In 2014, focusing on the overall strategy abbreviated as “Reform, Innovation, Transformation and Upgrade”, as well as the reform strategy of “Marketization, modernization and internationalization under the rule of law, and strengthening innovation-driven development” Chengdu has fully implemented the intellectual property (IP) strategy, propelled the creative application of intellectual property, intensified IP law enforcement and protection, Optimized the IP development environment, promoted the integration of intellectual property and innovation-driven development, and facilitated development of an IP National Pilot City, thus providing substantial support to the construction of National Innovation-Oriented City. The year of 2014 has witnessed 64,975 patent applications, 31,935 licensed patents, 14,755 valid patents for inventions which contribute to a ratio of 10.3 valid patents for inventions per 10,000 people in Chengdu. The “Grouting Diffusion Test Device” project won the gold medal at the 15th China Patents Awards. In this year, Chengdu also reached 147,000 registered trademarks, among which there were 98 (nationally) well-known trademarks, 13 trademarks with geographic indications, 559 famous Sichuan brands and 604 famous Chengdu brands, 21 Chinese time-honored brands; 20 Chinese famous-brand products and 572 Sichuan famous-brand products plus 34 protected products with geographic indications. In addition, 6,663 pieces of copyright registration for computer software and other works were completed; protection applications were submitted for 21 new plant varieties, among which 20 were granted. The construction of the Chengdu Patent Examination Cooperation Center of SIPO, the only one of its kind in western China, moved forward without issued.
I. Patent Strategy Implemented In-depth with New Achievements Made in Patent Undertakings
Top-level design was reinforced to booster innovation-driven development with intellectual property. Centering on the Opinion of the Municipal Party Committee and Government about Implementing Innovation-driven Development Strategy to Speed up the Construction of an Innovative City, an overall arrangement, namely, "To Implement Innovation-driven Development Strategy, Promote The Construction of the Six Major Science and Technology Innovation Projects and Build A National Innovative City”, was made; the “1+2+N” policy support system, boosting innovation-driven development with IP, science and technology, was formed. Chengdu’s IP Strategy Promotion Plan & Promotion Plan on the Development of National Pilot City in IP in 2014 was formulated and implemented. Great efforts were made on facilitating the realization of this value chain through deploying innovation chains focusing on industrial chains, and on promoting the integration of intellectual property and innovation-driven development of the city.
The capability for creative applications of IP was further enhanced. The enterprise competence enhancement project was implemented to improve various enterprises’ comprehensive capacity related to IP. Enterprises were encouraged to develop their own R&D departments, and social and financial investments were pointed towards science and technology enterprises, which resulted in over 100 new R&D institutions of various kinds, investments of RMB 10 billion into R&D projects as well as 180 more enterprises newly approved as either Hi-Tech Enterprise, Service Enterprise with Advanced Technologies or Innovation-Oriented Enterprise in Sichuan Province in 2014. Chengdu’s Administrative Measures for Patent Grants was revised, and Chengdu’s Administrative Measures for Subsidies for R & D of Strategically Significant Emerging Products and Key New Products was issued and put into effect, so as to guide the property protection of innovative achievements and intensify support to innovative products with proprietary IP rights. In 2014, there were 181 strategically significant emerging products and key new products, 64,975 patent applications, 31,935 licensed patents, plus 22,096 applications for patents for inventions, among which 14,755 patents were validated. A collaborative innovation project was implemented among universities and local governments that the handling of patents and distribution of the benefits had universities at the center. A number of administrative policies to stimulate collaborative innovation in Chengdu together with Chengdu’s Administrative Policies for Innovative Science and technology Talent Venture Funding, were issued and implemented. It was emphasized for achievements to break through the conversion chain, to encourage the establishment of new enterprises and service enterprises by science and technology talents at institutions in Chengdu and promote patent transformation. With the bolstered construction of a patent implementation vehicle, this year witnessed applications of 8 national-level enterprise incubators and the emergence of 20 newly constructed incubators covering a total area of 540,000 m2; currently, there are 78 incubation centers with an area of 2,190,000 m2 in total, and around 6,500 medium, small and micro-sized science and technology enterprises under incubation. The formation of an all-encompassing incubation & cultivation system, including “entrepreneurial nurseries+ incubators+ pilot test incubator (accelerator) bases + industrialization bases”, was expedited. The Chengdu Administrative Policies for Technology Trading Subsidies was revised, to better guide the transfer and transformation of technological collaboration and patent realization. Pilot work on the enterprise patent operation and patent value analysis was boosted. Ten patents including “Hard Drive Spindle Motor Parts with Composite Coating and its Composite Coating Method” won the gold medal at the 16th Chinese Patent Awards, 15 projects including “Grouting Diffusion Test Device” won the 1st Sichuan Patent Implementation and Industrialization Award. 60 projects won at the 2013 Chengdu Patent Awards, including 4 gold medals, 16 silver medals, 40 excellence awards and prizes totaling RMB 1.76 million.
