As Peng, Ahlstrom, Carraher, and Shi (2017) rightly noted, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection in a country is not static. It evolves over time. Peng et al. (this issue) revealed through their historical analysis that during the 19th century, the US was not a leading IPR advocate but a leading IPR violator. It was only when indigenous inventors, authors, and organizations of the US emerged and demanded protection of their IPR in foreign countries in the late 19th century that the US passed the International Copyright Act (the Chace Act) in 1891 to extend IPR protection to foreign works. The US case illustrated that a country's IPR system as an institution evolves as its economy and society develop. If we examine this evolution over a relatively long time span, the change can be quite dramatic. Therefore, when reviewing a country's IPR system, an important question to be asked is in which direction the country's IPR system evolves.