Munich Personal RePEc Archive

China's Government-Set Patent Targets and Performance Indicators: Boosting Numbers or Innovation?

Prud'homme, Dan (2012): China's Government-Set Patent Targets and Performance Indicators: Boosting Numbers or Innovation? Published in: Chapter 2 (renamed) of Dulling the Cutting Edge: How Patent-Related Policies and Practices Hamper Innovation in China (2012): pp. 62-74.

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Abstract

This paper uncovers over 10 central level and over 150 provincial/municipal level patent targets, mostly to be met by 2015, within a wide range of Chinese policy documents. The analysis suggests there are weaknesses in certain targets due to the absence of important criteria for ensuring patent quality. Further, the overly heavy focus on just a few types of quantitative patent targets (e.g., for patent applications and patents granted) overshadows the type of benchmarking that better reflects conditions stimulating creativity as well as the actual economic, social, and environmental relevance of the underlying inventions – i.e., their ability to be transformed into something useful and thus constitute innovation. And this is compounded by various regulatory and institutional factors in China. It is also compounded by the fact that the government has instituted performance evaluation systems for SOEs and other enterprises, Party/government officials, universities and research institutes, and other entities which also appear overly based on these targets. Given these risks, it is important to re-think these approaches as ways to stimulate innovation in China.

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