The IP pilot demonstration was raised to a new level. Enterprise IP pilot demonstration was effectively precipitated, the third batch of municipal enterprise IP pilot demonstration and advantage cultivation work was initiated, and 21, 30 and 59 enterprises were affirmed as an IP Demonstration Enterprise, Advantage Cultivating or Pilot Enterprise at the municipal level respectively. 40 IP Demonstration and Superior Enterprises at national or provincial levels were organized to implement relevant standards in two batches, the Sichuan Academy of Aerospace Technology passed direct confirmation, CDGM, Sobey and other enterprises passed recommended confirmation, and Maipu, Sunfor LED and other enterprises have signed authentication contracts and are pending. Along with the implementation of regional innovation demonstration projects, Chengdu’s Hi-Tech District was approved as an IP Service Agglomerated Development Experimental Zone at national level, and is striving to become a National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone. The construction of the New Tianfu Area (Shuangliu) Science and Technology Innovation Park and Sichuan Cuisine Science and Technology Industrialization Base at Pixian County was accelerated, and construction was sped up on the Southwest Petroleum University (SWPU) Energy Equipment Industry Base at Xindu District, New Material Industrialization Base of New Material Science and Technology Achievements at Xinjin County and Pilot Transformation & Upgrade of Traditional Industry at Qingbaijiang District. Chengdu cultivated one National IP Demonstration Park, three National Leading Counties in IP, four Pilot Counties, one National IP Demonstration and Cultivation City (county-level city), 4 Provincial IP Demonstration Parks and 11 Pilot Parks.
Significant results were achieved in comprehensive IP services. The industry traction project was carried out to navigate industrial development with patent information, resulting in the accomplishment of mobile internet and 8 other industrial technological roadmaps as well as research reports on industrial development navigated by patent information of three industries including rail transit and the preparation of patent status analysis reports on three industries such as the aviation industry and robot technology in Chengdu. Integrated with 8 functions including science and technology policy services, investment and financing services, IP services, inspection and detection services, document information services, technology transaction services, incubation site services and consultancy & training services, the as-built Chengdu “Kechuangtong” service platform for innovation and entrepreneurship provided a better one-stop shop for services ranging from policy consultancy, investment & financing, inspection & detection as well as many others. With a pool of over 300 intermediary service agencies related to science, technology and IP, as well as service products of approximately 1,500 items. This platform has provided online and offline integrated service for around 8,000 companies around the city. “The Innovation Voucher Program” was put into effect which is an effort to facilitate effective docking between institutions and enterprises through services purchased by the government, and actively cultivated and support the IP service industry. With an accumulative investment of nearly RMB 5 million, patent databases of 7 industries and special patent databases of 46 enterprises have been established. Expert service teams were organized to provide tailored services, such as patent application, precaution analysis, tax preference, IP pledge financing and assistance for rights protection, in various industrial parks and enterprises in a face-to-face and one-on-one manner.
Obvious results were achieved in IP protection by means of administrative law enforcement. Focused on a special campaign against IP violations, counterfeit and shoddy products as well as Escort special action for IP law enforcement and rights protection, the all-domain patent law enforcement system of Chengdu was mobilized, and joint administrative law enforcement in IP protection at the provincial, municipal and county levels were carried out forcefully. This year, 18 special IP administrative law enforcement campaigns covering major fields, exhibitions and conferences were organized, with dispatch of law enforcement officers totaling 285 man-time and over 270,000 pieces of commodities were inspected. 128 patent identification errors and labels were corrected, 60 cases involving patent infringement were handled, 31 counterfeit patents were investigated and punished with a case settlement rate of 98.9%. The Patent Dispute Mediation Hall of the Chengdu Intellectual Property Office was established. Chengdu Wanguan Hardware, Machinery and Electronic Products Market and Sichuan Jin Hengde International Automobile and Auto Parts Town were approved as the first batch of markets with standardized IP protection, so as to facilitate standardized development of market and IP protection. Guidance was provided to Sichuan Soula Information Technology Co., Ltd. for its establishment of an internal supervisory mechanism for E-commerce patent protection, and a patent law enforcement campaign was conducted on this E-commerce platform. During the 90th National Sugar & Wind Trade Fair, the 15th Western China International Fair and other major exhibitions and conferences, IP rights protection assistance were offered 7 times; 105 calls to “12330” for IP rights protection and complaints were handled, 20 man-time visits for consultancy were received and 31 on-site patent infringement complaints were accepted in the proper way.
