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经济学人:中国专利 越来越具创造性

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Chinese patents

中国专利
Ever more inventive
越来越具创造性
Mainland companies are building up their intellectual property
内地企业正在建立自己的知识产权
CHINA'S leaders see patents as rungs on the ladder to becoming an innovation powerhouse. So in five-year plans and through subsidies and official exhortations, they have encouraged locals to file patents. And locals have responded with gusto. Two years ago China's patent office became the world's busiest. Sceptics have scoffed that most of those filed are “utility model” patents—short-term ones granted for relatively trivial ideas, as opposed to proper “invention” patents—and that few Chinese inventors have won patents in countries where standards are higher.
中国的领导人们认为,专利便是通往创新大国那扶梯上的横档。因此,不论是在五年计划里,还是经由种种补贴和官方规诫,他们一直鼓励国人申请专利,而国人也对此颇为捧场,两年前,中国专利局一跃成为世界上最繁忙的专利机构。怀疑论者对这些专利嗤之以鼻,他们认为,大多数人申请的都是“实用新型”专利,与正式的“发明”专利不同,这类短期专利价值不高。而且,对那些专利门槛颇高的国家而言,很少有中国发明人能入其法眼。

Many patents, it is also argued, are exercises in quota-filling by academics, with no hope of commercialisation. In short, these patents are a sham. Not quite, argues the UN's World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). A new study scrutinises Chinese patents and concludes that a small but rapidly growing proportion are up to world standards.

也有另一种说法称,许多专利是学者们纯粹为了定量完成任务而练手的结果,并没有将其商业化的期许。说白了,这些都是伪专利。不过在联合国世界知识产权组织(WIPO)看来,也非尽然如此。一项审视中国专利的新研究得出结论,称其占比虽小,但迅速增长的比例已达到世界标准。
The WIPO included only patents filed by Chinese residents—that is, those with a Chinese address—who filed their patents first on the mainland. So, inventions by the Shanghai labs of GE or Philips are not included, since Western multinationals typically file first in America or Europe. Foxconn, a manufacturing goliath controlled by Hon Hai of Taiwan, is included in the study because, unlike other Taiwanese firms, it resides in China and files its patents first on the mainland.
世界知识产权组织仅将中国居民申请的专利列入统计—这包含两个概念:申请人居住在中国,且是在内地首次注册专利。而由于西方跨国公司通常会先在美国或欧洲申请专利,通用和飞利浦的上海实验室做出的发明便不包括在统计之列。之所以台湾鸿海集团旗下的制造业巨擘富士康包括在此项研究之内是因为和其他台商不同,它的驻地在中国,且是在内地首次注册专利。
The findings challenge conventional wisdom in several ways. Not only do they show that the number of Chinese patents filed abroad is rising sharply (see chart). They also show that, since 2003, most of these have been invention patents, not utility-model ones.
该研究结果在许多方面挑战了传统认知。他们不仅表明在国外申请的中国专利数量急剧上升。还表明自2003年以来,这些专利大部分都是费了番脑子的发明,而非中看不中用的“实用新型”绣花枕头。
Finally, the firms topping the rankings of foreign patent applications are also revealing. Some, like Huawei and ZTE, are unsurprising: 29% of all foreign filings from 2005 to 2009 were in information and communications technology. Lenovo comes in at 16th. Others, like Sinopec in oil and gas, and BYD in batteries, suggest the energy industry is rising.
而值得注意的是,国外专利申请排名靠前的公司也慢慢冒头。华为和中兴之类的企业跻身其中不足为奇:2005至2009年,源自信息和通信技术行业的专利申请占国外专利市场的29%。联想位列第16位。而出现在名单上的其他公司,像石油和天然气领域的中石化,以及电池行业的比亚迪,都意味着能源产业的崛起。
The surprise is that three of the top five spots are held by divisions of Foxconn. By 2012 it had filed more than 12,000 patents abroad, in areas from electrical machinery to computer technology to audio-video technology. A firm some scorn as a low-tech sweatshop turns out to be a model of invention.
出人意料的是,名单上排名前五的公司有三位是由富士康的部门占据。至2012年为止,富士康已在国外申请超过12000项专利,覆盖面从电机到计算机技术,再到音视频技术。被一些人所轻视的低技术含量的血汗工厂到头来居然是发明界的典范。
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