Innovation – and Patents in China

China is number 1 in patents for the year 2011.  China had  526,412 while America had only 503,582.  Check out the report at the China Brief.

Does that mean anything?  Actually, it means the government still has some power to reach its goals.

These patents do not indicate anything about innovation change.  The Chinese government ordered all work units to meet goals for patent filing, So everyone went off and filed. That does not mean any new burst of innovation occurred unless finding ways to file useless patents shows innovation. 

I should note that if you are patented abroad and think that will protect you in China, that you are mistaken. You must file in China. If you have just filed in abroad, you could get that recognized in China. If it is one you carry in your business, then you will have to register from square one in China to get any protection.  The process takes about a year.  The cost is not great.  You can get it done for under US$1000 in the majority of cases. Be careful who you have do it as they could register it themselves through another entity and thus steal your technology while you are trying to protect it.   We keep track of reputable patent/trademark lawyers just for this reason. 

You should get protection in China for your patents and trademarks from abroad if you are international in any way. It costs little and keeps someone in China from copying you and also from blocking you out of the market. 


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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Government Issues, Market Entry

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