Friday, February 7, 2014

China: Patent Superpower

The World Intellectual Property Office ("WIPO") has heralded what may be a new age of Chinese patent predominance, noting, among many other things, that
The 2013 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators also shows that for the first time, China tops the ranking for both the source (filings by China) and the destination (filed in China) for the four types of IP (patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs). Of the top five IP offices worldwide, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) was alone in recording double-digit growth for each of the four types of IP. Continued rapid filing growth in China is the main driver of global IP growth.

As China increases its emphasis on patent filings, both at home and abroad, its patent culture is sure to evolve towards stronger enforcement of patent rights.  Although this has long been viewed by the West as "a consummation/ Devoutly to be wish'd," the arrival of a patent-assertive China may become a mixed blessing for countries that previously dominated the patent league tables.  For, their companies may increasinging be named as defendants in patent infringement suits filed by Chinese patent owners.  "[A]y, there's the rub."