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Auto IP alliance set up to help emerging new-energy sector

Updated: 2015-11-04 /By Zhang Zhao (China Daily)

Auto IP alliance set up to help emerging new-energy sector

Members of the IP alliance for the auto industry include auto and spare parts makers, research institutions and IP service agencies. Provided to China Daily

China's first intellectual property rights alliance for the auto industry was launched on Friday in Beijing.

Supported by the Beijing Intellectual Property Office, the alliance has 23 founding members, including the nation's leading auto and auto parts makers, research institutions and IP service agencies.

The nonprofit organization aims to create an IP rights cooperation model featuring joint research and management to improve members' ability to industrialize their innovation achievements, establish industry standards and defend international patent risks, according to its constitution.

"The alliance serves its members by building a platform to let them share information and conduct research on issues of common concern," said Qian Haifeng, chairman of the alliance and general counsel of Beijing-based Foton Motor Inc, at the alliance's inaugural ceremony.

"With joint R&D efforts in cutting-edge areas, the alliance will connect the upper and lower streams of the industry chains, analyze risks in new technologies and expand its patent pool of core technologies," said Qian.

He added that the alliance will also partner with other IP service providers and serve as a "demonstration and trading platform" for high-value patents developed by its members.

Liu Xuefei, general manager of Beijing Zhirong Intellectual Property Rights Consulting Co, said the alliance's focuses in the near future include building a patent operation team, analysis of its patent portfolio and assets and encouraging innovation.

The government of Beijing is taking great effort in the development of new-energy vehicles by encouraging innovation in technology and service models.

Zhou Yan, deputy director of the Beijing Intellectual Property Office, said the alliance was established "at the right time", as it is the first of its kind in the city to conduct joint research and IP operations and protection in the new-energy car sector.

The office has given advice to 16 industry alliances in the city with more than 140 members in total, who applied for 8,000 invention patents last year, an increase of 30 percent from 2013.

"Apparently IP alliances are playing an important role in promoting IP rights creation and industrial upgrading," said Zhou.

Jiang Danming, chief IP counsel at Geely Holding Group, a member of the alliance, said that among the alliance members, cooperation is more important than competition, especially in emerging technical areas such as new-energy cars.

"Competition is just seen on the market, but behind that we have more opportunities of R&D cooperation and information exchange," he said.

He added that the auto companies need to improve their patent analysis capabilities, which requires partnership with IP agencies.

On the same day as the launch, a round-table seminar was held and government officials, patent examiners and analysts from IP agencies gave lectures and presented case studies on how brand building and overall IP solutions can help innovation and company development.