II. Brand Strategy Vigorously Implemented with New Breakthroughs Achieved in Trademark Undertaking
The working mechanism of brand strategy was optimized. Chengdu’ Brand Strategy Implementation Plan in 2014 was issued for better coordination and implementation of trademark protection in the city. A series of brand supporting and incentive polices were published, to assist the Chengdu Brand enhance its popularity and influence, honoring and supporting famous brands in the amount of RMB 7.068 million. The Brand Development Strategy Research Report of Chengdu Production Area was completed, offering valuable insight for Chengdu to continuously propel the development of brand strategy.
Brand cultivation and brand service have been raised to a new level. With an increase of 16,039 newly registered trademarks and a total quantity of valid registered trademarks reaching 147,000. Chengdu maintained its leading position among all cities in central and western China. With an addition of 23 newly approved well-known brands, representing a growth rate of 30.66%，and a total of 98 well-known Brands, it is ranked third among all sub-provincial level cities in China. 83 newly approved provincial famous brands brought the total quantity up to 559, accounting for 40.9% of Sichuan Province. 69 trademarks were affirmed as famous brands in Chengdu with an accumulated number of 604. 25 well-known company trademarks were granted awards for science and technology- the Progress and Gold Award of Patent Award of Chengdu City, including the first prize winner of the award for science and technology- the Progress of Chengdu City, Maipu Communication Technology Co., Ltd., and the winner of the Patent Gold Award of Chengdu, Chengdu Qianfeng Electronics Co., Ltd. 33 trademarks including Red Flag Chain Stores, Shengda Forestry and New Hope Dairy won the title of “100 Consumers’ Favorite Sichuan Trademarks”, leading to greater brand recognition for these companies. Management committees of various industrial parks, their brand workstations, brand service experts and other resources were mobilized to help over 100 key park enterprises settle their trademark-related issues and boost cluster growth of high-end trademarks. According to the revised Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China, the text of Well-known Trademark is forbidden to be used in commodity packaging, advertising and other trademark activities, thus focused assistance was offered to 86 Well-known Trademark Enterprises to help them avoid legal risks.
Remarkable results were achieved in brand supervision and rights protection. In 2014, 286 cases involving the infringement of exclusive rights to trademarks were investigated and punished. The amount of fines and confiscations totaled RMB 4.5456 million, 23,309 pieces of infringing goods and 26,403 infringing trademarks were confiscated and disposed of，thus maintaining a tough demeanor in the fight against trademark infringement and counterfeiting behavior. For trademark guidance and supervision during the 90th National Sugar & Wind Trade Fair in particular, all relevant personnel took their responsibilities seriously, summed up previous experiences and lessons, got involved in prepared in advance, intensified regulation and maintained a standardized transaction order during the trade fair. Legal aid and assistance was offered to enterprises for trademark rights protection, and WoWo Supermarkets, under such assistance, won its trademark verification, and avoided a potential brand value loss amounting to hundreds of millions of RMB.
III. Copyright-related Efforts Geared Up with Copyright Undertaking Boosted to A Higher Level
Copyright service capability is constantly enhanced. During the 5th China International Copyright Fair hosted by Chengdu, 12 themed activities, including a copyright theme exhibition, international copyright forum as well as intercommunion on the copyright industry and innovation in science and technology, together over 100 supporting activities were conducted, and 17 projects covering artwork copyright agreements and copyright-related financial cooperation were held, involving an amount totaling over RMB 2.3 billion. With real-time reporting and in-depth interviews from more than 100 mainstream news media outlets at home and abroad, this is the first China International Copyright Fair hosted outside Beijing. With a scale exceeding all previous ones, this Fair was greatly appreciated by the National Copyright Administration and the exhibitors. The survey on copyright-related industry and trading platform was conducted, resulting in The Feasibility Study Report on Chengdu International Copyright Trading Center; and the National Copyright Administration has approved the establishment of the Chengdu International Copyright Trading Center, the first national-level copyright trading center in southwest China. Registration and other related prep work were moved forward.
