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Exclusive: American Law Firms Collaborate with Chinese Military to Obtain U.S. Patents

Patent Filings Part of CCP’s Made in China 2025 Plan.


As if our federal government weren’t asleep at the wheel enough when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of the United States, we now have a federal agency actively aiding their military.


After reviewing public records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Intrepid Research has discovered that the federal agency in charge of intellectual property protection has awarded hundreds of patents to dozens of Chinese military units and other Chinese government agencies.


While the FBI opens a new counterintelligence investigation into Chinese activities every 12 hours, the USPTO is awarding intellectual property protections to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), as well as the now-infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the Ministry of Public Security, which oversees China’s domestic law enforcement and national police forces.


Additional Chinese government agencies, institutes, universities, labs, and state-owned enterprises have also been awarded U.S. patents. The majority of patents appear to be medically related, including vaccine research, though others cover dual-use technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and information technology.


When a patent is filed in the U.S., the entity seeking the patent often hires an American law firm to serve as the “correspondent” to submit and handle the paperwork. Records show that dozens of American law firms across the country have served as collaborators in helping the Chinese military to acquire patents in the United States. Approximately 60 separate entities within the Chinese military have filed patents in the United States, if not more.


According to a 2018 report on Chinese patent ownership from the USPTO Office of the Chief Economist, “The share of patents (at least) partially owned by the Chinese reached 65 percent by 2016.” (See figure below)

Part of the Chinese Communist Party’s "Made in China 2025" plan includes increasing the number of Chinese-owned intellectual property protections and patents filed in foreign markets.


Upon further analysis of the U.S. patent database, awarding patents to foreign militaries does not appear to be common. A handful of patents were awarded to allied defense forces of Finland, India, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and quite a few to Israel, though no other foreign militaries were as overtly present in the database as China.


In December 2021, the U.S. Commerce Department added China’s Academy of Military Sciences to its trade blacklist. However, they are among the list of patent recipients.


Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, legal representatives of foreign entities are exempt from filing requirements as an “agent of a foreign principal” if the entity is disclosed before an agency of the U.S. government. However, assisting a foreign military could potentially violate the Logan Act.


As far back as March 2, 2011, in a hearing of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, Congressman Frank Wolf grilled the then-head of the USPTO on why the agency had given China full access to the U.S. patent database, much less any access at all. The Director replied simply that it was public information.


Wolf elaborated, “China is doing espionage against us, cyber attacks against us, stealing from us. We have had IGs from different committees, Commerce, NASA telling us about the cyber attacks by the Chinese government. Why would you cooperate in any way at all?...I do not think you ought to give the Chinese anything, period. And we are going to officially ask you not to give the Chinese anything. China is taking jobs from the United States. The manufacturing base is eroding in the United States. As the manufacturing moves offshore, the research and development and innovation moves offshore. The Administration has said they want jobs here in America, not jobs in China. This material should not be given to the Chinese in any form, in any way.”


Made in China 2025


An economic, industrial, and manufacturing strategy called “Made in China 2025” was released by China’s State Council in 2015. One of the targeted sectors for growth was intellectual property and patent acquisition.


According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), between 2015 and 2020, Chinese patent applications abroad increased 56%. Chinese patents granted abroad increased 64%. Another WIPO report called the Global Innovation Index 2021, ranks China first for patents by origin stating, “China’s levels of patents by origin, scaled by GDP, are higher than those of Japan, Germany and the United States.”


American Collaborators


To aid their effort, the Chinese military is not just hiring any law firms to file their patent applications. Fifteen of the American law firms that collaborated with the Chinese military to acquire patents are listed among U.S. News’ Best Law Firms for Patent Law rankings.


