By Gu Yekai, People’s Daily

China had seen 1.238 million invention patent applications and granted 417,000 invention patents from January to November this year. By the end of November, 2019, China’s invention patent ownership per 10,000 of population reached 13.2, achieving the target number of 12 set in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) of the country ahead of schedule.

64.7 percent of the invention patent applications in China during the first 11 months this year were filed by enterprises, signaling stronger dynamism for innovation and creation.

“Companies are at the forefront of market, and therefore can always accurately sense the newest demand for technology,” said Jin Chao, vice president of R&D at CyberInsight Technology Co., Ltd., a solution provider of industrial artificial intelligence (AI).

The company has filed 26 invention patent applications this year, covering such frontier fields as the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, and AI.

It has built more than 20 fault recognition models for the prediction of bearing faults of high-speed trains in its cooperation with China’s rolling-stock maker CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. The accuracy of these models has exceeded 90 percent, significantly reducing maintenance cost of high-speed trains.

From January to November, service inventions accounted for as much as 91.4 percent of all the invention patent applications filed in China, indicating that the country’s patent applications are moving from quantity increase to a new period featuring structural optimization and quality improvement.

“There was not much increase in the number of projects we’ve undertaken this year, but the quality of the projects was significantly higher,” said Wang Xiaoxing, an executive of a patent agency based in Beijing.

According to Wang, many innovators are actively adjusting their applications in accordance with relevant requirements and regulations this year, which has greatly improved the quality of the applications.

Many applicants attach greater importance to the value that will come along after their technologies are protected, said Wang, disclosing that many people also seek special guidance and arrangements on patents.

During the Jan.-Oct. period, China had witnessed 5,163 newly added patent pledge financing projects, with the amount pledged reaching 93.7 billion yuan (about $13.36 billion), up 27 and 31 percent respectively from a year ago.

“Our company is one of the enterprises that adopt the asset-light strategy. We don’t own the house or the equipment, and we got a 3-million-yuan loan with only a patent,” said Ma Xiufen, chairwoman of the board of Qingdao Robotfish Marine Technology Co., Ltd., referring to the patent of an underwater propulsor the company developed.

“Core technologies are generating more value for us,” said Zhang Weibin, chief scientist of VoiceAI Technologies Co., Ltd., a Chinese voiceprint recognition and speech recognition solutions provider.

Thanks to a series of high-value patents in the field of voiceprint recognition, the technology startup that was established less than 3 years ago, has successfully received subsidy tailored for tech firms from local government and put its new technologies into application.

Foreign companies had filed more than 140,000 invention patent applications in China in the first 11 months of 2019, representing steady growth. More and more multinational enterprises have chosen to file patent applications in China, showing international community’s increasing confidence in China’s protection of intellectual property rights.

“Microsoft has spent a lot of efforts in research and development since it entered Chinese market in 1992. This year, it has applied for as many as 823 patents in China. The country has become an important site for the global research and development endeavors of Microsoft,” noted a relevant executive of Microsoft Greater China Region.

Patent is a bond linking technological achievements and real productivity, said an official of China’s National Intellectual Property Administration, explaining that the increase in patent applications signifies greater driving force for development.

Looking into the future, it’s believed that China’s ever-growing scientific and technological strength and innovative dynamism will serve as important drivers to boost high-quality economic development of the country.