Nation's companies held over 1.9m valid invention patents in 2021, official says
The innovative vitality of Chinese businesses was further stimulated last year, as a growing number of domestic market entities registered invention patents, a senior intellectual property regulator said.
Hu Wenhui, deputy commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration, said at a news conference hosted by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday that around 298,000 Chinese enterprises held valid invention patents by the end of last year, 52,000 more than in 2020.
He added that Chinese companies held more than 1.9 million valid invention patents, up 22.6 percent year-on-year.
Among them, more than 63 percent were technology-related, "which means our domestic innovation and creative abilities are becoming much stronger", he added.
Hu added that the number of such patents increased rapidly in three major fields－information technology management, computer technology and medical technology.
Kang Lixia, a lawyer specializing in handling IPR disputes from Beijing Conzen Law Firm, said that the growing number of patents in high-tech industries reflected policy moves to support business transformation, promote industrial upgrading and better meet public demand.
"China has provided a series of preferential policies in recent years to encourage domestic enterprises to innovate technologies and improve their ability in terms of self-development, which has led many companies to expand their business to high-tech areas, such as the digital economy, new energy and healthcare," she said.
"For example, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, online medical care services and products have been more needed among the public. As a result, many firms, including those previously focusing on manufacturing, have begun transforming and paying greater efforts to study healthcare-related technologies to meet this demand."
She said that the improved policies and growing public demand have both contributed to the rapid growth of high-tech enterprises in China. "The more such businesses we have, the greater the number of valid invention patents we can see," she said.
"The concept that 'invention means creativity' is key to continuously stimulating our domestic market vitality," she added.
Meanwhile, China has also seen a rising number of patent and trademark applications made by foreign businesses.
According to the administration, China granted about 110,000 invention patents to foreign applicants last year, a 23 percent increase on 2020, and it also agreed 194,000 trademarks registered by foreign entities, up 5.2 percent year-on-year.
"The rising figures indicated that foreign enterprises are more confident in the country's IPR protection and its business environment," Hu said.
In 2021, invention patents that Chinese regulators granted to United States applicants rose 32.1 percent year-on-year, and trademarks registered by US applicants in China surged by 17.3 percent year-on-year, according to the administration.
It added that it has accelerated its review of COVID-19-related patent applications, offering a quick channel for those related to vaccine development and epidemic control.