The following is a list of collaborators who obtained U.S. patents on behalf of Chinese military organizations:

  • ADAM L.K. PHILIPP

  • ALLEMAN HALL MCCOY RUSSELL & TUTTLE LLP

  • ALSTON & BIRD LLP*

  • ANTONELLI, TERRY, STOUT & KRAUS, LLP

  • APEX ATTORNEYS AT LAW, LLP

  • B. GREGORY DONNER

  • BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD.*

  • BAYRAMOGLU LAW OFFICES LLC

  • BERENATO, WHITE & STAVISH

  • BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP*

  • BLAKELY SOKOLOFF TAYLOR & ZAFMAN LLP

  • BLUE FILAMENT LAW PLLC

  • BOOKOFF MCANDREWS, PLLC

  • BRIAN B. HO

  • BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE*

  • CANTOR COLBURN LLP

  • CATHERINE YE

  • CBM PATENT CONSULTING, LLC

  • CHRIS JACKSON

  • CHRISTIE, PARKER & HALE, LLP

  • CKC & PARTNERS CO., LLC

  • CLIFFORD J. MASS

  • CONNOLLY BOVE LODGE & HUTZ LLP

  • DAVID AND RAYMOND PATENT FIRM

  • DAVID M. LAPRAIRIE

  • DICKE, BILLIG & CZAJA

  • DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP*

  • FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER LLP*

  • FIRSTIPR

  • FISHMAN & ASSOCIATES, LLC.

  • GEORGE D. LIU

  • GLOBAL IP SERVICES

  • GOODWIN PROCTER LLP*

  • HAMRE, SCHUMANN, MUELLER & LARSON, P.C.

  • HARNESS, DICKEY & PIERCE, PLC*

  • HAUPTMAN HAM, LLP

  • JCIP GLOBAL INC.

  • JIE YANG

  • JINGGAO LI

  • JOHN P. FONDER

  • JUDSON K. CHAMPLIN

  • KNOBBE, MARTENS, OLSON & BEAR, LLP*

  • LADAS & PARRY LLP*

  • LERNER, DAVID, LITTENBERG, KRUMHOLZ & MENTLIK, LLP

  • LOZA & LOZA LLP

  • MANNI LI MEI & MARK LLP

  • MASUVALLEY & PARTNERS

  • MATTHIAS SCHOLL

  • MCCOY RUSSELL LLP

  • MILLER, MATTHIAS & HULL LLP

  • NIXON PEABODY LLP*

  • NOVICK, KIM & LEE, PLLC

  • SCHMEISER, OLSEN & WATTS LLP

  • SCHWEGMAN LUNDBERG & WOESSNER, P.A.*

  • SCULLY SCOTT MURPHY & PRESSER, PC

  • SKGF PLLC

  • STERNE, KESSLER, GOLDSTEIN & FOX P.L.L.C.*

  • T. CHYAU LIANG, PH.D.

  • TREASURE IP GROUP

  • TROUTMAN SANDERS LLP*

  • VLP LAW GROUP LLP*

  • WILLIAM P. JENSEN

  • WILLIAM T. CHRISTIANSEN, PH.D.

  • WPAT, PC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEYS

  • YUAN-TE FU

*Listed by U.S. News among the Best Law Firms for Patent Law.


Chinese Military Organizations


The following is a list of Chinese military units, as listed in the USPTO database, that have been awarded U.S. patents:

  • ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCE, PLA

  • AFFILIATED HOSPITAL OF ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PLA

  • ARMY ACADEMY OF ARMORED FORCES

  • ARMY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

  • BAIHUAN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER (BBRC) ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL

  • BEIJING INSTITUTE OF TRANSFUSION MEDICINE, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES

  • BIOMEDICAL ANALYSIS CENTER, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES

