Annual parade: 23rd WIPO-CNIPA awards announced

The complete list of the winners of the 23rd WIPO-CNIPA Awards for Chinese Outstanding Patented Inventions and Industrial Designs was announced to solicit public comments by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) on April 15, 2022. The feedback deadline was set to be April 21. Given annually by the CNIPA in association with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), the awards are a national top recognition of excellence in the innovations achieved in China’s IP system. The list of the winners is available here.

The awards are structured in two primary categories—invention patents and design patents, each of which 3 award levels are set under. This year, 30 invention patents are awarded Gold Awards, 60 invention patents Silver Awards, and 792 invention patents Excellence Awards; 10 design patents are awarded Gold Awards, 15 design patents Silver Awards, and 52 design patents Excellence Awards. Gold Award-winning patents are shown to be diversified to great acclaim relating to subject matters including virus detection, vaccine, radio frequency (RF) energy, video transmission, laser, electrical substation technology, nuclear power, material for lithium-ion batteries, aircraft blade, voltage transformer (VT), positioning technology, cyclohexanone ammoximation preparation, launch vehicle, diamonds, 5G, thrombosis inhibitor, tunnel boring machine detection, high purity lithium chloride, glass fiber, etc.


ZTE Corporation’s Gold Award winning Patent No. 201610951190.4 and Spreadtrum Communications, Inc.’s Patent No. 201610615466.1 both cover 5G technological inventions.


Two Gold Awards for invention patents relating to COVID-19 vaccines and diagnostic methods are won by Patent No. 202010193587.8, which is jointly owned by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) of the PLA Academy of Military Science and CanSino Biologics, Inc., and Patent No. 202010160162.7 owned by Daan Gene Co., Ltd.


Carmakers figure prominently in the Gold Award winners of design patents. For that matter, grouped together, producers of transportation vehicles, including automobiles, aircraft, high-speed rail (HSR), and submersibles, claim the most Gold Award winning design patents, compared with those in other industries. The awarded companies include FAW Group Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd., Human Horizons, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd., and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.


Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and Xiaomi Corporation win Gold Awards for their mobile phone design patents. Huawei is recognized as the only awardee winning Gold Awards spanning two categories—invention patents and design patents.


The CNIPA announced the advent of the 23rd WIPO-CNIPA Awards in September 2021. All patents eligible for awards are nominated by a select membership made up of relevant departments under China’s State Council, local intellectual property administrations, and national industry associations. According to a rule set in 2021, an association will be suspended from its nomination qualifications for one year if no patent nominated by it wins any award for two consecutive years. To drive high-quality development which China has been pursuing as a national strategy, the CNIPA indicates that nominee restrictions will be laid on the subject matters where bad faith patent filings occur frequently, and on entities and individuals identified as bad faith patent applicants as well.


The previous editions of the awards have witnessed the great social and economic values those awarded patents have generated in practice. For example, the 21st WIPO-CNIPA Awards held in 2020 focused on the promotion of core technologies in key industries and fields and the pivotal role of the manufacturing industry. Statistics show that 62% of the 766 award-winning invention patents of that year covered technologies in the emerging sectors of strategic importance, and 83% of them related to technologies in IP- or patent-intensive industries; 40 of the awarded patents created 660 billion yuan ($100 billion) worth of sales, 62.9 billion yuan ($9.9 billion) worth of net profit, and 136.3 billion yuan ($21 billion) worth of export revenue.


The WIPO-CNIPA Awards for Chinese Outstanding Patented Inventions and Industrial Designs is co-sponsored by the WIPO and CNIPA. It is the only government award in China that specifically rewards inventions and creations for which patent rights are granted. It focuses on strengthening the creation, protection and application of intellectual property rights, promoting high-quality economic development, and encouraging and recognizing patent owners and inventors (designers) who have made outstanding contributions to technology (designs) and economic and social development.