Suzhou Sees IP as Driving Force in Competitiveness
The government of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, regards intellectual property as a driving force to build up the city's innovation capacity and competitiveness.
A government document released in March said it is an "influential strategy for the city's future development" to improve its capacities in IP creation, use, protection, management and service, and to integrate IP rights with local businesses.
According to the city's intellectual property office, the numbers of patent applications and granted patents in Suzhou has topped the nation for three consecutive years since 2011. There were 672 international patent filings through the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
In 2014, companies and individuals in Suzhou filed about 103,000 patent applications, including 41,000 for invention patents. More than 55,000 patents were granted, double the number in 2012.
More than 8,000 local companies have applied for patents, growing from about 3,000 in 2010. More than 80 percent of the patents have been commercialized.
The State Intellectual Property Office set up a patent examination center in Suzhou National New & Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in September 2011, the first of its kind outside Beijing. The zone is also home to the nation's first pilot IP service industry cluster, which started in June 2012.
The eighth forum of China's State Intellectual Property Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the five largest IP offices in the world, is being held in the zone from May 20 to 22.
The event has attracted about 150 delegates from the five offices and international organizations.
"A well-established IP industry chain will serve as a strong support for the city to become a national leader in innovation," said Shi Taifeng, Party chief of Suzhou.
Shi said industries that are intellectual property-intensive will contribute more than 35 percent of Suzhou's GDP by 2020.
Invention patent ownership is forecast to reach 36 per 10,000 residents that year. The total number of international patent filings is expected to surpass 8,000.
There is expected to be 5,000 copyright registrations for software in 2020 and 180,000 copyright registrations for works by then, along with 800 integrated circuit designs and 200,000 trademark registrations, including 1,000 that are registered overseas.
Local companies with proprietary brands are forecast to contribute 17 percent of the city's GDP.
At the same time, the IP business will involve some 20,000 employees in Suzhou, including about 500 top professionals, according to the government's target.