Patent Incentives in China A Changing Focus

By Tim Jackson

Like many countries China provides support for its innovative sector. As part of the wider ‘Made in China 2025’ policy to move China’s economy from a manufacturing to an innovation base, this has included direct financial incentives to file for patent protection locally and internationally. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chinese companies have caught on quickly.

Like many countries, China provides support for its innovative sector. This support has been provided in a variety of forms, from financial to legislative, and includes direct financial incentives to file for patent protection. This forms part of the wider Made in China 2025 (MiC2015) policy to move China’s economy from a manufacturing base to an innovation base in 10 years. To achieve this, a fundamental change to the way businesses were run was needed. It was not enough to have access to foreign technology, the businesses needed to want to innovate. Part of that process involved understanding and using the patent systems that were in place to promote innovation. To assist this, Chinese companies were provided with incentives to use those systems. This included the direct financial incentives to file for patent protection locally and internationally.

Part of the inefficiency of any incentive systems is the potential for it to be abused. This has undoubtedly happened in China, but it has probably been accepted as a necessary risk of promoting a wider use and understanding of the patent system.

 
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About the Author

Tim Jackson is a Principal at international IP consultancy Rouse in China and the Head of Patent Strategy and Development. Based in Shanghai, he has worked in the IP field for over 25 years specialising primarily in patents, along with copyright, registered designs and trade marks.