8 Wake Forest Intell. Prop. L.J. 39
The article deals with the issue of industrial design protection in China, which has become a rather “hot” topic after the case GM v. Chery regarding alleged copying of unregistered car designs. In particular, we have attempted to compare remedies available under the Chinese Unfair Competition Law, applying to unregistered designs, with those provided by the Patent Law, under which registered designs are instead protected. The authors’ analysis of the present protection scheme available in China for patented designs also draws on historical research on the evolution of Chinese patent regulations, and is backed by statistical data on enforcement. The authors conclude that China’s legal system does not scarcely protect industrial designs in general, but rather that the standards of protection differ considerably between the Patent Law and the Unfair Competition Law. Therefore, the outcome of GM vs Chery could have been different had GM’s designs been patented.