The proposals, which may come into effect later this year, come at a time when many multinational firms are establishing research and development centres in China.

The proposed law will mean foreign companies will have to draft patents in Chinese for inventions made in the country. They will need reliable Chinese counsel to guide them through the process, whereas currently most foreign companies file patents in their own countries.

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But advocates of the proposed measures believe the new regulations will mean greater protection against rogue Chinese patents.

The proposals, which may come into effect later this year, come at a time when many multinational firms are establishing research and development centres in China.

The proposed law will mean foreign companies will have to draft patents in Chinese for inventions made in the country. They will need reliable Chinese counsel to guide them through the process, whereas currently most foreign companies file patents in their own countries.

But advocates of the proposed measures believe the new regulations will mean greater protection against rogue Chinese patents.