The University of Western Australia

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Ken Shao

Professor Ken Shao

UWA Law School

Contact details
UWA Law School
The University of Western Australia (M253)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2959
+61 8 6488 1045
LLB Nanjing, LLM, PhD Q.Mary (Lond.)
Professor Ken Shao, PhD (London), LLM (London), LLB (Nanjing), is a Professor at the Law School of the University of Western Australia. His research covers intellectual property, innovation and China-related issues in an inter-disciplinary context of law, history and culture. He holds a PhD and an LLM from Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London, which is part of a top-3 UK law school (Guardian University Guide 2018). He also holds an LLB from the century-old Nanjing University, which is one of the best and most respected Chinese universities located in the Jiangnan/Shanghai region – the nation’s traditional and contemporary centre of education, economy and culture.

Ken is a world pioneer and leader in inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural Chinese law education for the non-Chinese Learner. He has over ten years of experience in creating, managing and delivering innovative, influential Chinese law and China knowledge courses for Australia’s young elites and future leaders. Benefited from Perth’s recent position as Australia’s largest two-way trading partner with China and generous funding from Minter Elision and the Federal Government’s Mobility Projects, Ken has founded two Chinese law programs initially for Murdoch University and then for the University of Western Australia. These programs, first of their kind, aim to generate profound intellectual impact among the students and support them to be ready for excelling in the 21st-century Asia-pacific era. To date, over 260 students have graduated from these programs. Some of them are working at top multinationals, such as Woodside and King & Wood, in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mainland China.

Ken has published with renowned journals such as the WIPO Journal, Kritika, Tsinghua Law Review, Hong Kong Law Journal, Columbia Journal of Asian Law and Peking University Intellectual Property Law Review. One of his key research areas is a counter to Harvard Professor William Alford’s widely accepted view on China’s copyright history. His latest works include a SIPO-funded Chinese translation (with Dr Nan Zhang) of Peter Drahos’s landmark book, The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and their Clients (Cambridge University Press, 2010; China Intellectual Property Publishing House, 2013), and Innovation and Intellectual Property in China: Strategies, Contexts and Challenges (edited with Xiaoqing Feng; Edward Elgar, 2014). The latter elaborates on China’s latest innovation policies and IP strategies from socio-legal perspectives and is contributed by leading experts from UK, US, Australia and China, including the former Chief Judge of the Intellectual Property Court of China’s Supreme Court. His monograph, Elegant Creativity as a Tradition: How Chinese Culture can become a Constructive Participant in Global Governance, will be published by Tsinghua University Press in 2018.

Ken serves as an Education Committee member at the Australia China Business Council (ACBC), which is the premier China-Australia business organization, and is also an adjunct professor and research fellow at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing (ranked #1 among China’s law universities), and the Centre for Studies of Intellectual Property Rights of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (one of the leading Chinese IP centres led by former Chairman of China’s Intellectual Property Society and former Zhongnan Vice-Chancellor Professor Wu Handong). He has been invited to speak at high-level international conferences held in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Britain and Australia, and to give lectures in internationally leading universities such as Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hokkaido University. He has been interviewed by SkyNews, ABC, China Radio International, New York Times, The Australian and Guardian (UK) on topical issues such as Huawei’s NBN bids, Chinese outbound investment, and U.S. President Obama’s formal visit to Australia.
Key research
Chinese culture & business, innovation economy & intellectual property

1.Ken Shao & Xiaoqing Feng (ed.), Innovation and Intellectual Property in China: Strategies, Contexts and Challenges (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2014).

3.Ken Shao & Nan Zhang (trans.), The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and their Clients, Peter Drahos, Cambridge University Press, 2010 (published in Chinese by Intellectual Property Publishing House, Beijing China, 2013).

Journal Papers and Book Chapters

1.K. Shao, “The Ideas Boom: The Innovation Economy in the Post-ChAFTA Australia-China Relationship”, in Colin B. Picker et al (ed.), A 21st Century Model Trade Agreement?: Global Insights and Lessons from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (Oxford: Hart, 2018).

2.K. Shao, “Neoliberal Capitalism and China’s Strategic Patent Framework for the Global Intellectual Property Regime”, forthcoming.

3.K. Shao, “Taobao, WeChat and Xiaomi: How Innovation Flourishes in China’s ‘Fertile Land of Intellectual Property Piracy’”, Kritika: A Collection of Essays in Intellectual Property (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2017), pp. 22-43.

