TIPR: vigorously expanding the new mode of technology transfer

By Kevin Nie, China IP,[Patent]

With the officially launch of CTEX Patent Auction (Biopharmaceuticals Section), Tianjin Institute of Pharmaceutical Research (TIPR), as one of the leading entities in Chinese pharmaceutical research system, has again become the focus of IP industry.


Promoting the industrialization of research achievements

TIPR founded in 1959 is an integrated pharmaceutical research entity with high reputation in research achievements in China. TIPR possesses a group of sophisticated professional pharmaceutical research talents, including an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, 40 people with State Council Experts for Special Allowance and over 140 researchers with senior professional titles. TIPR has strong overall advantages and makes researches covering the entire pharmaceutical research field, ranging from pharmaceutical innovation research, chemical and pharmaceutical research, modern Chinese medicine research, new drug evaluation (GLP), new preparations technology and engineering research, research of drug quality, analysis and test, to pharmaceutical information research. TIPR established the pharmaceutical innovation center which mainly works on three research directions - angiocarpy, neoplasms and diabetes mellitus, and devotes itself to the innovation research and development of products and technology with independent IPR. To deeply understand the idea and experience of TIPR in the aspects of promoting transformation of research achievements and expanding technology transfer mode, China IP interviewed Zou Meixiang, Vice President and Engineer-in-Chief at TIPR as well as director of TIPR Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property Transfer and Reserve Center.


Zou Meixiang, who is a State Council Expert for Special Allowance and an expert in the pharmaceutical chemistry field and new drug assessment, has engaged in new drug research for over 20 years and in new drug technology for approximately 10 years. In recent three years, the IP trading volume organized and completed under her supervision 200 million yuan, which earned her the Advanced Worker of the National Intellectual Property Management. She has also proposed the IP management target “proprietary technology, patent productization and product commercialization” which has been put in practice.


Zou Meixiang said that TIPR, the leading entity in national pharmaceutical research system, has been focusing on the combination of technology and market.


TIPR founded for more than 50 years has made great contributions for the development of Chinese pharmaceutical industry wherewith its solid research power, strong engineering ability and professional service. Since China’s reform and opening up, TIPR has acquired over 200 new drug certificates and 97% of its research achievements have been industrialized.


“As a national high-tech enterprise, TIPR is pursuing capitalization of research achievements, internationalization of IPR operation, network marketing of product and diversification of variety distribution.” said Zou Meixiang.


Carrying out corporate IP

Zou Meixiang told China IP that the President of TIPR has attached great importance to IP for a long time and paid equal attention to the quantity and quality of patents. In recent years, there are about 700 patents applied in China and overseas. Among these patents, patents for invention account for more than 95%, and over 40% are core patents on chemical compound, new utilization and new crystalline types, which rank top in Chinese research institutions and innovative enterprises. TIPR has once gained a National Patent Excellent Award and three Provincial Patent Gold Metals. TIPR has also been classified as “Innovative Enterprise” successively by Ministry of Science and Technology, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of State Council and All- China Federation of Trade Unions, as well as “National Demonstration Unit on IPR” and “National Advanced Collective on Patent System” by State Intellectual Property Office. Moreover, the subordinate companies of TIPR have been evaluated as the provincial IP pilot entities on creation and utilization. At present, TIPR’s IP management is striding forward to the new target of “rational distribution, developing patent quantity and quality simultaneously, focusing on circulation and keeping in line with international development.”


Launching patent operation and realizing the IP value maximization are the targets pursued by TIPR for years. TIPR adopts flexible patent operation mode, and explores actively in the aspects of patent license and transfer, patent stocklization, patent pledge and corporate operation, in addition to the independent enforcement, which have achieved preliminary success.


According to Zou Meixiang, TIPR has been vigorously experiencing various technology transfer mode. Under the support of Tianjin Intellectual Property Office, TIPR established TIPR Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property Transfer and Reserve Center, which is one of the significant measures taken by TIPR to carry out pharmaceutical IP operation and management.


