State Intellectual Property Office
June 13, 2008
Implementation of China's National Intellectual Property Strategy has been clearly stated in the Report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China as well as the Government Work Report to the People's Congress this spring. On April 9, 2008, the State Council deliberated and basically approved the National Intellectual Property Strategy Outline (hereinafter abbreviated as Outline). In the early of this June, State Council printed and distributed the Outline, which marks a formal launch of implementation of China's National Intellectual Property Strategy.
The Outline is a programmatic document to ensure the implementation of the IP strategy and guide the development of IP undertakings in China for a relatively long period in future years. Promulgation and implementation of the Compendium signifies a milestone in China's IP history, which attaches profound meanings to it.
I. Background and a Brief History of the National Intellectual Property Strategy Formulation Work
Currently, in such an era that economic globalization and knowledge-based economy develops so rapidly, IP has become a strategic resource for world major powers used to participate in international competition and IP strategy has already become an important development strategy for many countries to promote their core competitiveness. Lack in independent innovation ability as well as key technology and well-known brands, China still resorts to extensive mode for economic growth at much higher costs for environment and resources. In addition, cultural creations are still unable to fully satisfy public aspirations for enriching spiritual and cultural activities, while fundamental functions of IP system are still not in full play to encourage technological innovation, facilitate knowledge dissemination, promote economic and cultural prosperity as well as regulate competition order.
In order to actively respond to international challenges and adjust to demands of economic and social development, the State Council of the People's Republic of China decided to formulate and implement the National Intellectual Property Strategy. In early 2005, the State Council established the National Intellectual Property Strategy Formulation Leading Group and launched the strategy formulation work. Thirty-three central institutions, including the State Intellectual Property Office, the State Administration for Industry & Commerce, National Copyright Administration), the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Commerce have been engaged in promoting the National Intellectual Property Strategy formulation all together.
The National Intellectual Property Strategy includes the Outline as well as twenty thematic studies. On February 15, 2007, the leading group held the third plenary meeting to deliberate all the thematic studies and concluded this work on schedule. All these studies have profoundly explored China's current conditions and requirements for IP development in various fields, as well as international situation and its development trend. They also illustrated the guiding principles, strategic objectives, development thoughts and strategic focuses for the National Intellectual Property Strategy at different levels and from different perspectives. With major tasks and strategic measures in implementation put forward, it was the first national-level systematic account of IP work in China. On this basis, Outline formulation was carried out in a comprehensive way.
On May 17, 2007, the leading group had a meeting for an in-depth discussion of the Outline (draft), during which main contents of the National Intellectual Property Strategy, including the guiding thoughts, fundamental principles, strategic objectives, main measures and key tasks, had been preliminarily formed. Under direct instruction of the State Council, after serious studies and repeated modifications by such government agencies as the State Intellectual Property Office, the State Administration for Industry & Commerce, the National Copyright Administration, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Commerce, the Outline (draft submitted for approval) was finally formed. In early 2008, the Outline (draft submitted for approval) was forwarded to the State Council standing committee conference for discussion. On April 9, at a State Council standing committee conference presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, the Outline was deliberated and basically approved.
II. Main Contents of the National Intellectual Property Strategy
The National Intellectual Property Strategy is a general development strategy for China. Taking the high position of programming China's IP development from the national level, the Outline has summarized China's current situations and challenges, determined guiding principles, clarified strategic emphases and key measures, and put forward the grand goal of building China into a nation with high level of IP creation, utilization, protection and administration by the year 2020.
1. Strategic goals. Incorporating current scientific understandings on IP by the central government, the Outline has not only put forward periodical objectives in the five years to come but also set the strategic goal of building China into a nation with high level of IP creation, utilization, protection and administration by 2020. It has further enriched and deepened the connotation of innovative country.
2. Guiding principles. The Outline has determined the guiding principle of "innovation encouragement, efficient utilization, lawful protection, and scientific administration". Innovation encouragement refers to taking effective measures to fully activate creative vitality and innovative potential, thus to generate large quantities of independent IPRs in China. "Efficient utilization" means to promote sound and fast economic development by making full use of market value of IP. "Lawful protection" is to regulate IPR abuse through strict and efficient law enforcement on basis of law improvement. "Scientific administration" is to upgrade efficiency through improving systems, integrating resources and coordinating relevant mechanisms. Thus, innovation encouragement is the basis; active utilization is the aim; protection by law is the key, while scientific administration is the ensuring measure. IPR creation, utilization, protection and administration should be fully enhanced in order to improve China's abilities in the aforementioned aspects.