4.K. Shao, “Public Domain in China: a Historical and Empirical Survey”, UWA Law Review, Vol. 41:2 (2016), pp. 67-83.

5.K. Shao, “Beyond the Patent Totem: Australian and Chinese National Innovation Systems in the ‘Asian Century’”, Intellectual Property Quarterly (UK), Issue 3 (2016), pp. 247-259.

6.K. Shao, ‘Commercializing Intellectual Property: China’s Innovation Plan in a Global Context’, Zhengfa luncong (the Journal of Political Science and Law), No. 1 (2016), pp. 89-96.

7.K. Shao, ‘Chinese Humanism and the Social Functions of Intellectual Property’, Peking University Intellectual Property Review (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2015), pp. 235-243.

8.K. Shao, “The cores and contexts of China’s 21st-century national innovation system”, in Ken Shao & Xiaoqing Feng (ed.), Innovation and Intellectual Property in China: Strategies, Contexts and Challenges (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2014), pp. 1-29.

9.K. Shao, “The Postmodernist Approach in the Public-interest Group’s View of Intellectual Property”, Zhengfa luncong (the Journal of Political Science and Law), No. 6 (2014), pp. 11-18.

10.K. Shao, “Chinese and Non-Chinese Narratives of China’s Self-driven Innovation and Intellectual Property”, Journal of Wuling, Vol. 39, No. 6 (2014), pp. 171-76.

11.K. Shao, “Zizhu chuangxin and China’s Self-driven Innovation: Calling for a Holistic Perspective”, Cardozo Law Review de novo (2013), pp. 168-195.

12.K. Shao, “History is a Key Decoder: Why China Aims at Re-emerging as a Global Leader of Innovation”, Law in Context, Vol. 29:1 (2013), pp. 117-132.

13.K. Shao, “Chinese Culture and Intellectual Property: Let’s Realize that we do not Know It”, The WIPO Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1 (2012), pp. 103-110.

14.K. Shao, “To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense?: How to Analyse China’s Copyright History and the Chinese Mind-set of Creativity”, 2011’s Intellectual Property Rights Annual Journal (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2012), pp. 39-56. (14,600 Chinese words)

15.K. Shao, “William Alford and the Misunderstood Chinese Intellectual Property History: The Key to Unscrambling the Globally Unequal Intellectual Property Regime”, Zhengfa luncong, Vol. 4 (2012), pp. 115-128. (22,332 Chinese words)

16.K. Shao, “Monopoly or Reward? - The Origin of Copyright and Authorship in England, France and China and a New Criticism of Intellectual Property”, Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 41, Part 3 (2011), pp. 731-757.

17.K. Shao, “Patent Law, National Strategies and Policy Incentives: China’s Road to a Leading Innovator”, the International Trade and Business Law Review, Vol. 14 (2011), pp. 85-103.

18.K. Shao, “The Promotion of Learning in Chinese History: to Discover the Lost Soul of Modern Copyright”, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2010), pp. 63-85.

19.K. Shao, “Understanding Trademark Law from the Discipline of Economic History: a Sino-European Comparison”, Tsinghua Law Review (Tsinghua Faxue), Vol. 4, No. 5 (2010), pp. 139-151. (15,590 Chinese words)

20.K. Shao, “The Global Debates on Intellectual Property: What if China is not a Born Pirate?”, Intellectual Property Quarterly (UK), Issue 4 (2010), pp. 341-355.

21.K. Shao, “From Lockean Theory to Intellectual Property: Marriage by Mistake and its Incompatibility with Knowledge Creativity and Dissemination”, Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 39, Part 2 (2009), pp. 401-420.

22.K. Shao, “Software Protection in China: the Post-TRIPS Expansionism of Intellectual Property”, International Journal of Private Law, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2009), pp. 46-611.

23.K. Shao, “What May Validate Intellectual Property in a Traditional Chinese Mind? Examining the U.S.-China IP Disputes through a Historical Inquiry”, Journal of Information, Law and Technology (University of Warwick), Issue 1 (2006).

24.K. Shao, “Alien to Copyright?: A Reconsideration of the Chinese Historical Episodes of Copyright”, Intellectual Property Quarterly, London: Sweet & Maxwell, No. 4 (2005), pp. 400-31. (17,660 words)

25.K. Shao, “Look at My Sign! – Trademarks in China from Antiquity to the Early Modern Times”, The Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, No. 8 (2005), pp. 654-82.