“The utilization of IP possesses miracle of Midas. We aim to let the professionals do professional things and carry out corporate IP to establish TIPR Pharmaceutical Intellectual Property Transfer and Reserve Center,” Zou Meixiang continued, “the Center is a technological service organization which engages in the IP reserve, operation and trading in pharmaceutical field, and a platform of IP transfer designated by Tianjin Intellectual Property Office with global businesses. Otherwise, the Center has reserved more than 60 patents for invention and more than 10 patents for circulation, absorbed about 20 professional talents from China and overseas, and been developing towards specialization.” The Center aims at centering on pharmaceutical industry and accumulating patent sources to form the stable patent line ranging from research to production and aims at strengthening market monopolization, perfecting patent documents, making up for loopholes in patent, designing patent layout, combining different rights, and illustrating patent value to promote the patent technology industrialization. The Center estimates precisely the patent value for protecting the obligee’s interest, and adopts flexibly the patterns of patent transfer, patent license and patent sharing for reducing the cost of new technology utilization, introducing industrialized capital, facilitating the technology implementation in the enterprises and realizing all-win. Moreover, the Center develops international patent licensing trade, exports and imports patent technology, shares global research achievement, encourages implementation of patent transfer and furthers the simultaneously listing of foreign pharmaceuticals in China, in order to achieve the value maximization of economy and society.


Zou Meixiang indicated that the base of the development of the Center will be on IP operation and licensing in the pharmaceutical field, in which the developed countries has owned mature market rules and operation experience, while China is in the process of exploring and always brings new breakthroughs. Based on the internationally recognized operation rules and the amount of accumulations of TIPR in the pharmaceutical research field for more than 50 years, the Center has established high-level and diversified cooperation relationships with international well-known IP operation organizations, which makes the Center achieve a lot on the bilateral licensing trade between the Center and other Chinese and foreign organizations as well as the value recreation on the basis of trading. All of these cause a stir in IP industry.


Making a trial on pharmaceutical patent auction

This jointly cooperation with CTEX to initially hold patent auction in the field of pharmaceutical technology was an energetic trial for TIPR to expand technology transfer methods, which won the support from Tianjin Municipal Science and Technology Commission and Tianjin Intellectual Property Office.


Zou Meixiang explained that the reason why TIPR chose to cooperate with CTEX was that CTEX (a wellknown technological exchange platform) has put patent auction in practice in China in early time and achieved wonderful results. Alliance between giants is able to better improve the circulation of independent IPRs and innovative achievements in China.


To receive ideal results from this patent auction, TIPR had made a great deal of preparations in terms of patent selection, law status confirmation, technological contract review and value evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of rights without legal disputes. In bid selection, TIPR selected 30 patents from authorized inventions including new chemical compounds, new technology, preparations and new utilization, covering patents of traditional Chinese medicine and pharmaceutical chemicals, and involving neoplasms, diabetes mellitus, anti-virus and other fields.


Considering the issues of how to set the upset price of the bids, Zou Meixiang denoted that the upset price of the patents was relatively low because it was the first trial of patent auction in pharmaceutical field. Therefore, parts of the patents were auctioned in the way of zero upset price to attract more enterprises to understand and participate in this new mode of technology transfer.


In Zou Meixiang’s perspective, China is now powerful in patent application with huge number of reserve patents. Taking from the current situation of entire Chinese technological market, there is still a long way to bring the trading value of patents in line with the international practice and the recognition for the value of patent technology in China is needed to further improve. Therefore, as an effective compensation for regular technology transfer mode, this patent auction is crucial for promoting the circulation of reserve patents to enterprises and markets in wholesales. In this patent auction, TIPR auctioned its own patents, which in fact was to explore the new mode of technology transfer.


“TIPR has been always insisting on the improvement of utilization of key pharmaceutical technologies and industrialization of new pharmaceutical species. Henceforth, TIPR will strengthen the domestic and overseas cooperation and take good advantage of the professional platform - the Transfer and Reserve Center to actively develop patent licensing trade and attract more customers, especially focusing on the integration and communication of the procedures of creation and transfer.” Zou Meixiang added.


(Translated by Stella Yang)

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