BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's intellectual property (IP) development has reached a new level over the past year, with more patents, improved services and greater recognition, the country's industry watchdog reported on Friday.
In 2020, a total of 530,000 invention patents had been authorized, and the total number of valid invention patents held on the Chinese mainland had reached 2.21 million, the National Intellectual Property Administration said at an online press conference.
"The average ownership of invention patents in 2020 reached 15.8 patents per 10,000 people, exceeding the target of 12 patents set in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020)," said Hu Wenhui, spokesperson for the administration.
The country's IP examination efficiency was further improved and has been at the global forefront. Last year, the processing time for the examination of high-value patents was reduced to 14 months, according to the administration. The average processing time for the examination of invention patents was shortened to 20 months, while that for trademark registrations was just four months.
Last year also saw strengthened efforts in IP protection. Hu noted that China handled 42,000 administrative adjudication cases of patent infringement disputes last year.
In the latest survey on social satisfaction with IP protection in China, carried out by a third-party agency, satisfaction hit a record high of 80.05 out of 100 points.
Despite the shock from the COVID-19 epidemic, China saw more enterprises applying for patents in 2020, and high-tech enterprises are driving the growth.
The spokesperson said 246,000 Chinese companies had valid invention patents, an increase of 33,000 over the previous year. Among them, 105,000 were high-tech enterprises, which hold 922,000 valid invention patents, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total number of invention patents owned by domestic enterprises.
China's business environment has also been recognized by more countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. Patent applications by the Belt and Road countries totaled 23,000 in China last year, up 3.9 percent from the previous year and higher than the year-on-year growth rate of foreign applications in China, Hu said.
Among them, Singapore and the Republic of Korea saw notable increases in their growth rates, up 21 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.