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Expert remembered in posthumously published writings

Published on 05/04 2017  Source: China Daily


In memory of Zheng Chengsi, a noted Chinese expert on intellectual property laws, the Intellectual Property Publishing House unveiled a select collection of his books in Beijing on World IP Day, which fell on April 26.

The Collection of Intellectual Property Books by Zheng Chengsi comprises eight volumes and covers a wide range of topics. They include principal theories, copyrights and related rights, patent and technology transfers, trademarks and unfair competition, international treaties and foreign laws, as well as a group of his essays, speeches and book reviews concerning his opinions on IP-related issues.

"The publication is in remembrance of professor Zheng, and in line with our intention of promoting an excellent IP culture and offering classical works to the Chinese IP community," said Zhu Mingang, head of the publisher.

Li Mingde, director of the Intellectual Property Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at the launch ceremony last week: "His works offer a broad international perspective and reflect his strong national sentiment."

Acclaimed as a founder of China's IP system, Zheng worked as the director of the center and also served as a member of the National People's Congress Law Committee.

He participated in drafting major IP laws and regulations in the country, ranging from trademarks and patents to copyright and unfair competition.

The academic also gave lectures on IP to the country's top policymakers in 2001 and 2006, offering advice based on his research on the latest academic developments in the international IP system.

His pioneer research into the IP legal framework worldwide has influenced generations of IP professionals in China and enabled the country's IP legislation to start at a high level, critics said.

Born in Kunming, Yunnan province in 1944, he graduated in law in the 1960s and highly valued learning foreign languages.

"It would be hard to enable in-depth and wide-ranging academic research without mastering at least one foreign language, especially in the IP sphere," he said in an article published in Portrait magazine in 1998.

After he borrowed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, an English novel by Mark Twain, from one of his father's friends as his first self-study material in the 1970s, he strove to continue improving his English.

His efforts paid off. He was asked to translate a trademark book published by the World Intellectual Property Organization at the CASS Law Institute in 1979, introducing the world's latest IP progress to China.

In 1981, he became China's first law science researcher studying abroad after the country began reforms and opening-up in the late 1970s.

Zheng chose the London School of Economics and Political Science as his destination, partly because renowned sociologist Fei Xiaotong and jurist Li Haopei studied there in the 1930s, he revealed in the article.

He spent roughly two years studying under William R. Cornish, a law professor and an authoritative writer of an IP law textbook prevailing in developed countries at the time, and conducted research with the mentor's help. He published scores of academic papers in international journals and IP law-related books in either English or Chinese.

"Don't think you are nothing; don't think you are everything," he quoted his teacher Cornish's opinion as his motto in his academic pursuit.

His students recalled Zheng telling them: "I was neither talented nor born as a genius. All I rely on is my hard work."