China has accelerated the pace to regulate its patent agency sector, which is an important platform to enhance intellectual property protection (IPR), through a two-year comprehensive regulation project named “Blue Sky.” This will include the establishment of a credit rating mechanism.

To speed up the progress, China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has embarked on several tasks, such as organizing patent agencies to carry out comprehensive self-inspection reports and sign credit commitments, according to a statement sent to the Global Times on Thursday by CNIPA.

This task is expected to be completed by next Tuesday, CNIPA said.

Another task is to enhance the synergistic regulation mechanism by establishing credit files for institutes and agents in the patent agency sector, and to foster a sound disclosing system of credit commitments and punishment information to realize the sentiment, “once dishonest, restricted everywhere”.

The All-China Patent Attorneys Association and other related organizations jointly issued a statement on August 9, to coordinate with the “Blue Sky” project by conducting self-inspection and improvement.

A total of 65 institutions that failed to submit annual reports in a timely manner were listed as abnormal operators, and eight institutions were listed as serious dishonest entities in April, according to CNIPA.

As of the end of June, there were 2,379 patent agencies and 20,287 patent agents in China. 

China has been stepping up efforts to improve its business environment by enhancing IPR for both domestic and foreign companies. 

An 8.6-percent increase in the number of foreign patent applications was recorded in China in the first half of 2019, Zhao Gang, a CNIPA official, said at a press conference of the State Council, China’s cabinet, on July 24.

On the same day, the World Intellectual Property Organization released the 2019 Global Innovation Index Report, in which China ranked 14th, ascending three spots to join the ranks of the top 15 innovative economies for the first time.