Ambassador’s IPR Roundtable: Innovation in Action

On September 14, U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus convened the second 2015 Ambassador’s IPR Roundtable, “Innovation in Action: Patents and Trade Secrets.”  More than 150 guests attended the event, including representatives from the Chinese government, industry, and IP community.

Ambassador Baucus, along with State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Commissioner Shen Changyu, delivered keynote remarks.  Ambassador Baucus highlighted the strong economic relationship between the U.S. and China.  He also noted the important role that intellectual property — patents and trade secrets specifically — plays in strengthening this relationship.  Ambassador Baucus said, “That’s why we’re all here today — to talk about how to protect these inventions to spur innovation.  To make sure we get innovations that benefit everyone, we have to have the right laws in place.”

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IP Attaché Joel Blank, joined by SIPO Deputy Director General Zhang Jing, also spoke at the roundtable.  IP Attaché Blank praised the close collaboration between U.S. and Chinese governments and industry, and emphasized the need for both countries to work together to create and maintain systems that promote global innovation.  IP Attaché Blank said, “The only way to develop the world’s next great innovations is to encourage people from different backgrounds who have complementary ideas to work together.  To do this we, as governments, must develop IP systems that promote the free flow not just of products and services, but of research and ideas as well.”

The Roundtable’s three panel discussions focused on the role of patents and trade secrets in facilitating innovation.  In the first panel, “The Foundations of Innovation,” speakers shared ideas on how to incentivize innovation through strong IP laws and policies that encouraged cross-border collaboration on research and development.  During the panel on “The Role of Patents and Trade Secrets in Economic Growth,” speakers explored case studies that illustrated the direct link between patents and trade secrets and economic growth.  In the concluding panel on “Cross-Border Collaboration on Patents and Research”, experts, including Director Cheng Hongbing from the Beijing Office of the World Intellectual Property Organization, highlighted company strategies for working together, including through use, licensing, and adaptation of technology, to research and developing new, innovative products.

For over a decade, the Ambassador’s IPR Roundtable has been the marquee event of the U.S. Embassy’s intellectual property rights cooperation with China.  The day-long program on patents and trade secrets is the second in a series of Roundtable events to take place this year.  A roundtable in April focused on copyright.