China's post-WTO intellectual property system: assessing compliance with the TRIPS agreement

Thomas, Kristie (2008) China's post-WTO intellectual property system: assessing compliance with the TRIPS agreement. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis examines the system of intellectual property (IP) protection in contemporary China. The IP system has undergone a series of dramatic reforms in recent years, particularly as a result of China's accession to the World Trade Organisation. From December 2001, China is now committed to comply with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). However, despite implementing TRIPS provisions into domestic legislation, infringements are still prevalent and criticism of the IP system continues.

Therefore, this study aims to analyse China's compliance with the TRIPS Agreement in more detail using theories of compliance originating in international law and international relations, in order to understand this gap between implementation and compliance. Specifically, this study applies a comprehensive model of compliance previously applied to international environmental accords. This model incorporates consideration of the international IP environment and the TRIPS Agreement itself, as well as China-specific factors affecting TRIPS compliance.

The model was tested using a combination of qualitative techniques, including an initial bilingual questionnaire, detailed follow-up interviews and analysis of a wide range of primary documents such as WTO papers, laws and regulations and case reports. Respondents participating in the study included legal and business professionals, both international and Chinese, with experience of the IP system in China. The qualitative data was coded and analysed using NVivo software and a model of TRIPS compliance in China created.

The study concludes that previous studies of compliance with international obligations have been too narrow in scope and that a more inclusive approach to relevant factors is necessary. In terms of policy implications, this thesis will also suggest that external pressure alone will not achieve long-term changes in the IP system and that more cooperative initiatives are necessary in order to increase China's capacity, as well as intention, to fully comply with the TRIPS Agreement.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Gow, I.
Yao, S.
Keywords: Foreign trade regulation, China, intellectual property (International law)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 12621
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2012 08:58
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 17:59

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