Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

With the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, China will soon catch the whole world’s attention.

But at the moment, China nourishes the international community’s debate for a very different reason. Indeed, Canada, Japan and the U.E threaten to join the claim brought by the U.S before the W.T.O against China, giving as a reason, it does not respect the promises made at the time of its adhesion in 2001, concerning the anti-counterfeit fight.

Even if progress regarding the intellectual property protection is encouraging, why does it seem so hard to eradicate the counterfeit in China, real threat to its balance? First of all, there are obvious economic reasons: the current share of the counterfeit in the world trade is 10 %, and 80 % of these goods are manufactured in China. It also exists a deeper reason to this phenomenon, which has to be searched in this country’s specific cultural approach. I

n the Chinese thought, there is no real difference between the copy and the original; the originality of a creation is not relevant in itself. In a time considered as cyclical and a world in perpetual change, everything changes and follows each other, therefore everything has already been created and existed. The illustration of the difficulty that Chinese people can have to assimilate the intellectual property’s concept, can be found in the language itself. The Chinese character « zaoshi » which means « manufacture », includes at the same time the concepts of creation and copy. We, westerners, have sometimes a similar approach, as shown by the expression « Nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transforming ».

The Patent Right’s aim is precisely to protect this « transformation » when it meets the minimum legal conditions. Beyond a simple economic battle, the respect of intellectual property in the Middle Kingdom, reveals a true culture shock.

The odds are that China will not fail in its anti-counterfeit fight, as displayed in this law proclaimed in March 2007, ensuring for the first time since 1949, the private property’s defense, or, this tendency which brings, more and more Chinese people, to legitimately assert a protection to their new products and services.


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