134,000 IPR cases in 2014, one fifth more than the year before, according to a judicial IPR white paper.
From January 2014 to November 2016, more than 13,400 people were arrested for IPR crime, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP). Over 24,000 people were prosecuted for violating IPR during the same period.
Special IPR courts were established in 2014 in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai and have brought about significant improvements. During the past five years, China passed 14 laws and regulations on IPR and signed 171 cooperation agreements with 63 countries, regions and international organizations.
"Our better law enforcement and a tougher stance on IPR are obvious to people at home and overseas," said Yang Yanchao of the China Academy of Social Sciences center for IPR law studies.
Creativity in China is booming. Chinese submitted 117,000 international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty between 2011 and 2015, 2.2 times the amount during the previous five years.
In 2015 the number of patent applications filed by Chinese for inventions reached 1.1 million, the fifth consecutive year at the top of the world's patent application list.
The numbers speak of the importance China attaches to IPR protection, said Cao Xinming of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law center for IPR studies.
"China values IPR in social and economic development," Cao told Xinhua. "To ensure stable economic growth, China has to encourage innovation, the success of which depends on IPR protection," Cao remarked.
Cao's view was echoed by Yang. "China is encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Protecting IPR is important because technology is the key to survival for smaller businesses."
To boost innovation, the central government set aside 1.4 billion yuan (about 200 million U.S. dollars) for local patent operations and helped establish more than 1,700 IPR enterprises.
JORDAN AND QIAODAN
In 2012, Michael Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear and shoe manufacturer, for unauthorized use of his name and identity.
Last month, the SPC ruled in favor of the U.S. basketball icon against the Chinese firm which had infringed his trademark. The former NBA star is widely known in Chinese as "Qiaodan."
The court ruled that in the dispute, "Qiaodan," the transliteration of the Chinese version of "Jordan," violated Jordan's right to his name and broke the Trademark Law.
Registration of the "Qiaodan" trademark was revoked, but the court also ruled that Jordan has no exclusive rights to the use of the word "Qiaodan" and rejected his claim in this regard.
Jordan said he respected the Chinese legal system and looked forward to a Shanghai court's rulings on a separate naming rights case.
The Jordan/Qiaodan ruling shows China's determination to protect IPR and suggests that China will treat domestic and foreign parties in the same way, Yang commented.
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Fosun partners with Kite Pharm to bring T-cell therapy to China (2017-01-17,Chinanews)
Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) announced strategic cooperation, including establishment of a cooperative enterprise in China, with Nasdaq-listed Kite Pharma, through its wholly owned subsidiary to introduce T-cell therapy of Kite Pharma for lymphoma patients.
The cooperative enterprise will be registered in Shanghai, with Fosun Pharma and Kite Pharma owning 50 percent each.
Different from chemotherapy and radiotherapy, T-cell therapy is based on genetical engineering. Patients' body cells are taken out to be genetically engineered and then infused in patients to meet the goal of curing cancer.
Fosun Pharma intends to contribute $20 million while Kite Pharma will contribute with the right to exclusive use of its products and proprietary technology at the value of $20 million. Each of the two parties owns 50 percent equity interests in the cooperative enterprise.
Manufacturing, distribution and use of the products will be conducted in centralized manner which will help to secure safety for patients' benefits, said Arie Belldegrun, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kite Pharma.
Fosun Pharma will pay another $40 million to the cooperative enterprise for the relevant patent and technology, and the cooperative enterprise will make a milestone payment of $35 million to Kite Pharma, based on research and development progress and market conditions and make a royalty payment for the sale of the T-cell therapy products, which are at the stage of clinical development and waiting for approval from regulatory authorities to be officially launched.
China is the second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world after the US, and there is a huge unmet demand in the treatment for cancer in China, said Chen Qiyu, chairman of Fosun Pharma. The enterprise eyes to bring cutting-edge treatments to patients in need, said Chen.
Chen Saijuna, director of National Research Center for Transitional Medicine (Shanghai) and a Hematology expert, said that T-cell therapy has been given great hope in making breakthroughs in blood cancer treatment.
Before T-cell therapy to be widely used among patients, researchers must find answers to several questions including effects, safety, reoccurrence possibility and timing of using the therapy, and leveraging resources from capital market is expected to help to accelerate the pace of searching, said Chen.
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China opposes abuse of IPR to promote trade protectionism (2017-01-17,Xinhua)
China is willing to enhance intellectual property right (IPR) cooperation with other countries, but opposes accusations and abuse of IPR to exercise trade protectionism, according to a senior official Tuesday.
