Traditionally, Chinese society has been founded on the two Confucian precepts of deference to authority and use of conciliation to resolve disputes rather than on any system of “law” as known in the West. However, since China’s adoption of the “Open Door Policy” to Western ideas in 1979, many laws have been enacted and China has moved rapidly towards a full-fledged legal system. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that the idea of “law” governing relationships between private parties is still very new in China. So the traditional tendency to defer to governmental institutions and to settle disputes by agreements rather than by legal determinations of rights is still important in China.
With these thoughts in mind, John Richards has written an article on the Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China. John&srquo;s article examines not only the different types of protection afforded inventions in China, but also how patent applications should be drafted and prosecuted. John then examines opposition proceedings and the licensing and enforcement of patent rights in China.