The Truth About China’s Growing Patent Protection

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Substantial improvements to the Chinese IP protection system will also benefit international companies

China is Australia's largest trading partner. This presents great opportunities for Australian businesses as Australia is both a leading source of resources and a supplier of premium goods and services to China.

Because of concerns about IP theft and China breaching the agreements on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, patent applicants have become hesitant to file. However, without patent protection, the reality is that successful commercial products are more likely to be copied.

China has become the world’s number 1 filer of patents, trade marks and designs

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China had filed over 1.3 million patent applications, over 3.6 million trade mark applications and over 600 thousand industrial design applications in 2016. The number of patent applications filed in China per year has overtaken the number filed in the United States.  China now appears to want to be the leader in innovation and to do so they are placing a lot of time and resources into their intellectual property system.  Consequently, China respects and values the power of intellectual property protection in their new information economy.

The Changes to IP Protection in China

China takes their Intellectual Property rights and legislation relating to patents, trade marks, and industrial designs rights very seriously. China has improved their IP protection system for the benefit of local Chinese businesses. As a result of international agreements, these benefits can also be utilized by international companies and businesses to extend their IP protection into China.

There are various changes that have been implemented to improve the IP protection system in China. These include:

  • The introduction of specialised IP courts in addition to the IP tribunals already in place;
  • multiple IP enforcement options;
  • the issuing of the National Intellectual Property Development Strategy;
  • significantly strengthened patent regulations; and
  • Chinese authorities proactively enforcing IP rights.

The Benefits of IP Protection in China

There are various benefits associated with filing in China. One of which is the ability to direct Chinese customs to stop infringing goods from being exported from China.  This option to prevent the export of infringing products provides the advantage of de facto patent protection in countries where you do not have granted patent rights by blocking the export of the infringing product to these countries.

China has also become a major consumer market for commercial products, as a result of the increased prosperity of its people and the rise of a wealthy middle class.  The Chinese market now rivals the corresponding consumer markets in Japan and the United States.

For these reasons, we recommend that inventors, designers and manufacturers consider seeking protection in China.


truth about china overseas applications

Overseas Applications: Where To Extend Your Patent Protection

There are several strategies in which to delay the incurring of expenses in filing multiple overseas patent applications.

Read more

If you wish to explore the possibility of obtaining protection in China

please call us on icon phone 07 3399 4625 or icon mail Request a free consultation to discuss these matters further.

We also have a short attorney FAQ guide to assist you in preparing for the initial meeting and make it more valuable for you.  
Your first consultation is free of charge.


  • Glenn Knight - K-Valve

    "Ewen [Wynne] was super helpful.  Our first meeting was 2 hours long and he always said that if I had any questions that I could call him"

  • Belinda Scott and Crystal McGregor - Puctto

    “Ewen just made the process easy.  He explained things well and it wasn’t too complicated to understand”.

  • Peter Coman - InDesign Technologies

    "I felt so comfortable with Philipp and with the team at Wynnes, that I didn’t need or want to go anywhere else for IP advice and protection."

  • Andrew Fanning - Grydale

    "A friend of mine strongly recommended to see Ewen. As soon as I met with him and started discussing my idea, I knew that I was in capable hands."