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Software registration

The Chinese government promulgated the “Regulations on Computer Software Protection” on 20th Dec 2001, and implemented it on 1st Jan 2002. The “Regulations” copyright owner can file a registration application to the software registry organ designated by the Copyright Administration Department; after the approval of application, the software registry organ will issue a certificate and notify the public. The certificate of registration issued by the software registry organ is the preliminary proof of the registration item.


As of 20 Feb 2002, State Copyright Administration Department promulgated the “Measures for Computer Software Copyright Registration” which stipulated in detail the procedures of computer software registration and examination. The “Measures” stipulate that the registration application for a software copyright should be limited to one independently developed and independently operating piece of software. The applicant for software copyright should be the software copyright owner or his heir, right holder of the concession. The following documents should be submitted when filing an application for software copyright registration:

(1) Software copyright registration application form;

(2) Distinguishing materials of the software description, including the distinguishing materials for program and documentation. The distinguishing materials of program and documentation should be comprised of source program and any kind of documentation of 30 front and back pages in succession. Where the whole program and documentation are limited within 60 pages, the complete source program and documentation should be submitted. Apart from specifically regulated otherwise, each page of the program should not be less than 50 rows and each page of the documentation should not be less than 30 rows.

(3) Identity certification of the applicant. Where the applicant is a natural person, it refers to the photocopy of his ID card; where the applicant is a juridical person, it refers to the photocopy of its company registration certification or business license.

(4) Other documents related to the registered software: for examples, “imprint”, “deposited with the exceptions application form” “non-service developed software certification” and copyright ownership agreement etc;

(5) POA

The aforesaid documents are required to be in duplicate. According to stipulation, as software registry organ, State Copyright Administration Department designated China Copyright Protection Center to be the software registry organ. This registry organ will complete examination over the software application within 60 days after it formally accepts the application.

This information is simplified and must not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or practice.