Innovation and Intellectual Property in China
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Innovation and Intellectual Property in China

Strategies, Contexts and Challenges

Edited by Ken Shao and Xiaoqing Feng

China is evolving from a manufacturing-based economy to an innovation-based economy, but the delicate context behind this change has not been properly understood by foreign governments, companies and lawyers. This book is an insightful response to ill-conceived notions of, and mis-assumptions regarding, the Chinese innovation economy. It represents an effort to marry a variety of “insiders’ perspectives” from China, with the analysis of international scholars.
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Chapter 2: Roadmaps of China’s National Intellectual Property Strategy Outline

Zhang Zhicheng


In 2004, headed by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the government of the People’s Republic of China began to design the nation’s national intellectual property (IP) strategy. At that time, China had been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member for about three years. Trade rules under the WTO institution had started to have an impact on China. Increasingly, Chinese enterprises were drawn into international IP lawsuits, in particular in or with developed countries such as the US and the EU members. Some countries frequently lodged legal actions against China under the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism. This made more and more people and companies in China realize that IP is a key element in global economic competition and plays a very important role in a nation’s development. By 2004 a modern IP system complying with the relevant international standards had been fairly well established in China. But ironically, there were only a limited number of people and entities in China that were qualified in handling IP affairs. Improving China’s domestic IP implementation system was still a challenge, not to mention the strategic application of an IP system in general and the WTO rules in particular. Here comes a compliance question that has attracted wide attention in China: how should China respond to various challenges that the WTO system puts forward to it? In the meantime, by 2004 the Chinese economy had been travelling at high growth rates for more than 20 years, under a labour-intensive model.

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