Intellectual property is not just coming to the forefront for businesses and courtrooms in China, but the classrooms as well. This year, China’s National College Entrance Exam, commonly referred to as the Gaokao (高考), increased the amount of questions related to intellectual property rights.
With almost 10 million students sitting for the exam this year, intellectual property was required to be in their repertoire. Beijing, Tianjin, and Jiangsu provinces were but some to cover intellectual property in questions across subjects such as Chinese, politics, and history. Test takers in Jiangsu were required to “illustrate the role of IP protection in enhancing an open economy and social development, and to explain how to protect IP by optimizing legislation and strictly enforcing the law.” As open-ended and daunting as questions such as these can be, even for active IP practitioner’s, Jiangsu was able to note that test scores on the intellectual property questions had gone up from previous years.
It is not just at the college entrance level that administrations are pushing intellectual property education, but secondary schools as well. Going on its fifth year, the China National Intellectual Property Administration and the Ministry of Education have been pursuing and implementing education plans on intellectual property into secondary schools, totalling 165 pilot schools and 25 demonstration schools to date.
This system of widespread education aims to increase public awareness and, in turn, enhance intellectual property right protections through knowledge.