The IPR Situation in China: IPR Infringement

Intellectual Property Rights infringement is a serious problem for all the countries in the world. More and more businesses are being affected due to the billions of losses they face due to the unfair competition brought about by the presence of counterfeit products. At the same time, the presence of these products is also compromising the health and safety of all the citizens in the world. The protection of intellectual property rights is difficult for the citizens of the People’s Republic of China.

Chengsi (45), mentions that this kind of rights are something very foreign to culture of the Chinese as they are a people who shared their ideas with each other. Undoubtedly, the awareness of the public with regard to intellectual property is very limited. China has long been placed under the influences of both Confucianism and Socialism where the ideas contradict the principles of Intellectual Property Rights protection.

As cited in the work of Frietsch and Wang (11), “Confucianism considers learning taking place by copying and imitation is a form of flattery” while “Socialism believes that in inventing for creating, individuals were engaged in social activities that drew on repository of knowledge that belonged to all members of society. ” Until the 1980s, knowledge in the People’s Republic of China was transferred from the academia to the industry for free.

During this period, research and development were handled by the universities and other institutions of learning whilst enterprises were only concerned with production. It is then in this tradition that the transfer of knowledge was taken for granted and thought as something for the public, which everyone can use for free. Thus, as it has been mentioned, the concept of knowledge as a private property, as provided in IPR regulations was something rather new to the citizens of the People’s Republic of China.

Corruption is another issue that inhibits the proper enforcement of the IPR regulations. There are times when local protectionism lessens the strength of central legislation or the power of law enforcement, Chengsi (34) mentions, as local governments who may not want to support the work of anti-piracy supervisors often create problems during investigation regarding IPR and at the same time, hiding the counterfeiters in safer places.

Another issue why copyright infringement is prevalent in the People’s Republic Issue is the manner by which the court handles the problem. Frietsch and Wang (12) mentions two ways by which IPR issues could be resolved: through the judicial approach and administrative approach. As it has been earlier mentioned, conflicts tend to arise when the administrative approach is used to solve IPR issues. On the other hand, citizens find the judicial approach costly and complicated.

There are many forms of IPR infringement and/or counterfeiting in the People’s Republic of China. One of the most well known type of infringements are cinema films on DVD and also the DVD standard itself which was used by Chinese producers without procuring a license (Friestch & Wang 10). Product Piracy, defined as partly exact and partly less accurate copies of products, and generally of lesser quality still exists in China especially the infringement of trademark of applications of individual enterprises.

Another problem being experienced in China with regard to the infringement of copyright is the so-called reengineering which according to Frietsch and Wang (11) entails buying single pieces and imitating the technologies to copy products on the one hand. However, the Chinese firms already have the capacity to produce their innovations which could either replace the product or develop technologies that come with it. As a result, the ability of the innovating company to react is restricted.