© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015Yimeei Guo (ed.)Research on Selected China’s Legal Issues of E-Business10.1007/978-3-662-44542-6_13
13. IPR Management Strategies for Enterprises in the e-Commerce Era
Center for Economic Law, Law Department, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, China
The new era of e-commerce has changed the way we conduct business affairs. First, the rapid development of innovative technologies has promoted the global economy to an era dominated by knowledge and information. Secondly, fast exchanges in investment and technical transfer have created a boundary-free global economy. Lastly, the rapid development of the Internet and e-commerce has radically changed the pattern of traditional economic activities. Meanwhile, in the rapid changing and highly competitive global market, IPR management has already become the most important topic while facing the challenges from competitors. How enterprise could practice the best knowledge strategy and integrate IT platform to facilitate the ability of managing intellectual assets are the critical issues nowadays. Therefore, this article introduces the overall IPR protection and development of e-commerce in China separately at first. Then, it discusses the importance of IPR management and some IPR management strategies for enterprises in the e-commerce era. Finally, this article brings forth the conclusion with the hope to promote innovation development in China in the e-commerce era.
KeywordsE-CommerceIPR managementStrategies innovation
(Published by “Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Modeling, Simulation, and Identification (MSI 2009)”, 2009-10-1. <EI indexed>)
The new era of e-commerce (EC) has changed the way we conduct business affairs. First, the rapid development of innovative technologies has promoted the global economy to an era dominated by knowledge and information. Secondly, fast exchanges in investment and technical transfer have created a boundary-free global economy. Lastly, the rapid development of the Internet and e-commerce has radically changed the pattern of traditional economic activities.
Meanwhile, in the rapid changing and highly competitive global market including e-commerce market, intellectual property right (hereinafter IPR) management has already become the most important topic while facing the challenges from competitors. How enterprise could practice the best knowledge strategy and integrate IT platform to facilitate the ability of managing intellectual assets are the critical issues nowadays. Therefore, this article introduces IPR protection and the development of e-commerce in China at first, and then, it discusses the importance of IPR management and some IPR management strategies for enterprises. Finally, this article brings forth the conclusion with the hope to promote innovation in China in the e-commerce era.
13.2 IPR’s Protection in China
Since the 1980s, China has developed a body of laws and regulations on IPR protection, namely the Copyright Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law, and Regulations on the Protection of Layout–Designs of Integrated Circuits and administrative regulations for the implementation of these laws. Upon accession to WTO, China became a signatory to the Agreement on Trade–Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and amended the related IPR laws to provide a stronger and wider scope of protection for IPR holders.
However, given the country’s vast geography and population and its rapid economic growth, implementation and enforcement of IPR laws remains weak. In recognition of this, the central government has stepped up to its efforts in IPR protection. As early as in 2003, the Chinese government instituted the Mechanism of Regular Communication and Coordination with Foreign-Invested Enterprises to further improve the enforcement of IPR protection and the foreign investment environment. In August 2004, a high-power National Working Group of Intellectual Property Protection was established under the aegis of the States Council. Recently, after more than three years of preparation work, the revised PRC Patent Law (“New Patent Law”) was finally promulgated on December 27, 2008, and will enter into force on October 1, 2009.
With concerted efforts from all parties concerned, improvements in IPR protection can be achieved, but this will be a gradual process. Foreign investors are well advised to develop a more proactive approach in IPR and brand protection in China, such as forming allies with all stakeholders, including domestic enterprises (Coppers 2005).
13.3 The Development of EC in China
13.3.1 Overall Situation
Since the first e-mail is delivered over the Great Wall by Internet on September 20, 1987, the history of development of the e-commerce has had over 20 years. China’s fast-growing population of Internet users has risen to 298 million after passing the United States in 2008 to become the world’s largest, a government-sanctioned research group said (China Daily 2009). Besides, the market research company IDC has published a white paper about China’s e-commerce industry, and it states the total trade scale of China’s e-commerce industry reached RMB 1.951 trillion yuan in 2008, increasing over 20 % compared with the RMB 1.608 trillion yuan in 2007, forming a big contrast with the macroeconomic downturn. Of this revenue, e-commerce that targeted individual consumers increased by about 30 %. The report further points out that China’s e-commerce industry will maintain a rapid growth in the next five years and by 2010, its total trade is expected to reach RMB 3.22 trillion yuan (IDC 2009).
13.3.2 Current Legal System Concerning EC in China
On June 25, 2007, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) with The State Council Informatization Office of PRC (now incorporated in MIIT) jointly published The Eleventh Five–Year Plan on E–commerce Development. Thereafter, many local governments began to set up new service mechanism to improve the development of e-commerce. As early as on May 8, 2001, the Former President Jiang Zemin pointed out in the opening speech of the Fortune Global Forum 2001 in Hong Kong that “China will work hard on e-commerce, accelerate the process of informatization, and support enterprises in applying modern information network technology and international co-operation and exchanges.” Chinese government has always paid much attention to the development of e-commerce.
In order to achieve the goal of the “Eleventh Five–Year Program,” in the following years, Chinese Government had further promoted the development of e-commerce and created a good development environment in the field of technology, network, commerce, and legal rule. These policies, laws, and regulations concerning taxation, tariff, e-payment, electronic signature, identification authentication, network intellectual property rights, etc., will be stipulated, which are suitable to the development of e-commerce.
Inter alia, as the only law related to e-commerce in China currently, the Electronic Signature Law effective on April 1, 2005, was to boost electronic business, which for the first time legalizes increasing electronic deals. Also, the issuance of “Electronic Payment Guideline” by People’s Bank of China on October 26, 2005, provides policy authority for e-commerce macroenvironment’s perfection and advancement.