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Countries, including China, Are Stepping Up Efforts to Protect Design Innovations


The Design Enables Smart Manufacturing forum convened on July 28 at the Yuelai International Convention Center, where industry experts revealed the trends that change the landscape of manufacturing design.

The forum gathers industry experts to share insights on manufacturing design. (Photo/Peng Lihua)

The president of the China Industrial Design Association, Liu Ning, says manufacturing design is entering a phase of high-quality development and transforming from policy-driven to innovation-driven. Innovation capability in manufacturing design is a key factor for a company’s becoming a world-leading player. Connotations associated with manufacturing design play a role in the transformation as well. Continuing on the idea of changing definitions, he explained that design plays a crucial role in integrating industry chains, the coordination of processes, product lifecycles, and customer experiences.  

The industrial design industry is another major trend. Lyu Guoliang, a consultant of The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said industrial design carries great importance in manufacturing design and has increasingly become an enterprise’s core competence and strongly supports its globalization. Approximately 1.1 million industrial design applications will be filed worldwide in 2020, covering more than 1.4 million industrial designs. This indicates the importance of industrial design in terms of economic value and market competition.  

“A growing number of countries, including China, are stepping up efforts to protect design innovations,” Lyu said. The number of industrial design applications in China has increased at the fastest rate in more than ten years. In 2020, China filed 770 thousand applications, accounting for 55.5% of the global total.

Zhao Chao, the vice president of the Academy of Art&Design at Tsinghua University, believes design is more than appearance, and its essence lies in system integration. “Designing concerns the relationship between humans and the human-made world and the relationship between humans and products. Considering that human behaviors are influenced by culture, designers should study culture and lifestyle as a priority,” he said.

According to Zhao, there are three basic types of design innovation: business model-centric innovation, which captures value by configuring assets to suit different business needs; platform-centric innovation, which redefines or combines capabilities; and experience-centric innovation, which delivers value by engaging customers in different ways.

This year’s Smart China Expo will be held from 22-24 August in Chongqing, and the forum will be a featured event.

(This article is written by Guo Shuyu, Liangjiang New Area Media Center)


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