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BY ATSUSHI OKUDERA CORRESPONDENT
SHANGHAI--A state-owned company in China is planning to apply for patents in the United States for its CRH380A bullet train, which is based on technology used in the Hayate bullet train on Japan's Tohoku Shinkansen line.
The company admits that its bullet train uses Japanese technology, but maintains that the railroad truck and design were developed independently.
CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., a train manufacturer in Qingdao, Shandong province, is preparing for patent applications in the United States.
A company official told The Asahi Shimbun on June 23 that preparations have long been under way.
Meanwhile, Ma Yunshuang, technology director of CSR Qingdao Sifang, told the China Daily, an English-language newspaper in China, that the company has hired U.S. lawyers and started assessing its intellectual property rights on the train.
"The results of their initial assessment were positive, which means China can apply for patents in the United States," he said, admitting that patent applications were being prepared. "The train's technologies are rooted in Japanese technologies, but the CRH380A train is no longer the train imported from Japan years ago."
Ma provided a detailed analysis of the parts imported, design concepts and how technology and design were related, and argued that adjustments on (1) the truck, (2) the train head design and (3) the train hull have enabled the train to run at a speed of 380 kph.
Ma said that more than 100 million yuan ($15 million) has been poured into the innovations of the new train models, an amount considerably larger than what the company spent on research and development in the past.