Report on the patent competitive edge of Chinese universities and research institutions in 2013

By Research Team of Report on the Patent Competitive Edge of Chinese Universities,[Patent]

After the release of Report on the Patent Competitive Edge of Chinese Universities in 2012 , it is well received and widely believed that this report possesses significant reference value for assessing the patent competitive edge of Chinese universities. It is also expected to continue to improve and expand, to form a series of annual reports and to actually reflect the utilization of the patents in China. This year, based on analyzing the patent competitive edge of Chinese universities, the research team adds the study of the patent competitive edge of Chinese research institutions. As one of the main powers of scientific and technological innovation in China, Chinese research institutions, in recent years, have applied for a large number of patents under the direction of the strategy of invigorating China through science and education and the subsidization of national finance. Meanwhile, since both universities and research institutions in China belong to non-profit public institutions, there is practical significance in analyzing and comparing their patent competitive status.


I. Statistical resource

In this report, all statistics and information about patents come from the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) website. The final report is divided into two parts:
The first part is the patent licensing status of Chinese universities and research institutions in 2012. SIPO publishes data of the records of the patent licensing contracts annually. By analyzing the statistics in the databases, the number of patent licensing contracts recorded by each university and research institution could be ascertained.


The second part concerns the patent application status of Chinese universities and research institutions between 2006 and 2010. The statistics applied in this report come from the Patent Search Database of SIPO. The reason why the number of patent applications of universities and research institutions between 2006 and 2010 is used to compare with the patent licensing number in 2012 is that, according to the analyses on the patent licensing status of universities in 2012, most of the recorded licensed patents were applied for between 2006 and 2010. With the year 2008 and 2009 as a peak, the volume of applications could basically form a normal distribution. Therefore, the patent licensing status could objectively be determined by comparing the number of patent application between 2006 and 2010 with the number of patent licensing contracts recorded in 2012.


It is more objective and representative to select the “211 universities” as the samples of this report to analyze the overall patent competitiveness of Chinese universities. To date, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (MOE) has listed 116 universities under the project, including Peking University and Tsinghua University.


There are distinct differences between research institutions and universities in terms of management. Universities are supervised by MOE, while research institutions are not supervised by a unified organization, which means China has not yet created an authoritative overall list of research institutions. Given this circumstance, this report initiatively includes the two objective standards contained in the list of the patent competitiveness of the research institutions in China: firstly, a research institution has registered the patent licensing recordings recorded at SIPO; and secondly, a research institution must have a minimum of 50 patent applications between 2006 and 2010. Therefore, a total of 69 research institutions were selected by using these two standards.


II. Calculation method and description of the patent competitiveness index

To make the annual comparison, this report used a formula of the patent competitiveness index of Chinese universities and research institutions which was similar with that of the Report on the Patent Competitive Edge of Chinese Universities in 2012. The patent competitiveness index = (the number of patent licensing recorded in 2012÷ patent applications between 2006 and 2010) ×500. Since the denominator is the number of patent applications over five years (between 2006 and 2010) whereas the numerator is the recorded contract amount of one year (2012), the result should be multiplied by 500 to obtain the average rate of patent licensing.


After the publication of the formula of the patent competitiveness index last year, we have received much feedback from experts, mainly regarding four aspects of the report: (1) the number of patent licensing recordings of universities or research institutions is not completely equivalent to total number of their patent licenses, as some patent licenses are not recorded by SIPO; (2) the patent competitiveness index should take patent transfers into consideration because universities and research institutions can also transfer parts of their patents; (3) universities and research institutions may also explore their own patent technology or cooperate with other enterprises on this issue, which could also be taken into consideration when assessing the patent competitiveness index; and (4) the fees for patent licensing and patent transfers are different, thus, it seems unreasonable to put them all in the average rate to calculate the patent competitiveness index.


We think the above feedback and questions are quite objective and accurate. The main reasons why we keep using the formula of last year are: firstly, Article 14 (2) of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates explicitly, “Any license contract for exploitation of a patent which has been concluded by the patentee with an entity or individual shall, within three months from the date of entry into force of the contract, be submitted to the patent administration department under the State Council for record,” which is compulsory. The licensor or the licensee who does not record within the stipulated time will face adverse legal consequences. As national public organizations, Chinese universities or research institutions will often record the patent licensing contracts, and only several do not record. Therefore, the number of the patent licensing recordings of the universities and research institutions in SIPO can reflect their actual patent licensing situations with relative accuracy. Secondly, patent transfer is a kind of asset disposal behavior. According to the current laws and regulations, universities and research institutions, as national public organizations, should go through tedious procedures of examination and evaluation to transfer patents. Hence, universities and research institutions often adopt the alternative method of exclusive patent licensing instead of patent transfer. Besides, it is currently rare for Chinese universities and research institutions to explore their own patent technology or cooperate with other enterprises on this regard. Therefore, the patent licensing of Chinese universities and research institutions does basically represent their patent utilizations. Thirdly, it is difficult to ascertain the numbers of unrecorded patent licensing, of patent transfer, of patent self-implementation or cooperated implementation, and the fee of patent licensing or patent transfer. Although this data is key to evaluating the patent competitiveness index of a university or research institution, considering the unavailability of the data, the current patent competitiveness index will temporarily not be able to take this data into account.


