Intellectual property rights in China-historical treatment

I had an insight that I want to explore…that perhaps the reason that although many technologies invented in China before the West were not taken advantage of by the Chinese could be due to the lack of IP protections.  The reason being that there was no incentive to develop new technologies because one couldn’t capture the economic benefit (profits) from one’s investment because of the lack of protection from copycats.  I found a book “To Steal a Book Is an Elegant Offense” at Amazon that seems to cover this subject.  Here’s a quote from a review posted at Amazon that seems to support my thesis:

“Alford offers a rich mine of materials for those studying intellectual property rights in China. Reviewing Chinese civilization from imperial days to the present, he seeks to answer why intellectual property law has never taken hold in China.”—Choice
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