China aims to stimulate blockchain with the focus on intellectual property – Big Law Business

Chinese technology companies could overcome their foreign counterparts in the development of blockchain technology with the help of government maneuvers to promote intellectual property protections, they told IP Bloomberg Law.

National and local authorities offered incentives – including subsidies for patents, deposit bonuses and patent-related tax credits – to companies to protect blockchain intellectual property rights in view of its growing importance, according to the lawyers of the PI. The Chinese private companies want to gain ground in the flourishing technology ahead of foreign competitors, lawyers said.

"US universities and companies are still doing amazing research and development, but they do not have the same support from the government as in China," John Eastwood, head of intellectual property and technology at Eiger Law, told Bloomberg Law. Taiwan. "This could lead China to move forward".

Leading Chinese technology companies, including Baidu, JD.com and Alibaba, have already "recognized the importance of blockchain as a future technology" and have started using it to improve their business, Ian Liu, senior associated with the intellectual property practice of Deacons law firm in Hong Kong, he told Bloomberg Law.

Alibaba and Ant Financial have proposed the use of blockchain as a public register to track counterfeit wines and liquors, he said, while JD.com piloted Blockchain in its supply chain to track imported food products and Baidu launched Totem, which uses technology to timestamp digital images for rights management.

Chinese companies have registered an increasing number of patent applications in recent years and a May report on blockchain by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has clarified the protection of intellectual property rights according to the Chinese law. Further government measures are likely to protect IP blockchain, including potentially classifying it as a national security risk to bring it under China's cybersecurity law.

Between 2008 and 2017, Chinese companies submitted 550 patent applications on blockchain technology worldwide, surpassing the United States and South Korea to become the world's largest applicant in the world, according to a report from the Chinese multimedia site Sina.com.

The report added to the blockchain drive acting as a "signal from the Chinese government that this technology is important to the country, and to be important to the country, presumably will protect trade secrets," said Eastwood.

In April, Beijing announced more than $ 9.5 billion (60 billion yuan) of tax reductions to drive innovation, aimed primarily at technology companies, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Liu said that China's cryptocurrency ban could slow down its blockchain development.

"In this regard, China is not leading the world in terms of how it recognizes and regulates blockchain assets," Liu said.

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