15 November 2021


Patents are assets and should be viewed from a collaborative perspective, said the Chairman of Appotronics Corporation Ltd, a Chinese Star Market listed company.

Appotronics Corporation Ltd’s Patent Strategy

During the 2019 China Science and Technology Capital Summit Forum, the Chairman of Appotronics, Li Yi, gave a keynote speech on the importance of intellectual property where he emphasized the following:

– Patents should not be seen as an expense, but as a company’s greatest competitive asset.

– Licensing or transferring additional patents from other companies to complete one’s patent portfolio, ultimately allows higher technology adoption and builds a more strategic patent portfolio.

Appotronics Corporation Ltd. is one of the first Shanghai Stock Exchange Star Market listed companies,and remains the first SSE Star Market listed company in Guangdong Province [1]. As of June 2020, Appotronics has obtained 1,038 patents for ALPD technology, 832 domestic and foreign patent applications, 211 international patent applications under the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty), and holds a total of 2,081 patent applications and licenses worldwide (including PCT). The number of patent applications filed with Chairman Yi as the main inventor exceeds 1,000, covering China, the United States, Japan, Europe, and other countries and regions, forming a comprehensive patent layout in the field of laser display. In addition, Appotronics is a Leader Level Member of the International Laser Projector Association (LIPA) and participates in the development of international standards for laser displays.

The Keynote Speech

Patents are not an expense.

During his keynote speech Chairman Yi said, “I’m afraid it’s a short-sighted concept to consider patents as an expense. Last year, Appotronics took a piece of land in Nanshan District of Shenzhen, and some of our executives said that we should build our headquarters there quickly. But we never had a groundbreaking ceremony, because we instead invested heavily in our patents and patent strategy. We believed the return on investment on these assets would be higher than the return on investment brought by building our headquarters in Nanshan District, for one very simple reason” [2].

Yi said, “Our attitude toward patents is very scientific and very strict. In terms of the quantity and quality of patents, the quality is much higher than the quantity, and the ratio is not 10-to-1, but maybe 100-to-1. In terms of quality, the number of citations of a patent is very critical, just like writing a paper, and the number of citations of the most original patent is more than 400”.

A complete patent portfolio requires cooperation through licensing.

Yi said, “Both the spear and shield should be prepared, especially for unlisted companies. Patents are often reflected in competition, when we consider patents, we do not focus on the quantity of patents we have, but rather the quality. First, you analyze your core patents that represent your shield of protection, which are the most crucial, and at the same time, you can broaden your horizon and look at the patents in comparison to your cooperation. You must have core patents, but your core patents cannot solely comprise a strategic portfolio, so you must see if you can find a related party who is willing to license or transfer his patents to you to provide you with a supplement, your spear. Then, you combine their patents with your core patents which is a very effective strategy. For example, we developed our laser display technology and adopted a completely new technology line, but we also paid full attention to Kodak’s patent situation. We saw that Kodak is in a recession, and we analyzed if Kodak had any good patents that we could purchase or license as an effective supplement to our patents.”

Yi concluded, “People tend to think of patents in terms of competition. But it can also be seen from another latitude, from the perspective of cooperation. We should work together to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, not to engage in knowledge blockade. Patents should not just be viewed from the perspective of competition but from the perspective of competition and cooperation. When we have developed a new product through our own innovation and plan to bring it to the market, we should pay attention to the possibility of someone using the patent to initiate a lawsuit against us. In this process, we must do a lot of risk checking. For example, if you want to enter the U.S. market, you should take the initiative to develop a strategy to cross-license patents and other ways, which will invariably not only eliminate potential patent competitors but also may grant you an additional connection in your space to help you promote this market better. Then, the conflict between competition and cooperation is well resolved”.

IPwe’s Offering

IPwe offers the information and tools to help our clients identify, research, evaluate and transact their patents. Before IPwe, finding the strategic patents to complete one’s portfolio was not technologically enabled and involved an incredible amount of time and high legal fees. The IPwe Platform allows one to easily monetize and transact patents while IPwe’s Smart Pools additionally allows one to access a one-stop-shop to acquire the licenses needed to enter an emerging tech market at a feasible price point. IPwe’s technology stack allows one to replicate Appotronics Corporation Ltd’s astute patent strategy at a substantially lower price point and in an accelerated timeline.


[1] https://en.appotronics.com/property.html 

[2] Read Li Yi’s original speech in Chinese: 光峰科技董事长李屹:专利是一种资产,带来的回报比盖楼高(附演讲全文)



Author and Translator, Henry Wang, President IPwe China

Henry Wang is a seasoned tech entrepreneur, co-founding and managing nationally recognized companies receiving substantial fundraising from top VCs. Henry has 16+ years of experience in IP monetization, localization, technology service outsourcing, and leverages his knowledge of the Chinese market to drive IP business development and sales.


About IPwe

IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs are stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America. To learn more about how IPwe can provide the answers to your IP-related business decisions, Request a Demo of the IPwe Platform on www.ipwe.com.

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Mia Mixan
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