People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a populous nation in East Asia whose vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers, and more than 14,000km of coastline.
In 1980, the PRC became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
It has patterned its IPR laws on the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
The PRC acceded to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property on 14 November 1984 and became an official member on 19 March 1985. The PRC also acceded to the Madrid Agreement for the International Registration of Trademarks in June 1989.
In January 1992, the PRC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States government to provide copyright protection for all American “works” and for other foreign works. Several bilateral negotiations have been conducted between the two governments. At some points, trade sanctions were threatened by the two governments over IPRs issues. At the conclusion of negotiations in 1995, the Sino-US Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights was signed. In June 1996, the two governments entered into another agreement protecting American intellectual property in the PRC.
The Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China sets out general guidelines on administration of trademarks, protection of trademark owners’ exclusive rights and maintenance of quality of products or services bearing the registered trademarks, “with a view to protecting consumer interests and to promoting the development of the socialist commodity economy.
Adhering to Article 4 of the Paris Convention, the Chinese government passed the Provisional Regulations Governing Application for Priority Registration of Trademarks in China to grant the right of priority to trademark applications submitted in PRC by the nationals of the Paris Convention member countries.
Copyright law is mainly governed by the Copyright Law of the PRC and the Implementing Rules for the Copyright Law of the PRC, the Copyright Law of the PRC adopted and promulgated in 1990 and the “Implementing Rules” adopted in 1991 and revised in 2002. In most cases the copyright term is the life of the author plus 50 years, but for cinematographic and photographic works and works created by a company or organization the term is 50 years after first publication.
To implement the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, as well as bilateral copyright treaties signed between the PRC and other foreign countries, the PRC government passed the Regulations on Implementation of International Copyright Treaties (1992). These have given foreign copyright holders protection for their rights and interests in the PRC.
The PRC passed the Patent Law of the PRC to encourage invention-creation and to promote the development of science and technology. The subsequent Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the PRC added clarification.
Official languages: Standard Chinese
Government: Unitary one-party socialist republic
Currency: Renminbi (yuan; ¥) (CNY) (1 $ = 6.51 CNY)