China Patents Work and I Have Proof.

China Design Patents

Axiom: Chinese businesses do not waste money.

Axiom: Filing patents in China is expensive.

Chinese businesses are filing patents in China like crazy.

Filing patents must be worth the money. In other words, they have value.

According to Intellectual Asset Management Blog [link no longer exists], “for the first time invention patent grants made to domestic [Chinese] entities are outstripping those made to foreign concerns. According to SIPO statistics, in the first six months of 2009 Chinese applicants received 18,634 patents, while applicants from overseas took 17,737; that’s 51.2% and 48.8% respectively. In 2008, Chinese applicants were awarded 49.7% of the 93,706 invention patents granted by SIPO.”

Chinese and China patent filings are having and will continue to have worldwide implications:

Clearly, all this has major implications for granting authorities, in-house patent departments and private practice firms across the world. What a great time it is to be a fluent Chinese speaking and reading patent attorney, for example. And moving forward, can any patent office or patent attorney firm anywhere do its job properly without access to high-level Chinese expertise? Quite frankly, I don’t see how. You also have to consider the impact of increased Chinese use of the international system. We already have huge backlogs in most patent offices, but as companies from China move into foreign markets their already increasing use of the PCT and direct filings in offices such as the USPTO, EPO and JPO is only bound to accelerate. It is a frightening thought.

Bottom Line: The idea that it makes no sense to bother trying to protect your IP in China ought to be taken off the table once and for all.

5 responses to “China Patents Work and I Have Proof.”

  1. Excellent post. I tutor Chinese patent attorneys in English, and they tell me that significant government subsidies are available to pay for these patent applications. I think this is one of many examples in China in which a specific state program can quickly reshape an industry.

  2. I hate to be contrary – the increase may reflect the desperation of some business persons to get orders – I have an active file where a chinese factory has filed utility patents in situations where it knows someone else owns the patentin North America or a patent is not available given the wide-spread production. It is also filing utility patents after neetings with North American companies in an attempt to lock the North American company to have the products produced at that factory and no other factory in China. The Chinese factory is using these patents to ask China Customs to stop legitimate shipments of goods by its competitors. the stopping of shipments creates supply chain issues in North America – so, the Chinese factory is becoming the gate-keeper for goods leaving China.

  3. Anybody know how many of these Chinese patents would likely be filed in the EU or America, as well? And what universities are the sources for the most patents? Thanks in advance for any info.

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