Hic sunt dracones? Mapping the legal framework of China’s innovation policy: Standardization and IPRs

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4 Citations (Scopus)


China’s economy has been growing at a rapid rate over the past 30 years. Initially, economic development was pursued through leveraging the supply of cheap labour for export purposes. After China joined the World Trade Organization, the Chinese government realized the importance of cultivating innovation capabilities. As such, Chinese policymakers formulated what is known as an “indigenous innovation” policy, emphasizing the importance of Chinese-owned technology, standards, and intellectual property rights (IPRs). Academic scholars have studied China’s innovation policy from different disciplinary angles, in particular from the perspective of its political economy. Important contributions have analyzed the connections between China’s standardization regime and its IPR regime – especially in the area of information and communications technology. Although these contributions provide a valuable account of the dynamics within the regime(s), this phenomenon has not been analyzed from a legal perspective. This article aims to fill this gap by tracking the evolution of the legal framework of China’s innovation policy since the 1950s, including recent developments. More specifically, it seeks to determine how China’s innovation policy has resulted in the development and adoption of laws, rules, and regulations regarding standardization and IPRs with the aim of realizing China’s innovative potential and economic prosperity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-593
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2020


  • China
  • IPRs
  • IT
  • Indigenous innovation
  • National innovation
  • Standardization


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