Note – Repercussions of China’s High-Tech Rise: Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in China
Volume 63, Issue 5, 1393-1416
China’s growing technological prowess and role as a global economic player has vastly increased the number of U.S. and international companies doing business in China. Despite the country’s continued building of a basic intellectual property infrastructure, IP violations remain a common complaint of foreign businesses. This Note analyzes China’s developing IP policy in the context of World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement 362, which the United States initiated against China in 2007. The dispute concerned the protection and enforcement of IP rights and involved both copyright and trademark issues. This Note also examines subsequent national IP strategy pronouncements issued by both China’s State Council and China’s highest court, the Supreme People’s Court, to assess the extent to which they remedy the issues that arose in the WTO dispute. In addition to these materials, this Note analyzes the likelihood that China will be able to implement its IP strategy. This Note concludes that although the Chinese government is shifting to a more proactive IP policy, the lack of effective law enforcement continues to serve as a major obstacle to implementation. Nascent pressure from domestic IP creators, international pressure, and most important, changes in China’s domestic economy all act as counterbalancing forces to offset the enforcement problem.