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Press Release for April 23, 2019 Media Briefing by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government

April 25, 2019

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a press conference on April 23. Rui Wenbiao, Direct of Intellectual Property Bureau, introduced the progress and achievements of Shanghai in promoting intellectual property protection and creating a first-class business environment. Deputy Commissioner of Shanghai Customs Shi Jian and deputy direct of the economic crime investigation corps of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau Zhang Yulan attended the press conference and took questions from the press.

Since 2001, Intellectual Property Day is observed on April 26th each year. It was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization through a proposal by China and Algeria. The theme of this year's National Intellectual Property Publicity Week is "strict intellectual property protection and creation of a favorable business environment."

The following is a roundup of the development of intellectual property protection work in Shanghai in 2018.

In 2018, Shanghai fully implemented the decision-making arrangements of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on strengthening the creation, protection and application of intellectual property rights. It has been sticking to the goal of pushing forward the construction of Shanghai as a center for intellectual property rights exchange in the Asia-Pacific region as well as a key city in terms of intellectual property rights. It's also deepening reform and opening up efforts to support scientific and technological innovation and optimize the business environment, and to further promote the implementation of intellectual property strategy. A series of remarkable progress has been made in terms of achieving high-quality development of the intellectual property industry.

First, intellectual property related projects picked up both in terms of quality and quantity.

In 2018, the number of patent applications in Shanghai was 150,000, and the number of patents granted was 92,000. The number of applications for patents of invention and the number of those that received final authorization were 63,000 and 21,000, respectively; the number of international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty was 2,500; the number of valid invention patents held were 115,000 pieces, an increase of 14.47 percent year on year, the number of invention patents per 10,000 population was 47.5 (based on the resident population of 24.183 million), the second highest among other cities and provinces in the country. The number of trademark applications in Shanghai was 409,900; the total number of valid registered trademarks was 1,419,300. The number of registration for copyrighted works in Shanghai is 260,000, and it also received the first registration for copyrighted work for acrobatic performance art, the first of its kind in the city.

Second, the intellectual property management has been significantly improved.

The city's government issued the 100 measures to expand the opening up in Shanghai, putting forward the goal to "speed up the construction of an intellectual property protection 'highland' of high standards that is open sharing, and with internal and external linkage. The Shanghai Municipal Intellectual Property Administration has revised the Shanghai Municipal Patent Subsidy Policy, and has strengthened the support for high-quality patent and international patent applications. Shanghai Administration Bureau for Industry and Commerce issued the opinions on the implementation of the work on the protection of key trademarks and the trial measures for the administration of the list of key trademarks in Shanghai. The bureau also launched the opinions for the work on the overseas protection of trademarks, established a special office for overseas protection of intellectual property rights of Shanghai enterprises, so as to help Shanghai's brands to accelerate their overseas development and enhance the level of internationalization.

Shanghai will strengthen the synergy and integration in the development of intellectual property. The Municipal Intellectual Property Joint Conference Office fully deploys the task of speeding up the construction of a "new era-leading strong city for intellectual property" in Shanghai. A high-level panel of experts of the World Intellectual Property Organization spoke highly of the achievements and progress made by China and Shanghai in intellectual property work over the past 10 years after their inspection and assessment. In April 2018, the Joint Conference Office of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces jointly signed the Framework Agreement on the integrated development and cooperation of intellectual property rights in Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone. They will focus on strengthening cooperation in such areas as regional intellectual property development and consultation, layout and progress, protection and co-governance, and service sharing. Relevant departments will organize the fight against infringement of intellectual property rights and the manufacture and sale of fake and inferior goods, strengthen the development of the "Shanghai Shopping" brand, and carry out copyright registration and prepare for the establishment of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone Copyright Service Center.

Third, the protection of intellectual property rights has been continuously strengthened.

The role of judicial protection of intellectual property rights has been prominent. In 2018, Shanghai's courts accepted 23,000 intellectual property cases and concluded 22,000 cases, an increase of 49.28 percent and 46.11 percent, respectively. The municipal procuratorial organs has accepted 201 cases of 350 persons for examination on suspicion of infringement of intellectual property rights; approved the arrest of 262 persons in 157 cases; accepted 233 cases of 431 persons for examination and prosecution of infringement of intellectual property rights; and concluded 205 cases of 321 persons for prosecution. Lawyers in the city have handled 9,343 intellectual property civil cases, 12,000 non-litigation legal affairs on intellectual property. Seven intellectual property judicial authentication institutions in Shanghai have handled 80 cases involving intellectual property protection, and the city's notary offices have dealt with 1,246 cases of intellectual property notarization.

