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China enhances int'l cooperation on IP protection amid COVID-19: NIPA

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- China will step up international cooperation on intellectual property (IP) protection to offset the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) said Thursday.


China actively supports the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to play a coordinating role during the COVID-19 epidemic and calls on global IP institutions to effectively protect the rights of applicants and rights holders, said Shen Changyu, head of the NIPA, at a press conference in Beijing.


On April 9, WIPO released an interpretative statement and operational recommendations on the excuse of delay provisions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), making it clear that any delay in meeting PCT time limits due to the epidemic can be extended with no need to submit documents.


Within the WIPO framework, China will properly handle the delay issues and further strengthen communication with IP agencies around the world to jointly deal with the challenges brought by the epidemic to the international IP system, Shen said.


China has become the top source of international patents with 59,000 applications filed in 2019 via the PCT.


IP cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the top priority, which has also achieved practical results in fields of IP protection, IP investigation, capacity building and public awareness, Shen said.


Data from the NIPA showed the number of China's patent applications in countries participating in BRI last year was up 8.5 percent year on year, while those countries' patent applications in China surged 9.7 percent year on year, Shen said.