CNIPA commissioner proposes ways to tackle post-pandemic IP protection challenges

04 November 2021

CNIPA commissioner proposes ways to tackle post-pandemic IP protection challenges

Dr. Shen Changyu, commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) proposed three actions for IP offices to address IP protection challenges under the post-Covid 19 era: coordinate the top-level design of IP, constantly optimize IP administration and services and speed up the development of IP global governance.

Shen presented his suggestions at the panel session titled “WIPO and IP5 Offices: Challenges for IP Protection Post Pandemic” of the 2021 AIPPI World Congress which ran from October 15 – 22, 2021.

Underscoring the concept of digital transformation and the emergence of technologies such as big data and AI, Shen explained that an effective top-level design will allow the nurturing of an IP ecosystem conducive to innovation. This, in turn, will pave the way for national industrial and economic development.

“Rigorous rules for protection particularly in emerging spheres like big data, AI and genetic engineering must be established to encourage new technologies and new business models. Balance must be struck between right holders and the society at large to ensure we have the best of both worlds: safeguard public interests and incentivize innovation,” said Shen.

With these new technologies and business models cropping up, IP offices have to be in sync and deliver user-friendly IP service as a public good, according to Shen.

“We must adopt a new mindset and new practices empowered by AI, big data and other innovative technologies to raise the quality and efficiency of our work,” he said, adding that providing user-friendly IP service as a public good facilitates commercialization which transforms innovation into real productivity.

As to his third proposal, Shen explained: “If we enhance our innovation cooperation in sectors like green initiatives, energy efficiency and life science, IP has the potential to become a powerful tool to address today’s global challenges, Covid-19, climate change and environmental pollution and contribute to the United Nations’ sustainable agenda.”

He added that IP offices must maintain their cooperation under WIPO and other multilateral frameworks and that the Switzerland-based Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle or AIPPI has a role to play in the development of global IP governance. AIPPI is dedicated to the development of IP protection laws with more than 8,000 members from 131 countries.

One of the post-pandemic challenges in IP protection discussed during the session was quality.

According to Antonio Campinos, president of the European Patent Office, their office takes quality very seriously.

“It’s in our mission statement. But I have to be honest with you. Delivering quality is becoming harder,” he said, “not easier.”

“Our database of technical documents has over 1.5 million records. We have to deal with more languages. Inventions are becoming more complex. On a daily basis, we see inventions in areas of technology that did not even exist a decade ago,” Campinos explained.

Also in the panel were Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office; Sam-sup Moon, Director General, IP Protection and International Cooperation Bureau, Korean Intellectual Property Office; Mori Kiyoshi, Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office; as well as Daren Tang, World Intellectual Property Office Director General.

The panelists cited other challenges in the area of IP protection in the post-pandemic era. Among these were innovation, accessibility, increasing transparency, communication, collaboration and dealing with global issues based on using the IP ecosystem, among others.

Aside from enumerating these challenges, the panelists shared the various initiatives undertaken by their offices to deal with these issues.

“IP as a key driver for innovation-driven growth and a prerequisite for international trade plays an increasingly important role,” said Shen. “Stakeholders are expecting more from the IP community and expectations assume greater urgency in the context of Covid-19,” said Shen.



Espie Angelica A. de Leon

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