Innovation Growth Sees 2,700 Take Patents Exam 
Some 2,700 candidates sat the national exam to become a patent agent in Shanghai yesterday — up more than 10 percent on last year, according to officials.
A patent agent has become a popular and well-paid job in recent years.
The number of patent applications increases every year, said the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.
The National Patent Agent Qualification Exam has a reputation of being difficult, with a national pass rate of around 15 percent.
Between January and September, the number of patent applications in Shanghai reached 61,009 — up 4.7 percent on the same period in 2012, according to the State Intellectual Property Office.
"The huge number of application demands more patent agents and creates a new market for patent agencies," said Xu Weihua, an official with the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.
Xu said this year's exam attracted more Taiwanese and Hong Kong candidates, aiming to learn more about the Chinese mainland's patent situation.
Last year was the first in which they could sit the exam in Shanghai.
Xiujie Zhang, a Taiwanese semi-conductor engineer, said he sat the exam yesterday to improve his knowledge of patents. Zhang has worked for eight years in Shanghai at a foreign-invested company.
"I took the exam because I think it will help me better figure out what kind of technology is worth applying for a patent," Zhang said.
Last year, two Taiwanese candidates passed the exam in Shanghai.
They can work as patent agents but not yet open their own agencies, Xu said.
Foreigners are not permitted to take the exam.
(Source: Xinhua)
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