China’s Intellectual Property Rights: Current Issues, Strategic Considerations And Problem Solving
In this paper, the focus is primarily on the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that are given to individuals within the Republic of China. The paper starts off by defining IPR and the different ways that IPR is provided like copyright infringement. The paper them moves on to define IPR and its progression in China through the imperialistic years, the era after World War II and the modern structure of China’s government and society. The paper’s main aim was to discuss three aspects of IPR: current issues, strategic considerations and problem solving tactics within China. Some of the current issues discussed include: stopping abuse and attaining redress, involvement of appropriate IPR authorities, data collection, criminal enforcement, cultural differences, recognition and safeguard of IPRs, corruption, and language and trademark issues. The paper then moves on to discuss strategic considerations and highlights various exploitation issues present and strategies that help maintain consistency of contractual factors, building your own network and thorough risk analysis. The paper highlight problem solving strategies which focus on employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction/retention, intelligence network and partnerships, the use of supply chain, increasing public awareness and the use of technology and its design. The paper then concludes the paper with an overview of everything that was discussed.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): Defined
Intellectual Property (IP) is simply a claim put on a valuable yet intangible creation. Normally, the standards set for all Intellectual Properties are set by individuals with a high intellectual capability like inventors. Every individual has the right to protect a valuable creation and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has now become an established global standard through which this right of protection can exercised. Intellectual property rights (IPR) also offer the individuals a chance to manage and expand their IP based on their status as the ‘rights owner’ of any IPfootnoteRef:1. 1: Buckley, C., Lynn, J. And Nebehay, S. (2009). China, U.S. trade barbs over WTO piracy case. Reuters. 2009-03-20. Accessed August 27th, 2011 from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/03/20/us-china-usa. Also see: Shi, W. (2006). Cultural Perplexity in Intellectual Property: Is Stealing a Book an Elegant Offense? 32 N.C.J. Int’l L. & Com. Reg. 1, 35.-wto-idUSTRE52J3T920090320
The next question is defining the kind of creations that will be accounted as part of the IPs of individuals. All creations that are believed to be completely new inventions or an extension of a creation that is innovative — plus any aspect of a creation that is believed to further the process of development are considered as IPs. The categories of IPs also differ based on the field or domain in which an individual chose to create something. For instance, a new creation in the field of art or literature will be protected by the IPR known as copyright. Similarly, in the department of technology, a new creation will be given the IPR of a patent that will protect their rights as well as the rights of what was created. The IPR known as trademark is usually assigned for the protection of a signature or logo that is believed to distinguish a product or service or business from the rest in the industry. Similarly, the design rights highlighted as part of the IPRs are structured for the protection of the appearance, shape, colour and structure of a product. All these categories provide the same set of rights based on the criteria that anything created in these fields is not generic but unique, novel and not previously owned by someone else. All creations must also in one way or another be designed for progression or as a representation of progressionfootnoteRef:2. 2: Feng, Peter (2003). Intellectual Property in China (2 ed.). Sweet & Maxwell Asia.
All rights, with the exception of the copyrights that are automatically registered, have to be formally registration and approved by the government. All rights follow a specified structure of application based on the domain or department that the right belongs to. This registration will ensure that the rights to the creation are your own and will not be exploited by anyone else. The important thing to note here is those projects that an individual completes for a company or while employed at a company will be the copyrights of the company as opposed to the individualfootnoteRef:3. 3: China, Russia Top U.S. Piracy List. Reuters. 2007-04-30 Accessed August 27th, 2011 from: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN3041927620070430. It is also important to mention here that The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) placed China on its intellectual property rights (IPR) priority watch list on April 29. USTR released a report that found that China had not fulfilled commitments made last year to reduce IPR infringement, saying that China’s steps to improve enforcement have been “seriously inadequate” and that “criminal enforcement in China has not demonstrated any deterrent effect on infringers.”The administration will use World Trade Organization (WTO) instruments “whenever appropriate,” the report states. But USTR stopped short of labeling China a “priority foreign country” — a move that would have likely triggered a Section 301 investigation (the section of the 1974 Trade Act that empowers the U.S. government to retaliate against unfair trade practices) and eventually a dispute-resolution case in the WTO. The USTR report demands that China comply with transparency requirements and release data on IPR enforcement activities. This data could be a step toward developing a case over time.In the report, USTR also presents China with a six-item list of needed “Tangible Results,” which are similar to previous, general calls for more criminal investigations and greater transparency. USTR has indicated that it will seek to establish clear benchmarks to measure China’s progress in reducing piracy. Discussions on these benchmarks will apparently be part of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) process. The JCCT — chaired on the U.S. side by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and USTR Rob Portman, and on the Chinese side by Vice Premier Wu Yi — is due to take place in Beijing in July.
In this paper, we will be focusing on the Intellectual Property Rights that are exercised in China. The paper will start off by discussing the history and evolution of IPR in China followed by the current issues that hamper the exercise or demand better implementation of IPR in China. The majority of the paper deals with the strategic considerations that might be important to implement in the short and long run in order to improve the IPR practice in the region followed by some of the problem-solving techniques that are already in place. The paper ends with a summarized overview of the paper.
IPR in China
Intellectual property rights first surfaced and penetrated into the People’s Republic of China over three decades ago when the Chinese economy first took shape and found a structure in the global society. This was the primary reason why many of the foreign states and governments took an interest in the Chinese economy and worked towards standardizing and implementing the IP protection policies within the region at the beginning of the twenty-first centuries. It must be noted here though that despite the progression of IPR being prominent in China, it has had its fair share of ups and downs and hurdles primarily due to its rigid and established social structure. China’s social structure, political administrations, economic structures and historical stances have not been open to change or the idea of intellectual property primarily due to the drastic changes that led to antagonistic environments. Despite these difficulties, the IPRs in China cannot be sidelined as they are an integral part of the boom that the Chinese economy has been experiencing in the past three to four decades. Furthermore, if and when China strengthens its IPR, the foreign investors would have increased interest in the economy hence simultaneously increasing the growth rate of the country. This section of the paper will present an outline of the significant improvements of IPRs in China over the different political and economic phases of the regionfootnoteRef:4. 4: Gulbransen, D. (2009). The Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights in China: Moving Beyond Legislative Reform to the Challenges of the New Millennium. Accessed August 27th, 2011 from: http://www.gulbransen.net/resume/David-Gulbransen-Paper.pdf Given the cultural and historical role of intellectual property rights in China, the progress China has made in effecting intellectual property rights protections in the past thirty years is nothing short of phenomenal. In the race to protect their own interests, developed nations are sometimes reluctant to admit the great strides China has made in opening doors to foreign trade and becoming a productive member of the international community. Also see: Shi, W. (2006). Cultural Perplexity in Intellectual Property: Is Stealing a Book an Elegant Offense? 32 N.C.J. Int’l L. & Com. Reg. 1, 35.
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