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The 473rd Civil-commercial Frontier Forum as well as the 1st Sunshine Intellectual Property Forum ¡°Why intellectual property is the first property right¡ª¡ªcommemorating the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening up¡±was successfully held

On the evening of November 28, the 473rd Civil-commercial Frontier Forum as well as the 1st Sunshine Intellectual property Forum ¡°Why intellectual property is the first property right¡ª¡ªcommemorating the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up¡± was held in room 601, Renmin Law School. Professor Liu Chuntian, the dean of Renmin University School of Intellectual Property gave a keynote speech. Professor Wang Taiping from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Professor Zhu Xiequn, head of Shenzhen Institue of Intellectual Property, Professor Li Chen, Professor Jin Haijun, Professor Yao Huanqing, Professor Wan Yong from Renmin Law School participated in the forum which was hosted by Professor Guo He from Renmin University School of Intellectual Property.

At the beginning of the forum, Professor Guo He put forward the statement that ¡°intellectual property is the first property right¡±. The proposition echoed Comrade Deng Xiaoping¡¯s statement that "science and technology is the primary productive force". Then, he introduced the subtitle of this forum and described his deep feelings about the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. Subsequently, the host announced the beginning of the lecture.

Professor Liu Chuntian started from the perspective of intellectual property and explained why intellectual property is the first property right. First of all, Professor Liu Chuntian illustrated the relationship between labor, tools, technology and human society. Tools are the outcome of human intervention and allocation of natural materials. Labor is always connected and permeated in intervention and allocation, while technology is the process of manufacturing whose results are tools. So people are the animals that make tools and thus develop the technology. We are living in a world of technology where things ranging from a mobile phone to a national system are all products of technology. The development of technology will necessarily lead to increased productivity, and productivity determines the way of life which determines everything.

Professor Liu Chuntian contends that laborers have the right to work and creators should have the right to create. If inferior type of labor can be paid, there is no doubt that the usage of the outcome of creation will produce economic benefits. The intellectual property system, different from the previous property system, specifically regulates a series of social relations arising from the usage of creation. Professor Liu Chuntian illustrated why intellectual property is the first property right with a vivid example: the process of the birth of a cup is from material to tool. Tools are people¡¯s property, and what makes materials a tool is the creation whose prerequisites are technology and knowledge. Therefore we can,t just protect property without protecting higher-level creation.

Second, Professor Liu Chuntian proposed that technology partition the times. From the Stone Age, the Iron Age, the Steam Age, to the Electrical Age and the Information Age today, the development of technology holds the pace of the change of generations. Technology also determines the value composition. In the three major kinds of trades, namely trade in goods, in services and in intellectual property, the most valuable parts are mainly those that contain high and new technology. That is to say, the largest share is often intellectual property. So after all, trade and communication are mainly the exchange of knowledge and technology.
Third, Professor Liu Chuntian believes that the creation from the deepest part of the heart dominates technology. This creation is hidden in the material world, which produces products, power, demand, and markets, and thus changes the world. Therefore, creation is the root of all property, and knowledge and technology are the mothers of property. Professor Liu Chuntian transformed the system of creating the ability to produce goods and wealth into the first place¬----the intellectual property system ranks first. Consequently comes the statement that intellectual property is the first property right. In addition, Professor Liu Chuntian pointed out that intellectual property right is a private right. We should envisage the concept of "private rights" and distinguish "protecting private legal rights" from "selfishness" so as to ¡°justify private rights¡±, which will help promote the rapid development of our country,s market economy.

Then, Professor Liu Chuntian talked about his feelings about the subtitle ¡°Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening up¡±. He reflected back the three major events in the 40 years: first, the convening of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China established the development goal centered on economic construction; second, the restoration of the college entrance examination system and the higher education system; third, China established diplomatic relations with the United States and Japan. Professor Liu Chuntian highly praised the contributions of these three major events to China,s development and further outlined the direction of China,s future development: innovation, market economy, private rights, the rule of law and opening up. Professor Liu Chuntian pointed out that China should actively develop an innovative economy, continue the full opening up both internally and externally, establish a good private rights system, and promote the further development of the socialist rule of law.

Finally, Professor Liu Chuntian proposed that if we insist on internal rule of law, external good diplomatic relationships, rare conflicts with other countries, and diligence in developing, nothing can stop the rise of China.

During the discussion, Professor Wang Taiping expressed his own views based on Professor Liu Chuntian's wonderful speech. Wang Taiping believed we should proceed from the objective material world to look at this issue. In human evolution, the process from ape to human is actually a process from using tools to making tools, and manufacturing tools is exactly creating. Professor Wang Taiping pointed out that the human world is a world of tools and technologies, and the entire production structure and economic structure are controlled by intellectual property. From the perspective of control, the importance of intellectual property clearly outweighs material property. Professor Wang Taiping also mentioned the concept of ¡°global production network¡± which links the global economy, and of which the core control force is still intellectual property. Therefore, the argument that ¡°intellectual property is the first property right¡± is completely without problems.

Professor Li Chen from Renmin Law School commented that Professor Liu Chuntian¡¯s speech had greatly inspired him in the macro aspect. Professor Li Wei pointed out that the background of the proposition that "intellectual property rights are the first property rights" is the dispute arising from the question "whether intellectual property rights should be independently compiled in the Civil Code¡±. Many scholars have proposed to compile a "civil code of the 21st century". Since the code is to be distinguished from the traditional one, it is necessary to reflect the latest changes in the structure of social wealth in the civil code. After modern times, technology became independent, and knowledge and technology became the basis which determines all other assets. Apparently, it will be regret if the change is not reflected in the Civil Code. Professor Li Chen believes that the incorporation of intellectual property into the Civil Code is not only a technical consideration but also a greater change in values. This ¡°virtual¡± change is often more significant than something ¡°real¡±.

In the end, the host Professor Guo He once again expressed his gratitude to Professor Liu Chuntian and the guests. The frontier forum of civil and commercial law ended successfully in the audience's warm applause.

Editor:QIN Siqian

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