Chinese government releases IP protection statistics


On April 17 2007, at a press conference jointly hosted by the State Intellectual Property Office, the China Trademark Office and the National Copyright Administration, the Chinese government released statistics regarding the protection of IP rights during China in 2006.

The statistics cover the following areas:

  • Trademarks: In 2006, 766,000 applications for registration were filed. In the same year, 313,000 applications were examined.

    Over the course of the year a total of 50,534 cases of trademark infringement were handled, resulting in confiscation of 30.36 million units of articles bearing infringing marks and fines totalling Rmb398 million. The number of criminal trademark cases prosecuted was 252.

  • Patent: The number of patent (invention, utility model and design) applications filed in 2006 amounted to 573,000, 20.3% more than 2005. Among the applications, 210,000 were for invention patents, of which 58.1% were from domestic applicants and 41.9% from foreign applicants. During the year, 268,000 patents were granted, 25.2% more than 2005, and of these, 83.5% of the patents were granted to domestic applicants and 16.5% to foreign applicants.

    A total of 3,196 patent suits were filed with the Chinese courts in 2006, 70% of which were infringement cases. During the same period 3,227 cases were concluded. The number of cases for administrative enforcement received was 1,270, and 973 cases were concluded.

  • Copyright: In 2006, 10,559 cases for administrative enforcement of copyright infringement were received, and 10,344 were concluded. A total of 235 copyright cases were filed with the people's courts. Over 73 million units of infringing articles were confiscated, the composition being:

    • books - 18 million;

    • magazines - 1.1 million;

    • audio visual products - 48 million;

    • electronic publications - over 2 million,

    • computer software - 3.79 million; and

    • other products - 240,000.

  • Customs: In 2006 there were over 2,000 new customs recordal cases, 50% more than 2005. The total number of records in the Customs database reached 9,917 at the end of 2006.

    During the course of the year 2,473 IP infringement cases were handled, resulting in confiscation of near to 200 million articles of a value of over Rmb2 million.

  • Courts: The number of civil cases involving IP rights filed with the people's courts of first instance in 2006 amounted to 14,000 and over the year 14,000 cases were concluded. The court of second instance received 2,686 civil IP cases, and 2,652 cases were concluded. The total number of criminal IP cases prosecuted was 2,277.

When delivering the above statistics, Yin Xintian, a spokesman for the State Intellectual Property Office, informed the press that China is committed to enhancing protection of intellectual property. This is a basic policy of the country, driven not only by the demand of foreign countries to improve the environment for foreign investment, but also by the internal needs of China to promote the country's technological and economic development and to help the advancement of China's market economy.

Rebecca Lo, Rebecca Lo & Co, Hong Kong

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