China needs to tighten control over patent registration in order to save public resources and enhance patent quality, China Economic Weekly reported. In June, the State Intellectual Property Office announced that China’s registration of patents has reached more than 3million, which is the largest number in the world. Together with recent judicial conflicts, criticism has arisen because of the large number of problematic and junk trademarks behind the glamourous statistics. “A lot of registered patents are problematic because companies register “innovations” that already exist,” said Zeng Liuquan, vice-minister of Guangzhou State Intellectual Property Office. Li Daiwen, vice-minister of regulation department at Guangzhou State Intellectual Property Office, also said that it is a strategy for companies to register “innovations” or common products as patents in order to accuse competitors of stealing copyrights. Some even attempted to receive compensation or commercial interests through trials. Zeng added that problematic trademarks are also a result of low threshold for patent registration. According to the patent law, patent application for invention has to pass quality control and inspection; however, these requirements don't apply to designs and new utility model patent applications. As long as the application is not contrary to the regulations regarding exclusivity, the regulator needs to authorize the patent application. The above measure is not exclusive to China alone, but is a common practice in many countries. Design and utility model patents have limited creativity and development capital, which contributes to a large number of applications. It will consume enormous public resources if every single item has to be inspected. Under such circumstances, it is inevitable that some would try to fish the water and start continuous administrative as well as judicial procedures. This not only damages public resources but also harms corporate and individual economic activities. The State Intellectual Property Office plans to amend the patent law in order to exert tighter control over existing gray areas including, improving design patent inspection and authorization as well as the utility model reporting system. “We are considering establishing a threshold of pre-examination and analysis conducted by experts, in addition to the current utility model reporting system. Those applications without any substantial innovative value wouldn't be permitted to proceed further than the preliminary stage,” said Zheng.