Improved IPR protection to support innovation

Updated: 2011-03-14 06:55

By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)

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Stronger efforts are promised to defend nation's innovation

BEIJING - China will strengthen its protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs), in a bid to improve the nation's capacity for innovation, said senior figures from six ministries and administrations.

Officials from the six bodies, which include the Ministry of Commerce, the State Intellectual Property Office and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, jointly pledged at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress on Sunday to strengthen efforts to combat IPR infringements and to make IPR protection a "long-term" national task.

In June 2008, the State Council launched the Outline of the National Intellectual Property Strategy, which aims to help the nation transform its economic development mode and improve its international competitiveness.

"We have achieved remarkable progress on the strategy during the past two years and more, but there is still much room for improvement," said He Hua, vice-commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office.

"We are strongly committed to strengthening efforts on IPR protection to achieve China's target of building itself into an innovation-oriented nation."

Since 2008, 16 departments under the ministries have drafted IPR strategy guidelines, and they have launched and implemented more than 400 relevant measures nationwide from 2009 to 2010.

China pointed out in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) that it will accelerate transformation of its economic development mode and sharpen industrial competitiveness, speeding up the process of building itself into an innovation-driven nation.

In October last year, the State Council launched a six-month campaign to reduce the number of pirated goods and strengthen protection of patents, trademarks and copyrights of a wide range of goods made both at home and abroad.

The move came before President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States in January, and was one of the government's most intensive IPR protection initiatives.

The Ministry of Commerce leads the campaign, and Jiang Zengwei, its vice-minister, is also the director of the national leadership team on the six-month campaign.

"We pay great attention to the campaign and have made solid progress in some key regions and on some key categories," said Li Chenggang, director of the department of treaty and law at the ministry.

The ministry is evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign and studying the possibility of "prolonging" some of its measures against product counterfeiting, which, with cooperation from other ministries, will make IPR protection a "long-term mechanism".

During the campaign, Chinese officials investigated 45,296 cases of IPR violations, of which 6,379 cases involved foreign brands and patents, including Louis Vuitton and Nike, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce said.

"Effective protection of patents is a significant part of China's IPR strategy, and also an important tool to promote innovation. Our efforts will be lasting and long-term," said Fu Shuangjian, vice-minister of the administration.

Fu also said the administration will strengthen efforts to fight against "online infringements".

Earlier this month, the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk named China's two most popular websites -, the largest search engine in China, and, the world's largest business-to-business trading platform for small businesses - as "notorious markets" for facilitating illegal sales of counterfeit goods.

China is "diligently and ceaselessly" trying to improve IPR protection, said Li from the Ministry of Commerce.

China Daily