China received 712,000 applications for design patents in 2019, according to the 16th China (Wuxi) International Design Expo held from Nov. 14 to 16 in Wuxi, east China’s Jiangsu province.
In recent years, the country has been constantly ramping up efforts to protect design patents and promote the application of good designs, pushing Chinese goods towards the higher end of global industrial and value chains.
China extended the term of protection for design patents from 10 years to 15 years in its amended patent law, which also specifies patent protection for partial design of a product.
So far, China has established 40 intellectual property rights (IPR) protection centers and 22 rapid rights-protection centers nationwide for faster approval, authorization, and services related to IPR.
At the same time, the country has taken a series of measures to accelerate the creation and application of quality designs. China has set up industrial design and creative industrial parks in cities including Wuxi and Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan province, and made them national pilot and demonstration parks for the protection of IPR in a bid to lead creative and design industries to high-quality development.
In addition, China has made active efforts to join the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, a mechanism that helps protect industrial designs in multiple countries or regions with minimal formalities. After becoming a member of the agreement, Chinese enterprises will be able to gain protection for designs around the world more conveniently.
A good design can not only improve the functions and quality of a product, but also increase its appeal and additional value, and even create new market demand, said Shen Changyu, head of the China National Intellectual Property Administration.
With China’s manufacturing sector paying increasing attention to the role of design in the research, development and marketing of products, “Made in China” is turning into “created in China,” “designed in China,” “intellectually made in China,” and “refined in China,” Shen said.