26.K. Shao, “Exhaustion of Rights and Free Trade in the EC: A Utilitarian Trend in Recent Cases on Parallel Import”, Peking University Intellectual Property Review (2004), pp. 207-16.

27.K. Shao, “Fair or Not: Comments on the Uncertainties of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)”, Peking University Internet Law Review, Vol. 3 (2003), pp. 234-46.

28.K. Shao, “On the Premises of Understanding the Positive Interactions between Confucianism and Rule of Law”, Academic Journal of Soochow University (Philosophy & Social Science), Vol. 1 (2003), pp. 35-42.

29.K. Shao, “Approaches to the Belief in Constitutionalism”, The Rule of Law Forum (Fazhi luncong), Vol. 18 (2003), pp. 62-67.

Conference Publications (selected)

1.K. Shao, “Advanced Patent Law means Innovation? -- Australia’s Innovation Performance and its Implications for China”, 2015 International Conference on ‘Implementing IPR Stratagem and Perfecting IPR System’, Nanjing, China, April 2015.

2.K. Shao, “Postmodernist Approach in Contemporary Critical Studies of Intellectual Property”, 2013 International Conference on ‘Implementing IPR Stratagem and Perfecting IPR System’, Wuhan, China, April 2013.

3.K. Shao, “To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense?: How to Analyze China’s Copyright History and the Chinese Mindset of Creativity”, 2011 International Conference on ‘Implementing IPR Stratagem and Perfecting IPR System’, Wuhan, China, April 2011.

4.K. Shao, “A Historical Accident: the Birth of the Rhetoric of Strong Intellectual Property Rights”, 2009 International Conference on Implementing IPR Stratagem and Perfecting IPR System, Guangzhou, China, May 2009.

Solicited Articles (selected)

1.K. Shao, “Chinese Opportunities in the Mining Downturn”, Skilled Migrant Professionals Magazine, Issue 4, 2015.
2.K. Shao, “Australia’s biggest ‘China threat’ is not Huawei, but itself”, The Conversation, 31 October 2013.
3.K. Shao, “History is the key to understanding Huawei”, The Conversation, 3 April 2012.
4.K. Shao, “The seeds of democratic culture in China”, The Conversation, 25 October 2011.
5.K. Shao, “Copyright battles shouldn't be fought for wrong reasons”, Global Times, 15th May 2011.
6.K. Shao, “Innovative spirit rooted in Chinese cultural DNA”, Global Times, 6th January 2011.
7.K. Shao, “China: a Pirate or an Innovator?”, Australia-China Entrepreneurs, December 2010.
8.K. Shao, “The True China Knowledge that Australian Businessmen Should Know”, Australia-China Entrepreneurs, September 2010.
9.K. Shao, “Australian Election 2010: Win-win or Compromise?”, China Legal Daily, 17th August, 2010.
10.K. Shao, “Patents could Trap Developing Nations at End of Value Chain”, Global Times, 14th July 2010.
11.K. Shao, “The US Patent Law Facing Complete Revision”, China Legal Daily, 23rd February 2008.
12.K. Shao, “Diverse and International Career Opportunities for Australian Law Graduates”, China Legal Daily, 3rd August 2008.
13.K. Shao, “The Two Londons that I Love”, Chinese Scholars (Education Ministry, China), November 2008.

Invited Conference Presentations (selected)

