Shanghai United Imaging Sells Devices to UK, Pursues Patent Protection Strategy

Qian Tongxin / Yicai


(Yicai Global) Dec. 8 -- During UK health minister Jeremy Hunt's recent visit to China, Chinese and British companies and organizations concluded over a dozen agreements worth GBP250 million. Shanghai United Imaging Technology Co.'s deal to sell medical imaging devices to Liverpool Hospital captured attention.

According to figures previously released, prices of United Imaging’s products are about one-third or even half the price than what its international counterparts offered in some cases. The company also spent around CNY10 million on patent applications in recent years, with most going on overseas applications.

To keep a leg up on the competition United Imaging "always regards patent protection as a corporate strategy, and patent investments basically account for 1 to 5 percent of total research and development input," a company insider said.

"It mainly involves entering overseas markets regarding core Chinese technologies and patents related to products intended for foreign markets,” the source said. “Self-protection is the original motivation behind patent applications, and the ultimate goal of the company is to fully fulfill its competitive resources."

United Imaging has taken out over 1,000 patents since its founding six years ago. Of them, 70 percent are patents for inventions developed revolving around the company’s core technologies such as nuclear magnetic resonance, CT, PET X-ray, radiotherapy, medical software and mobile medical treatment products. There are more than 100 overseas patent applications, accounting for around 10 percent of the total.