May 28, 2013 Articles

Rise of Remedies in Chinese Courts

Do recent changes indicate a trend toward better enforcement of patent rights in China?

By Kenneth S. Chang and Jeffrey M. Connor

Compared with its 5,000 years of history, one richly filled with innovation and creativity, China's intellectual property system is relatively young—less than 40 years old. In its infancy and adolescence, China's development of protection for IP has been motivated by extrinsic forces—China's need for inclusion in the global economy and acceptance into international bodies such as the World Trade Organization.

However, spurred on by its National Medium- and Long-Term Plan for the Development of Science and Technology (2006–2020), China has been striving to become a leader in the global IP marketplace and has attained a significant level of success. In 2011, China became the number-one patent filing country in the world. Concurrent with the explosion in patent filings, in 2008, Chinese patent law underwent its third revision to improve "China's capacity to create, utilize, protect and administer intellectual property, making China an innovative country." State Council of the People's Republic of China, Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy (June 21, 2008); EU-China Workshop on the Revision of the Chinese Patent Law, Sept. 24–25, 2008. The revisions were a significant overhaul to China's system for judicial enforcement of patents and, coupled with China's rise to becoming the world's second-largest economy, made companies think hard about obtaining and enforcing patents in China.

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