China confident about intellectual property rights of high-speed railways

China confident about intellectual property rights of high-speed railways


Some Japanese media recently expressed doubts about the intellectual property rights of China's high-speed rail. They believe Chinese high-speed railways copied the Shinkansen of Japan. Reporters interviewed related parties to learn the truth.

Focus one: Does Chinese high-speed railway copy the Shinkansen of Japan?

Response: China grasps the intellectual property rights of Chinese high-speed railway, and the technical level has surpassed that of the Shinkansen of Japan.

According to sources, the CSR Corporation, Ltd. cooperated with the Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 2004 to introduce trains with speeds of 200 kilometers per hour. Seven years later, CSR mastered the design, manufacturing and verification technologies of trains with speeds of 200 to 250 kilometers per hour through jointly designing research experiments and implementing the localization with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and also independently established the design, manufacturing and verification system of trains with speeds of 350 kilometers per hour.

Ma Yunshuang, deputy general manager of the Sifang Corporation, Ltd. under the CSR Group, said that the CSR has taken an innovative path of introduction, digestion, absorption and re-innovation. China's national conditions decided that Chinese enterprises could not copy foreign technology.

The train's engine car is an important symbol of the independent innovation of Chinese high-speed trains. "Both the graphic design and technical design of the engine car of the CRH380A trains have been completed by ourselves," said Wang Yongping, spokesman of the Ministry of Railways, on July 7.

In fact, the current technical level of the Chinese high-speed railway has surpassed Japan's Shinkansen. Data shows that compared with the CRH2 trains that were introduced and jointly produced by the Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the power of China's CRH380A trains increased from the previous 4,800 kilowatts to 9,600 kilowatts, and the sustained speed increased from 200 to 250 kilometers per hour to 380 kilometers per hour.

The aerodynamic drag of the head has been reduced by more than 15 percent and the aerodynamic noise has been reduced 7 percent. The bogie realized "tread contact stress" 10 percent to 12 percent lower than the European standard. The airtight strength of the train's body increased from 4,000 Pascals to 6,000 Pascals to ensure the structural safety and reliability of trains when intersecting inside the tunnel at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour.

Furthermore, many technological indicators used by China's high-speed railways are the best in the world, including the minimum radius of curve, maximum gradient, track gauge and tunnel clearance of the high-speed railways linking Beijing to Tianjin, Wuhan to Guangzhou, Zhengzhou to Xi'an, Shanghai to Nanjing, Shanghai to Hangzhou, and Beijing to Shanghai.

"A verbal spat is meaningless, and we should let the facts speak for themselves. The intellectual property rights of China's high-speed railways are undoubtedly mastered by China itself," Wang said.

Many Japanese reporters spoke highly of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. For example, a Japanese reporter from the Tokyo Broadcasting System, who was a passenger on a Beijing-Shanghai bullet train, admitted that the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway is very advanced and has adopted many technologies that Japan's Shinkansen failed to adopt. In addition, the Shinkansen often takes detours, while China's bullet trains can consistently run at high speed.

Focus Two: Why has China's high-speed rail technology developed so fast?

Response: Because the Chinese government has provided strong support, and a large number of talented researchers have devoted themselves to the development of high-speed rail technology.

Wang said that the Chinese government has played a guiding role in the development of high-speed rail technology and has established a re-innovation platform integrating production, education and research. It is no wonder that the country has made three significant achievements in this field in less than six years.

He Huawu, chief engineer with the Ministry of Railways, said the organizations and individuals that have participated in the government-sponsored research and development high-speed rail technology include 25 key universities, 11 first-class research institutes, 51 state-level labs and engineering research centers, 63 academicians, more than 500 professors, more than 200 researchers and more than 10,000 engineering personnel in China.

"Up to now, China's high-speed railway has possessed a full set of independent technical standard systems, which covers aspects such as project construction, high-speed train, train control, railway station construction, system integration, operation maintenance and environmental protection standards," He Huawu said.

He Huawu said that, taking the train control system as an example, as a core technology of high-speed railways, it is the "brain" for the safe, efficient and orderly operation of the train. China's train control system is closely connected with China's actual railway transportation situations and its existent signaling equipment mode. It cannot be a copy of any other system of the same kind.

Focus Three: Will China's overseas patent application be challenged?

Response: The overseas patent application of China's enterprises is right and legal.

According to a report issued by Japan's "Asahi Shimbun" on July 5, Tadaharu Ohashi, president of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. said, "If the content of the overseas tenet application of China's high-speed railway contravenes the Shinkansen Line technology export contract signed by China and the Kawasaki Heavy Industry, Japan will have to accuse China."

Regarding the report, Wang said, "It is right and legal that China's enterprises apply tenets for their related high-speed railway technologies. The application is for better promoting the innovation, transfer and spread of the high-speed railway technologies and for better serving the entire human race. We are legal and confident."

Wang also said China currently has established more than 100 high-speed railway construction standard specifications, covering the six important systems of public works and projects, traction power supply, communication signal, system device, operation control and passenger service, and possessed a set of internationally-advanced high-speed technical standard systems and integrated engineering technology kits.

According to preliminary statistics, China's high-speed railway has already successfully applied 1,900 tenets and is applying 481 tenets. China's high-speed railway has never had any intellectual property right disputes with any foreign company.

It is known that U.S.-based General Electric and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. conducted wide exchanges on the establishment of a joint venture and technical cooperation last year that did cover technology. GE's legal team concluded based on massive research that there was no obstacle to applying China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.'s technology in the U.S. market. Both sides signed an agreement on December 2010, under which, China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. will transfer its independent EMU train technology to its joint venture with GE in the United States.

Three basic factors determine whether China has independent intellectual property rights in EMU trains: innovation, independence and patents. "China's EMU trains have its unique features and come with independent intellectual property rights, particularly in major techniques," said Zhou Li, deputy director of passenger car department of the transportation bureau under the Ministry of Railways.

Wang said that similar to Japan's success in the past in doubling the train speed to 200 kilometers per hour based on the technology introduced from Europe, today's China has raised the speed level of the world's high-speed train technology from 250 kilometers per hour to 350 kilometers per hour, both of which are significant improvements in global railway development.

Both improvements were made based on the tenet of the intellectual property rights clauses in the international law – desiring to reduce distortions and impediments to international trade, and taking into account the need to promote effective and adequate protection of intellectual property rights, and to ensure that measures and procedures to enforce intellectual property rights do not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade.


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