China needs to work on patent integrity to polish the reputation of “Made in China” as the foundation of domestic and international expansion, the Beijing News reported.   After having development based on cooperating with foreign corporations, purchasing technology and simulating technology, China needs to work on its own innovations to take the economic development to the next level.   After the entrance to the WTO, patent law has been a major hurdle to Chinese enterprises. Even with continuous improvement of the intellectual property protection system, lacking knowledge and expertise of both patent law and innovative strategy put Chinese enterprises in very unfavourable positions.   The recent charges raised by Nokia towards Shenzhen Telsda concerning the latter copied three Nokia’s cell phone outlooks trigger realization that if the over-reliance on purchasing foreign technology continues, Chinese enterprises cannot go further than being either acquired or closed.   The common pattern of corporate development Quan Guotong, a senior manager with high-tech intellectual property office of Beijing city, said that it is a common pattern for corporation to develop from modeling and learning to research and innovative development. It is normal for corporations to model their products upon others’ technology on legal basis to maintain low-cost operation in the start-up phase before building up their own patent.   Quan emphasized that since the current international business environment attaches great importance to intellectual property, Chinese companies should place extra care in handling patent as a legal device.   Categorized in invention, utility and outlook that are in correlative relations, intellectual property enjoys great diversity that is different from general law. In an attempt to compete with overseas enterprises that have established a wide range of patents, Chinese companies need to develop their own products on three dimensions.   Government incentives Intellectual property is not a mere law but a powerful strategy for corporate expansion. Chinese government urges companies should prioritize raising the innovative level above all technological development, as part of the efforts to raise the country’s capacity and competitiveness by getting hold to core technologies.   While overseas corporations have their own patent experts and legal consultants to develop business strategies, Chinese companies, on the contrary, step on thin ice assuming that “borrowing” others’ patents is a way to develop business. Little do they know that such assumption has potential risk of large-scaled social and economic loss.   Editor-in-chief of China Intellectual Property Net, Zhao Guobi, said that to ensure positive sustainable development of Chinese enterprises, they have to avoid breaking patent law in their research and development process through such means as collect and analyze patents and authorization details in the respective fields as well as related technology, policy and trade information. Such market research should be the foundation of corporate policy and strategy in order to prevent blind and repetitive research and development that would lead to waste of resources and potential legal conflicts.   Difficulties Quan said it is worrisome that while the country’s respect and knowledge towards patent is thin, China also lacks patent experts and organizations to support corporate development. Many corporations, thus, fail to establish their own patent strategies.   Many companies remain as producers but not innovators. According to the statistics of te State Intellectual Property Office, while only 2000 companies have registered patents for their products, 99 percent of corporations have no such registrations. Half of the over 20000 patent registrations in 2005 came from foreign corporations, among which registrations of American companies had a 20 percent year-on-year increase.   The State Intellectual Property Office commented that raising the awareness of national organization and corporations towards patent and intellectual property management, execution and protection is vital to China’s economic development.  

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