To encourage businesses to innovate technology, the Patent Office today will start providing comprehensive patent information via the Internet for free, officials said Tuesday.

As part of government pump-priming measures adopted last April, the Patent Electric Library will open to the public some 40 million items of information on existing patents, utility models, designs and trademarks, as well as those pending items undergoing official screening.

The officials said they hope the system, which is equipped with a retrieval function and some English information, will come in handy for emerging enterprises having little access to such a database.

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