It is hard to protect intellectual property rights well, but such rights are of great benefit to companies, legal counsels for companies in Zhongguancun Science Park said on April 22.
Fu Tong, general counsel at Qihoo 360 Technology Co, said it is expensive to apply for the authorization of patents and her company could not afford many applications until it went public in March 2011.
The company set up its IP team later and has applied for authorizations for some 1,000 patents annually since 2012.
"It was very hard to prepare for the first 1,000 applications as our research and development colleagues were busy inventing software every day and they did not realize the significance of patent applications," Fu said.
Fu and the colleagues on her team had to persuade their R&D colleagues every day at that time to help the team apply for patent authorization.
"Their sense of writing patent applications has become much stronger now," she told China Daily.
To date, the company has applied for authorizations for 4,714 patents, of which more than 93 percent are invention patents.
Huang Jing, director of the IP department of Qihoo 360, said the company spends tens of millions of yuan applying for authorizations for some 1,000 patents every year, but it is worthwhile.
"Technological innovation including patent applications can make listed companies much more valuable and investors thus will have more confidence in the companies," Huang said.
Fu said intellectual property rights are intangible capital for her company and helped prevent the company from going bankrupt before it had its own office building.
Beiqi Foton Motor Co benefited greatly from its patents, according to a spokesperson for the vehicle maker.
The design patent of its Tunland pickup won a prize from the State Intellectual Property Office in 2014 and exports of the models hit 605 million yuan ($97.51 million) after they went into production in 2012.
The models were exclusively used in China's pickup cross-country competitions in 2012 and 2013.
In 2011, Foton became the first company in Beijing whose patent applications in one year surpassed 1,000.
Qian Haifeng, general counsel at Foton, said they were very proud when Germany-based Daimler Co invited them to set up a joint venture because of Foton's intellectual property rights.
The two founded Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co in 2012.
Differing from traditional cooperation between Chinese and foreign companies, most of Foton's investment was in the form of intangible assets worth 2 billion yuan, including patents and trademarks.
Qian added that Foton also has a global vehicle patent database and will regularly analyze the latest patent information worldwide for better development and protection of its intellectual property rights.