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Four Trends Will Profoundly Impact Global IP Cooperation

December 29, 2021

On December 26, the 5th UCAS Innovation and Intellectual Property Forum was hosted by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Ms. Liu Hua, Director of WIPO Office in China (WOC), attended and addressed the Forum. 

Four Trends Will Profoundly Impact Global IP Cooperation--1
(Photo: The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences)

In her speech, Ms. Liu Hua pointed out that four global trends and developments would profoundly affect the global intellectual property (IP) cooperation. First, the centenary changes. The globalization, moving forward defying difficulties, will lead to new thinking on the investment and distribution of IP, globally and locally. The shift to Asia of the world innovation activities will be inevitably reflected in the global IP system.

Second, the Pandemic. The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way people work, live and play, and at the same time served as a catalyst in innovation and creativity in both existing and emerging areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), public health, tele-working and education, e-commerce and mobile payment. How will the new normal of work and life influence the global IP cooperation? What will be the new track for business competitiveness? Is it AI, big data, cloud computing, or Metaverse? Or all of them?

Third, the digital development and divide. The science and technology revolution featuring in digitization expanded the innovation gap between the poor and the rich, and the developed and the developing countries. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts forward leaving no one behind. China's Global Development Initiative aims to promote the 2030 Agenda. Mr. Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO, also advocated that WIPO will work towards an inclusive, balanced, vibrant and forward-looking global IP ecosystem that supports governments, enterprises, communities and individuals to use IP for growth and development. And IP is no longer a matter of concern of legal and technical experts, but rather, IP shall be everyday needs of everybody, everywhere, as a policy tool to attract investment, create jobs, improve business competitiveness, eradicate poverty, and ultimately to contribute to growth and development.

Fourth, the globalizing trade. Globalization in recent years has also fueled rising demand for IP protection both locally and globally, as enterprises and economies look more to the cross-border flow of patents, trademarks, designs and contents. They also gave rise to international disputes over IPRs. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism, will receive more attention and have further development.

Four Trends Will Profoundly Impact Global IP Cooperation--2
(Photo: The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Ms. Liu Hua in her speech interpreted two flagship reports of WIPO, Global Innovation Index 2021 (GII) and World Intellectual Property Indicators 2021 (WIPI), through four keywords. First, resilient. Despite massive human and economic toll caused by the Pandemic, the global innovation and creativity remain resilient, with scientific output, R&D expenditures, venture capital deals and IP filings continuing to grow in 2020.

Second, uneven. At regional level, China, USA, Japan, Republic of Korea and European Patent Office accounted for 85.1% of the total patent filings worldwide, with Asia 70%. China is the only middle-income economy breaking into the GII Top 15. At sectorial level, ICT, software, bio-tech, pharmaceutical and new energy industries increased sharply, while travel, tourism and transportation were hit heavily.

Third, leadership, with Switzerland, Sweden, USA and UK still leading the GII ranking.

Fourth, eastward. The global innovative activities is moving eastward to Asia. IP filings for Asia accounts for as much as up to 70% from 50% a decade ago of the global total. As far as China is concerned, China ranks the 12th in GII 2021. In 2020, the filings of China’s patent, trademark and industrial design by origin accounted for 45.7%, 54% and 55% of the global total, and ranking the 1st, 3rd and 9th respectively under WIPO Global IP Systems. Mr. Daren Tang pointed out that China’s policy planning, implementation and evaluation, adherence and determination to deepening reform and opening up, and strong IP ecosystem have contributed to China’s remarkable achievements. Mr. Carsten Fink, the Chief Economist of WIPO, noted that the rise of China’s innovation economy was not just an artifact of one or two indicators; it was something that we saw in all pillars of the innovation ecosystem, with more and more Chinese multinational companies competing globally based on their technological edge.


The UCAS Innovation and Intellectual Property Forum

The UCAS Innovation and Intellectual Property Forum is an annual conference initiated and hosted by the IP School of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has been successfully held for five times since 2017. It has become an important platform for ideas exchange by IP scholars and experts with a good reputation in academia, industry and politics. Themed “IPR Powerhouse and Scientific and Technological Innovation”, the 5th Forum attracted officials from international organizations and government departments including WIPO and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), as well as renowned IP scholars and experts from institutions, universities and industries, discussing on the topics of  IP strategies, governance, laws and policies.