III. The patent competitiveness status of Chinese universities in 2013
 
According to the above formula, the patent competitiveness indexes of all 116 universities of “211 universities” in China could be calculated. Meanwhile, it can be seen from the data that the whole patent competitiveness of Chinese universities in 2013 is 2.50 which is much lower than that of last year (3.75). The main reason is that the number of patent licensing recordings of the all “211 universities” in 2011 was 865, while the number for 2012 was only 635, with a decrease rate of 26.6%, which essentially lowers the overall patent competitiveness level of Chinese universities in 2013.


List I is the overall patent competitiveness indexes and ranking of China’s “211 universities.” The top university is the Communication University of China, whose competitive index is 58.82; while the Hunan Normal University assumes second place with a competitive index of 30.30; and the following one is the Hebei University of Technology with a competitive index of 24.82. The top three with the most patent licensing recordings in 2012 respectively are Zhejiang University with 52, Jiangnan University with 41 and South China University of Technology with 28. However, as China’s leading universities, the performances of Tsinghua University and Peking University are not very optimistic. The patent competitive index of Tsinghua University last year is 1.88, ranked No. 60, while the competitive index is only 0.42, falling to be ranked No. 74. The Peking University shows an even bleaker scene. Its patent application amount between 2006 and 2010 is 2,398, whereas the recorded amount of patent licensing contracts is merely 2, ranked No. 75 on the list.


List II is the ranking of 41 of the “211 universities” whose patent applications are over 1,000 between 2006 and 2010. Since all universities in List II have a large patent application amount, List II can more objectively reflect the differences of the patent competitiveness of the universities. List III is the ranking of 33 of the “211 universities” whose patent applications are above 300 and below 1000. List IV is the ranking of the “211 universities” with the patent application amount below 300 between 2006 and 2010. And the List V and List VI provide the patent application status of universities between 2006 and 2010 and the number of the patent licensing recordings in 2012 respectively, for readers’ reference.


IV. The patent competitiveness status of Chinese research institutions in 2013

Contrary to the bleak patent competitiveness state of Chinese universities, the patents of Chinese research institutions show higher utilization value and stronger competitiveness. In this report, the patent application amount of the selected 69 research institutions between 2006 and 2010 is only 19,604, but their recorded patent licensing amount is relatively high, up to 211. The patent competitiveness index of Chinese research institutions in 2013 is 5.38 which is more than twice as that of Chinese universities’ of the same year. This current result illustrates, on one hand, that Chinese research institutions conduct market-oriented research, and the research achievements are increasingly welcomed by market participants; on the other hand, Chinese universities have to change their IP development ideas, which means that while paying more attention to the total number of patents is important, the market value of the patent should also be further considered.


List VII is the ranking of the patent competitiveness of Chinese research institutions in 2013. The top three are China Electronics Technology Group Corporation No. 38 Research Institute, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation No. 703 Research Institute and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation No. 702 Research Institute, and their patent competitiveness indexes respectively are 121.95, 117.19 and 106.74. To be sure, since the patent licensing recorded in 2012 can be filed either between 2006 and 2010 or during other periods, and this patent competitiveness index is calculated based on the patent licensing amount in 2012 and the patent application amount between 2006 and 2010. In addition, some patents could be licensed and recorded for more than once; therefore, the patent competitiveness index may be greater than 100. Besides, what is noteworthy is that the top three are all independent scientific research units of large state-owned enterprises which have intimate relations with their superior enterprises and whose research efforts are inevitably around the production and operation of the enterprise. Thus, their scientific achievements are bound to have a broad market application prospect as well as strong patent competitiveness.


List VIII is the ranking of the 32 research institutions with the patent applications above 150 between 2006 and 2010, while List IX is the ranking of the 37 research institutions with patent applications below 150. List X and List XI display separately the patent application status of Chinese research institutions between 2006 and 2010 and their patent licensing record state in 2012.


Declaration:

(1) Due to the restriction of manpower, material resources and time, although the data in this report have been reviewed carefully, the accuracy can not be entirely assured. If any errors and inaccuracies are found in the report, please let us know.


(2) Limited by the pages, this report only contains excerpts from the content published in the magazine. Please visit our website for more details: http://www.chinaipmagazine.com

 

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