Strengthened efforts have been made to crack down on crimes damaging intellectual property rights. In 2018, some 800 cases involving the manufacture and sale of counterfeit commodities were launched by the local public security authority with nearly 600 of them being solved, which led to the apprehension of nearly 1,200 criminal suspects and the total amount of money involved in such cases exceeded 2 billion yuan. The city’s patent management authority last year launched a total of 17 inspections targeting some 200,000 kinds of commodities and heard 385 cases, a year-on-year increase of 22 percent. A total of 121 cases involving counterfeit patent were solved, and administrative punishment was imposed in 11 cases and 264,000 yuan was fined or confiscated. The authority also sent 289 personnel to 53 large-scale international exhibitions who settled 215 patent-related disputes and complaints on site. Citywide, 4,961 outlets under 294 commercial enterprises have made commitment selling genuine commodities and protecting intellectual properties. The city’s business administrative authority solved 1,428 cases involving trademark infringement, confiscated 160,400 pieces of commodities with infringed trademark, imposed fines totaling 15.2 million yuan and referred 39 trademark-related criminal cases. Random checks on trademark usage were conducted among 300 chain enterprises around the city. Some 14,000 site inspections were conducted last year by the local law enforcement department specializing in culture and entertainment industries and 94 venues without a proper business licence were discovered and closed. About 140,000 pieces of illegal books and audio and video products were confiscated and administrative punishment was imposed in 58 patent-related cases, which led to fines totaling 1.59 million yuan. The city’s urban management authority solved 105 cases involving IP infringement and confiscated 4,090 illegal publications. Shanghai Customs solved 374 cases involving IP infringement, confiscating 5.45 million pieces of commodities valued at more than 66.65 million yuan.

Shanghai launched a 100-day campaign on intellectual property protection to serve the first CIIE and achieved "zero complaint" on IP protection. Over the past year, a series of targeted campaigns were conducted by various departments in the city with a particular blow being dealt to the infringement of intellectual property rights related to FIFA and its corporate sponsors. Mediation commissions in districts around the city received a total of 2,157 cases involving intellectual property disputes and 69.4 percent of them were resolved successfully. Shanghai Arbitration Court of Intellectual Property and Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission jointly arbitrated 236 cases involving IP disputes.

Fourth, the benefits of intellectual property protection are gradually shown.

In 2018, Shanghai dealt with 82 financing of patents as collaterals, which involved 710 million yuan. There were 66 patents registered in contacts valued at 104 million yuan, and 26 patents of 367 million yuan were licensed. Some 971 patents from 82 enterprises were insured for 39.5 million yuan. The Shanghai Intellectual Property Trading Center released 3,200 projects and 35 were trade with a transaction value of 218 million yuan. By the end of 2018, high-tech companies in Shanghai owned 12.43 patents on the average, among which there were 3.2 patents for inventions. Shanghai won 34 awards at the 20th China Patents Competition. The city was home to 18 trademark guide stations and two trademark innovation centers, and 219 trademarks have been recognized in the Catalogue of Key Trademarks in Shanghai.

Fifth, the improvement of intellectual property protection is under way.

Shanghai accepted 33,000 electronic applications for patents last year, and 1.2 million trademarks applied for their first registration in Shanghai, while the process was shortened to five months at the Shanghai Trademark Examination Cooperation Center. The city has also launched the China (Pudong) Protection Center, the Fengxian branch of Shanghai Trademark Examination Cooperation Center, and Yiwu office of Madrid Trademark International Registration.

By the end of 2018, Shanghai had 140 patent agencies and 1,270 patent professionals. It was home to 1,990 trademark agencies, including 1,456 for trademark registration and 534 law firms offering trademark services. The city also established the Shanghai Intellectual Property Services Association to optimize social governance and services for intellectual properties. The Public Service Platform for National Intellectual Property Operation was also initiated in Shanghai.

Sixth, the foundation for the development of intellectual property rights has been further consolidated.

The Shanghai Municipal Intellectual Property Office, in conjunction with relevant departments, has promoted the change of practice for obtaining the title of "Patent Management Engineer" from examination-based  to evaluation-based. The Shanghai International Intellectual Property Institute has completed the joint training of master's degree programs in intellectual property law with the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the "the belt and road initiative" master's degree programs in intellectual property jointly commissioned by the State Ministry of Education and the State Intellectual Property Office.

Seventh, international cooperation in intellectual property has achieved remarkable results.

The Shanghai government has signed a Supplementary Agreement to the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property, with the World Intellectual Property Organization and has deepened mutual cooperation in the application and transformation of intellectual property, personnel training, arbitration and mediation among other aspects. 

During the first China International Import Expo, the 15th Shanghai International Forum on Intellectual Property and the Global Conference on Intellectual Property Protection and Innovation and Development was held in the National Exhibition and Convention Center.  Relevant departments have also promoted the first batch of WIPO Technology and Innovation Support Center projects to settle in Shanghai.

Today saw the official release of Shanghai's 2018 top ten typical intellectual property cases, which were submitted by the Municipal High Court, the Municipal Procuratorate, the Municipal Public Security Bureau, the Municipal Market Supervision and Administration Bureau, the Municipal Intellectual Property Office, the Municipal Cultural Law Enforcement Corps, the Shanghai Customs and other relevant departments, and were selected by experts. They feature the following characteristics:

Firstly, they embody the extensive connotation of intellectual property protection. The cases cover various fields such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and anti-unfair competition and involve civil, criminal and administrative law enforcement.

Secondly, they reflect the city's determination to strictly protect intellectual property rights. The cases involve topics about brand protection, protection of new technologies and protection of celebrity copyrights, which have aroused much social concern and have received heavy penalties. This is a reflection of Shanghai's firm determination to implement strict intellectual property rights protection and create a good business environment.

Thirdly, they reflect the city's stance of equal protection for the  intellectual property rights of both domestic and foreign companies. Some cases involve the protection of trademarks and copyrights of foreign-funded enterprises and in this regard, Shanghai has kept its consistent position of giving equal protection to foreign players' intellectual property rights.