Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Anna M. Han


In the 1980s and 1990s, China enacted laws that protect intellectual properties being licensed to China. These laws are fairly complete and conform generally to international standards. Notwithstanding the enactment of domestic legislation and participation in international treaties, and accords, criticism of China's protection of intellectual property rights continues unabated. Foreign owners of technology still doubt China's ability to enforce its laws.

The author provides a brief historical overview of the development of intellectual property laws in China and the negotiations between the United States and China that have resulted in a bilateral accord. In addition, the author explores historical, social, and cultural influences on Chinese society that may impact a licensing transaction in China. Taking into account these nonlegal factors, the author provides practical suggestions to licensors that may facilitate their transactions in China. The author concludes that until cultural attitudes regarding intellectual property change, foreign licensors must carefully evaluate the benefits and the risks of technology licensing in China.