A forum was held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province on March 23, with scholars, government officials and experts gathering to discuss the strengthening of IPR protection in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area). According to statistics, the economy of the Greater Bay Area in 2017 stood at 10 trillion yuan ($1.58 trillion), with over 177, 000 patents being granted by the city's IPR administration department. From 2012 to 2017, the annual growth rate of patent applications in the area exceeded 33 percent and the anual number of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications reached 27,000. Huang Min, vice mayor of Shenzhen, said at the forum that Shenzhen has been working to establish a comprehensive IPR management system that "both matches the demands of innovation-driven development and conforms to international rules". The city was the first in the country to enact strict regulations to enhance IPR protection. The regulations will play a key role in promoting innovation and will support the city in building itself into a sustainable global innovation center. The vice mayor also gave suggestions on how to boost IPR protection in the Greater Bay Area, including building an IPR coordination mechanism and initiating a series of key IPR projects aimed at promoting construction in the Greater Bay Area. Xie Hong, deputy head of the Guangdong Intellectual Property Office, delivered a speech at the forum in which he noted that the Greater Bay Area will focus on eight major areas, including IPR research in the region, comparing IPR protection in the Greater Bay Area with other world-famous bay areas and setting up a national IPR operation platform and IPR commercialization alliance.
Source: China Daily