China’s AI Patent Explosion.

Updated: Mar 31

Did you know? In 2019, China surpassed the United States and Japan in the number of worldwide artificial intelligence-related patent applications. A majority of the patent filings related to data processing systems and data information transmission. Since 2015, with the Guiding Opinions of the State Council on Vigorously Advancing the “Internet Plus” Action published by the State Council, the Chinese Government has taken a proactive approach in robustly advocating the development of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and filing of related patents among the private sector. The National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Cyberspace Administration of China have all been entrusted with the responsibility of promoting the application of AI technology in intelligent products, industrial manufacturing and other fields, as well as fostering backbone enterprises and innovation teams leading the development of global AI technology. Why does this matter to you? In the past few years, in the interests of attracting powerful high-tech companies to launch businesses in China, promoting industrial upgrading and improving the business environment, local governments have also been announcing guidance opinions with regard to AI industries, providing tax incentives, financial subsidies and implementing talent introduction programmes to domestic companies. For example, between 2013 and 2017, the Shenzhen Tax Service of the State Taxation Administration has provided local high-tech industries in Shenzhen with tax concession reaching the amount of RMB 114.3 billion. In July 2017, the Government pledged to accelerate the cultivation of leading companies in the AI industry. More importantly, the Government has promised to support the private sector by strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights in the field of AI technology, reinforcing technological innovation in the whole field of AI technology, consolidating the mechanisms of patent protection, and promoting the copyright of AI technology innovations. The Government also pledged to establish an AI technology public patent pool to promote the use and diffusion of new AI technologies. In December 2017, the Three-Year Action Plan for Promoting Development of a New Generation Artificial Intelligence Industry provided that the state would research and establish a mechanism for the collaborative application of AI technology patents, and support the construction of a patent collaborative operation platform and an intellectual property service platform. In 2018, AI technology was listed as one of the ten major industries that the country would focus on development and support. China’s ambitious AI strategy offers opportunities for both foreign and domestic companies given the huge growth potential in the industry. Working with established domestic partners may be the best way to take advantage of the tax breaks and subsidies on offer and well as local R&D.

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Judy Wu, Deacons For further information, please contact: John Richardson, Consultant, Deacons

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