Copyright creation and management capacity was increasingly reinforced. Active funding policies were implemented to encourage copyright registration. Copyright registration subsidy applications were handled, verified and approved. Subsidies were transferred according to The Subsidy Methods of Registered Copyrights of Computer Software in Chengdu and Subsidy Methods of Registered Copyrighted Goods in Chengdu. In 2014, more than 3,000 goods of various kinds were subsidized, and subsidies totaling over RMB 2.4 million were granted, highly lauded by rights holders of various kinds; and 6,663 pieces of computer software and other copyrighted goods were registered over the entire year, with a year-on-year growth of 34.9%. The copyright sample unit selection was carried out. Pursuant to The Selection and Management Methods on Copyright Sample Unit in Chengdu (Trial Version), 6 enterprises, including the Sichuan Branch of China Telecom Co., Ltd, Maipu Communications Technology Co., Ltd and Santai Electronics Co., Ltd, were awarded the title of copyright sample units of Chengdu in 2014 to stimulate industries and enterprises to attach more importance to copyright mechanism construction.
The capability for copyright protection was constantly improved. Special campaigns against IP violations as well as the manufacturing and sale of shoddy & inferior commodities, the Sword and Net Action against internet infringement and piracy as well as other campaigns were carried out to safeguard the legitimate interests of copyright owners. Throughout the year, 17,200 operating units were inspected, 240 illegally-operating units were banned, over 80 copyright infringement cases were investigated, over 230,000 pieces (books, discs) of pirated products were captured, and 12 copyright disputes involving software, design and other copyrights were mediated. Copyright-related administrative punishment cases were made public. The application of copyrighted software in government agencies was completed and was greatly appreciated by the national inspection team for its application of copyrighted software. The Chengdu Copyright Bureau and 6 other units were granted the title of National Meritorious Unit in Investigation and Punishment of Piracy Cases, and 5 individuals were granted the title of National Meritorious Individual in Investigation and Punishment of Piracy Cases.
IV. Intellectual Property Case Investigation Intensified to Crack Down on IP Violations and Crimes in an Effective Way
Focusing on a series of special campaigns against crimes for making and selling fake & inferior commodities, like The Focused Action to Crack Down on Fake Products and Safeguard Interests of the Public, Combating Illegal Workshops, Illegal Factories, Illegal Markets and Black Dens as well as Eliminating the Four Pests (i.e. rats, bedbugs, flies and mosquitoes), Crack Down on Food-related Crime and Defend Dining Table Safety, the city’s public security departments gave full play to its leading role and solved a number of IP crimes, thus effectively stopping the criminals and protected the legitimate rights and interests of consumers. Chengdu public security departments have filed and investigated 130 cases of IP infringement as well as fake and shoddy commodities, of which 115 were shut down, 130 criminal suspects were arrested, 23 counterfeiting production dens were destroyed, over 160,000 pieces of fake and shoddy goods with a total weight of 140 tons were uncovered, over 170,000 pieces of counterfeit packaging materials and fake registered trademarks were confiscated, and the amount involved in these cases reached RMB 62.1 million.
V. Legal Supervision Strengthened to Fight against IP Crimes
Chengdu prosecutors, relying on the cohesive mechanisms of administrative law enforcement and criminal law enforcement, and in cooperation with government IP administrative departments, judicial and public security departments, added to a positive interaction, shared information, promoted a rational utilization of law enforcement resources, and made more effort to fight IP crimes. To collect as much information related to the cases as possible, multiple channels had been utilized, including publicizing an informant hot-line, receiving public statements, listening to social feedback and media coverage. To uncover the clues of the criminal cases, methods such as home visiting, information briefing, joint meetings and record reviews were employed. These methods were also used to define the specific cases to be put under particular supervision, to urge the transfer of such cases from administrative law enforcement departments to public security departments and supervise the latter to file and investigate them. In the meantime, the preventative efforts against IP infringement crimes were conducted through multiple means such as radio, TV, columns wrote by or lectures delivered by advocates, etc. In the special actions cracking down on fake or shoddy commodities and IP infringement, Chengdu prosecutors made a large dent in such crimes, and based on the problems discovered during the cases, actively issued prosecutors’ suggestions to administrative law enforcement departments and urged them to abide by the rule of law. After the investigations and reviews, 53 individuals were approved to be arrested for 26 IP infringement cases throughout the year, among which 36 individuals were arrested in 17 cases regarding counterfeiting registered trademarks, 13 people in 6 cases of selling commodities with counterfeited registered trademarks, 4 people in 3 cases for illegally making and selling manufactured registered trademarks, 1 person for copyright infringement. In addition, 51 cases and 127 people were reviewed and prosecuted. Moreover, Chengdu prosecutors went after 109 people in 44 cases involving IP infringement, including 53 people in 20 cases involving counterfeited registered trademarks, 52 people in 21 cases of selling commodities with counterfeited registered trademarks, and 4 people in 3 cases of illegally making and selling manufactured registered trademarks.
