Innovation Without Patents

Innovation Without Patents

Harnessing the Creative Spirit in a Diverse World

Edited by Uma Suthersanen, Graham Dutfield and Kit Boey Chow

A question the book considers is how far legal protection should extend to inventions that may only just, or indeed not quite, meet the conventional criteria for patentability, in terms of the level of inventiveness. Innovation without Patents offers a thoughtful and empirically rich analysis of the current system in a number of developed and developing countries in the Asia-Pacific. It asks whether such innovations should remain free from patenting, or whether alternative intellectual property regimes should be offered in such cases, and indeed whether the requirements change depending on a country’s level of development. This discussion is capped by a number of proposed policy options.

Chapter 8: China and Taiwan

Kit Boey Chow, Kah Mun Leo and Susanna Leong

Subjects: innovation and technology, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law


Kit Boey Chow, Kah Mun Leo, Susanna Leong with Jerry Hsiao Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China have both adopted UMs in their patent legislation. Despite being ethnically similar, the two countries have a divergent past in dealing with intellectual property protection. Taiwan industrialised earlier than China and faced successive trade pressures from the United States. Due to this, Taiwan developed her patent law in compliance with the internat ional norm. China, on the other hand, followed more socialist principles and held that the grant of private monopoly rights to an individual or a firm was contradictory to socialist principles; in fact, the government has openly endorsed imitation as the way to develop the economy of the country. Nowadays, however, both Taiwan and China as members of the WTO, have embraced a more international standard of TRIPS, and even, in the case of UMs, both countries have adopted a TRIPS-plus standard. 8.1 China 8.1.1 Economic and Innovation Climate China has experienced a paradigm shift and has now become a common outsourcing manufacturing centre for the United States, Japan and Europe. Tremendous growth has been witnessed in recent years after establishing its open door policy towards foreign trade and investments, and improving its economic and legal structures. Advancements in the area of information and telecommunications have made China a competitive nation in the post-WTO accession era based on its abundance of cheap labour and natural resources. Despite the remarkable economic growth and development, innovation seems to be rather limited as...

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