Gan Shaoning, deputy director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said at a press conference that since the reform and opening-up, China had established a complete and internationally-recognized legal system for IPR protection with Chinese characteristics.
He said it incorporated both administrative and judicial protection, and that the system was something that had taken developed countries hundreds of years.
According to media reports U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has applied for many trademarks in China, Gan said that this showed that China's IPR system complied with international standards.
The official acknowledged that there were some problems in IPR protection as China was a developing country with a short history of IPR.
"Exercising strict IPR protection is not only a demand for the country to attract foreign investment, open up to the outside world, and pursue innovation-driven development, but also an essential requirement for upgrading economic and social development," Gan told reporters.
"We are willing to enhance IPR cooperation and share our experiences of development with our counterparts across the world," the official said. "At the same time, we oppose unfounded accusations and abuse of IPR to exercise trade protectionism."
Showcasing China's breakthroughs in international cooperation last year, Gan said that China had held the High-level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries Along the "Belt and Road" and released a joint initiative on IPR cooperation concerning such countries.
The official vowed to strengthen the protection and use of intellectual property rights and encourage innovation.
Gan said a guideline, issued by the State Council earlier this month, specified the goals and major tasks for the development of intellectual property during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
The plan said China would improve IPR rules and regulations in newly-emerged fields, including Internet Plus, e-commerce and big data.
It stated that China's invention patents would increase from 6.3 per 10,000 people in 2015 to 12 per 10,000 in 2020.
Intellectual property royalties earned abroad will rise from 4.44 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, according to the plan.
The plan also put forward seven major areas for improving intellectual property, including the legal system, protection of intellectual property rights, quality and benefits, industrial upgrading, and international cooperation and exchanges.
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Alibaba sets up world's first 'big data anti-fake alliance' (2017-01-17,People's Daily)
Initiated by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, the world's first alliance to fight fakes using big data was launched in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on Jan. 16. The first 20 members issued a joint action plan to cut down on counterfeit products.
According to Zheng Junfang, Alibaba's chief platform governance officer, the traditional way of cracking down on fake goods offline does not remove the source of copycat products.
"We have to have everybody involved and work together to do it," Zheng announced. Alibaba is willing to share its experience, skills, technology and resources with people all around the work in the anti-counterfeit battle, she said.
Only invited brands can join the alliance, and membership is limited to 20. The first batch of members include Dulux, LV, Swarovski, Trendy Group, DAZZLE, Shiseido, Bioderma, Amway, Mars, Pernod Ricard, Huawei, SUPOR, Joyoung, Sony, Samsung, Western Digital (Western Digital and SanDisk), Canon and Ford. Alibaba has long cooperated on anti-counterfeiting initiatives. By the end of 2016, the company had cooperated with more than 18, 000 brands to fight against fake goods.
A Huawei manager pointed out that by using big data, Alibaba is playing a leading role in anti-counterfeiting efforts.
"We are fully expecting an IPR protection blueprint outlined by the big data anti-fake alliance," the manager said.
Zheng made four promises at the launch of the campaign: continue to provide data and technology support, promote cooperation on anti-counterfeiting efforts, provide priority service for alliance members, and invite alliance members to work on policy-making and amendments.
The establishment of the anti-fake alliance is only the first step. Alibaba will use big data to build anti-counterfeiting tools and consolidate social consensus, regularly releasing reports on anti-counterfeiting efforts.
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China strengthens protection of intellectual property rights (2017-01-17,Xinhua)
China will strengthen the protection and use of intellectual property rights, a move to develop intellectual property and encourage innovation, according to an official Tuesday.
Gan Shaoning, deputy director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said that the guideline, issued by the State Council, specified the goals and major tasks for the development of intellectual property during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
According to the plan, China will improve rules and regulations related to intellectual property rights in newly-emerged fields including Internet Plus, e-commerce and big data.
China's invention patent ownership will increase from 6.3 per 10,000 people in 2015 to 12 per 10,000 in 2020. Intellectual property royalties earned abroad will rise from 4.44 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, according to the plan.
The plan also put forward seven major areas for improving intellectual property, including the legal system, protection of intellectual property rights, quality and benefits, industrial upgrading, and international cooperation and exchanges.
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China to start intellectual property rights pilot reform (2017-01-13,Chinanews)
The central government has decided to implement measures to improve intellectual property rights management and promote the nation's capacity for innovation, according to a guideline on a one-year pilot reform, which was released by the State Council on Thursday.
The guideline introduces the one-year pilot reform of intellectual property rights protection in certain regions, which will be selected by departments including the State Intellectual Property Office, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
The pilot reform will be carried out in regions that have been pioneers in intellectual property rights applications and enforcement, including patents, trademarks and copyrights, and have made enormous achievements in innovation, or have national innovation demonstration zones.
