The following policy document, issued by the PRC Ministry of Education in 2020, encourages Chinese universities to focus on improving the quality, rather than quantity, of their patents. The document eliminates subsidies for patent applications, bars universities from using professors’ and departments’ numbers of patent applications as a metric in performance evaluations, and bans ranking of universities by their number of patent applications.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.moe.gov.cn/srcsite/A16/s7062/202002/t20200221_422861.html
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/5574-JWH7
US $1 ≈ 6.5 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of February 24, 2021.
To the education departments (commissions), intellectual property bureaus (intellectual property administrative departments), and science and technology departments (commissions and bureaus) of all provinces, autonomous regions, and province-level municipalities; the Education Bureau, Intellectual Property Bureau, and Science and Technology Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps; the education departments (bureaus), intellectual property management agencies, and science and technology departments of the relevant ministries (units); all institutes of higher education affiliated with relevant ministries, and all institutes of higher education jointly established by the Ministry of Education and the people’s governments of all provinces, autonomous regions, and province-level municipalities:
Since the promulgation and implementation of the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy, intellectual property creation, use, and management levels on the part of institutes of higher education (“universities”) have risen constantly, and the numbers of patent applications and approvals have increased greatly. Compared to high-level universities abroad, however, Chinese universities still have such problems as “emphasizing quantity over quality” and “emphasizing applications over implementation.” In order to improve the quality of university patents across the board, strengthen the creation, use and management of high-value patents, and make better use of the important role of universities in serving economic and social development, we hereby put forward the following opinions.
I. Overall Requirements
(1) Guiding Ideology
Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly implementing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and the Second, Third, and Fourth Plenums of the 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, and putting into effect the arrangements of the National Education Conference, we shall insist on the new development concept (新发展理念) and adhere to high-quality development as the main line, deeply implement the innovation-driven development strategy and the intellectual property (IP) powerhouse (知识产权强国) strategy, comprehensively raise the patent creation quality, use, and management levels of universities and their service capabilities, and push for new progress in scientific and technological (S&T) innovation and academic discipline construction, so as to support the construction of China as an education powerhouse (教育强国), S&T powerhouse (科技强国) and IP powerhouse.