Intellectual property rights have become the top priority in Pidu district of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, as the district became a national innovation and entrepreneurship demonstration center in May 2016.
"Innovation and entrepreneurship cannot work without IP protection," said Xie Shanghua, head of the Intellectual Property Office of Sichuan.
To strengthen IP protection, Pidu set up a specialized office to handle affairs relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights in March.
It is the first of its kind in the province and one of the pioneers of integrated IP administration in China.
Before the establishment of the integrated administration office, Pidu had three different bureaus in charge of affairs relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights, respectively.
"Companies had to spend much more time and money going through the procedures in separate bureaus to apply for patents, trademarks and copyrights," said Zhou Gang, chairman of Chengdu ArGangle Technology.
Located in Pidu, the company focuses on the research and development of insulated electrical technology.
Wang Zhongcheng, deputy Party chief of the Pidu committee, said: "The experience accumulated in such pilot regions, including Chengdu's Pidu and Shanghai's Pudong New District, is expected to be leveraged across all IP offices in the country, enabling them to have integrated jurisdiction over patents, trademarks and copyrights."
Of the 188 member countries and regions of the World Intellectual Property Organization, only seven handle affairs relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights separately. China is one of them, he said.
Pan Xihong, chairman of Chengdu Dream Space Technology - which is located in Pidu - cited an example to demonstrate the importance of IP protection to innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2015, a Chinese scholar returned from Canada to set up a company in Pidu to make 3-D printers that can print food. When he showcased the printer he had invented at a fair in Wuhan, Hubei province, in 2016, a research group from a higher learning institution in Beijing bought one.
The group imitated the printer after taking it apart, made a copycat version and managed to get a patent.
The scholar unfortunately became an infringer and is still going through legal procedures to win his rights back, Pan said.
By Huang Zhiling
Source: China Daily