According to the guideline, efforts will include a comprehensive and effective management system of intellectual property rights, which will better serve the public and promote innovation-driven development.
The pilot reform will be extended further after a joint review by those departments under the State Council.
The State Intellectual Property Office accepted 1.1 million patent applications in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 18.7 percent. The number ranked first in the world for highest number of patents accepted. The office granted 263,000 patents in 2015, 100,000 more than the previous year.
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Scientist may lose gene-editing patent (2017-01-13,Chinanews)
Technique has lost commercial value after researcher stopped application
Han Chunyu, a Chinese researcher who gained the spotlight for a next-generation approach to gene-editing that research groups across the world later said could not be repeated, could lose his patent for the process.
The State Intellectual Property Office notified Han and co-applicant Shen Xiao from Zhejiang University on Jan 9 that the application for his NgAgo gene-editing approach was deemed to have been withdrawn because they did not furnish documents that the office requested in July.
The patent faces the risk of being revoked within two months, according to the office.
Zheng Haifeng, a patent agent from the Hangzhou Qiushi Patent Office in Zhejiang province, said that it was the applicants' choice to let the application be withdrawn.
"It is their decision. They knew about the request, but they chose not to respond to it," Zheng was quoted as saying by Shanghai-based media The Paper.
Applicants can request the recovery of their application within two months if they can provide good reasons, but Zheng said he did not know whether Han and Shen would start that procedure.
Han and Shen, with two other authors, published a paper in Nature Biotechnology in May that claimed they had discovered a new gene-editing tool named NgAgo that was believed to be more efficient than the widely used CRISPR/Cas9 approach, also known as the "molecular Swiss army knife".
However, scientists kept reporting failures in reproducing the experiment in the following months, which stirred doubts over its authenticity.
"The cancellation of the patent may not have a direct relationship with the genuineness of Han's paper. But since Han and Shen have stopped the patent application process, it clearly indicates that the technique has lost commercial value," said Wang Haoyi, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Zoology.
In November, Nature Biotechnology published an Editorial Expression of Concern and made a statement saying that it will continue to liaise with Han and other authors to allow them provide additional information to support their paper by the end of January.
Wang said it would not matter whether the journal decided to retract the paper after the deadline expires, because it was the recognition of the scientific community that matters.
"There are some papers that are not withdrawn but have no influence at all, because no one would cite it," he said.
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Patents evidence of China's past, future growth (2017-01-12,China Daily)
Applications and disputes rise sharply amid increasing innovation and regulation
China has reached new heights in patent filings, with more than 3.46 million applications filed in 2016, according to the State Intellectual Property Office.
Of these, more than 1.33 million filings were for invention patents, increasing 21.5 percent from a year earlier.
Invention patents feature a longer validity period and more stringent requirements, compared with the other two types of patents - utility models and industrial designs.
This, as well as other major indicators, reflect an improvement in both quantity and quality, SIPO Commissioner Shen Changyu said at the organization's annual conference on Jan 5.
"It came as no surprise, given China's large reservoir of graduates in science and engineering, increasing innovation capacity and robust economic growth," Shen said.
However, he said he expected "a mild increase" in patent filings in the coming years.
SIPO data shows that international patent applications filed via the Patent Cooperation Treaty from China surpassed 40,000 last year, showing Chinese businesses' growing aspirations to go global.
The country's valid invention patent inventory exceeded the 1-million benchmark last year, meaning for every 10,000 Chinese residents there are eight invention patents.
Invention patent ownership per 10,000 residents is a common criterion worldwide to reflect a country or region's proprietary innovation capacity, industrial insiders said.
SIPO estimates the ownership number will surpass nine in 2017, approaching the country's goal to reach 14 by 2020, a level typical of moderately-developed countries.
Intellectual property plays a vital role in China's ongoing supply-side structural reform, as it provides a mechanism for property distribution, motivation for innovation and market operation and represents advanced productivity, Shen said.
Patent-intensive industries contributed 12.4 percent of China's GDP in 2015, a slight increase from some 11 percent a year earlier, according to SIPO statistics.
SIPO unveiled a list of patent-intensive industries in October 2016, containing eight sectors: basic information, software and IT services, modern transportation equipment, intelligent equipment manufacturing, bio-medicine, new materials, efficient energy preservation and environmental protection, and recyclable resources.
"Innovation is a prime engine driving development," he said, noting that implementing the innovation-driven development strategy and creating a creation-friendly environment require stringent IP protection.
