Evolution of the Chinese Intellectual Property Rights System: IPR Law Revisions and Enforcement
Since the first Trademark Law was enacted in China in 1982, the Chinese intellectual property rights (IPR) system has undergone significant changes in both the design of the legislation and its enforcement. In this article, we analyze the evolution of IPR legislation and enforcement in China. To this end, we illustrate the evolutionary changes of the Chinese IPR system and analyze the changes introduced in four revisions (1992-1993, 2000-2001, 2008-2013, and 2019-2020). Our analysis shows that Patent Law, Trademark Law, and Copyright Law have been substantially enhanced, especially since 2000, when China improved its IPR system to comply with the TRIPS Agreement and join the WTO, and especially the most recent amendments of these three IP Laws. We discuss the number of IPR infringement cases handled by both relevant administrative authorities and courts to analyze IPR enforcement in China. Results indicate that the development of IPR protection enforcement followed the improvement of relevant IPR laws. The two revisions introduced after 2008, changes in the Chinese IPR system, and an increasing number of IPR infringement cases handled by relevant authorities also suggest the willingness of the Chinese government to further enhance its IPR protection.