Building the Ladder: Three Decades of Development of the Chinese Patent System
Peter K. Yu
Drake University Law School
October 8, 2012
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON PATENT LAW, Margo Bagley and Ruth Okediji eds., Oxford University Press, 2013
Drake University Law School Research Paper No. 12-30
In the past three decades, China has been very successful in developing its patent system. In 2011, the country is among the top five countries filing patent applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, behind only the United States, Japan and Germany. Among all the applicants, ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies, respectively, had the largest and third largest number of PCT applications, with Panasonic ranking in the second. With significant backing from the Chinese government and the anticipated involvement of the world's largest public sector, China will likely catch up with the existing intellectual property powers more quickly than many have expected.
This chapter traces the development of the modern Chinese patent system. It begins with a historical overview of the protection China offered to inventions during the dynastic and Republican eras. The chapter then identifies five different stages of development of the modern Chinese patent system. Focusing on each stage, this chapter demonstrates how a developing country could strategically build a patent system that is tailored to its own social, economic and technological conditions. The chapter concludes with some insights into the future development of the patent system and the ramifications of such development for foreign patent owners. It offers five different lessons other developing countries can use in reforming their patent systems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 10, 2012 ; Last revised: October 22, 2012
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