BEIJING - China on Tuesday pledged to establish more intellectual property protection centers, according to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).
China has established 19 intellectual property protection centers nationwide, said Shen Changyu, head of the SIPO, at a press conference of the State Council Information Office.
The centers aim to provide more convenient and efficient channels at lower cost to safeguard rights and accelerate rights authorization and confirmation.
According to Shen, China is revising its Patent Law and establishing a punitive damages system for intellectual property infringement to increase the cost of illegal behavior and create a deterrent effect.
"China will strengthen intellectual property protection to fulfill its international obligation as well as increase China's economic competitiveness," Shen said.
China received 1.38 million patent applications for inventions in 2017, up 14.2 percent and ranking first in the past seven years.
In 2017, China ranked second in international patent applications, with some 51,000 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications submitted.
Shen also said that China will better protect intellectual property rights (IPR) to improve the business environment and attract more foreign investors.
China treats IPR owned by domestic and foreign companies alike, and gives them equal protection, according to him.
The country adopted the Anti-unfair Competition Law last year and the country's IPR protection has won recognition from American media and experts, who consider it a leader among middle-income countries, he added.
In 2017, Chinese courts settled 203,000 IPR related cases, up 38.38 percent from a year earlier. A total of 7,157 people were charged. Police also investigated 17,000 cases related to IPR violation or making and selling counterfeit products, involving a combined sum of 6.46 billion yuan ($1.02 billion).
Society's approval rating of the state's stricter IPR protection rose to 76.69 out of 100 last year, Shen said, citing a survey.
He said IPR protection will improve in areas including rights authorization, administrative enforcement, judicial protection, arbitration, and sector self-regulation.