IPR violation a global issue, says official

Updated: 2011-11-14 07:04

By Qiu Bo (China Daily)

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IPR violation a global issue, says official

Fake and pirated products are burned by police in May in Guiyang, Guizhou province. [Gong Xiaoyong / for China Daily]

BEIJING - China will keep enhancing its efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), and will urge greater international cooperation to deal with this global issue, a senior official said.

Tian Lipu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the nation's IPR regulator, said last week that China has taken a positive stance on IPR protection in recent decades.

"All nations should promote cooperation and jointly fight IPR violations instead of blaming each other," said Tian.

The State Council, or Cabinet, released a national blueprint in 2008 for the sustainable development of the IPR sector.

Since that year, according to an announcement sent to China Daily, the SIPO and other departments - including the Ministry of Public Security and National Copyright Administration - have held four dialogues with foreign enterprises and one with domestic companies. All achieved satisfactory effects, the announcement said.

The SIPO has taken more than 430 actions to improve and protect the IPR industry since 2009, the announcement said.

In October 2010, the State Council launched a nationwide campaign against copyright infringements and counterfeit products.

As of June 30, law enforcement officers had investigated more than 156,000 cases and closed 9,135 workshops producing counterfeit goods, the SIPO said.

The government will take further administrative and legal steps to protect IPR, according to a statement released by the State Council on Wednesday.

Police are being urged to establish a cross-regional enforcement system to facilitate investigations, it said.

Tian says that most countries focus on imports of fake goods and pay relatively little attention to exports, while Chinese customs officials supervise trade in both directions.

This proves that the Chinese government is serious about IPR protection, he said.

It needs to raise public awareness of and respect for IPR, he added.

The government is also stepping up its campaign against trademark violations in cooperation with judicial authorities.

"Overseas firms are encouraged to report violations to us and we will take immediate action upon receiving the report," Zhou Bohua, minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, told China Daily earlier this year.

A national conference was held in February to help enforce the ban on unauthorized software in 147 central government departments.

The ban is now effective in central government offices. The State Council also ordered provincial authorities to observe the ban by next June. City-level government offices have until next December to comply.

Social organizations and individual copyright owners have become ready to defend their rights.

In March, 50 Chinese writers and publishers published a letter claiming that the largest Chinese search engine, Baidu.com, provided their works for free download without their permission.

"The environment of IPR protection has been significantly improved in recent years," said Wang Qian, a professor at the intellectual property school of the East China University of Political Science and Law.

"For instance, in Shanghai where I live, copyright violation suits involving criminal punishment have surged recently, which will curb such misconduct.

"I saw more and more people chose to install licensed computer software and I see it as (evidence that) the government's actions have taken effect."

China Daily