New Shanghai center to speed up patent applications

SHANGHAI’S first national intellectual property rights protection service center was established in the Pudong New Area yesterday to shorten the patent application process and enhance IPR protection.

The China (Pudong) Intellectual Property Rights Protection Center in the Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park will help halve the application process to about 15 months, said Lu Guoqiang, director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.

“A shorter process will help to increase the competitiveness of local companies in the face of the fierce global competition on new technologies,” Lu told a press conference.

Previously, applications had to be lodged with the State Intellectual Property Office in Beijing, a process which could take about 30 months.

The center will hire an expert panel to firstly evaluate and help improve the patents before submitting them to the national office.

Those submitted through the Pudong center will enjoy a faster “green channel” in Beijing, Lu said.

Currently, the center offers the fast access on high-end manufacturing and bio-pharmaceutical industries for Pudong-based companies from both home and abroad. The service will expand later.

The two pillar industries of Pudong generated more than 140 billion yuan (US$20.7 billion) in production value in 2016, and more than 7,000 approved patents. Most came from leading companies such as the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), MicroPort Scientific Corporation and Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shanghai) Corp.

“IPR technologies have become the core competitiveness of COMAC during its competition with Boeing and Airbus,” said Shen Bo, deputy director with the research and development center of COMAC, the manufacturer of China’s first domestically-developed narrow-body aircraft, the C919. Shen said COMAC had developed many patents which need IPR protection.

IPR director with Guojian Pharmaceutical said: “We are looking forward to our new products receiving patents sooner so that consumers will also be able to use the innovative medicines earlier.”

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