The Korea Herald


Patent lawsuits in China surge 37%: report

By Korea Herald

Published : March 15, 2017 - 15:51

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With China moving to enhance the protection of intellectual property rights against its widespread reputation as the land of counterfeit goods, the number of patent lawsuits filed within the mainland jumped nearly 37 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, a report said Wednesday.

The number of patent lawsuits in China hit 28,916 in 2016, a 36.5 percent gain from 2015, according to the report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. The number of cases related to counterfeit products also surged by 32.1 percent on-year to hit 28,057 in 2016.

(123rf) (123rf)

The total number of patents issued last year also jumped 24.4 percent on-year to over 1.2 million, the report said.

The surge in patent disputes coincides with Beijing’s five-year plan for 2016-2020 to strengthen intellectual property rights, announced at the end of last year.

China’s State Council had announced in 2015 a big picture for intellectual property protection, and revealed details of the goals and tasks last year.

The Beijing’s goals include boosting the number of patents per 10,000 people from 6.3 in 2015 to 12 in 2020, and the volume of patent royalties from $44.4 billion to $100 billion during the same period.

“China is becoming a global power of patents in the wake of the Chinese government’s efforts to enhance the utilization and protection of patents,” KOTRA’s report said, citing a recent report from the Korea Institute of Intellectual Property.

KOTRA recently released a separate report to give advice to Korean firms about protecting their patents when they make inroads into the Chinese market.

The advice includes registering a patent on their exclusive product before the company introduces it in an overseas exhibition event, as it is difficult to get a patent registered after the information about the product is revealed in public space.

When negotiating with an overseas firm, the Korean company must sign a confidential disclosure agreement prior the negotiation, to prevent its counterpart from infringing on the patent in case the business deal fails, KOTRA said.

By Kim Yoon-mi (