New Book Release: International Intellectual Property Law @ Crossroad

Professor Hong Xue’s new Book is an overhaul of the academic research on international intellectual property law in China. Since China joined the international treaty system of intellectual property rights, the relevant research has primarily been orienting introduction, interpretation and incorporation of the contents of international legal documents, and assessment and examination of the compliance and/or consistence of the Chinese laws with the international laws that China has adhered to. Although the research no doubt provided valuable resources for China to respond to the acute trade pressure from the West and gradually fit in the international intellectual property law system, its backward-looking and responsive methodology can no longer keep pace with the changing situation, internationally and domestically, and its contents need completely updated so as to be continuously valuable for domestic and diplomatic policy-making and implementation.

Since the dawn of 21st Century, international intellectual property law has been changing dramatically, along with the changing situation of international politics, economy, culture and technology. The phenomena of North-South issues, conflicts of IP (intellectual property rights) v. PI (public interests), prolific international regimes and their shifting, more inter-governmental international organizations (IGOs) emerging as new actors and/or fora for intellectual property issues, and multilateral as well as plurilateral and bilateral agreements taking shaping, are redefining the development of international intellectual property law. Internationally, intellectual property issues have been scrutinized under the macro topics such as free trade, market competition, consumer protection, communication rights and free speech, rather than being merely restricted to the private rights and their protection per se.

In the best of the times or the worst of the times, the Book attempts to capture all the key issues of the current international intellectual property law and reassess the fundamental theoretical framework and critical public policy issues involved. The Book is therefore a timely and forceful upbeat in the rhythm of new era of international intellectual property law in China.

The Book depicts the two driving forces behind the new international intellectual property law, i.e. maximalism and reformism, and their primary outcomes, interactions and intertwinement. The maximalist approach, featuring with cookie-cut model and ever-growing and expansive protection for intellectual property rights, has been pushed strongly by developing countries and intellectual property industry. Although Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a variety of bilateral agreements are gaining ground, the negative effect on competition, development and human rights shall not be overlooked. Unlike any other Chinese books that look upon to or lean to learn from the international intellectual property law, this Book reviews both the theoretical basis and legal presentations of maximalism critically.

On the other than, the open communication environment facilitated by the Internet, emerging powers from Global South and, particularly, the global access to knowledge movement, form the strong resistance against maximalism and a vigorous reformative force for new international intellectual property law that is pro-development and public interest oriented. The Book is very first academic addition in China to address the new landscape of international intellectual property law through searching down to the two driving forces and their outside presentations. Such the theoretical framework, critical thinking and new methodology signalizes the new direction on research of international intellectual property law.

In addition to the legal study quality, the Book is multi-disciplinary research that absorbs the latest academic achievements on international political economy, international relation, sociology, Internet technology and Internet governance. The Book contains the most refreshed information and original analysis updated to 2011, when the Book was completed. The chapters on enforcement measures on ACTA, TPP, and ICANN new gTLD program have never been researched in China and most parts of the world. It is believed that the Book bring the Chinese study on international intellectual property law to a new stage that is comparable with the most advanced and acknowledged research in the world.





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