Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Building of Strong Intellectual Property Cities(Mainland China)

James Cheng
To thoroughly carry out the Several Opinions of the State Council on Building a Strong Intellectual Property Nation under the New Trends (Guo Fa [2015] No. 71), and provide further depth to the IP demonstration test in cities and create first-class, internationally influential strong IP cities, the State Intellectual Property Office issued the Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Building of Strong Intellectual Property Cities (the “Guiding Opinions”) on November 9, 2016. The Guiding Opinions center on an in-depth fusion between intellectual property and innovative urban development with a focus on enhanced intellectual property rights protection and utilization; reform and innovation will be the drivers in using intellectual property to strengthen counties (regions), government, businesses and constructions, thereby creating new lively, high-quality, and strong sustainability strong IP cities which would become a new feature of China and lay a solid foundation to be a strong world-level IP nation.
Under the basic principles of concentrating the drive of reform, deepening leading innovations, gathering development advantages and adherence to collective deployment, the Guiding Opinions follow the requirements for “international benchmarking, leading the country and support the regions” in promoting the development of strong intellectual property cities through “engineering-style development, systematic progression, project-based administration and establishment of an accountability regime.” By 2020, there will be around 20 leading and innovation-driven intellectual property cities in the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Bohai Economic Rim and other focused national development regions with the following characteristics:
1. Establishment of a comprehensive in content, complete linkage, smooth connections, specific and robust duties and diverse services IP city comprehensive management system.
2. Establishment of comprehensive chain from the creation, use and protection of intellectual property as well as creation of a grand protective system for intellectual property covering licensing and confirmation of rights, judicial trials, criminal enforcement, administrative enforcement, arbitration and mediation, autonomy of sectors and social supervision.
3. Establishment of an innovative, gathered, low-carbon and sustainable development system for the intellectual property sector.
4. Establishment of a region-leading coordinated development mechanisms for intellectual property with sustainable development, mutual assistance, and sharing of resources.
By 2030, the appearance of distinctive, smoothly regulated, harmoniously gathered, lively and more open strong intellectual property cities among the major cities of the country will set the pattern for development.
The Guiding Opinions further state that the development of strong IP cities require meeting “top class in four aspects” standards, namely in governance of urban intellectual property, the protective environment in place for such urban intellectual property, contribution of intellectual property to the development of the urban economy, and the cooperation and exchange with external parties with respect to intellectual property. The Guiding Opinions set out five major missions and major projects for implementing intellectual property rights, namely: projects that enhance management capabilities to accommodate innovation needs; large-scale protection projects to create innovative and entrepreneurial environment; utilization of promotive works so as to push the industry to transform and upgrade; quality enhancement projects to strengthen follow-ups to development; and environmental development projects to expand openness and cooperation. With respect to organizational implementation, organizational leadership and work support need to be enhanced through organizational and program planning, with a sound reporting system and proposal development, as well as strengthen supervision and exchange of experiences.