BEIJING -- China's Supreme People's Court has issued a notice ordering
stricter penalties on violators of intellectual property rights (IPR).
All illegal gains and manufacturing tools of IPR violators should be
confiscated and their pirated products shall be destroyed, according to the
Courts should also impose fines large enough to strip pirates of their
ability to resume production of illegal copies, said the notice, without giving
details about the value of the fines.
Victims of piracy in China have long been complaining that punishments are
not severe enough. But experts point out that it is a problem of enforcement
rather than of the law.
The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate jointly
released a judicial interpretation at the end of 2004, decreeing that
counterfeiters could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
Criminal penalties will be imposed on people earning an illegal income of
more than 30,000 yuan (3,700 U.S. dollars), or producing more than 1,000 pirated
copies, according to the interpretation.
Official statistics show that Chinese courts handled a total of 3,567 cases
concerning the manufacture of fake products and illegal sales of pirated
products in 2005, a rise of 28 percent over the previous year.