China contributes its part to global IPR ecology in past five decades

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A commemorative event marking the 50th anniversary of cooperation between China and the World Intellectual Property Organization is held in Geneva. (Photo from the World Intellectual Property Organization)
A commemorative event marking the 50th anniversary of cooperation between China and the World Intellectual Property Organization is held in Geneva. (Photo from the World Intellectual Property Organization)

By Liu Zhonghua

Over the past five decades, China has grown from a member of the family of world intellectual property rights (IPR) into an important contributor to the global cause of IPR, transforming into one of the world-leading centers for innovation, creation and technology, said Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Tang made the remarks at a commemorative event marking the 50th anniversary of cooperation between China and the WIPO.

He said the WIPO is willing to strengthen its cooperation with China to promote the construction and development of the global IPR ecology.

China has become a major country in intellectual property over the past 50 years. In November 1973, a Chinese delegation for the first time attended a WIPO meeting held in Geneva as an observer, and seven years later, China officially became an member country of the organization. In 1994, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) accepted the first international patent filing under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). In 2014, the WIPO set its China office in Beijing. In 2019, China became the biggest user of the PCT system. Last year, China joined the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs and handed the ratification paper of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled to the WIPO.

An official with the CNIPA noted that China and the WIPO have constantly deepened their cooperation and achieved fruitful results in the past 50 years. China will further deepen multilateral cooperation under the WIPO framework to make international IPR governance system more just and equitable, the official added.

The rapid development of China’s IPR has offered solid support for the country’s innovation-driven development strategy and high-quality development over the recent years.

In 2021, the added value of China’s copyright industry exceeded 8 trillion yuan ($1.12 trillion), accounting for 7.41 percent of the country’s GDP. The ratio of the exports of the Chinese copyright industry to the country’s total exports has been maintained above 11 percent for consecutive years. Last year, the country recorded over 6.35 million copyright registrations, eight times of the number in 2012.

Tang noted that China has ranked 11th on WIPO’s Global Innovation Index 2022, the top one among all middle-income economies. Last year, the country saw 70,000 international applications filed under the PCT, four times of those in 2012. Besides, Chinese applicants filed the third largest number of international trademark applications using WIPO’s Madrid System. The number of trademark applications from China under the Madrid System last year doubled that in 2012.

Thanks to enhanced IPR protection, traditional Chinese culture and the Chinese culture industry are embracing more prosperous development. More and more Chinese artists are bringing their talents to places outside China.

After the opening ceremony of the commemorative event, Chinese artists staged a splendid art performance. In particular, a bian-lian show, or face-changing show, which is an important subgenre of Chinese Sichuan opera, received warm applause from the audience.

Board of Governors Johnson Kong with the International Intellectual Property Commercialization Council told People’s Daily that the performance was wonderful and demonstrated the richness and diversity of the Chinese culture. Kong noted that the traditional Chinese culture holds many important IPR and all parties should recognize their value.

Judith Willert, executive director of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, played chess with an AI robot in an exhibition area after watching the art performance. She said that the Chinese government attaches high importance on IPR, which is very important for developing economy.

Speaking of the cooperation between China and the WIPO, Kong noted that the efforts made by China to promote IPR in the past five decades have made important contributions to the country’s economic development, and China’s sci-tech innovation has benefited the whole society.

Thanks to continuously improved IPR system, China has produced more and more reliable tech products, Kong said, adding that it is believed that the country’s IPR development in the future will benefit more people.

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