Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series
Edited by Stefan Luginbuehl and Peter Ganea
Chapter 12: DUAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM
Western companies which are doing or are planning to do business in China are interested in the opportunities offered by the Chinese market. According to the Business Confidence Survey 2012 which has been newly released by the European Chamber, the responding European companies were, almost without exception, optimistic about their sector’s growth prospects in China. They believe that the importance of China in their companies’ overall global strategy will further increase. However, in spite of encouraging developments over the past years resulting from both the improved performance by courts in major cities and increased awareness of the intellectual property issues amongst the public, uncertainty arising from the regulatory environment for the protection of intellectual property rights still forms a significant obstacle. In 2012 70 per cent of the respondents still rated China’s enforcement of intellectual property rights and relevant regulations as inadequate or very inadequate. A few years ago, China was frequently criticized for implementing intellectual property laws only for the sake of gaining favorable trading partnerships with Western countries through various international agreements. Some commentators attributed the failure to curb piracy and counterfeiting in China to the lack of political will on the part of Chinese policymakers. Recently, however, such criticism has become silent. Commentators even identified a political will to guarantee robust enforcement.
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