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High quantity, low quality: China's patent boom

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- China's patent business is booming in terms of the number of applications, but the quality of patents is still poor, according to a Monday report to the top legislature.

Royalties amounted to 67 billion yuan (about 11 U.S. dollars) in 2013, nine percent of the total technology market, according to a report on implementation of the Patent Law to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

Nearly 2.38 million patent applications were accepted and over 1.31 million authorized in 2013. There were only 8,950 patent agents at 1,019 agencies in China as of the end of 2013. Courts nationwide resolved 37,660 patent disputes from 2009 to 2013.

China owns very few patents featuring originality, and high or core technology. Less than 1,000 patents were recognized by European, Japanese and American authorities. Technology companies Huawei and ZTE were among the leaders in patent applications in foreign countries.

Enterprises care very little about intellectual property rights (IPR) and invest little in technological research and development. The utilization rate of patents is very low. Legislators are considering revising the Patent Law in the next three years to deal with IPR infringement.

The Patent Law should help improve the quality and structure of patents if innovative development is going to take off, the report said.

The law was enacted in 1984 and had its third revision in 2008.

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