Administrative enforcement officials investigated approximately 49,000 patent disputes across the country in 2016, an increase of 36.5 percent from 2015.
Those sectors closely related to people's daily lives, such as food, pharmaceuticals, environmental protection and production safety, will remain the focus of enforcement this year, Shen said.
"We will increase efforts in fighting repeated patent infringement and perpetrator groups and crack down on counterfeits on online trade portals and large exhibitions," he said.
The internet, exports and imports, and exhibitions are key venues for administrative enforcement, he said.
"We will also advance cooperative enforcement in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Yangtze River and Peal River deltas, and continue to work with police and customs departments in patent protection."
China's growing stockpiles of patents bear witness to the country's rise on the global innovation landscape.
The World Intellectual Property Indicators 2016, an annual report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, found that patent applications filed with SIPO in 2015 were almost equivalent to the combined filings of the IP offices in the United States, Japan and South Korea. Industrial design filings in China accounted for half of the world's total in 2015.
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Local bonded area wins national IPR recognition (2017-01-11,China Daily)
Zhangjiagang Bonded Area was recently listed by the State Intellectual Property Office as a national demonstration zone for intellectual property rights, becoming China's 16th IPR development zone.
The bonded area in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province was first nominated as a national intellectual property pilot zone in 2013. Since then, it has invested hugely in integrating the development of the area with the promotion of IPR creation, application, protection and management.
The bonded area has also put a series of vigorous strategies into effect to boost the industrial restructuring and economic development of the area.
By the end of 2015, the area's invention patent ownership per 10,000 people reached 29. A total of 520 invention patents were granted, and 815 applications were filed, up by more than seven percent compared to the previous year. Eight China Famous Trademarks were granted to businesses based inside the area in 2015.
As a national demonstration zone with a particular strength in trade cooperation, Zhangjiagang Bonded Area has developed into an important area for international investment and a distribution center for commodities. The chemical, grain and edible oil, electromechanical and textile industries are the four major industries in the zone.
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China forbids trademarking names of public figures (2017-01-11,Xinhua)
The names of public figures in areas including politics, economy, culture and religion are not allowed to be registered as trademarks, according to China's top court.
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) Wednesday issued a document on handling cases involving trademark approval.
The new rules state that trademarking public figures' names is forbidden in accordance with trademark law, due to the "negative influence" on the public interest and social order that it could cause.
"The document has shown the judicial authorities' determination in protecting an honest business environment and dealing with malicious trademark infringements," said Song Xiaoming with the SPC.
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New technology at CES 2017 gives glimpse of future life (2017-01-10,Xinhua)
In the 50th year of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), new generation TV, autonomous driving, drones, robots, 3-D printing and virtual reality (VR) technology gave a glimpse of future life.
This year's CES held in Las Vegas between Thursday and Sunday attracted over 3,800 companies and 50,000 professionals from 150 countries and regions in the world.
In its more than 2.6 million net square feet (about 242,000 square meters) show space, about 165,000 attendees explored the current advanced technology development.
This year, artificial intelligence found its way into more products. Meanwhile, self-driving, education robots, 3-D printing and VR technology took the central stage at the show.
AUTONOMOUS, CLEANER DRIVING
Vehicle technology is making driving safer and drivers more connected, according to attendees representing new vehicle technologies and innovation at the show.
"This is a transformative time in automotive," said Patrick Little, Qualcomm's automotive senior vice president and general manager. "The pace of innovation is unprecedented."
The automotive industry is being driven by a desire to bring safety to the next level with connectivity, electrification and autonomous driving, said Little.
Little's idea was echoed by Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Nissan Motor Corp. "The destructive triangle of autonomous drive technology, electric vehicles, connected cars and services means we will see more changes in the next 10 years than we did in the last 50," he said.
"By 2030, 15 percent of new vehicles sold could be fully autonomous," he predicted.
New generation TV products has always occupied large space of the show.
This year, LG unveiled two new products, 77-inch and 65-inch Signature-series OLED TVs with depths of only 2.57 mm and with magnetic wall brackets that eliminate the gap with the wall.
David VanderWaal, marketing head for LG Electronics USA, described this LG product as "wallpaper TV," looking like pictures hanging on a wall.
Another LG TV used most advanced visual and sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories, transforming the TV experience both in terms of video and audio.
"By incorporating Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos into our premium OLED TVs, the first TV of its kind, we are able to offer consumers amazing realism across both image and sound that is vivid, nuanced, and powerful," said Brian Kwon, president of LG Home Entertainment Co.
Thanks to improved artificial intelligence, computer vision and sensing, robots are getting smarter and can better navigate and interact with humans and the environment around them.
