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Another record year for Chinese patent applications and grants
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| Patent applications submitted to China's State Intellectual Property Office
| totalled 828,328 during 2008, according to statistics just made availableon
| the office's website. That's up over 130,000 on the figure for 2007. But
| before anyone chokes on their lunchtme sandwich or afternoon tea, just
| remember that the vast majority of this number would have been for unexamined
| utility and design rights. That said, examined invention patent applications
| grew by over 50,000 - with domestic companies accounting for most of the rise
| from 245,161 in 2007 to 289,838 at the end of last year. This makes SIPO the
| third biggest patent office in the world after the USPTO and the JPO.
The Chinese Overlords of Intellectual Monopolies
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| In the 19th century, America was a by-word for piracy of British ideas. In
| the 20th century, as its industry developed, it embraced intellectual
| monopolies, and became the most fervent advocate of maximalist legal regimes.
| In the 20th century, China was a by-word for piracy of American ideas. In the
| 21st century, as its industry developed, it embraced intellectual monopolies,
| and became their stoutest defender. The news story above is but the trickle
| that presages the torrent.
| Soon, America will be deluged with such suits, as China tries to leverage its
| huge industrial power. The consequence? America will become one of the most
| fervent advocates for *minimalist* intellectual property regimes. Yes, you
| read that correctly: just wait.
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