  • CHINA 302 MILITARY HOSPITAL OF PLA

  • CHINESE PLA GENERAL HOSPITAL

  • FIELD SURGERY RESEARCH DEPARTMENT OF THE THIRD MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, THE

  • FIRST AFFILIATED HOSPITAL, THIRD MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY, P.R. CHINA

  • GENERAL HOSPITAL OF CHINESE PLA NORTHERN THEATER COMMAND

  • GENERAL HOSPITAL OF SHENYANG MILITARY REGION

  • GUANGZHOU GENERAL HOSPITAL OF GUANGZHOU MILITARY COMMAND

  • INSTITUE OF PHARMACOLOGY AND TOXICOLOGY ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, P.L.A. CHINA

  • INSTITUTE OF BASIC MEDICAL SCIENCE, THE ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCE OF THE CHINESE PLA

  • INSTITUTE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY CHINESE PLA ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES

  • INSTITUTE OF DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES

  • INSTITUTE OF IMMUNOLOGY, PLA

  • INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PLA

  • INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY, ACADEMY OF SYSTEM ENGINEERING, ACADEMY OF MILITARY SCIENCE

  • INSTITUTE OF MICROBIOLOGY AND EPIDEMIOLOGY, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PR CHINA

  • INSTITUTE OF RADIATION MEDICINE, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY OF CHINA

  • INSTITUTE OF TRANSFUSION MEDICINE, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PEOPLE'S LIBRATION ARMY OF CHINA

  • MILITARY INNOVATIVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (BEIJING) CO., LTD.

  • NANJING GENERAL HOSPITAL OF NANJING MILITARY REGION OF PLA

  • NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY, PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY OF CHINA

  • NAVAL AVIATION UNIVERSITY OF PLA

  • PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY ACADEMY OF ARMORED FORCES ENGINEERING

  • PLA NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY, THE

  • PLA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • QINGDAO FIRST CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL OF PLA JINANJUNQU

  • RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF NEPHROLOGY OF NANJING PLA, CHINA

  • SECOND AFFILIATED HOSPITAL, SECOND MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

  • SECOND MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • SHANGHAI DONG HAI MILITARY TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING CO.

  • THE 309TH HOSPITAL, THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • THE ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PLA ACADEMY OF MILITARY SCIENCE

  • THE FIFTH MEDICAL CENTER OF CHINESE PLA GENERAL HOSPITAL

  • THE FIRST HOSPITAL AFFILIATED TO ARMY MEDICAL UNIV

  • THE FOURTH MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • THE GENERAL HOSPITAL OF CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • THE GENERAL HOSPITAL OF SHENYANG MILITARY REGION OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • THE INSTITUTE OF RADIATION MEDICINE, ACADEMY OF MILITARY MEDICAL SCIENCES, PLA

  • THE KEY LABORATORY OF CHEMISTRY FOR NATURAL PRODUCTS OF GUIZHOU PROVINCE AND CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

  • THE PLA INFORMATION ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY

  • THE SECOND AFFILIATED HOSPITAL OF GENERAL HOSPITAL, PLA

  • THE SECOND AFFILIATED HOSPITAL OF PLA ARMY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

  • THE SECOND MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY AFFILIATED EASTERN HEPATOBILARY SURGERY HOSPITAL

  • THE THIRD INSTITUTE OF THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY

  • THIRD AFFILIATED HOSPITAL, THIRD MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

  • THIRD MILITARY MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY, P.R. OF CHINA

  • TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY

  • WUHAN GENERAL HOSPITAL OF GUANGZHOU MILITARY

  • WUHAN INSTITUTE OF VIROLOGY, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

  • AIR FORCE ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • AIR FORCE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

  • NAVAL AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY

  • NAVAL UNIVERSITY OF ENGINEERING


Methodology Intrepid Research conducted an advanced search of the USPTO Patent Assignment Database with the assignee country set as China and then input the following terms into the assignee name search box: “PLA,” “CPLA,” “Ministry of Public Security,” “Defense,” “Military,” “Army,” “Naval,” “Air Force,” “Ministry,” “Wuhan Institute of Virology,” and “Chinese Academy of Sciences.” Then sorted a list of entities and a list of correspondents.

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