China, US agree to cooperate on intellectual property protection
Sourced by ChinaDaily.com
China and the United States have agreed to increase cooperation in intellectual property protection to facilitate trade and investment, according to a recent joint statement.
The statement, released on Saturday, came after the world's two largest economies reached an agreement that would avert a trade war between them.
China will promote revision of related laws and regulations including the Patent Law, according to the statement.
"In the joint statement, the requests for IP protection and capital market access expansion roughly dovetail with the general goals of China's reform and opening-up," Zhang Monan, a researcher at the China Center for international Economics Exchanges, told Beijing Business Today.
The reason for the agreement "is not what the US demanded but that they are the structural issues we need to resolve to advance our economic transformation to a high-quality growth," Zhang said.
Zhang Jianping, director of the Regional Economic Research Center of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Commerce, said the statement reflects US concerns over IP protection in China.
"A great number of US companies have invested in China, and are regulated under the country's legal system," Zhang Jianping said. "Thus the US expects China to accelerate the pace of improving its IP-related legislation and enforcement, and enhance policy support for business protection."
China has made marked progress in IP protection in recent years, including the latest reform in administrative structure, said Zhu Lixin, an IP attorney at law firm Crown & Rights, also quoted in Beijing Business Today.
Filings and reviews of trademarks and patents are now governed by the State Intellectual Property Office, which previously was only in charge of patent affairs.
At the same time, courts across the country are tending to increase damages compensation to up to tens of millions of yuan in some IP cases, Zhu said.
He added that he expects the authorities to continue rolling out favorable polices for trademark filings, reducing processing time and costs. Trademark registration fees have fallen to 300 yuan ($50) for each item from previously costing as much as 800 to 1,000 yuan, and there is still room for further reduction, he said.
The joint statement also noted that China will buy more services from the US and that the countries will create opportunities to increase trade in services.
Lu Jinyong, director of an international investment research center at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said the US is a major exporter in trade with China in service sectors such as education, tourism, finance, insurance and computer.
"The US exports focus on emerging service industries that are technology-intensive, capital-intensive and intelligence-intensive," Lu said.
In contrast, China's exports to the US in service trade mainly exist in traditional areas including tourism and education, while its trade in the tech-intensive service sectors such as IT and finance has begun to report increasing growth in recent years.
China has been increasing its opening-up in the service industry, said Lu, adding that if the two parties reach a new agreement, the move will push domestic service providers to explore new businesses modes, thus boosting the competitiveness, standardization and innovation of China's service industry.