Edited by Rohan Kariyawasam
Chapter 2: Patents
Guo He1 2.1. THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHINESE PATENT LAW In the late 1970s, China started to plan for the establishment of a patent system. In 1980, the State Council approved the founding of the China Patent Office and began drafting a new patent law. At the same time, China was undergoing changes in its approach to the economy and an intense debate ensued on whether China should promote ‘capitalism’ through the patent system or pursue ‘socialism’ and whether or not capitalism or socialism could harm or benefit the Chinese economy. The debate shifted back and forth, but in October and November 1980, a symposium for patent issues and a workshop on patent law were held respectively. The prevailing opinions arising from these meetings were that the patent system was a technical system with legal overtones which could be utilized by a socialist state, and that establishing a patent system in China would benefit the country. However, even though the 11th draft of the patent law was delivered to the State Council for opinion in March 1981, there were still major objections to the law being passed. Drafting of the new patent law stagnated for more than a year. In 1982, the legislative procedure was again restarted, and in August 1983, the draft patent law was approved by a meeting of the State Council and delivered to the National People’s Congress for consideration the following September. On 12 March 1984, the Chinese Patent Law was finally adopted at the fourth session...
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