China offers IP training courses to agricultural scientists

BEIJING-China’s top intellectual property (IP) regulator this week hosted a new training programme for agricultural scientists, aiming to educate them on how to protect their innovative research achievements through patents.
More than 200 agricultural sci-tech workers nationwide participated in the two-day programme, which concluded on Friday at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the country’s highest academic institution for agricultural scientific research. Wu Kongming, head of the academy, said China’s sci-tech innovation is inseparable from strong IP protection. Although China ranked first in the world in number of agricultural IP applications last year, there are few core patents for key technologies in the country, and Chinese researchers lack the capability and awareness to participate in global technological innovation and market competition.
At the launch of the programme, Wu noted that the training was timely and of significance in his speech. “To achieve self-reliance in high-level agricultural science and technology, and to safeguard our national security and interests, we need to attach greater importance to IP protection, improve laws and regulations further, and strengthen talent cultivation,” he said. Apart from IP professionals, the programme also invited entrepreneurs, judges, lawyers and university professors to share their expertise in IP creation, protection and transfers. Chen Hualan, a virologist who focuses on the study of the avian influenza virus, shared her experiences of obtaining patents to develop vaccines against the virus. She said her IP creation came from solid scientific research, and that China’s scientific research achievements need better IP protection to generate more social benefits.
Liu Shi, vice president of DBN Group, an agricultural high-tech enterprise, introduced the overflow effect of IP protection through a case study, saying that an enterprise’s investment in scientific research can bring a thousand times the benefits of that initial investment to society within about 15 years. Zhang Yonghua, a lawyer at the Beijing-based Global Law Office, offered his analysis of the influence of the long-arm jurisdiction in China’s biological breeding industry. He believes that participation in global cooperation and the creation of a sound business environment can offset the negative impact.
Focusing on the fields of seed and germplasm resources, agricultural machinery and equipment, and the quality of cultivated land, patent examiners provided trainees with courses on patent application writing, high-value patent cultivation layouts, and coping with patent infringement. “We used to post self-developed farming equipment on social media, but the training teacher told us it was very risky if some innovative designs were not patented before being shown online, and they could be copied by others,” said trainee Liu Qin.

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