On August 3, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) published a press release (in English also) titled, “Patent Commercialization Activities at Universities Sky Rocket in Past Decade.” The press release points to a significant increase in grant rate of patents to Chinese universities as well as licensing activity. Notably, the press release states that the monetary value went up from 820 million Yuan to over 8.8 billion Yuan. The press release discusses a patent licensing program amongst Chinese universities and with SMEs that appears to mandate publishing licensing agreements. Professor Mark Allen Cohen, a distinguished fellow, lecturer and director of the Asia IP Project at UC Berkeley Law, has an excellent post on interpreting China's patent data, here. The press release states:
Under the circular, to promote stable implementation and efficient operation, CNIPA has convened special sessions to deploy implementation of patent open licensing and has allocated two detailed schemes to its own departments and local IP authorities respectively, with an aim to mobilize over 100 colleges to participate a pilot program and eventually involve over 1,000 patents as of the end of 2022, and endeavour to improve the efficiency of patent commercialization. Currently, 13 provinces have issued accompanying plans for the pilot program, six of which have looped in 77 universities to cull and publish open licenses for 3,375 patents that were pushed to 19,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with matching need, leading to conclusion of 587 licensing agreements.
"Next, CNIPA will publish the recorded information of the concluded patent license agreements and formulate a suggested national standard on patent evaluation, giving instructions on pricing of open licensing and stimulate both the suppliers-universities and research institutes and the buyers -SMEs for a better chance of materializing the innovation findings," added the same principal.
The press release also discusses its commercialization program:
This commercialization program was launched jointly by the Ministry of Finance and CNIPA in March 2021, which inspires commercialization of college-developed patents, educates universities to polish their mechanisms in allocation of IP-generated profits; with support from University IP and technology transfer centers, Industrial IP operation centers intensively announces supplying information of patent related technologies; makes patent/technology connection between universities and state-owned enterprises and SMEs to improves their practical ability in patent commercialization. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance and CNIPA would aid in building a green channel in the provinces that have implemented this program, about processing related patent transfer, licensing and pledging for SMEs. Patent transfer/licensing involving universities/research institutes happened 27,000 times in 2021, up 33% year-on-year, twice faster than the growth rate of all patent transfer/licensing activities while 24,000 times or 89% out of the 27,000 times were transactions made with SMEs.
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