China¡¦s Response to the Global IPR Regime: Resistance, Compromise or Compliance
China¡¦s behavior towards the intellectual property rights (IPR) regime is a reflection of the tug-of-war between regime and national interest. IPR, a concept foreign to Chinese culture, began to influence China following the reforms of 1978 through both external and internal pressures. This paper attempts to show how the power of international rules and national interests impacts China¡¦s IPR behavior by analyzing its attitude towards IPR negotiations, trends related to its IPR legal framework and enforcement.
This analysis can be broken down into three different periods.
1. 1979-1990: Interaction between national interest and international norm. China¡¦s action of both participating in the world IPR regime and the building of a domestic IPR system was to large extent motivated by self-interest. China needed a systematic IPR framework in place to meet its new economic conditions: attracting FDI and technology transfers while protecting indigenous infant industries. However, there is little evidence that China¡¦s actions during this period showed compliance with the global IPR regime.
2. 1990-2000: Moving towards compromise. China¡¦s negotiations with the United States dominated trends in its IPR reform and reoriented China¡¦s national interests. As China¡¦s largest trade partner and hegemon in the IPR issue area, the U.S. played a strong role in making Chinese IPR laws more transparent and aligned with the international standard. For sustaining economic development, China realized it needed to create an environment friendly to foreign investors and protect its growing export industry of patented products, and Chinese leaders therefore conceded to a large part of U.S.¡¦s demands. Nonetheless, the reform mostly focused on the legal system while enforcement was overlooked, continuing the rampant IPR infringement.
3. 21st century: Compliance under the WTO regime. Through its experience in the 1990s, and its membership in the WTO, China¡¦s IPR policies in the 21st century have become more proactive and globalized, implying that China is willing to accept higher degrees of interdependence. In this period, China has strived to conform to TRIPS (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) and has tackled its enforcement problem with a number of practical administrative and judicial policies to help reassure foreign investors and a growing amount of local IPR holders of the security of their IP. In the end however, the analysis in this paper still shows that China¡¦s current IPR protection policies still favor China¡¦s national interests over the interests of the global IPR regime.
This paper finds that the global IPR regime has helped to influence a new agenda for the PRC: to pursue a knowldege-based economy as a development goal. China now intends to follow the rules of the global IPR regime. The central government's capability of enforceing IPR policy at every level of government is an important benchmark in examining China's response to the global IPR regime in the future.
Advisor:Teh-Chang Lin; Bin, Lee; Chin - Peng CHU
School:National Sun Yat-Sen University
School Location:China - Taiwan
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:intellectual property right hegemony trips the agreement on trade related aspects of rights international norm regime wto national interest
Date of Publication:06/16/2006