12. The inﬂuence of the WTO on patenting activities in China Derek Bosworth and Deli Yang The introduction of the Open Door policy in 1979 and subsequent economic reform have necessitated the establishment of an intellectual property system in China. The national objectives of these changes are to encourage capital and technology inﬂows from foreign countries to boost China’s overall economic development. The lack of appropriate intellectual property rights (IPR) protection acts as a barrier to inﬂows of advanced technology from overseas. The willingness of China to introduce IPR protection reﬂects a growing recognition of the critical need to gain access to advanced technology to improve domestic competitiveness and promote development (O’Connor and Lowe, 1996). Since 1979, there has been a profound change in the view of IPR protection in China: from a situation of not understanding the concept of intellectual property before 1979 to a country that now operates a system of IPR protection. The WTO has played an important role in this process of change. This chapter outlines the current patent system in China and the rationale for its establishment. In doing so, it focuses on the major role of the WTO. During the 1980s, China promulgated its ﬁrst Patent Law, established the Patent Oﬃce and created judicial protection for patents. The creation of this triple control system is the consequence of both the internal desire for advanced technology and external pressure from the industrialized countries and international organizations, such as the World...
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