Property Laws in China

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Chinese Commercial Law: Assignment One Development of the Intellectual Property Laws and Protection of the Foreign Intellectual Property rights in China

  1. Introduction

According to the World Trade Organisation, Intellectual Property rights are defined as ‘the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds which give the creator an exclusive right over the use of the creation for a certain period of time.’ The period of time at which an individual own the Intellectual Property rights varied across the world and also depends on the creation itself. The Intellectual property rights are divided into two categories. The first category is the copyright and rights related to copyright which cover mostly literary and artistic works. The second category is the Industrial property which is further classified into protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks and those that are related to invention, innovation, design and the creation of technology with the aim of attracting investment in the development of new technology, thus giving the incentive and means to finance research and development activities. Infringement of the Intellectual property rights is said to have occurred when an individual or a firm used the protected Intellectual property rights without an authorisation or permission from the legally recognised owner of the creation within the protected period. Since the Intellectual Property right is a huge topic of study and it has been vastly covered in the existing literature, it is beyond the scope of this paper to cover every aspect of the Intellectual Property right. However, this assignment will explore the historical development of Chinese Intellectual Property laws, adoption of the intellectual property laws in China, studied two Cases involving the protection of foreign intellectual property rights in China and in conclusion, the essay will make some remarks on the current trends and how China is implementing its intellectual property laws as well as future scenarios and challenges facing foreign companies in their quest to do business and continue to protect their intellectual property rights in China.

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  1. Historical development of the Intellectual Property Laws in China

The original concept of Intellectual property right in China can be dated back to A.D. 835. The first known pronouncement and protection of the intellectual property rights was in the form of an edict issued by Emperor Wenzong of the Tang dynasty. This edict had ‘prohibited unauthorised reproduction by persons of calendars, almanacs, and related items that might be used for prognostication.’ The role of the edict was later expanded to prohibit unauthorised copying and distribution of state legal pronouncements and official histories, and the reproduction, distribution, or possession of ‘‘devilish books and talks’’ (yaoshu yaoyan) and most works on Buddhism and Daoism (prognostication).’ The intellectual property laws in the modern China did not come without a concerted effort and push from the western countries which were worried of losing their trade and markets due to coping and violation of the intellectual property rights in China.

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