Like the introduction of computers and cellphones, consumer robots and educational robots will transform and disrupt lifestyles everywhere.
Founded in 1996, Chinese educational robots company Abilix has become world-leading educational robots with more than 200 patented technologies. Abilix independently developed over 120 types of educational robots over the last 20 years.
Abilix robots are being used in more than 21,500 primary and secondary schools in 31 countries and regions. "By programming the robot, kids practiced their logical thinking ability and problem-solving ability," said Li Minghe, general manager of Abilix global educational market.
HEAVY CHINESE PRESENCE
More than 1,300 companies from the Chinese mainland were about to exhibit at CES 2017, accounting for one third of the exhibitors this year, according to the the U.S. Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organizer of CES.
Gary Shapiro, president of CTA, said he was impressed by Chinese innovation in the consumer technology industry. China's importance in global consumer technology industry is not only reflected by its strong manufacturing, but also its increasing engagement in innovative new areas, Shapiro told Xinhua.
For the past 50 years, CES has been the launch pad for new innovation and technology that has improved the world.
Companies have introduced an estimated 700,000 new products at CES over these 50 years, including every major breakthrough technology product, said Shapiro. "The products and services unveiled at CES 2017 will touch nearly every single global industry."
According to the CTA, tech industry supports 15 million jobs and contributes 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars to the U.S. economy.
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U.S. opens patent probe into LCDs from 5 Chinese companies (2017-01-10,Xinhua)
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Monday initiated a patent investigation of certain liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that can be used as writing tablets and components from five Chinese companies.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Ohio-based Kent Displays, which alleged that those Chinese companies had infringed upon its patents and violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, the bipartisan trade panel said in a statement.
The company requested the USITC to issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders against those products.
The five Chinese companies being investigated are all based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province: Shenzhen Howshow Technology, Shenzhen Howshare Technology, Howshare of Shenzhen, Shenzhen SUNstone Technology and iQbe of Shenzhen.
The investigation does not mean the panel has made any decision on the merits of the case. Within 45 days, the panel will set a target date for completing the investigation. Should the complaint be approved, the panel will issue an import ban on infringing products and bar the sale of products within the United States.
Section 337 investigations focus on allegations of patent or registered trademark infringement, and also involve misappropriation of aspects such as trade secrets, false advertising, and violation of the antitrust laws.
As it is quicker, cheaper and more practical to win the patent cases with the USITC than in U.S. courts, American companies increasingly tap the USITC's authority on patent cases to tamp down their competitors.
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The invention changing East China camping (2017-01-09,China Daily)
It’s difficult finding the right word to describe the product Qian Jianwei has invested most of his savings and the better part of two years developing.
We might label the 6-square-meter creation a micro-cabin. Spatially succinct, it combines the immersion of the tent experience with the amenities of a permanent structure. Qian’s, however, can be disassembled and is built from environmentally friendly plastics not wood. It’s not a snuggly Scandinavian cabin, more a sleek modern living room fitted with uber fast Wi-Fi. Perhaps smart pod is closer to the mark.
The pod’s main room is comprised of a king-sized bed that transforms into a comfortable communal table in less than a minute. It also has cooking area (the word kitchen would be a stretch) and a fully functioning bathroom. It is certainly remarkable how much Qian has fitted into a space that is smaller than many car models.
With rough and ready camping not being to everyone's tastes and campervan trailers barred from China's roads on account of width, the pod aims to fill a family-sized hole in the national camping market. It was an opportunity first realized by Qian when he began taking his young daughter on weekend excursions.
"My daughter and I love to go camping but in our experience staying in a tent is inconvenient, unsafe, and there is no place to take a shower."
Qian sought to rectify these nuisances of the outdoor experience by starting Wuxi Dalai Interactive network Co and focusing on creating a technologically savvy pod that offers people the best of both worlds. In the safety department, the pod features a rooftop camera connected to the local police and a preventative alarm to ward off pesky animals. Completely designed and produced in China, it has already accrued seven design and feature related patents.
The smart pod includes an air-conditioning unit, an internet television, a refrigerator, and at the push of a button a sleek retractable roof that backs the pod onto an expansive porch- perfect for idle summer afternoons. Intelligent design touches such as these reflect Qian's vision of transforming the way people enjoy the natural world.
"We focused on making something comfortable and safe. The quality of our product has surpassed European standards."
Since mid-2016, Qian has successfully trialed his brainchild at a picturesque park nestled on the shore Taihu Lake near Mashan Mountain. The site is only forty minutes by car from downtown Wuxi, Jiangsu province, and although visitors are lured by the peaceful atmosphere and the myriad of hiking and cycling opportunities, they have responded positively to the pod experience. With wonderful views and at prices of 360 yuan ($52.36) a night it is little wonder Qian was fully booked from June until October.
