Connecticut Law Review Volume 44 – Issue 3

Apologies as Intellectual Property Remedies: Lessons from China

It is a frequent refrain that “the world is shrinking.” In this same vein, the global influence of China is clearly rising. Chinese businesses are becoming more prominent in the global market, and as such, the influence and effect of Chinese law is likewise gaining in import. Chinese intellectual property law is no different.

One notable aspect of Chinese intellectual property law is the availability of apology as a remedy. Despite a culture that places a high value on apology, and considerable legal scholarship and precedent regarding apology as remedy, many in the United States scoff at the notion of introducing apology as a remedy in U.S. intellectual property law. There are, however, limits to the effectiveness of injunctions and damages (currently the predominant remedies in U.S. intellectual property law), and tangible benefits to apology. This Article uses Chinese intellectual property law as an example and addresses the limits of the current U.S. intellectual property regime, as well as the potential benefits of a change. The Article concludes that it is time for the United States to learn from beyond its boundaries in order to provide just recourse in intellectual property disputes.

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