3. Strategic focuses. The National Intellectual Property Strategy is centered on system transformation and optimization, with a special emphasis on IP system improvement the connotation of which includes further improvement of IP laws and regulations accustomed to China's national situation on premise of fulfilling its international obligations, along with establishment and improvement of IP law enforcement and administration systems and mechanisms, as well as enhancement of IP's guiding role when formulating economic, social and cultural policies. Improvement of IP system is to conduct rational allocation and adaptive adjustment on the existing system in order to facilitate law and regulation perfection, rational mechanism coordination as well as policy cohesion.
4. Specific tasks and key measures. The Outline has clarified seven specific tasks for various types of intellectual property such as patent, trademark, and copyright, etc. Besides, it has determined nine key strategic measures for IPR creation, utilization, protection and administration. It has also summarized objectives and tasks of implementing National Intellectual Property Strategy, and thus made a blueprint of strategy formulation.
III. Significance of Implementing National Intellectual Property Strategy
In order to upgrade independent innovation abilities and build an innovative country, it is essential to establish a sound institutional environment and market condition for innovation, to promote active creation, and improve and make good use of IPRs and innovation achievements. Without an IP system, it would be difficult to fully activate and protect creativity. Without an advanced system, it would be difficult to realize the country's goal to become an innovative country. Implementation of the National Intellectual Property strategy helps to improve independent innovation abilities and thus facilitate the construction of innovative country.
IP system is a fundamental system to ensure market economy's orderly running, fair competition, legal business operations and harmonious cooperation. As an integral part of market economy system, it is a cornerstone to safeguard market economy order. Top priority of implementing the National Intellectual Property Strategy is to optimize the IP system, which is a basis to deepen the reform of China's socialist market economy.
Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy will improve IP awareness of the whole society, promote moral norms that value innovation plus honesty and faithfulness but disdain plagiarism, IPR counterfeiting and deception, and create an IP culture which respects knowledge and celebrates innovation as well as honesty and law-abiding. Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy helps to construct a cordiality-honored society by further improving socialist market economy and regulating market order.
IP system can effectively ensure profits from innovation achievements, stimulate creativity, speed information dissemination and optimize market innovative resources. Innovation abilities formed throughout the original creation, joint innovation and secondary innovation based on introduced technologies should be transformed into enterprise's abilities to participate in market competition and the state's core competitiveness.
Enterprises will be encouraged to be principal entities for IP creation and utilization through turning independent innovation achievements into IPRs, commodities and new industries. Enterprises will be guided to realize market values of their IPRs through its transfer, licensing, and pledge. All these have to depend on IPR and its strategy. Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy helps to enhance market competitiveness of domestic enterprises as well as China's core competitive power
IP has become an important subject in fields of diplomacy and foreign trade. Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy will hasten the transition of foreign trade growth mode, optimize import and export structure as well as promote processing trade transformation. It is also beneficial to efficient absorption of international innovative resources in the opening circumstances. Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy helps to deepen opening up and realize mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
Spurred by inspirations to construct an innovative country, implementation of intellectual property strategy is necessary for transformation of economic development mode. As a vital measure to improve the country's competitiveness, this strategy is of great concern to the nation's future. To implement the national intellectual property strategy is an inevitable choice for China to develop its economy and society as well as cope with international competition.
IV. Implementing National Intellectual Property Strategy to Construct a Nation with High Level of IPR Creation, Utilization, Protection and Administration
To ensure a steady progress, strategy implementation requires overall participation under the government's leadership, plus lawful promotion and scientific administration, as well as highlighting emphases with overall consideration. Overall participation under the government's leadership means to give full play to initiatives of market subjects by sticking to leadership of the central government and active cooperation from local governments. Superior authorities should enforce supervision and instruction on subordinate departments while governments should enhance instructions for enterprises and industries.
Lawful promotion and scientific administration is to legalize implementation of National Intellectual Property Strategy, which will be promoted through adjusting and improving laws and regulations. Strict administration mechanisms should be set up to promote innovations, ensure scientific administration and safeguard strategy implementation.
Highlighting focuses with overall consideration is to increase investment in infrastructure, foster some key enterprises and regions with IP advantages, with a special emphasis on optimization of laws and regulations as well as mechanisms and policies. Corresponding policies will be made according to particular features of various regions, industries and enterprises to give full play to their advantages.
The implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy will be proceed under unified leadership of the State Council, which will ensure accomplishment of all specific tasks through overall planning and promotion. Stage evaluation should be conducted on implementation achievements in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. Through implementation of the national intellectual property strategy, China will surely be built into a country with high level of IP creation, utilization, protection and administration.
(China Development Gateway June 13, 2008)