Guide to Intellectual Property Protection in China

Brief History

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The concept of Intellectual Property as in its modern form came to China in 1800s, in the form of new inventions such as clock, matches, gunboat, opium, etc. In 1949, with the foundation of People's Republic of China all laws of the 'old' China was replaced. The concept of Continuous Revolution denounced the notion of privately owned monopolies or exclusive rights in the use of expressions, ideas and names.

In 1979, China began its modernization and open door policy of "Reform and Open Up" under the new leadership. Respect of private property, including Intellectual Property came as part of the new legal system. The current legal system on Intellectual Property protection has been established and developed only in the last 20+ years.

Intellectual Property Protection has developed its root in China with the concessions from the accommodating socialist system. The emerging Intellectual Property Protection had actually reformed some of the crucial areas of the systems, including the acceptance of the idea that protection of intellectual property have concrete and tangible advantages that brings to China's modernization programme.

Copyright and patents in particular were proposed to recognized the intelligent products for intellectual. The entrepreneurial spirit associated with inventors, writers, creators, or event a small unit of designers ensure a brave departure from the idea of everything are part of the community. That encourage the raises of private companies in China.

Types of Intellectual Property

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Patent - The China patents are of the three types: Invention, Utility Model and Design.

Trademark - Signs consisting of words, graphs or their combination which display distinctive features. It refers to two-dimensional visual objects only. Trademark can be registered and unregistered. Registration entitles the registrant to the exclusive right to use the registered marks for approved goods and services.

Copyright - Rights arising from or in relation to works. It includes literary works; orally delivered works; musical, dramatic and choreographic works; artistic and photographic works; film, television and video works; plans and related explanations for engineering design and product design; maps, illustrations and other diagrams; computer software; and other works stipulated by laws and administrative regulations.

Patent - Different types

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Invention and Utility Model are refering to a new technical solutions. A technical solution comprises a number of technical features which, for a product-related technical solution, can be the parts, components, materials, appliances, equipment or devices, as well as their shape, structure, composition, measurement, quantity, etc., in the technical solution nesessary for the manufacture of the proudct. A technical solution should be a clear, complete and concrete representation of the inventor's technical conception of one's invention or utility model so as to enable a person having ordinary skill in the art to carry it out.

Design patent is protectable when applied to an industrial proudct with respect to shape, pattern, color or a combination of any of them.

Patent - Utility Model

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A Utility Model can only applied to the new technical solution to a three-dimensional product. It takes a shorter time for the examination and authorization by the China Patent Office as compared to Invention patent. It carries a lower inventiveness requirement with a substantive feature and progress as opposite to prominent substantive features and notable progress for Invention.


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