According to the "Patent State Independence Principle" of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, if foreign patents are not applied in China within a certain period of time, they will lose their priority and will not be protected by the Chinese Patent Law.

The annual World Intellectual Property Day is coming this month. This year's theme is: "Protection of intellectual property and promotion of innovation and development."

Some people think that 95% of the world's invention patents are currently controlled by a few developed countries. The number of patents controlled by developing countries is only 5%, and China has only 1% of patents. Under this circumstance, protecting intellectual property rights actually protects the developed countries and binds them with their own hands and feet.

This is not unreasonable. More than 95% of companies in China do not yet have a single patent. Most companies are inferior to humans and can only rely on imitation products to survive. How can these enterprises avoid the transnational group's patented big stick attack and legal imitation? The invalidated patent database of the State Intellectual Property Office has opened up another horizon: Free patents.

Free treasure, amazing inventory

There are two major game rules for intellectual property: timeliness and regionality.

Timeliness defines the length of protection for various types of granted patents: invention patents for 20 years, utility model patents and designs for 10 years. A patent that has expired for more than the number of years of protection or within a certain number of years but has lost its patent rights for various reasons is an invalidation patent. Of the 1.29 million patents that have been authorized so far in China, more than 600,000 have already become invalid; of the 50 million patents in the world, the number of invalid patents is more than 85%.

Regionality refers to the geographical area in which the patent takes effect. According to the “Patent State Independence Principle” of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, if a foreign patent is not applied in China within a certain period of time, it will lose its priority, it will never be able to apply for a patent in China, and it will not be subject to the Chinese Patent Law. protection. It is reported that 85% of the patents born each year in the world do not apply for Chinese patents, and the number of patents granted to multinational corporations so far in China is less than 170,000.

According to this calculation, only 700,000 of the more than 50 million patents in the world are valid in China, and the remaining 49.03 million patents are not protected by our country’s laws and become publicly known public technologies. Enterprises can use them without a penny. . Especially in the latest invention patents of developed countries, as long as developed countries are not registered in China and have lost application priority, companies can perform production and sales in a grandiose manner. As long as the products are not exported to the jurisdiction of the foreign patents, foreign patents can't catch up with them. From statistical data, the current ratio of patent applications between multinational groups in the United States and China is: Intel 10:1, NEC 6:1, HP 10:1, IBM 30:1, Toshiba 4:1, and Samsung and Sony 2: 1. It can be seen that there is not much room for Chinese companies to freely enjoy the latest patents of multinational corporations.

Expired patents may not necessarily lag behind

In the early 1980s, buying a 4-speaker Nissan recorder was one of the hallmarks of home modernization. However, the tape recorder was not original in Japan but was a patent of a multinational group in the Netherlands. However, this multinational group actually mistakenly thought that the tape recorder industry did not have a large market and voluntarily gave up its patents in many countries. The savvy Japanese manufacturer picked up the “picket clips” of this invalid patent and developed various tape recorders, earning a lot of money.

According to experts, most of the expired patents are half-way away, except for a limited number of expired patents that expire due to the expiration of the protection period. Some patentees failed to pay the annual fee due to regulations; some patent owners were unable to develop or give up the transfer of technology and gave up automatically; others only through trial production, the summary of experimental results, and their technical methods or technical solutions must be further Perfecting or passing intermediate trials, giving up rights because of inability to continue implementation; there is also abandoning due to various reasons in the middle of the application.

Because of this, developed countries regard invalidated patents as valuable information and technical resources, fully tap the value of ineffective patents, and further innovate. According to estimates by the Japanese themselves, through the introduction of foreign patents and use-invalidation patents, Japan has mastered foreign advanced technologies, saving about 2/3 of the time and 9/10 of research and development costs.

In contrast, invalidation patent libraries have been neglected in China. Enterprises, scientific research institutes, and colleges and universities have no intention of savoring a free meal of patents, resulting in many studies that have been useless. In the 1990s, the city organized colleges and universities to carry out research on automobile exhaust gas purification equipment. Researchers have been successful for years. The level of inquiry before results identification revealed that many of the technologies considered as original were foreign failures. Patents waste time and manpower, and waste money.

learn from mistakes. Nowadays, it has become a common practice to conduct patent inquiries before and during scientific and technological projects, but most of the queries are still limited to effective patents to avoid infringement. Experts believe that in order to completely eliminate duplicate research, invalid patents should also be queried.

For many companies with low R&D investment and weak innovation capabilities, the use of invalid patented technology is less risky and of higher efficiency, and is a simple and economical way of technological innovation. The invalid design patent improves the appearance of the product and increases the added value of the product. Even if it exceeds the invention patent that seems to be "end of life," it should also be specifically analyzed. Since China's technology level is 10 to 20 years shorter than that of developed countries, some expired patents in developed countries may be applicable to China. technology.

Diversified strategy to survive absolutely

The dispute over patents between China and transnational groups is still fought.

According to experience, it takes approximately 5 years for a multinational group to deploy a patent in a country or region. The large-scale patent distribution of multinational corporations in China began in 1999 and was basically completed at the end of last year. Experts predict that from this year on, patent litigation between multinational corporations and Chinese companies will enter a high tide. With the tightening of patented pockets of multinational corporations, the survival space of many companies will be even more pressing.

Using the rules of space-time games of intellectual property rights, the development and implementation of China’s intellectual property strategy will be a brighter future. Judging from the current situation, the strategic focus of our country's intellectual property rights is to lay a good foundation for patent protection. Last year, for the first time, China's invention patent applications had a slight advantage, which surpassed the number of multinational group patent applications. However, it should not be overlooked that the overwhelming majority of enterprises can only stand on the sidelines of this patent homeland defense campaign. In Shanghai alone, 90% of the companies do not have a single patent; across the country, there are more than 95% of companies without patents. Except for some companies that have the ability and achievements but weak patent awareness and no applications, a considerable number of companies are unable to participate in the war.

Experts believe that China’s intellectual property strategy should be diversified and formulate high school and low-end strategies. The high school end strategy is to encourage original innovation and secondary innovation in enterprises, research institutes and institutions of higher learning, and to maintain a positional battle with multinational corporations. It not only competes for local patents, but also rushes to the international market, with developed countries. Form a patent crossing. The low-end strategy is to formulate and adopt circuitous tactics to help many enterprises with low R&D investment and weak innovation ability actively use invalidation patents. This will allow these companies to jump out of the patent circle of multinational corporations in the short term and get a breathing space. In the long term, they will be able to increase their strength and find a way to further development.

The problem now is that from the 49.3 million patents, finding a patent suitable for their own company is undoubtedly a needle in the haystack. The Patent Literature Publishing House once published the “China Disabling Patent CD-ROM Database”, which stored approximately 250,000 invalid patent information and noted the cause and date of the invalidation of each patent. You can also access the website of the State Intellectual Property Office and inquire about invalid patent documents from the Chinese patent document database. To search foreign invalid patents, you must compare the foreign patent documents with the “Chinese Patent Database” to verify whether these foreign patents have applied for Chinese patents. , and whether it has expired and other legal status, so as to obtain a group of related foreign invalid patents. Such cumbersome inquiries depend solely on the strength of the enterprise.

Experts suggest that government agencies should organize intermediary agencies to help companies. Each year, the Chinese and foreign invalid patents can be divided and professionally combed and disclosed; at the same time, they are required to make special reservations and search for special invalid patents. The intellectual property innovation platform under construction in this Municipality should also be used as one of its core businesses to help Shanghai and national companies “go gold” in invalid patent libraries.

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