by Xinhua writers Hu Tao, Zhang Duo, Li Zhengwei
BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese high-tech companies are on the counterattack regarding intellectual property rights (IPR), which used to be very much a soft spot.
Beijing's Zhongguancun, China's "Silicon Valley", has witnessed the birth of the country's first funds dedicated to IPR trading and technology industrialization.
Ruichuang IP Fund, which is soon expected to have 100 million yuan (about 15.99 million U.S. dollars) worth of funding, has attracted several domestic technology firms such as smartphone maker Xiaomi and electric appliance producer TCL.
These companies, mostly in smart terminal and mobile Internet, are the first batch of strategic investors of the funds, said Zhi Binwei, deputy director with the innovation promotion department of the management committee of Zhongguancun.
"It creates an entirely new business model, with enterprises being the main body of market-oriented funds on IPR business," said Zhi.
China has become the world's largest smart terminal producer, while the industry has to pay about five to 10 percent of output value to foreign companies in royalties.
Ruichuang IP Fund will help Chinese high-tech companies to gain core IPR effectively and legally, said Zhang Hongjiang, CEO of Beijing Zhigu Ruituo Techonology Services Co., Ltd., which operates the funds.
"We will strive to help them grasp their rights and avoid pain from IPR conflicts," said Zhang.
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Chinese domestic companies have increasingly invested in international intellectual property through mergers and acquisitions.
Lenovo, the world's biggest PC maker, has just purchased a portfolio of patents from Unwired Planet Inc, an intellectual property and technology licensing company, for 100 million U.S. dollars.
The 21 patent groups included 3G and LTE (long-term evolution) and other ones covering mobile Internet.
It is a major step for Lenovo in its push into the smartphone market as the desktop PC market shrinks.
In January 2013, Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility's handset unit for 2.91 billion U.S. dollars.
"Lenovo has made intellectual property its enterprise strategy. The change started in 2010 and caught the world's attention last year because of our acquisition," said Li Xin, a senior executive at Lenovo.
In 2010, Lenovo set up a special team to analyze mobile Internet business and formulate an intellectual property plan.