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WIPO China: Explore the Path of Intellectual Property Protection and Technological Innovation

February 6, 2024

On February 6, the WIPO Office in China (WOC) hosted a group of students from 31 middle schools nationwide, including the No.1 Middle School Affiliated to Central China Normal University, Guangzhou No.7 Middle School, and the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University. These students, deeply interested in intellectual property (IP) and technological innovation, began an explorative journey into the field. Ms. Liu Hua, the director of the WOC, introduced them to WIPO's roles and goals, along with the emerging innovation trends. She inspired them to recognize IP's role in advancing technology and science, offering fresh insights into the global innovation scene, and enriching their understanding of future opportunities.

(Photo: WOC)

At the outset of the event, Ms. Liu Hua engaged students from Beijing, Guangdong, and China's western regions with three thought-provoking questions about the WIPO, China's innovation status globally, and WIPO's activities in China. This sparked keen interest and deep reflection among the students.

Ms. Liu Hua then shared compelling stories of intellectual property (IP) through the lenses of Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, and Tim Berners-Lee, illustrating IP's evolution and its pivotal role in protecting innovations. Edison's extensive patents, Salk's decision to not patent the polio vaccine, and Berners-Lee's choice to keep the World Wide Web open and free demonstrated the diverse impact of IP on technological advancement and public welfare. These narratives highlighted the significance of IP protection while encouraging students to think about the balance between commercializing innovations and contributing to the public domain.

(Photo: WOC)

Ms. Liu Hua highlighted China's emergence as a global innovation leader, ranking 12th in the 2023 Global Innovation Index and standing as the only middle-income country breaking into the top 15. With 24 leading S&T clusters, China leads globally in technology hubs and has been the largest source of international patent applications through the PCT system since 2019, exceeding 70,000 applications in 2022 alone.

She further outlined WIPO's role in leveraging intellectual property for innovation, detailing its "five golden keys": policy forums, registration systems, databases, cooperation platforms, and capacity-building programs. Ms. Liu Hua emphasized the significant influence of the Digital Age and Deep Science innovation waves on global development, showcasing WIPO's strategic focus on supporting technological advancements and intellectual property management worldwide.

In 2024, Ms. Liu Hua reaffirmed WIPO/WOC's commitment to broadening its outreach and highlighting the importance of IP, leveraging events like World IP Day and the WIPO Global Awards. The organization will strengthen partnerships to cultivate a robust IP ecosystem and facilitate China's active participation in initiatives like DLT, IGC, GII, and the WIPO Global Conversation on IP and Frontier Technologies. WIPO/WOC aims to enhance IP services, introducing AI- and e-based innovations for registries across the PCT, Madrid, and Hague systems. Moreover, IP will be strategically utilized as a catalyst for growth and innovation, through initiatives such as TISCs, WIPO Green, and the WIPO Academy.

(Photo: WOC)

Addressing the students' inquiry regarding the support provided by the WIPO for female inventors, Ms. Liu Hua elaborated on the collaboration between the WIPO and the China Association of Inventions in recent years. Ms. Xie Yongchun, the director of the Science and Technology Committee of Beijing Institute of Control Engineering, was awarded the Best Woman Invention Award for her outstanding contributions in the development of precise autonomous control method for docking position and rendezvous. Ms. Wang Meiyun, the Vice President of Henan Provincial People's Hospital, received the same award for her groundbreaking work in magnetic resonance-guided neuromodulation therapy. These stories not only enhanced students' understanding of intellectual property but also ignited their passion and courage to engage in technological innovation.

Ms. Liu pointed out the global disparity in the number of females versus male inventors, emphasizing WIPO's commitment to bridging this gap through policy, practice, and training. The launch of the Intellectual Property and Gender Action Plan (IPGAP) exemplifies efforts to foster a gender-inclusive IP ecosystem, aiming to integrate gender perspectives into IP legislation and promote economic growth beneficial to women, communities, and member states.

This event enriched students with key IP insights and inspired them to drive technological progress, encouraging a focus on societal challenges and boosting their innovation skills for a brighter future in technology.窗体顶端