The Strategic Advantage of Copyright Registration in China

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In today’s digital era, the significance of intellectual property rights has been amplified, with copyright protection playing a pivotal role. Copyright safeguards creative works, including movies, songs, photographs, computer software, smartphone apps, and designs, but it requires a certain degree of creativity to qualify for protection. In China, the situation is unique as copyright registration is mandatory to enjoy any protection, making it an essential process for international businesses operating within its boundaries.


The Necessity of Copyright Registration in China

Contrary to the general rule in the Berne Convention, China insists on copyright registration to procure any form of protection. This regulation means a formal registration process is required to secure the rights, even though copyright arises naturally in most jurisdictions. This registration has numerous advantages, such as creating a public record, assisting legal proceedings, and enhancing the management of various intellectual property rights (IPRs).


Public Record Establishment

Registering a copyright in China results in a public record of the copyright claim. This record functions as prima facie evidence of the copyright’s validity and the facts mentioned in the registration certificate. This benefit is particularly advantageous in a jurisdiction like China, where demonstrating intellectual property ownership can be challenging.


Legal Proceedings Facilitation

Registered copyrights in China can streamline the enforcement of these rights in civil or administrative proceedings. The registration certificate serves as vital proof of ownership, saving time and effort in establishing ownership during legal proceedings. This benefit can speed up the legal process and benefit the copyright holder.


Reinforcing Other Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

A lesser-known benefit of copyright registration in China is its potential to strengthen other forms of intellectual property rights, such as design patents and trademarks. This cross-protection can create a comprehensive protection strategy, offering an additional safety net for the intellectual property holder.


Trademark Infringement Combat

Copyright registration can also be a strategic tool to combat trademark infringement and bad faith practices. Establishing priority in ownership can provide robust legal protection enforceable against infringements.


Long-lasting Protection with No Additional Costs

A significant advantage of copyright registration in China is its long-lasting protection and cost-effectiveness. Once the copyright is registered, there are no additional maintenance fees, and the protection can last up to 50 years, or for individual authors, their lifetime plus 50 more years.


Broad Protection Coverage

Chinese copyright law is inclusive, covering a broad array of original, reproducible works. This list includes films, paintings, books, photographs, music, databases, sculptures, recordings, choreography, computer software, and smartphone apps, ensuring that various creative endeavors are protected under the law.


The Copyright Registration Process in China

The Copyright Protection Center of China (CPCC) manages copyright registrations in China. The standard registration process usually takes around 30 business days, but expedited services are available for an extra fee.

The registration process requires several documents, including a power of attorney, a sample of the work, the applicant’s information, an application form, and a description of the work. Ensuring these documents are correctly prepared and submitted can lead to a smoother registration process.



In conclusion, while mandatory, copyright registration in China offers strategic advantages to creators and businesses. It establishes a detailed public record, simplifies legal proceedings, and bolsters other intellectual property rights, providing long-lasting, cost-effective protection. Understanding and navigating copyright registration in China is more than just beneficial—it’s crucial for protecting creative works and warding off potential infringements.


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of works are copyright protected in China?

Copyright in China safeguards a wide range of creative works, demonstrating a certain degree of creativity. This includes movies, songs, photographs, computer software, smartphone apps, and designs, among other things.

How does copyright registration help combat trademark infringement in China?

Copyright registration can be a powerful tool in combating trademark infringement and bad faith practices in China. Establishing a public record and priority in ownership provides robust legal protection that can be enforced in the case of trademark infringements.

Who oversees copyright registrations in China?

The Copyright Protection Center of China (CPCC) is the authority responsible for overseeing copyright registrations in China.

How long does copyright registration take in China?

In China, the standard process for copyright registration typically takes around 30 business days. Expedited services are available for an additional fee.

What documents are needed for copyright registration in China?

The necessary documents for copyright registration in China include a power of attorney, a sample of the work, the applicant’s information, an application form, and a work description. Proper preparation and submission of these documents can help facilitate a smooth registration process.


Contact us if you need legal help in China, like protection of copyright, verifying Chinese companies, checking business licenses, drafting contracts that follow Chinese law, background investigation of Chinese companies, protecting patents, trademarks, and verification of contracts to the law in China, etc.

If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Manager, Jan Erik Christensen, at We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.