Body1 announced that the Patent Office of the People's Republic of China has granted it a broad Internet-based patent, #ZL00815930.0, that covers systems involved in forming and managing intelligent online communities, including technology for soliciting and automatically evaluating user contributions.
The scope of the patent includes both specific medical applications and more general applicability to the intelligent social network communities now frequently referred to as "Web 2.0." The Chinese patent, which has legal roots in a 1999 U.S. application, is part of a global family of patent assets owned by Body1.
"In the next five years we expect that the Chinese Internet space will be as dynamic and as large as that in the U.S.," stated Christopher Messina, CEO of Body1. "Also, within the next 10 years we expect that the healthcare market in China will equal that of the U.S. in size and importance, therefore it is natural that we would seek to establish a strong proprietary position there."
Body1 owns The Body1 Network, an online network of health sites, and has been actively establishing relationships in China. Body1 expects the patent to be fully enforceable in China. In that regard, it is says it is encouraged by last month's patent recognition discussions between U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the Chinese government. In those meetings China pledged adherence with established international patent standards and reinforced its commitment to protecting intellectual property.