Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Piss Poor Patents in China- Chinese Patents a Joke

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 4, 2012


The monster of the midwest, Brewskie is keeping uncle chicom in check, read this

BrewMan
“Your recent spate on quality failures in China should do well to explain its patent system: So easy a carny can do it!

Their standing as the world’s #1 patent filer is as legitimate as Monopoly money; our top secret mole, WC, acts as Zeus would, and jolts an A-bomb of a thunder bolt into China’s weak paper mache facade:

http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2012/01/untruth-3-the-chinese-are-patent-kings/

“As a patent holder in China, I am skeptical about the quality of Chinese patents.

It’s as if anyone can get one. Allow me to explain.

A few years ago, an ex-classmate of mine approached me with a great idea.

“Lets start a business in China,” he enthused. Thinking it to be a once in a life time opportunity, I agreed, and several months later we were in business.

One of the most enlightening things we did, however, was to apply for a patent. Although the process of writing our patent proposal was a grueling two hour affair, I truly doubt the specifications behind it would pass international scrutiny.

However, in China it was never a problem. After mobilizing a good friend of mine, who happens to be an attorney, our new found startup was the proud owner of a shiny new Chinese patent.

While I found the entire process to be less than exceptional, it also left me a little cynical (70).

“Just fill out the form and I will make sure you get your patent,” we were told. Within days we had protected our idea via a patent (71), one of the joys of doing business in China.

To me, the ease with which we were granted our patent was beyond belief, an idea shared by others as well (72). Although the process to file was as rigorous as a rousing game of Scrabble, it seemed far too easy. I guess it is no wonder that China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) received 1.2 million patent applications in 2010, many of which were Chinese “trash” (73) or “utility patents”, like the one I had obtained

[…]

A Chinese utility patent protects, “any ‘new’ technical solution relating to the shape, the structure, or their combination, of a product which is fit for practical use (80).” In China these patents do not undergo a strict amount of scrutiny (81) and as long as the paperwork is filled out correctly, a patent will be awarded (82) – or so it is claimed.

What is more troublesome is that according to an expert at China’s patent authority, patents in China do not need to prove that their intangible assets are new, a marked difference between China and the rest of the world (83).

In addition, China operates under a ‘first-to-file’ system. This means that the first person to file the patent will be granted the technology even if they are not the inventor of the technology.

“First to file” means that if a Chinese person, or anyone else comes across some fine technology that has not been patented in China, then they have the right to “claim” this technology and patent it (84), a thing that a colleague of mine did to the tune of a couple million dollars (85) – but more on that later.

When one thinks of the magnitude of Chinese IPR theft, the enormity of this ‘first to file’ system becomes apocalyptic.

[…]

According to Cheng Yongshun, the director of the Beijing Intellectual Property Institute, most countries consider innovation patents to be ‘real patents’ (87).

Yet in in 2009, Chinese applicants for these specific patents were less than 20% of the total (88).”

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