National IP Strategy moves forward


The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has approved the amended Scientific and Technological Progress Law. The amended law contains provisions which support the release of the long-awaited National IP Strategy later this year. The amended law will come into force on July 1 2008.

Article 7 of the amended law provides that the government shall:

  • devise and implement a national IP strategy;

  • improve the protection of IP rights; and

  • encourage independent innovation in China.

This provision was added to the law to prepare for the release of the National IP Strategy. The preparation of the strategy started in January 2005; it is anticipated that it will be released and implemented during the first half of 2008. The strategy will provide guidelines on the protection of IP rights in China. It will aim to:

  • enhance the protection of IP rights;

  • improve the registration systems;

  • strengthen the fight against piracy; and

  • provide means to educate the public on the protection of IP rights.

Further, Article 20 of the amended law provides that patent rights and rights in computer software, integrated circuits and plant varieties arising from government-funded projects will belong to the researchers. However, IP rights relating to national security, national interests and major public interests will belong to the government. The aim of this provision is to encourage innovation and creativity in China.

The amended law also aims to:

  • encourage scientific and technological research;

  • promote independent innovation and creativity;

  • transform academic scientific achievements into productive projects; and

  • assist small and medium-sized enterprises in creating new technology.

Philip Tsang, Marks & Clerk Hong Kong incorporating Lloyd Wise & Co, Hong Kong

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