--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

IPR Protection Makes Steadfast Progress

In conjunction with China's astonishing economic growth over the past two decades, the nation has steadily improved its legislation on intellectual property rights.

The country's legal guidelines on intellectual property initially took shape in the 1980s. National legislators passed the Trademark Law in 1982, the Patent Law in 1984 and the Copyright Law in 1990. Those three laws became the backbone legislation governing intellectual property rights.

The State Council also endorsed regulations on the implementation of the three laws shortly after they were enacted.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) enacted the Law against Unfair Competition in 1993. The State Council passed the regulation on the protection of computer software in 1991, the regulation on the customs' protection of intellectual property in 1995, the regulation on the protection of new plant varieties in 1997, and the regulation on the protection of the layout and design of integrated circuits in 2001.

These measures further solidified the legal framework overseeing intellectual property rights.

The legal system also includes judicial interpretations.

Since 2001, the Supreme People's Court has issued four pieces of judicial explanation on how to handle cases involving trademark disputes, covering attachment, jurisdiction, application of law, preservation of evidence and suspension of actions that encroach upon the right to the exclusive use of a trademark.

Other legislation also has supportive stipulation on the protection of intellectual property rights.

The General Principles of Civil Law, the country's current basic civil law, devotes an entire section to intellectual property rights under the chapter on civil rights.

The Criminal Code also has an entire section devoted to the definition and punishment of encroachment of intellectual property rights.

The newly amended Foreign Trade Law, which was adopted in February, designates a whole chapter on the protection of foreign intellectual property rights.

In the wake of its admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO), China amended its basic intellectual property legislation to comply with the requirements of the global trade club and honour its commitments to the international community.

The amendments better protect the rights holders and promote development of intellectual property.

In response to domestic and international needs for the enhancement of intellectual property rights, the Patent Law has gone through two amendments since it was passed in 1984 and took effect in 1985.

It was first amended in 1992 to comply with the TRIPS (trade related aspects of intellectual property rights) agreement.

The 1992 amendment expanded the scope of patent protection to cover chemicals, medicine, food and beverages as well as condiments. It enhanced the rights of patent holders by offering them rights to import and extending their patent rights from the methods to the products that are made directly out of the methods.

It also extended the duration of patent protection to 20 years for patents on inventions and 10 years for patents on utility models and industrial designs.

The law was amended for a second time in a more comprehensive fashion in 2000.

The second amendment of the Patent Law established the basic principle that patent legislation should serve the country's technological innovation, making legal basis for the better integration of patent and science and technology development.

To better comply with the TRIPS agreement and ensure fairness and efficiency, the amendment improved stipulation on how to acquire and maintain patent rights so that patent applicants and holders get more convenience.

It also offered stronger protection of patent rights in line with the WTO requirements.

The Trademark Law has also been amended twice since it was passed in 1982 and took effect in 1983.

The first amendment to the Trademark Law in 1993 incorporated such stipulations as service trademarks, annulment of improperly registered trademarks, investigation and prosecution of trademark infringements, and investigation into the criminal responsibility of counterfeit trademarks.

It was amended again in 2001 to expand scope of protection, complete registration procedures, strengthen protection and improve judicial procedures.

The Copyright Law, enacted in 1990, was amended 2001.

The amendment removed stipulations associated with the highly centralized economy and reflected requirements of China's market economy development.

It helped step up China's efforts to join the WTO by putting the copyright legislation in line with the WTO requirements.

The amendments also reflected development of new technology and made way for tougher prosecution of copyright infringements.

(China Daily May 17, 2004)

Law Safeguards Foreign Brands
China Customs Crackdown IPR Infringement Cases
China Vows to Continue IPR Protection
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688