We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Contrary to popular opinion, China has made good progress on intellectual property (IP) rights in the last 20 years, says Ian Harvey.

IP rights for foreigners in China are of good standard and quicker to obtain than in the European Union. And a 20-year lifetime patent is ten per cent of the price of patents in the Group of Eight countries.

But China is a huge country, so the quality of courts and respect for IP law varies, says Harvey. Corruption is part of the problem, especially in the least developed provinces. But in 2004, over 90 per cent of patent litigation cases brought by foreigners were decided in favour of the foreign patent holder — compared with 35 per cent in the United States.

Many of the IP problems experienced by Western companies in China are caused by a lack of understanding, says Harvey. For example, many do not register their rights locally — so they have no "right" to enforce. He says that foreign companies must have IP representation on the ground to better understand local processes and speed up approvals.

Link to full article in China Dialogue