The pod is an Internet of Things Gateway product, meaning that it connects tangible things, like an air-conditioning unit, to intangible ones, like the cloud network. As a result, hikers that leave the pod on a hot summer day can use an app on their smart phone to preset the space to a cool the preferred temperature. Another example of an IOT Gateway feature is being able to open the door using a QR code.
Wuxi Dalai Interactive network Co attracted a large amount of attention at the 2016 World Internet of Things Exposition held in Wuxi October, 2016. The pods aren't available for individual sale but soon after the expo, Qian signed a deal with government authorities to roll out 5,000 pods in East China in 2017.
Qian hopes this deal will be a sign of more interest to come and is close to releasing the pod's second generation.
"The second generation will come out and can fit three generations of a family together with the price staying close to that of the first generation."
Certainly, if Qian has his way you'll be spending a night inside one of his environmentally friendly pods sooner than you know it.
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Underground hotel breaking new ground, digs deeper for inspiration (2017-01-09,China Daily)
While Shanghai is well known for its skyscraping hotels, one construction project has decided to turn that image on its head.
Developer Shanghai Shimao Property Group has reported groundbreaking advances during construction of the Shimao Wonderland InterContinental Quarry Hotel which is located in an 80-meter-deep disused quarry in the city's Songjiang district.
The five-star hotel saw construction begin in 2013 and celebrated the completion of its underground main structure in September this year. The site served as a quarry from 1950 to 2000.
The National Geographic Channel's Megastructures TV series is filming the creation of the hotel. It will broadcast the resulting documentary in more than 200 countries and regions upon completion, according to Shimao.
The hotel will consist of 18 floors, only two of which will be aboveground, the lobby and conference centers.
The hotel's main structure will be underground, spanning the distance from the surface to a lake at the base of the quarry. Most guest rooms, as well as dining and entertainment facilities will be located within this core structure.
The two lowest floors will be set underwater, where some of the most luxurious suites and an aquatic-themed restaurant will be located.
According to the project plan, each of the hotel’s some 300 rooms will have their own viewing balconies from which guests will be able to see the 60-meter-high waterfall on the other side of the quarry.
There will also be a sightseeing platform on the opposite side of the waterfall, where visitors can take in the whole view of the stunning structure.
The hotel developers are considering taking advantage of the quarry's cliffs to develop some extreme sports facilities, such as bungee jumping and rock climbing.
It took seven years for Shimao to evaluate the possibility of building such a hotel in the deep quarry. The hotel was designed by British architect Martin Jochman of JADE+QA and architects from the world leading design firm Atkins, who were also responsible for the design of the super-luxury hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
Representatives from Shimao revealed that the construction team met many challenges during the development process, some of which the construction industry had never before experienced. For instance, engineers had to consider how to ensure that the hotel can firmly stay on the cliff, because the geological structure of Shanghai is not very stable.
"It was a big challenge. We had to evaluate whether the quarry cliffs were strong enough to support the hotel,"said an engineer. "Luckily, the geological structure in Sheshan is better than in the urban area of Shanghai."
Hotel developers also paid significant attention to fire fighting facilities. "All the rooms are connected to escape routes, so guests can leave the hotel safely in a fire incident," said the engineer.
In addition to fire-related precautions and the hotel's structural safety, developers have also carefully considered how to deal with various emergency situations, such as earthquakes and rainstorms, so that tourists can enjoy a comfortable and safe visit to Sheshan.
The construction company has registered five invention patents and 14 practical new patents in the past four years to address problems such as materials transportation in the deep quarry.
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Over 13,400 people arrested for IPR crimes since 2014 (2017-01-09,Xinhua)
More than 13,400 people in China were arrested for crimes related to intellectual property rights' (IPR) violations from Jan. 2014 to Nov. 2016, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced Monday.
Over 24,400 people were prosecuted for violating IPR during the same period, the SPP told a press conference Monday.
According to the SPP, IPR violations in China mainly involve trademark infringements, which accounted over 90 percent of all IPR crimes nationwide in 2015.
Regions enjoying better economic performance reported a higher frequency of IPR violations, the SPP said, adding that people arrested in the Beijing-Tianjin region, Yangtze River Delta region and Pearl River Delta region accounted for 72 percent of the total in 2015.
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Is China a global innovation powerhouse? (2017-01-08,China Daily)
Yes, China is a global innovation powerhouse. As China continues to expand its infrastructures, it is becoming the biggest competitor of industrial manufacturing and a place to do business. China has a workforce that works hard and creatively to keep on with global product demands. As China's economy grows it can afford to invest in technological advances and increase its global business operations.
