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Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in Chinese Courts: An Analysis of Recent Patent Judgments

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Greater scrutiny is expected of China's intellectual property right laws as China's major trading partners, the European Union and the U.S., will likely step-up demands for stronger protection. China and the EU have launched what promises to be at least a year-long negotiation over their trade relationship and other areas, while the new Democratically-controlled Congress is expected to take a close look at U.S.-China trade agreements. Current violations of intellectual property rights in China have cost foreign companies billions of dollars. What can be done now to address such violations?

In a new Carnegie Paper, Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in Chinese Courts: An Analysis of Recent Patent Judgments, Dr. Mei Y. Gechlik, non-resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment, analyzes the trends of successful and failed patent lawsuits and presents steps foreign companies can take to better protect their intellectual property in China.

In an analysis of approximately 500 patent cases, Gechlik determines how likely foreign parties are to apply for judicial review to protect their patent rights, the chance of these parties winning their cases, and factors that influence their success in these lawsuits.

Encouraging commitment to strengthening Chinese patent protections, Gechlik said: "Whenever China's commitment to strengthening intellectual property rights is in doubt, the Chinese authorities should be reminded that one important determinant of a country's economic development and its leading status in the world is its competency to develop advanced technologies."