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Shanghai establishes intellectual property protection centre

A national intellectual property rights protection service centre in Shanghai aims to shorten the patent application process and enhance intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in China, China News has reported.28 Jul 2017

The China (Pudong) Intellectual Property Rights Protection Centre will aim to halve the length of time taken by the application process to about 15 months, Lu Guoqiang, director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration said, according to China News.

"A shorter process will help to increase the competitiveness of local companies in the face of the fierce global competition on new technologies," Lu said.

The centre will hire a panel to evaluate and improve patents before submitting them to the national office in Beijing. Applications submitted through the Pudong centre will enjoy a faster "green channel" in Beijing, Lu said.

The centre will initially offer a service for high-end manufacturing and bio-pharmaceutical companies based in Pudong, and will later expand, the news site said.

Until now patent applications have had to be lodged with the State Intellectual Property Office in Beijing, and the process could take about 30 months, China News said.

According to Chinese state-owned news agency Xinhua Pudong-based businesses filed more than 9,500 patent applications in the high-end equipment manufacturing industry in 2016, and 2,300 in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

China plans to increase the number of intellectual property rights (IPR) trials held each year as part of an attempt to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, Chinese government-run news agency Xinhua reported in March.

China opened four new IPR tribunals last year, in Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu to manage cross-regional IPR cases. China has three national IPR courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Xinhua said.

Last year, 29 provincial-level regions also set up information sharing platforms for law enforcement and criminal justice to crack down on IPR infringement and fake products, it said.

Chinese courts concluded around 147,000 IPR cases in 2016, according to the report.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma wrote an open letter to the Chinese government earlier this year asking it to treat counterfeiting as seriously as it does drunk driving.

The lack of deterrents to creating fake goods is stunting China's innovation, hurting its reputation and threatening the country's future, he said.