New Patent Games

New Patent Games

State intellectual property office « SIPO », has recently warned Chinese nuclear firms engaged in oversea business’ that they concentrate on their patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) .

SIPO gives the exemple of the High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (HTR-PM) designed by Tsinghua University’s Institute for Nuclear and New Energy Technologies (INET).

In 1992, China launched a study on technologies ) as prototypes and promotional HTR reactors that were used infrequently in the sixties and seventies, especially in the US (Peach Bottom), Germany (AVR reactor and THTR-300), Japan (HTTR 30), UK (Dragon Reactor) and South Africa (PBMR Koeberg. Research on HTR has been approved by the State Council and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and is listed in the 2006-2020 long-term scientific and technological development plan.

In 2012, Huaneng Power (47.5%), China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (32.5%) and INET (20%) set up Huaneng Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co. in Shandong Province. Its floor will be located far from the sea and will therefore be the future HTR of 250 MW for the growing markets for SMR.

This week Huaneng Shidao Bay has published the environmental impact report (operational phase) of the HTR NGS introductory project to reach the phase of business authorization application. HTR had to produce electricity in 2017.

Against the development of Hualong and CAP1400’s existing foreign technology, HTR is assumed to be a comprehensive local intellectual entity. As of July 2015, INET fuel elements have made the 2000 patents’ application of pressure equipments for digital control systems and 300 patented HTR gravel bed reactor designs for other key technologies.

Even though China General Nuclear (CGN) and INET have been working together to upgrade the HTR since May 2015, the targeted markets are not favored by Europe or North America, but preferably by Beijing, are developing countries that. The approach of INET’s entry into the PCT’s registry and protection of patents in China has begun to become a headache for the institution. This means that any Chinese nuclear company will be able to show patents to overseas applicants for protection. After years of “assimilation” of foreign technology, the Chinese nuclear industry must use all methods, including controversial decisions, to enter patent protection games.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.