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    BRI 10 Years on: China Shares Two-Way Patenting Growth With Participating Countries


    Source: China IP News

    The first high-speed railway in Southeast Asia – Indonesia's Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, commenced operation on October 17. The collaborative project in both construction and operation between China State Railway Group and four Indonesian state-owned enterprises marked the inaugural oversea presence of Chinese high-speed railway covering the entire industrial system, all elements and full business chain. Huawei Technology recently closed its first patent authorization deal in Latin America by permitting Argentina company Quality Tech to legally access and use Huawei's Optical Distribution Network (ODN) technology via various means, which aimed to pave a way for the country to go digital... Chinese innovators, predominantly enterprises, have been participating in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with passion by expanding trade ties, increasing product quality, adding fresh modes of operation, intensifying export of technical standards and bolstering localizing capacity, all of which have definitely contributed fresh vigor to the prosperous development of the BRI.

    Enhancement of patent portfolio is usually commensurate with expanded investment collaboration and production and business activities. According to a patent statistics report of 10 years (2013-2022) covering China and the participating countries of the BRI released by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), China has shared two-way patenting growth with the participating countries.

    Chinese enterprises energetic in innovation along the road

    The report reveals that in the past 10 years, Chinese users filed patent applications in 50 participating countries and related organizations, which published 67,000 applications from China and granted 35,000 patents with average growth rates of 25.8% and 23.8% respectively. A cumulative 6,882 Chinese enterprises filed at least one patent in the participating countries.

    "Obviously, an increasing number of Chinese enterprises have acknowledged and executed 'IP is indispensable for innovation-driven development and international trade'. With creation, protection and utilization of high-value IPRs, these enterprises have enhanced their core competitiveness, and secured their operation and smooth development while the interface linking IP and corporate business strategy has been moved closer and closer to the forefront," a principal official from CNIPA's Strategic Planning Department summarized. In recent years, China has been deepening IP cooperation with the participating countries, improving its work system on international treaties and external affairs, constantly expanding the cooperation network of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), earning more outside acknowledgement of its examination standards and conclusions, and speeding up establishment and improvement of IP external risk control system, which have added a robust layer of security for Chinese enterprises' application of IP strategies overseas.

    With patents as the key link, the soft connection of the BRI rules and norms has been giving birth to new contents like patent licensing, joint R&D projects and knowledge sharing.

    Taking Huawei as an example, Fan Zhiyong, Huawei's vice president and chief IP counsel said, during Huawei's participation in building the BRI, it has mainly dedicated to connection and computational technology, unification of technical standards and protocols in various regions, export of a package of solutions covering the entire industrial chain from telecommunications planning and designing, equipment supply, construction management to operations. When it comes to execution of every project overseas, patent can be a moat, a stepping stone as well a hard currency and a connector. "Huawei adheres to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, adapts to the regional differences in infrastructure construction and IP system, and always tries to find the maximum common ground in cooperation and win-win as for the modes and specifics for patent collaboration," Fan added.

    Participating countries dynamic in patenting in China

    The BRI participating countries have been intensifying their patenting activities in China. According to the report, 115 participating countries filed patent applications in China during the past 10 years, scoring 253,000 patent applications and 112,000 granted patents with average growth rates of 5.4% and 9.8% respectively. Among them, the European participating countries boasted their potent international competitiveness with their main export in electromechanical equipment and other industrialized products. Countries of Asia and Pacific regions like Singapore flexed their muscles in biomedicine and artificial intelligence. West Asian and African countries concentrated their patenting on energy and chemical engineering thanks to their abundance of energy and mines.

    "The participating countries' willingness to apply their top-shelf innovations in Chinese market hints their confidence in the future development of the Chinese market as well as their acknowledgement of China's efforts in constantly optimizing innovation and business environment and practice in treating the IPRs of Chinese and foreign enterprises equally," the above-mentioned principal official concluded. The intensified innovation operation of these participating countries may serve as a template for innovation-driven Chinese enterprises intending to do business overseas, inspire their Chinese peers of the same sector in a good sense and cultivate an innovation development vibe preaching integration and collaboration. The injection of foreign investment may benefit relevant human resources and enterprises on the supply chain in China and unleash the benefit-all effect of the joint constriction of the BRI at multiple dimensions.