Table of Contents

Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development

Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development

Development Agendas in a Changing World

Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series

Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe

This comprehensive book considers new and emerging IP issues from a development perspective, examining recent trends and developments in this area. Presenting an overview of the IP landscape in general, the contributing authors subsequently narrow their focus, providing wide-ranging case studies from countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America on topical issues in the current IP discourse. These include the impact of IP on the pharmaceutical sector, the protection of life forms and traditional knowledge, geographical indications, access to knowledge and public research institutes, and the role of competition policy. The challenges developing countries face in the TRIPS-Plus world are also explored in detail.

Chapter 3: Intellectual Property Reforms in China

Peter K. Yu

Subjects: development studies, development economics, law and development, economics and finance, development economics, law - academic, intellectual property law, law and development


Peter K. Yu1 INTRODUCTION In the past two decades, China has been heavily criticized for its inadequate protection of intellectual property rights. Every year, US industries are estimated to have lost billions of dollars due to piracy and counterfeiting in the country. As the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) stated in its recent Special 301 Report, copyright piracy in China resulted in US$ 3.5 billion of US trade losses in 2008 alone (IIPA, 2009). Of particular concern is the considerable quantity of infringing products that have been exported to other foreign markets. To protect its industries, the United States recently requested the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a panel to determine whether China has failed to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).2 The panel report, however, yielded only mixed results. Although China was fittingly criticized for its piracy and counterfeiting problems, it is important to recognize and appreciate the considerable amount of intellectual property reforms the country has undertaken in the past two decades. Since the reopening of its market to foreign trade in the late 1970s, China introduced its first modern copyright, patent, and trademark laws (IIPA, 2007). A decade later, China revamped its intellectual property system in response to US pressure and did so again in preparation for its accession to the WTO (Yu, 2000; 2006a). Today, China is a proud member of many multilateral intellectual property agreements, including the Berne Convention, Geneva Convention,...

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