China’s Rising Presence in the IPO Top 300

Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) recently released its top 300 organizations granted US patents in 2014.  Many Chinese companies made the top 300.  TSMC was the top amongst Mainland or Taiwan companies, ranking number 26, with 1,446 US patents. Huawei was 48 with 872 patents; ZTE was 63 at 705.  ZTE also showed a 58.2 increase over last year.  Hon Hai (Foxconn) was number 68 with a drop of 33.8 percent in patent filings to 665, and a drop in rank from number 35 in 2013.   Hong Fu Jin was number 85 ( a decrease of 47.9 percent), and Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics showed the highest increase of any Chinese organization amongst the top 300, with a total of 431 filings.  This 318.4%  increased earned it the number 93 spot.

Patent grants increased for both Chinese and Taiwanese cell phone companies.  Amongst Taiwanese cell phone companies, HTC also made the top 300.  It received 210 patent grants, with an increase of 44.3% earning it the 157th place.

Tsinghua University retained its rank as the top Chinese university patent filer, ranking number 153 with 230 patents in 2014.  Amongst well-known universities, Tsinghua retained the enviable position of being behind the University of California system (number 91) and MIT (number 135) and ahead of Stanford (181), and Caltech (196).

Chinese “Top 300” changing ranks may be contrasted with overall patent grant trends at USPTO.  Patent grants from all countries, increased at USPTO last year, from 301,962 in 2013 to 326,039.  This was an increase of  about 8 percent.  Chinese patent grants increased from 6597 to 7921, an increase of  about 20 percent.

China is receiving more patents in both relative and absolute terms.   There were however many outliers in China’s overall growth.  While many Chinese organizations received patents in numbers that were well in excess of the overall growth rate at USPTO, as noted above several organizations experienced negative growth (Foxconn, Hong Fu Jin).

Of course, increases in patent grants do not necessarily translate into patent quality or commercial value.   Other patent data, including data on allowance rates, pendency rates and technology rate can help in further understanding overall patent data.  Data on licensing flows can also assist in understanding China’s role as technology importer and an emerging technology exporter.

Challenges for IP Protection in the Innovative Economy: The Case of Pharma in China

Attached are English and Chinese versions of a speech by USPTO Acting Director Teresa Rea that was first delivered at China Pharmaceutical University earlier this month.  The speech underscores the challenges for innovative pharmaceutical companies in China’s current IP environment.

Upcoming events

Please note a few upcoming events, listed mostly in chronological order:

On February 28, 2012, Paul Jones and Xu Jing will be speaking in the Strafford live phone/web seminar entitled “IP Litigation in China“.  The panel will address challenges for IP protection in the Chinese court system.

On March 15, 2012, AmCham China, the United States Information Technology Office (USITO), Fordham University School of Law and the European Chamber of Commerce will host a conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights.  The Conference will take place in Beijing. Second Circuit Judge Denny Chin, who is returning to China for the first time since he left as a child, will open the event as the keynote speaker, along with the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, Robert Wang.  Chief Judge Kong Xiangjun of the IPR Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court is expected to moderate for Judge Chin.  A panel discussion of leading experts, including current and former government officials, academics and corporate IPR leaders will follow.  More information here. Continue reading

China Transitions: Where People Went in 2011, And Where They Are Headed

Looking back on 2011 and into 2012, it has been a year with considerable transition for individuals following IP issues in China.

There were some important lateral changes in the private sector.   With the Hogan Lovells merger, Doug Clark went to Hong Kong, and Horace Lam left Hogan Lovells for Jones Day in China.  Former Supreme People’s Court IPR Chief Judge, Jiang Zhipei, left the Fangda Partners for King and Wood.  Meanwhile, King and Wood, which already had a large China IP practice, merged with the Australian law firm, Mallesons, which has a Chinese IP practice.  Amongst the more recent retirees from the Chinese government, Xu Chao, of the National Copyright Administration, and Yin Xintian, of the State Intellectual Property Office, both left the government for the Wanhuida law firm.  An Qinghu, the former Director General in charge of the Chinese Trademark Office, also left his parent agency, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, to work for the Chinese Trademark Association. Continue reading