Workshop presentation - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Workshop presentation

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Cultural and technological innovations are always the motor for the development of our society. As an instrument to stimulate innovations and to promote their exploitation, intellectual property, on one part, confers a private right to innovator, and on the other, takes as its objective the development of public interest. However, in the practice, intellectual property policies and laws do not work as planned initially or theoretically. In the field of cultural innovation, the severe protection of private right has created obstacles to the spread of works in the society and to the exercise of creations derived from the originals; in the field of technological innovation, the use of private rights without limits has given rise to exclusive market power and deprives certain public of the access to new pharmaceutical products or to new plant varieties as seeds in agriculture.

For market operators, innovation has become more and more important as competitive force and intellectual property gives innovators an exclusive right. However, some balances should be maintained.:

- though intellectual property right holder has the right to prohibit others from exploiting his/her innovation, not all innovation are eligible to intellectual property protection. Otherwise, new innovation cannot be developed and economic activities will also be distorted.

- though investments, that are necessary to the realization of innovation, justify the exclusive right for innovators, enterprises should take into consideration of not only commercial profits, but also certain social values and responsibilities.

On international level, a country should adopt an intellectual property regime that is suitable to their developing period. Though innovation activities demand the existence of certain conditions, they follow certain proper rules of themselves. To impose a high level protection of intellectual property on a country of low level development, will not promote innovation in the county, but will increase the cost for social development or public interest.

In Europe, innovations have not only offered a rich culture to the society, but also strongly supported the industrial and social development. Intellectual property rights are considered both as a respect to human spirit and as a legitimate right in market competition. In China, absence of private right on innovation in history, collective property regime in the once central planned economy, the market economy still in construction and the overall participation in the globalization, all together give rise to a intellectual property regime in search for its appropriate function and role in the Chinese society. A dialogue between Europe and China will enrich both sides with the experience and particularities from each other, which can further contribute to the pursue of better balance between innovation, development and intellectual property.

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