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New IPR center speeds up patent approval process

A newly-built intellectual property protection center in Shanghai's Pudong New Area has been helping innovative enterprises obtain patent authorization faster and assisting strategic industries to seize opportunities in the international market.

By simplifying the authorization process, the China (Pudong) Intellectual Property Protection Center, which provides quick review, verification and rights protection services for enterprises mainly in high-end equipment and biomedicine fields, has shortened the authorization period for invention patents from three years to around three months, practical patents from eight months to one month, and design patents from six months to one week. The center said that its services will be expanded to cover more industries in the future.

Nearly 200 applications for patents have been received since the center was established in mid-February, with 70 percent of them being patents for invention. More than 30 applications were accepted through the center's quick review channel and have been granted patents, the center said on July 23.

"According to Shanghai's further opening-up policies, the city will build itself into a highland of intellectual property rights protection that is centered on sharing and collaboration between entities home and abroad. This has guided the center's further development," said Rui Wenbiao, deputy director of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.

He Ying, director of the center, noted that the criterion for patents is demanding and that applicants must show that their products are novel and original.

"We also take into consideration the company's historical records regarding innovation and patent application. Those with negative records, such as plagiarizing, will definitely be ruled out for applying through the quick channel," said He.

According to the center, it had earlier this year helped a local company which develops medical technology and clinical application for cancer patients attain a patent for its cancer-sequencing technology within three months. Such an application review used to take three years.

In March, the company OrigiMed filed a patent application with the Pudong center for its product's key technology. The application went through the quick review channel on March 29 after the pre-qualification process. OrigiMed was informed of the patent approval on June 6.

Wang Kai, CEO of OrigiMed, said the speed of the authorization was quicker than most other cities in the country and even those in developed nations.

"This has made it possible for our company to apply for medical device product approval two years ahead of schedule," said Wang, who used to be a researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Gordon Freeman, a scientific consultant at the company and an expert in immunity therapy with Harvard Medical School, said that the quick authorization process will provide a strong impetus for enterprises to pursue innovation.

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