When innovation disrupts


Despite concerns over geopolitical tensions and shaken faith in a shared financial future, there is no going back from globalisation, which has come to define every aspect of our daily lives. Today, we display, consume and experience the labour of hundreds of cultures almost with indifference, although this would not be possible had there not been a well-proven system to protect and encourage intellectual accomplishments, wherever they hail from.

On the flip side, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the structures on which we so rely to safeguard originality are constantly challenged by the very things they seek to defend – new ideas and technologies. The explosive advent of AI-generated content (AIGC), spearheaded by ChatGPT, is one such disruptive technology that caught regulators by and large off guard, as it poses questions that the existing legal framework simply never sought to answer.

CBLJ2304---PrologueIn our cover story, The threshold of change, IP-savvy legal professionals share their opinions on the dual-sided impact of AIGC – the promising picture of a burgeoning digital economy, and the hidden dangers for IP protection. We explore China’s progressive legislative reforms in IP protection, benefiting homegrown and foreign companies alike, but also brought uncertainty to corporate IP planning and compliance strategies.

From the litigation strategies against know-how theft to aspects of IP protection unique to the era of ChatGPT and digital economy, in Guarding creativity, a series of senior lawyers tackle some of the most heated issues in IP protection.

When “made in China” proved no longer able to meet Chinese enterprises’ increasingly sophisticated needs, many cast their aspirations overseas, determined to bring their homegrown brands and creativity to faraway audiences.

In Voyagers’ voices, we invite the legal and IP masterminds of four successful foragers of the international market – BGI Genomics, Hisense, Mango Excellent Media and NIO – to share their valuable experience and insight related to IP protection beyond the border, particularly from the perspective of their distinct sectors.

In about 10 short years, the mentality of many pioneering businesses has experienced dramatic changes where environmental, social and governance (ESG) is concerned. Although belated, there is now an unstoppable green investment push in China, as the quickly evolving regulatory framework compels companies to catch up and take action.

While the holistic awakening of ESG awareness is commendable, concerns such as greenwashing have also appeared. In Force of nature, we examine both sides of the issue.

Finally, after months of surveying and collecting thousands of market feedbacks, the editorial team of China Business Law Journal proudly unveils the winners of In-house Counsel Awards 2023. The awards recognise in-house legal talent and teams who have made significant contributions to the business order and operating environment, in China and beyond. We offer our sincerest thanks to all who participated in our research, and a heartfelt congratulations to all winners.