Intellectual Property Law, Technology Flow and Licensing Opportunities in the People's Republic of China

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This study explores the interrelationship between intellectual property (IP) law and technology transfer via licensing activity in China. In the absence of patent, trademark, design and utility model laws, and their effective enforcement, advanced country firms will be rarely willing to license technology to developing countries. The enactment and enforcement of such laws in developing countries, therefore, should result in greater international IP flows from advanced nation firms seeking to exploit market opportunities by exporting, licensing and direct foreign investment. Within just 20 years, China has moved from viewing IP as public property to having in place a raft of modern IP legislation. We relate these changes to the upsurge in IP activity in China since 1985, both in aggregate and by country of origin, and to technology flows from Japan and the USA. We then discuss remaining weaknesses in China's legislative framework and enforcement procedures.




Elsevier Science Ltd.

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International Business Review