New topics aim to tackle modern challenges
An annual national intellectual property event will be upgraded this year with new topics on trademarks and geographical indications, giving a clearer picture of China's achievements in IP protection and international exchanges. After the China National Intellectual Property Administration completed its institutional reform in 2018, the China Patent Annual Conference, which was launched in 2010, evolved into the China Intellectual Property Annual Conference this year. The upgrade means a lot to the industry, said Zhu Mingang,chairman of Intellectual Property Publishing House, the host of the event. With the theme of “IP, evolving with the new ear”, this year's event is scheduled to be held inHangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Monday and Tuesday. Attendees from more than 40 countries are expected. “It’s the first time that the conference will be held outside Beijing,” Zhu told China Daily in an exclusive interview. “Cooperating with Zhejiang province and Hangzhou city, we hope to strengthen the influence of the meeting in Shanghai and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces,” Zhu said. IP is of more significance in the modern era, because of its richness and expansion into broader sectors. This includes the rapidly changing international environment, the new international trade order, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, 5G, blockchain, ecommerce and poverty alleviation that all put forward higher requirements for intellectual property work, he said.
Focusing on these themes, a series of forums, exhibitions and news conferences will be launched during this year’s event. One of the highlights will be the topics related to trademarks andgeographical indications. These will be discussed for the first time at the event. China has ranked first worldwide in terms of trademark filings for 16 consecutive years.Last year, a total of 7.37 million trademark applications were filed. The International Trademark Association will join the industrial gathering as a co-host of a sub-forum. The theme is trademark management strategy and brand value, which will discuss the value and significance of trademarks and brands to a company. Representatives of Denmarkheadquartered Lego Group, Chinese technology giant Xiaomi, Japan’s Sony and Chinese coffee chain Luckin will share their opinions. The European Union Intellectual Property Office, the United Nations Development Programme and a geographical indications industry association from Shandong province will discuss how European and American countries and the UN tap into local features and build highquality IP assets and brands concerning geographical indications. The conference is a good platform to learn foreign IP protection practices. As Chinese companies are stepping up their overseas expansion, they face new and complicated challenges in dealing with IP issues, Zhu said. “Chinese companies are relatively short of awareness of IP protection and practical experience. They need to improve their comprehensive competence in IP,” Zhu said. To address the issue, a subforum focusing on overseas IP will be held during the event. It aims to share practical experiences. In addition, some subforums will focus on reform of legal practices, public service policies and administrative enforcement. Zhu added that artificial intelligence has become an important sector in the IP industry as the technology has been put into production. AI related patent applications have surged in recent years. “Although China is the largest filer of patent applications in the AI industry worldwide, the number of patents granted by the authorities is still behind the United States and Japan,” Zhu said. “China still needs to invest more in basic research, core algorithms, foundation hardware and key equipment sectors.