China still has way too many restrictions for foreign companies and individuals to bring their products, services and innovations to the country in timely manner in order to get the protection by patenting something here. I'm no expert in this field, but I dare guess that many of patented innovations in modern China are copied from somewhere else, perhaps even already patented under some other jurisdiction.
Patents do not necessarily mean innovations; some of these patents are intellectual property of foreign owners who register their designs with Chinese patent offices to make sure their intellectual property rights are protected even in copy-mad China. China does not even adequately protect those. There's hardly any "innovation" coming from China.
Good for China… With the largest population in the world and the world's fastest growing economy I think innovation springs from every corner of China at the moment, I think there are no other nations with the amount of innovators and new ideas then what China is experiencing at the current moment of time.
Not at all. The only thing that is helping out china right now is that we are taking all of our businesses right now and moving them there, so that we can hire the cheaper labor and that we can make the products at a lot cheaper of a price there.
China's economy is too controlled to enable innovation. There is much concern about the rise of the Chinese economy.I It will never become the innovation powerhouse that the US, Europe, and Japan are. The economy must be liberalized before China's full potential can be realized.
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Senior official calls for reforms in intellectual property rights (2017-01-06,Xinhua)
State Councilor Wang Yong said Thursday China should still deepen reforms in intellectual property rights, despite the fact it has shown great improvement in the area in recent years.
China should pilot comprehensive management reform, ease control on patent agencies and improve relevant public services, Wang said when inspecting the State Intellectual Property Office.
The country should create a fast channel for patent applications in emerging strategic industries and foster a vast number of high-value patents, Wang said.
The country had over 3.47 million patent applications in 2016, up 23.8 percent year on year, said State Intellectual Property Office head Shen Changyu at a national meeting Thursday.
Among them, patent applications for inventions increased by 21.5 percent year on year to 1.34 million, Shen said.
The number of Chinese international patent applications filed under the World Intellectual Property Organization's Patent Cooperation Treaty hit 40,000 last year, Shen added.
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An innovative China gets global attention (2017-01-05,Xinhua)
With a series of scientific breakthroughs during the past year, China is ushering in 2017 looking to grow into one of the world's great innovators.
In his New Year speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping touched on many scientific and technological achievements made in 2016, such as the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) being put into operation, and the Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite "Wukong" in orbit for a year.
He also mentioned launching of a quantum satellite and the Shenzhou-11 and Tiangong-2 space missions.
"We have made a series of breakthroughs this year and established a set of regulations as well as a quality guarantee system. We have also built a young and capable team," said Li Jian, head of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
FAST, the world's largest radio telescope, was put into use in September in southwest China to observe space and look for extraterrestrial life.
The telescope may help people better understand the origin and structure of the universe, and accelerate the search for life beyond earth.
China's first dark-matter detection satellite "Wukong," named after the legendary Monkey King, was sent into space in December 2015 to search for signals of dark matter, invisible material that scientists say makes up most of the universe's mass.
The quantum satellite was sent into space in August in an effort to start "hack-proof" quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
Launched on Oct. 17, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft docked two days later with China's first space lab Tiangong-2 where two astronauts lived for 30 days, the longest time Chinese astronauts have spent in space.
Besides space technology, China has seen outstanding achievements in other cutting edge areas during 2016.
In June, China's new supercomputing system Sunway-TaihuLight was named the world's fastest computer at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany.
In September, a national genebank with more than 10 million bio-samples was opened to work on human health research and the conservation of global bio-diversity.
Aside from major cutting-edge fields, the country's innovation strength can be seen in individual companies in all areas.
According to a report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China ranked top in the world for patent applications, receiving over one million applications in 2015.
China joined the ranks of the world's top 25 innovative economies in the Global Innovation Index released by Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO in August.
"This is in keeping with all the developments that we have seen in China in recent years, including the use of innovation as a major component in the transition of the Chinese economy from 'made in China' to 'created in China,'" WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said.
As a country determined to pursue innovation-driven development, China is ready to make even bigger moves in the future.
Three major steps are to be taken on China's innovation-driven development, according to guidelines unveiled in May.
The guidelines said the country would be an "innovative nation" by 2020, an international leader in innovation by 2030, and a world powerhouse of scientific and technological innovation by 2050.
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Apple accused of patent infringement in China (2017-01-05,Chinanews)
U.S. company GPNE Crop sued Apple Inc for direct infringement of claims on its patent, which was issued in China in 2001, according to a recent report by domestic business newspaper National Business Daily.
