Zhang Ping1 and Meng Zhaoping 9.1. INTRODUCTION The application of computer software, information technology and e-commerce in China developed contemporaneously with changes in technology worldwide. The relevant Chinese legislation has also taken note of the laws of the developed countries as well as relevant international treaties. In China, computer software is primarily protected by copyright law. With the development of expectations by rights owners of software for substantive protection of the technology, as well as increasing competition in the market, patent protection has also been sought. However, softwarerelated patents are mainly filed by foreign companies through the Patent Cooperation Treaty.2 Importantly, the provisions on computer softwarerelated patent applications have been incorporated into the Chinese Patent Examination Guidelines in order to clarify the requirements of software-related patents, as provided by China’s Patent Law for granting patent rights to computer software, and which is in line with other modern developed patent systems throughout the world.3 The protection of software under contract law has always been applied by enterprises in software trade activities. Since Chinese enterprises, in 1 Zhang Ping, Professor of Law, Administrative Vice President, School of Intellectual Property, Peking University; Meng Zhaoping, Peking University. The authors are grateful to He Huaiwen for help with translation. 2 The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) allows for patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an ‘international’ patent application. The application can be filed by anyone who is a national or resident of a PCT contracting State....
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