1.K. Shao, “On the Profound Realm: A Chinese Philosophy of Global Knowledge Governance”, Nankai Symposium on the Evolving Landscape of International Intellectual Property, 13-14 May 2017, Nankai University, Tianjin China.
2.K. Shao, “ChAFTA and Innovation Economy in China and (now) Australia”, The ChAFTA: One year after its signing Conference, 17-18 June 2016, UNSW Law School, Sydney.
3.K. Shao, “China’s Future Intellectual Property Strategies”, 2016 IPR Nanhu Summit, 19-21 April 2016, Beijing China.
4.K. Shao, “Public Domain in China’s History”, Intellectual Property Academic Conference & Information Environmentalism Conference, 2-5 February, 2016, UWA, Perth.
5.K. Shao, “National Innovation Systems in Australia and China”, 2015 IPR Nanhu Summit, 17-19 April 2015, Nanjing China.
6.K. Shao, “The Commercialization of Patents and Cultural Industries: Intellectual Property Laws, Investment Models and International Barriers”, BIT 1st Global Congress of Knowledge Economy 2014, September 21-23, 2014, Qingdao International Convention Center.
7.K. Shao, invited plenary speaker, “The Chinese Tradition of Creativity and Its Role in China’s Re-emergence as a Global Innovation Leader”, the 4th Symposium of the Federation of Chinese Scholars Associations in Australia (FOCSA), Perth, December 2012. (Trip cancelled due to sabbatical commitment in China).
8.K. Shao, “National Innovation System (NIS) in China: Challenges and a Holistic Perspective”, “New Global Law and Policy for Multi-agential Governance” International symposium, Hokkaido University, funded by Japanese Ministry of Education, 24-25 November 2012.
9.K. Shao, “Innovation Policies and Strategies of China: the Latest Development”, Third Asia-Pacific Innovation Conference, October 13-14, 2012, Seoul National University, South Korea.
10.K. Shao, Roundtable on IP: “The Chinese Renaissance: Recent Trends of Intellectual Property Strategies in Mainland China”, The University of Hong Kong, 7 Jan 2012.
11.K. Shao, “Intellectual Property and Innovation-based Economy: Why There are Opportunities in China?”, Legalwise Seminars: Doing Business in China, Perth, 2011 (together with Duncan Calder, Partner-in-Charge, China Business Practice WA, KPMG and WA President ACBC; and Adam Handley, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgar; chaired by Dr Kenneth Chern, former USA Consul General to Perth).
12.K. Shao, the 3rd Annual Conference on Innovation and Communication Law, Melbourne University Business School, 29-31 May, 2011.
13.K. Shao, the Second Asia-Pacific Innovation Conference, Tokyo, 28-29 March, 2011. (Trip cancelled due to Japanese nuclear crisis).
14.K. Shao, “Alford and the Misunderstanding of Chinese IP History”, 2011 IPR Nanhu Summit, Wuhan China.
15.K. Shao, “Creative Industries and Chinese Cultural Heritage”, 2010 IPR Nanhu Summit: Implementing IPR Strategies in the Context of Globalization, Wuhan China.
16.K. Shao, “Intellectual Property Developments in China: Global Challenge, Local Voices”, Drake University, the USA, October 2009 (unable to attend).
17.K. Shao, “The Global Financial Crisis and its Implications to the Global IP Regime”, 2009 IPR Nanhu Summit: Implementing IPR Stratagem and Perfecting IPR System, Guangzhou China.
18.K. Shao, “Proprietary Issues in Craft Skills in Late Imperial and Modern China”: the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Chicago University, March 2009. (I was invited because I was the only person who had conducted substantial studies on the role of technological creativity in knowledge transmission in pre-modern China; unable to attend).
19.K. Shao, “Reading Intellectual Property Rights without a Monopolistic Perspective”, 2008 IPR Nanhu Summit: Implementing IPR Stratagem and Perfecting IPR System (Wuhan, China), 19-20 April 2008. (Organized by China’s central government’s IP Strategy Office, supported by 45 leading media and attended by 300 people, it is the highest-level IP academic conference in China).
20.K. Shao, “Domain Names, Recent Policy Changes and Investment Opportunities in China”, Asia Pacific Intellectual Property Law Institute’s Professional Development Seminar, Western Australia Club, 3 October 2007.
21.K. Shao, “What May Validate Intellectual Property?: An Examination of the History of the US-China IP Disputes”, Second International Symposium: Alternative Frameworks for the Validation and Implementation of Intellectual Property in Developing Nations, University of Wolverhampton (UK), 6 February 2006.
22.K. Shao, “Authors and Copyrights in Traditional China”, ESRC Research Seminar: Creativity and Human Society – What does History Tell Us?, QMIPRI, University of London, 29 November 2004.

