Collier Legal

Intellectual Property in China: An Overview


Does China have intellectual property rights?

Yes. IP in China provides similar rights to IP in the US. China has its own intellectual property office for the registration of patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Why is it so difficult to enforce IP rights in China?

Intellectual Property enforcement is often cost-prohibitive. This is especially true for US citizens when seeking to prevent infringement from Chinese citizens. Since China is a foreign country, a US citizen would have to seek relief under international trade tribunals, and would need to rely on the Chinese government to enforce any judgment. Since most IP infringement occurs online by small operations, it is generally not worth the enforcement expense.

Yes. China has a copyright system, and is a member of the Berne Convention. Under the Berne Convention, a copyright holder in one nation automatically receives copyright protection in member nations to the extent those member nations provide copyright protection to their own citizens.

However, remember that it is often cost-prohibitive to enforce IP rights when the resulting damages are not high.

Can you enforce a patent in China?

If you obtain a patent from the CNIPA, you can enforce that patent in China. However, you will need to utilize international trade tribunals or retain Chinese counsel to sue in a Chinese court.

Does China protect intellectual property?

Yes, China has been providing intellectual property rights since 1980. This is when China started joining international trade and IP treaties. 

Does China have patent protection?

Yes, China is a member of the PCT and has its own IP office (CNIPA). China’s patent law is similar to the law in the US and EU.

What is the Chinese wall in intellectual property?

The Chinese wall is a phrase referring to the use of information screening procedures within an organization to prevent leaking confidential information.


Attorney Collier started his own law firm straight out of law school and has been practicing law in Ohio for 5+ years. During that time, Joe focused on business law and litigation, gaining some exposure to intellectual property law. While running his firm in 2021, Joe decided to go back to school and get his patent license. Since then, Attorney Collier has been focusing on protecting innovators and entrepreneurs through his expertise in intellectual property and business law.

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