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Belt & Road countries to plan IP cooperation

Top representatives from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative will attend a high-level intellectual property conference in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday, to enhance multilateral cooperation and seek solutions for current challenges, local officials said.

"Most of the B&R countries are developing countries or countries in the transitional stage, which have great demand for the innovative development of their economies by making use of IP," said He Zhimin, deputy commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration, the new name of the former State Intellectual Property Office, at a recent news conference.

"Many of the countries have a long history and rich resources in relics and traditional knowledge. However, the awareness of IP among the public and its applications are still limited," he said.

New technologies, such as the internet and artificial intelligence, have posed new challenges for IP protection, so cooperation is essential in patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indication trademarks, he added.

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was released in 2013, the number of patent applications from Chinese filers grew 16 percent to reach 5,608 in B&R countries last year. Filers from B&R countries applied for 4,319 patents in China in 2017, up 16.8 percent year-on-year, data from the CNIPA showed.

The two-day conference will discuss topics including new trends in IP development, IP commercialization, improvement on related laws and protection of traditional heritage. Participants at the event are expected to issue a cooperation plan related to legal policies, capacity building, awareness improvement and data exchanges, promoting a win-win scenario among B&R countries.

Liu Jian, deputy director of the international cooperation department at the CNIPA, said the administration has established cooperation with about 40 B&R countries and related organizations.

The administration organized a series of IP training sessions for 69 officials from about 30 countries to improve their capacity in patent examination, he added.

Among the attendees will be IP institutions from 56 countries taking part in the initiative, as well as international and regional organizations and foreign embassies.


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