China has contributed its part to global IPR ecology

By Liu Zhonghua, People’s Daily

Over the past five decades, China has grown from a member of the family of world intellectual property rights (IPR) into an essential contributor to the global cause of IPR, transforming into one of the world-leading centers for innovation, creation, and technology, said Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Tang made the remarks at a commemorative event marking the 50th anniversary of cooperation between China and the WIPO.

He said the WIPO is willing to strengthen its cooperation with China to promote the construction and development of the global IPR ecology.

China has become a significant country in intellectual property over the past 50 years. In November 1973, a Chinese delegation for the first time attended a WIPO meeting held in Geneva as an observer, and seven years later, China officially became a member country of the organization. In 1994, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) accepted the first international patent filing under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). In 2014, the WIPO set up its China office in Beijing. In 2019, China became the biggest user of the PCT system. Last year, China joined the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs and handed the ratification paper of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled to the WIPO.

An official with the CNIPA noted that China and the WIPO have constantly deepened their cooperation and achieved fruitful results in the past 50 years. The official added that China will further deepen multilateral cooperation under the WIPO framework to make the international IPR governance system more just and equitable.

The rapid development of China’s IPR has offered solid support for the country’s innovation-driven development strategy and high-quality development over the recent years.

In 2021, the added value of China’s copyright industry exceeded 8 trillion yuan ($1.12 trillion), accounting for 7.41 percent of the country’s GDP. The ratio of the exports of the Chinese copyright industry to the country’s total exports has been maintained above 11 percent for consecutive years. Last year, the country recorded over 6.35 million copyright registrations, eight times the number in 2012.

Tang noted that China has ranked 11th on WIPO’s Global Innovation Index 2022, the top one among all middle-income economies. Last year, the country saw 70,000 international applications filed under the PCT, four times those in 2012. Besides, Chinese applicants filed the third largest international trademark applications using WIPO’s Madrid System. Last year, the number of trademark applications from China under the Madrid System doubled that in 2012.

Thanks to enhanced IPR protection, traditional Chinese culture, and the Chinese culture industry are embracing more prosperous development. More and more Chinese artists are bringing their talents to places outside China.

After the opening ceremony of the commemorative event, Chinese artists staged a splendid art performance. In particular, a bian-lian show, or face-changing show, an essential subgenre of Chinese Sichuan opera, received warm applause from the audience.

Board of Governors Johnson Kong with the International Intellectual Property Commercialization Council told People’s Daily that the performance was beautiful and demonstrated the richness and diversity of the Chinese culture. Kong noted that the traditional Chinese culture holds many important IPRs, and all parties should recognize their value.

After watching the art performance, Judith Willert, executive director of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, played chess with an AI robot in an exhibition area. She said that the Chinese government attaches high importance to IPR, which is very important for developing the economy.

Speaking of the cooperation between China and the WIPO, Kong noted that the efforts made by China to promote IPR in the past five decades had made essential contributions to the country’s economic development, and China’s sci-tech innovation has benefited the whole society.

Thanks to the continuously improved IPR system, China has produced more reliable tech products, Kong said, adding that it is believed that the country’s IPR development in the future will benefit more people.

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