The lawsuit accuses "computerized communications devices and computerized tablet devices", known as iPhone and iPad manufactured by Apple, of infringing on patents it owns, and GPNE claims indemnity of 900 million yuan (about $129 million), the highest number of this kind of compensation in the country.
Huang Jingyu, or Gabriel Wong, founder and inventor of the Hawaii-based company told the newspaper that the patent relates to general packet radio service.
As part of the 3G standard for GSM radio frequencies, it allows features such as multimedia messaging, push-to-talk over cellular, always-on Internet access and point-to-point networking.
Huang said the patent has received patent protection rights in 14 countries, including China, USA and Japan.
Before accusing Apple, the company consecutively sued Motorola, Cisco, BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Sharp, HTC and Huawei in regard to the so called patterns infringements.
Compared to the dispute with Apple, most of the companies have either reached accommodations or signed patent permission agreements.
The litigation started January 28, 2013.
According to the report, during the past four years, Apple has been requested three times to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office of China to invalidate the patents that are involved in the case. In September 23, 2014, Apple litigated administrative appeal to the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court.
However, the patterns are still valid as all the litigation requests from Apple have been rejected.
As of the end of last November, the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court has held hearings three times regarding the case.
So far, Apple has made no comment on the allegations.
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Chinese innovations solidify its importance in global tech industry: CTA president (2017-01-04,Xinhua)
Gary Shapiro, president of the U.S. Consumer Technology Association (CTA), said he was impressed by Chinese innovations in the consumer technology industry, from drones and smartphones to innovative mobile services, etc.
China's importance in global consumer technology industry is not only reflected by its strong manufacturing, but also its increasing engagement in innovative new areas, Shapiro, also CTA chief executive officer, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
In regard to China's rising importance in technology innovation, international media widely reported that some western tech companies are turning to Chinese firms for ideas. A New York Times report even said that "the trope that China copies the U.S. hasn't been true for years, and in mobile it's the opposite: the U.S. often copies China."
Although Shapiro noted that companies across the world are learning from each other in terms of innovation, he emphasized that China is increasingly getting into innovative new areas, such as drones, smartphones and services like Wechat.
"Wechat is an excellent platform in terms of what it does for Chinese citizens, not only to communicate, but to pay for services, and to do so many different things both as social media and for business transactions that makes life easy," Shapiro said.
He and his team used Wechat, a mobile communication app devised by China's technology giant Tencent, as their official communication vehicle in Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2016, the annual bazaar of the latest electronic gadgets and technology hosted by the CTA.
At this year's CES, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Jan. 5 to 8, more than 3,800 companies across the world will showcase their state-of-the-art consumer novelties, and over one third of them were Chinese companies.
Considering the importance of Chinese companies in the tech industry, CTA has invited Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, to deliver a keynote speech at this year's CES. It's the second time that the CES had a Chinese company CEO to do keynoting.
"Huawei is such an important growing company, not only in China but globally," said Shapiro. "The keynote platform, which is considered one of the most desirable in the world for any business executive, is appropriate for such an important company to deliver the message we look forward to hearing."
At CES 2016, one of the headline news was that a Chinese company was accused of violating a U.S. company's patent and was raided by federal agents. However, the American company quietly dropped the case a month later. Many Chinese companies believed the purpose of the American company was to prevent its Chinese competitor from displaying its product at the CES.
Shapiro told Xinhua he was not clear about the case, but stressed that China and the U.S. agreed on the importance of intellectual property protection and both Chinese and American companies should protect their innovations and follow the intellectual property laws and patent laws.
He suggested Chinese companies should make sure their patents are "strong" and "legitimate", because the patent and IP are very important in the world of electronics and technology.
In regard to media reports that dozens of booths reserved by small Chinese companies were forced to close because of violating the CES rules in 2016, Shapiro said that "I'm sure it happened with two or three companies" which didn't follow the booth-sharing rules at the CES, and stressed that the CES treats all the companies the same, including Chinese companies.
With the election of Donald Trump as the new U.S. president, uncertainty around China and U.S. economic relations is rising. "I will not say there will be a harsh business environment" for Chinese tech companies who want to invest in U.S., said Shapiro.
He said Trump has a range of policy choices and he hoped that the President-elect would introduce favorable policies to incentivize companies, including Chinese ones, to manufacture in U.S.
This year marks the 50th anniversary for CES. According to Shapiro, the CES 2017 will be the largest show ever. In addition to major growth in categories like wearables, drones and self-driving cars, the CES will also showcase new categories, such as sports technology, health, beauty, and baby care.
"We're living in a world where technology is part of our everyday life," the CTA president stressed.
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