VI. Intellectual Property Case Hearings Strengthened to Safeguard Legitimate Interests of Obligees
IP case hearing method was optimized. In accordance with the requirement of the three in one experimental work for IP case hearings, an overall formation and assessment was conducted for an experimental process of the courts at two levels in Chengdu. Along with an in-depth implementation of such experiments, a three in one case hearing pattern, consisting of two levels of courts and five IP tribunals, was shaped. In 2014, the courts accepted 2,700 IP cases, including 2,647 civil cases, 50 criminal cases and 3 administrative cases, while adopting the new three in one case hearing pattern, the courts settled 2,643 IP cases, including 2,595 civil cases, 45 criminal cases and 3 administrative cases.
Case trial quality and effect were enhanced in a comprehensive way. The Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court adjusted the personnel allocation of its IP collegiate bench, and formed a judicial organization system consisting of 4 fixed collegiate panels and one relatively fixed collegiate panel. With a clear separation of rights and liabilities, each collegiate panel performed its duties, competed and cooperated with each other and handled the cases pursuant to the law to ensure the ever increasing quality and effectiveness of trials. The cases trialed and settled in 2014 include copyright cases involving Microsoft, Music Copyright Society of China and Pleasant Goat; trademark cases involving Lafite, Luzhou Laojiao, Wuliangye, Seven Wolves and “Maries as well as patent cases involving Dibiao and Archie. Many of the above cases were civil cases which involved many domestic and reputable international enterprises, reputable brands and well-known patents. The spirit of “multiparty mediation” was always in effect. 1,960 cases in total were mediated and withdrawn under such efforts. Attention and full play was given to the standardization and guiding role of judicial adjudication. Through hearings lodged by China Film Group Corporation Marketing Planning Division against the Starry Sky Shepherd Star internet cafe in Jinniu District of Chengdu for infringement of rights to disseminate copyrighted material via the Internet，one rule was established as that “the lawyers’ written statement issued by law firms, without the same legal status and effect as that of notarization, may not be used alone as the basis to determine case facts”. This case was selected in The Comments on China’s Intellectual Rights Related Guiding Cases of the Supreme People’s Court.
The experiences obtained from trials were popularized. Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court strengthened its research work and conducted special research in a timely manner and composed a report titled To Intensify the Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property, Reducing the Cost for Right Protection while Increasing the Infringement Cost, and submitted the research report on The Status Quo and Problems Faced in Disputes Related to the Infringement of Rights to New Plant Varieties to the Supreme People’s Court. One case was selected for the Ten Typical Cases of Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property by China’s Courts in 2013, 6 cases were selected for the Ten Typical Cases of Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property by Sichuan’s Courts in 2013, one case was selected for the Comments on China’s Intellectual Rights Related Guiding Cases of the Supreme People’s Court, and 3 cases were selected as exemplary cases of Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court.
VII. Port Supervision Reinforced to Enhance Customs Protection of Intellectual Property
Important channels were put under intensified supervision. According to the integrate deployment of the General Administration of Customs of the PRC, Chengdu Customs reinforced its supervision of important ports including airport customs as well as post office agencies and on-site business offices. Based on extensive investigation and a focus on key commodities like daily consumables, cosmetics and electrical appliances shipped via the mail, courier and other channels, special law enforcement actions were conducted, and law enforcement mechanisms was optimized to maintain a tough stance on IP violation and the making and selling of fake and inferior commodities.
Key points were highlighted during special law enforcement operations. In 2014, under the overall arrangement and organization by the General Administration of Customs, Chengdu Customs carried out the Special Law Enforcement Action for Protection of 2014 World Cup Intellectual Property, and put particular emphasis on spot inspections as well as articles for entry & exit. For protection of trademarks and copyrights of FIFA as well as Adidas, Nike, Puma and other sponsors which have been filed with the General Administration of Customs of the PRC, on relevant goods to be exported to Brazil as well as other Central and South American countries, and on punishment against illegal acts for taking advantage of the Internet to export intentionally copyright infringing goods.