Patentability of internet business methods in The People's Republic of China
Abstract of thesis entitled
Patentability Of Internet Business Methods In The People?
Republic Of China
for the degree of Master of Philosophy
at the University of Hong Kong
in November 2004
Traditional business methods are manually performed and are not normally patentable. However, the rapid development of the Internet, e-commerce and telecommunications technology has seen the emergence of a range of business method related inventions. Such inventions, designed for internet-based business sectors, are highly advanced technically. Because Internet business methods are vulnerable to copying because of the open-code nature of the Internet, copyright cannot offer sufficient protection to the functionally technical ideas embedded, and it has become generally accepted in the West that they deserve protection through patent. The patent law systems in the USA, Europe, and Japan have gradually converged in recent years to acknowledge the patent eligibility of business methods.
Until recently, China has been very reluctant to extend patent protection to Internet business methods, because of its concern to protect the interests of its own developing internet-related industry. It has taken the view that such a step would disadvantage local companies, which would be unable to compete with foreign rivals. However, as policymakers in China have realized that failure to protect intellectual property will block or delay the import of highly advanced internet-related technology, and will in the long run impede the development of China? own
internet-related industries, this view has changed. There is now a growing willingness on the part of the Chinese authorities to extend patent protection to Internet business methods.
This study examines China? existing Intellectual Property system and analyses the changes necessary to provide adequate protection for Internet business methods. The existing system is clearly inadequate. In order to boost the Chinese internet-based business industry to an internationally competitive level, substantial patent protection for Internet business methods must be provided without delay. However, such patent protection needs to be managed so that only high quality Internet business method patents will emerge. The study concludes that China? Patent Office should strengthen its Prior Art databases and examination manpower, provide technical training to examiners, and establish instructive and practical guidelines for businesses or individuals wishing to patent Internet business method inventions.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:electronic commerce law and legislation china patent laws hong kong
Date of Publication:01/01/2005