China Seeks to Diversify Areas of Intellectual Property Protection (in Chinese)

November 22, 2004

At a Forum on the Third Anniversary of the Revision of the Copyright Law, scholars, government officials, and rightsholders asserted the need for further development of copyright law and regulation due to the changing situation.

While some of the changes under discussion are new regulations that will provide methods of protecting copyrights that will benefit both foreign and domestic rightholders, some of the proposed regulations touch on areas of great sensitivity in the international intellectual property community. Regulations currently under review by the State Council’s Legislative Affairs Office include the Folk Culture and Arts Protection Regulations, the Consolidated Copyright Management Regulations, the Information Network Dissemination Rights Protection Regulations, and the Broadcast Organic Statutory Licensing Fees Measures.

Underlying these regulations and similar regulatory activities discussed within other IP right areas including patents and trademarks is the theory that some rights are domestically inherent in an individual culture. It is currently unsettled how Folk art and culture, geographical indications, and the patenting of local scientific processes and products should be handled in a consistent international IP regime. Because of the size of China’s market and its current problems with IP protection, it is a cause of some concern that China would complete its regulation before an international consensus on how to protect these types of rights has been concluded.