The Influence of the WTO over China's Intellectual Property Regime

LawBook Co.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Sydney Law Review, 2012, 34 (1), pp. 65 - 89
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This article commences with a brief history of China's intellectual property policy and international relations over the past 150 years. China's engagement with the western construct of intellectual property rights is strongly aligned with China's international trade relations. In particular, this article will consider the influence of the enquiries into transparency that followed China's first review after accession to the WTO and then the dispute resolution process initiated by the United States specifically on issues of intellectual property enforcement. Despite the numerous international treaties and agreements on intellectual property rights that exist and to which China acceded in the early days of the Open Door Policy period, it was the need to become a member of the WTO and with that the expectation of compliance with the prescriptive requirements found in the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("the TRIPS Agreement") that provided the greatest influence on the shaping of China's intellectual property regime today. Recent developments highlight a counterpoint in China's engagement with the TRIPS Agreement. This is indicated in China's willingness to align itself with the views of developing nations in the way that the TRIPS Agreement is interpreted and this is most evident in the recent Patent Law amendments which demonstrate China's desire to be an innovator, not a copier.
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