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China: Survey Reveals Public‘s Growing Recognition of IP

Public satisfaction with intellectual property protection has continued to grow in China, with enforcement remaining the most concerning issue, according to results of a nationwide survey released in Beijing on Thursday.

The annual Social Satisfaction Towards IP Protection report showed that overall satisfaction reached 72.38 out of 100 in 2016, 3.66 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

"The growth was mainly credited to the substantial increase in right owners' satisfaction," Zhang Xueli, deputy secretary-general of the Patent Protection Association of China, one of the survey's co-organizers, said at a news conference.

Compared with a year earlier, both IP professionals and right owners showed mounting satisfaction, while there was a drop in that of ordinary people, reflecting the marked difference in various groups' perception of IP work, analysts said.

As participants in and beneficiaries of the IP system, rights owners are more sensitive to protection, they noted.

Of the group, trademark holders gave the highest opinions, and patentees and copyright owners also reported rising satisfaction.

Enforcement remained the lowest-rated section in the survey.

The report found that respondents were most concerned with the severity of infringements, as well as delayed and inadequate compensation for damages.

Respondents also cited inactivity and inconsistency of enforcement, a lack of resources, weak professionalism and local protectionism as items they complained about.

Increasing compensation for damages is a prime concern for the respondents, Zhang said.

Co-initiated by the national trade associations of patents, trademarks and copyrights along with CTR Market Research, the annual survey asks respondents to evaluate legislation and policy protection, enforcement, management and services, and publicity and education.

Nearly 112,800 questionnaires were sent to IP professionals, rights owners and lay people across the country and more than 12,600 effective replies were collected.

The research painted a picture of IP protection and the public's expectations toward it across the county and thus provided a crucial reference for policymakers, Zhang said.

Liu Bin, deputy secretary-general of the Copyright Society of China, said that administrative authorities increased their efforts in fighting infringements and courts handled mounting IP cases last year.

"Both contributed to a continuously improving environment for IP protection in the country, which in turn further increases the public's expectations for enhanced enforcement," Liu said.

Zhang from PPAC also announced the top 10 events, 10 key cases, 10 influential figures and 10 influential businesses of the year in the patent sphere. The lists were released by the patent association, China IP News and IP Publishing House.

Among the influential figures are Dong Mingzhu, chairperson of Gree Electric Appliances Inc, and Lei Jun, CEO of gadget maker Xiaomi.

Source:China Daily