How China Is Boosting Patents: Make Professors File Free Patent Applications To Get Tenure

from the yeah,-that'll-help dept

Last October, we noted that China was starting to massively ramp up how many patents it had, not because it showed any increase in innovation, but because the Chinese government realized that patents are a powerful economic weapon it could use against Western countries. In that October post, it was mentioned in passing that one way that China was boosting patents was by making it easier to win tenure if you file for patents.

However, over at IP Kat, there's a report from a Hong Kong lawyer, suggesting it goes way, way, way beyond that:
"The reasons why you are seeing such a large increase in Chinese Patents filed by Academics is that for them 1) it's free and 2) they get academic credit for it. Filing patents is encouraged by the Chinese Government and Academia. The Chinese Government has given Universities (as well as local companies) funds for filing patents in order to spur innovation - one measure of which is the number of patents filed by China, as a country. Also, the Chinese Universities are ranked against each other according to how many patents they've filed. As a result, Chinese Universities have adjusted their tenure requirements and expectations such that professors who want to advance are virtually required to file patents as well as to publish papers. In one specific University I know of, filing a patent is "worth" 3 published papers. This practice has been around for at least 2.5 years. Thus you are seeing (proportionally) a very large number of Chinese Academics filing patent applications in China.
Think any of that is about actual innovation? Or is it just about increasing the number of patents in China?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Patents will come back to bite America and it won't be pleasant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:51am

    They need to invent something. But their way is just to steal it. Give Cisco a contract, steal their tech, start a government run router company that now competes against Cisco. Great customers. You want to do business in China, wait until after the Revolution!!

     

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    TechnoMage (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:51am

    So?

    US has had a similar practice for a long time. (you're kinda just expected to use some of your grant money to file for a patent, publish a paper, publish a book, etc. And then you have to have one/many of those to get Tenure here)

    The only difference I can see is that they are given money to Specifically go towards Patents and that it is "worth" 3 papers. Look at the CV of a prof here in the US and you'll probably see a few patents on there also (or there were attempts that didn't get approval(Science-related profs, not English/etc)).

    I'll give a potential counter-measure to this, for Computer Science at least. Judge profs by how many projects they put into the public domain.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 6:17am

      Re: So?

      Right but, that's exactly the point. It's bad when it happens in any country. The government is specifically encouraging patents and would definitely never encourage anything go into the public domain - because they are not interested in an actually useful measuring stick for professors, only in a heavier swinging stick for the international IP battle.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 6:17am

      Re: So?

      Right but, that's exactly the point. It's bad when it happens in any country. The government is specifically encouraging patents and would definitely never encourage anything go into the public domain - because they are not interested in an actually useful measuring stick for professors, only in a heavier swinging stick for the international IP battle.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Where's that patent guy from that inventor advocacy group? He must be ecstatic about this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Actually if you look at the underlying story, you find that that is an opinion piece of an opinion piece ("Writing from his personal opinion and not in his professional capacity") backed up with not a single actual link or supporting story.

    Sounds like an old wives tale.

     

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      Sterling, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 8:35am

      Re:

      Which part sounds like an old wives tale? This piece is simply a factual account of the Chinese Govt. stated strategy to boost the shear volume of Chinese Monopolies. They're easily verified and anyone following the international IP bonanza knows this to be true. So please, enlighten us.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re:

        It is a opinion piece of the opinion of a guy who "has heard that". It is sort of third hand at best, no?

         

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      Atkray (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 8:39am

      Re:

      Ostrich much?

       

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    Phillip Woon, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Paper, gunpowder

    Maybe they should retroactively patent paper, gunpowder, the compass, seismograph, cantilever bridge, silkmaking, teamaking, penjing (bonsai), chess, dominoes, golf, soccer, fireworks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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