Tag Archives: China

“China’s agricultural patents on the rise”

Last month, the SciDevNet posted an article highlighting the rise in patent applications for agricultural innovations in China.  Read the full article “China’s agricultural patents on the rise“.

The article quotes authoritative sources bringing to light statistical data that indicates strong innovation trends in China, despite the world financial crisis.  However, the same article also points out the narrow geographical scope of the agricultural patenting (i.e very few patent applications are filed outside of China) and the possible “takeover” of the Chinese agricultural patent market by the foreign companies.  A leading researcher from CCIPA, Dr Song Min, is quoted by SciDevNet to highlight a lack of awareness of IPRs in the agricultural sector in China and the lack of IP policies at the national level.

CCIPA, as represented by Dr Song Min, has been an excellent partner for CAS-IP in the Asian region.  The representatives (Lu Xin, Dr Song Min, Li Zheng) from CCIPA have repeatedly attended the NPI Initiative and are currently finalizing the case study sponsored by CAS-IP, on “Plant Variety Protection System in China: Achievements, Influences and Challenges”.  (Visit this CAS-IP link for more case studies)

Given the well-established reputation of CCIPA and the close partnership between CAS-IP and CCIPA, it seem important that CAS would turn to CCIPA experts, in particular to Dr Song Min, to get a deeper outlook on the ongoing patenting trends, as it has been reported by the Sci Dev.  Dr Song Min kindly provided the following comment:

“In recent years China has witnessed a huge rise of domestic agricultural patent applications. However, the vast majority of them were just filed in China. According to statistics, so far the amount of patent cooperation treaty (PCT) applications for agricultural innovations is 334 which only make up 1.2 percent of total domestic agriculture-related invention patents. Therefore, China’s international applications in the field of agriculture need to be further reinforced.

Basically, obtaining broad regional or worldwide protection for their core inventions is a very critical (crucial) intellectual Property (IP) strategy adopted by many patent holders particularly those giant international companies. Our survey data shows that Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto have filed 1913, 717 and 413 PCT agricultural patents respectively, moreover all their applications are desired in many countries. Among all agricultural patent applications in China, it’s found that invention patents granted to foreign applicants account for 61.7%. The top five foreign applicants are Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, DuPont Pionner and Monsanto respectively. In their applications, the important technologies of crop protection, genes and recombinant DNA etc. are most claimed.

Correspondingly, China should begin to broaden their narrow country coverage especially for excellent agricultural technologies; otherwise a number of core innovations will be completely besieged by foreign patents. Taking insecticidal crystal protein as example, the average family size of China’s patents is merely 1.7 but similar patent families from US have more than 10 applications. In our opinion, such gap is mainly due to China’s holders’ being not familiar with PCT system and the high cost of filing patent applications globally. “

Post written by Irina Curca, Programme Assistant to CAS-IP

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How did you become an IP Practitioner? vol.3

http://www.cas-ip.org/?page_id=40
This is the third in my series of blog posts about NPI members.  This week’s post hears from Lu Xin, an Examiner from the Plant Variety Protection Division of the Ministry of Agriculture in China.  She talks about her work in China and her initial impressions about being part of the NPI. 

This was filmed during the January 2009 National Partners Initiative workshop in Mombasa.  Follow lead link for more info about the NPI. Filming and interview conducted by Dede Rohadi from CIFOR.

How do IPRs and IP help public agricultural research in developing/emerging economy countries?

the National Partners Initiative
I’m continuing to blog from the the National Partners Initiative workshop being held in Mombasa.  I have been talking to the participants this week about where they see IP making a positive contribution in agricultural research in their countries.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share on this blog some of the comments:

From Indonesia:
“IP rights encourage scientists to develop their career & innovation.  Patents and copyright provided incentives at a national research centre’ ”

From Malaysia:
“IP helps the potential to commercialize an R&D project.  It adds value to the R&D and indicates a certain quality standard”

From China:
“IP improved income into local breeding institute”

From Tanzania
“breeders work hard to find their own varieties – it gives breeder incentives and boosts their innovation when they have Plant Variety Protection”

From India:
“the grant of USPTO protection in the well-known cases of Tumeric and Basmati changed the face of IP in India.  Law makers were mobilised and sped up the implementation of TRIPS.  This has helped protect traditional knowledge and build livelihoods for producers in India.”

From Kenya:
“IP awareness has an impact on the attention paid to IP clauses in agreements.  It helps parties to understand roles and responsibilities and helps manage risk.  By formalising in this way partnerships are more effective because a mutual understanding is reached.”