Invited Public Lectures (selected)

1.K. Shao, “Characteristics of China’s Innovation”, Peking University, 15 May, 2017.
2.K. Shao, “How to become an Excellent Lawyer”, Nanjing Technology University, 18 May, 2017.
3.K. Shao, “The New Role of Chinese Culture in Globalization”, Nanjing Normal University, 18 May, 2017.
4.K. Shao, “Globalization and Chinese law students”, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 14 December, 2016.
5.K. Shao, “The Notion of Creativity in Chinese History”, Asian Studies Seminar Series, UWA School of Social Science, 12 August 2016.
6.K. Shao, “Working as an International Lawyer”, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 28 April, 2016.
7.K. Shao, “Globalization and China’s Future Generations”, Beijing Normal University Zhuhai Campus, 26 April, 2016.
8.K. Shao, “Australia’s National Innovation and Science Agenda”, Guangdong Provincial Venture Capital Investment Association, 25 April, 2016.
9.K. Shao, “Intellectual property philosophies” for PhD students book club sessions, Peking University, 24 April, 2016.
10.K. Shao, “Creativity as a Chinese Cultural Tradition”, Peking University, 21 April, 2016.
11.K. Shao, “Globalization and China’s Future Generations”, Nanjing Normal University, 15 April, 2016.
12.K. Shao, “Foreseeing the Future of 21st-century China”, Nanjing Normal University, 4 Dec 2015.
13.K. Shao, “Neo-liberalism, Intellectual Property and China’s Innovation Strategies”, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 23 Nov 2015.
14.K. Shao, “China, Innovation and Intellectual Property: Policy Frameworks, Micro-Details and Trends”, Indo-Pacific Executive Development Program, executive education course organized by Perth USAsia Centre, 11 Sept 2015.
15.K. Shao, “Entrepreneurship in the Australia-China Space”, Panelist for UWA’s innovation incubator Bloom, 26 Aug 2015.
16.K. Shao, “China Knowledge: Your Gateway to the 21st Century”, ANZ-sponsored career event by Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA) Murdoch and UWA Chapters, 21 May 2015.
17.K. Shao, Seminar: “China’s patent performance”, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan China, 17 April 2015.
18.K. Shao, Public lecture: “Foreign-China Technology Collaboration and Patent Challenges”, East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, 23 October 2014.
19.K. Shao, Seminar: “The Commercialization of Patents and Cultural Industries”, Business School, Liverpool University Suzhou Campus, 20 October 2014.
20.K. Shao, “IP, China and the West in their Own Perspectives”, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, 20 November 2012.
21.K. Shao, “Forward-looking: Tradition, Globalization and China’s Self-driven Innovation Strategies”, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, 30 October, 2012.
22.K. Shao, “China, Innovation Economy and Policy Orientations”, Wrays Intellectual Property Firm, 14 June, 2012.
23.K. Shao, Business School Lecture: “Intellectual Property, National Strategies and Policy Incentives in China”, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Feb 2011.
24.K. Shao, Beijing University IP School Lecture: “The Distorted Chinese Intellectual Property History: a Crux of Global IP Problems”, Peking University, China, Dec 2010.
25.K. Shao, the “Frontline Forum” Public Lecture Series: “China is Becoming the World’s Economic Leader – BUT of What?”, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai China, Dec, 2010.
26.K. Shao, Business School Invited Lecture: “IP and China’s Role in the Global Information Order”, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Jan 2010.
27.K. Shao, Seminar: “IP and China: Culture, Rhetoric and History”, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan China, 12th May 2009.

Media Interviews (selected)

1.New York Times, China’s diverse views on intellectual property, 08 August 2017.
2.Bloomberg News, Chinese Internet services and app stores, 28 June 2016.
3.China Radio International, Baidu scandal, 24 May 2016.
4.Australian Financial Review: Perth Mint and Faked Coins from China, 30 August 2013.
5.ABC radio: What is the real Chinese culture?, 27 Sept 2012.
6.The Conversation on the Australian Government’s ban on China Huawei’s bids in NBN, 26 March 2012.
7.The Guardian (UK) on China’s role in Southeast Asia, 2 March 2012.
8.The West Australian on Australian entrepreneur Matthew Ng’s sentence by China court, 7th December 2011.
9.SkyNews on US President Obama’s visit to Canberra, 16th November 2011.
10.China Radio International (English) on Baidu copyright case, 4th April 2011.
11.China Radio International (English) on Washington China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (concerning IP issues), 10th May 2011.
12.With Peter Ollier, the Asia editor of Managing Intellectual Property, a global magazine for IP owners with around 10,000 readers, 3rd June 2011.
13.With Alistair Jones, The Australian; a featured report, “Law course tunes in to Chinese whispers”, appeared in The Australian, 19th March 2011.
Mandarin Chinese
Current external positions
Education Committee member (WA) at the Australia China Business Council (ACBC)

Research Fellow at China University of Political Science and Law

Adjunct Professor, the Centre for Studies of Intellectual Property Rights of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law
Useful links
Australia China Business Council
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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