Civil and commercial laws. Civil laws adjust property and personal relationships between civil subjects with equal status, that is, between citizens, between legal persons and between citizens and legal persons, and follow the principles of equal status between civil subjects, autonomy of will, fairness, honesty and credibility, and other basic principles. Commercial laws adjust commercial relationships between business subjects, and follow the basic principles of Civil Law and the principles of the freedom of commercial transaction, compensation of equal value and convenience and safety, among other principles. By the end of August 2011 China had promulgated 33 civil and commercial laws, as well as a large number of administrative and local regulations concerning commercial activities.
The state enacted the General Principles of the Civil Law, which establishes the basic principles that shall be followed in civil and commercial activities, and defines the target of regulation and basic principles of civil laws, as well as the systems concerning civil subjects, civil activities, civil rights and civil liability. With the development of the market economy, China gradually formulated the Contract Law, Property Law, Law on the Contracting of Rural Land and other laws, and established and improved the system of creditors' rights and the system of property rights including the proprietary rights, usufructuary rights and collateral rights; enacted the Tort Law and improved the tort responsibility system; promulgated the Marriage Law, Adoption Law, Succession Law and other laws and established and improved the marriage and family system; formulated the Law of the Application of Law in Foreign-related Civil Relations and improved the legal system of civil relations with foreigners; made the Company Law, Partnership Enterprise Law, Law on Individual Proprietorship Enterprises, Law on Commercial Banks, Law on Securities Investment Fund, Law on Specialized Farmers' Cooperatives, and other laws, and established and improved the system of business subjects. It also promulgated Securities Law, Maritime Code, Negotiable Instruments Law, Insurance Law and other laws, and established and improved the system of commercial activities. The systems of maritime trade, negotiable instruments, insurance, securities and other market economic activities gradually took form and quickly developed.
China attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights, and has promulgated a large number of laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law, Regulations on the Protection of Computer Software, Regulations on the Protection of Integrated Circuit Layout Design, Regulations on the Collective Administration of Copyright, Regulations on the Protection of the Right to Network Dissemination of Information, Regulations on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, Regulations on the Customs Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, Regulations on the Administration of Special Signs, Regulations on the Protection of Olympic Symbols, and other laws and regulations, centered on the protection of intellectual property rights. The promulgation of the Trademark Law in 1982 marked the beginning of China's systematic development of a modern legal system covering intellectual property rights. To further enhance the protection of intellectual property rights in China and meet the requirements for joining the WTO, China has been constantly improving the legal system of intellectual property rights, and has made a number of amendments to the Patent Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law and other laws to highlight legal protection of the promotion of scientific and technological advancement and innovation from the perspectives of the principles of legislation, the contents of rights, the standard of protection and the means of legal remedy, among others. By the end of 2010, the state had approved over 3,890,000 patents of various types, and effectively registered over 4,600,000 trademarks, including 670,000 trademarks from 177 countries and regions. According to incomplete statistics, during the period 2001-2010 copyright administration organs at various levels confiscated 707 million pirated copies, delivered 93,000 administrative penalties and transferred 2,500 cases to judicial organs.