Insider’s look at legal services in China: IP Registration: Copyrights (Process & Documents Required) (Part 3)

The main procedure to register a copyright in China is as follows:

  1. Search the government database to ensure the IP is not already registered by another party.
  2. Organize the technical translations and prepare all documents.
  3. Fill in “Work Registration Form and Rights Guarantee” (WRF&RG) and pay government registration department fees.
  4. Submit documents to relevant bureaus. Having received WRF&RG file, the registration department will take up around one month to examine the WRF&RG and formally accept the application if they deem the application forms filled out properly.
  5. Follow the application and update client as the application moves through the various bureaus. After formal review, National Copyright Bureau will issue “Registration Certificate” to applications that comply with registration conditions. Upon issuance of certificate, it will be publicly announced that the copyright has been officially registered. At this point the IP is protected at a national level.


Documents required

1. Various application forms. The latest revision will be collected by the lawyer on client’s behalf.

2. Identity of the copyright holders. Suggested documents may include: Copy of identity document signed by the client/ Copy of business registration certificate or other related document of corporation/ Copy of identity of the inheritor (if the holder is the heir of the original IP holder)/ Copy of contract of commissioned works (if the work is done by a sub-contractor)/ Agreement or contract of collaboration and identity of collaborators (when there are more than two owners of the IP)

3. Definition of the item to be copyrighted. This may include: Copy of cover and copyright page of the work/ Part of language entries of the work or copy or stylebook of the whole scripture/ Content of the work/ Copy or photo of the original art work or photographs; packet, photo or copy of movies, television works, or audio and video works/ Copy of contract of exclusive use permission.

Lawyer will advise client on the appropriate supporting documents for client’s particular case.

4. Statement of item to be copyrighted. This may include: Introduction of works (including word count if a language entry)/ Process and originality of works/ Time of completion and whether being completed singly/ Publication of the work or not and the form of publication. If not published, when and in what form to be published.

5. Power of attorney


Next in the series

IP Registration: Copyrights (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 4)

IP Registration: Trademarks (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 5)

IP Registration: Trademarks (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 6)

IP Registration: Introduction to Patents (Design/ Utility/ Invention) (Part 7)

IP Registration: Design Patents (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 8)

IP Registration:  Design Patents (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 9)

IP Registration: Utility Patents (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 10)

IP Registration:  Utility Patents (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 11)

IP Registration: Invention Patents (Application Process & Documents Required) (Part 12)

IP Registration:  Invention Patents (Time Frame & Typical Fees) (Part 13)

Contracts & Purchase Orders (Part 14)

Dispute Resolution: Introduction & Process (Negotiations, Demand Letters & Litigation) (Part 15)

Dispute Resolution: Fee Structure (Negotiations, Demand Letters & Litigation) (Part 16)

Having a lawyer on retainer: Costs and Coverage (Part 17)


About the author: Mike Bellamy

Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center ( Author of “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.

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