China, US to discuss IPR protection

Updated: 2007-05-16 23:06

China and the United States will hold talks on the protection of intellectual property and market access of publications in China from June 5 to 8, said Wang Xinpei, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday.

The Chinese delegation to the World Trade Organization formally accepted the request from the U.S. to hold talks on these issues on April 20, and both sides agreed to meet in Geneva next month, Wang said at a regular news conference.

The United States filed two WTO complaints against China over copyright piracy and restrictions on the sale of U.S. books, music, videos and movies on April 10, maintaining that piracy levels in China "remain unacceptably high."

The Chinese government expressed "great regret and strong dissatisfaction" over the U.S. action on the same day, saying the decision runs contrary to the consensus between leaders of the two nations on strengthening bilateral trade ties and properly solving trade disputes.

The new cases were reported to be aimed at easing "rising political anger over America's soaring trade deficit", as some U.S. officials believed American companies were losing billions of dollars every year due to piracy in China.

Wang Xinpei said the ministry would put 276 measures into practice to better protect IPR as stated in a recently published action plan, while iterating the Chinese government's dedication to protecting intellectual property.

China will draft or revise 14 laws and regulations regarding trade marks, copyright and patents in 2007, according to the plan.

Fourteen anti-piracy campaigns to enforce the laws and regulations are expected this year, Wang said.

The Chinese government confiscated more than 73 million pirated products, including 18 million pirated books, 1.1 million periodicals, 48 million audio-visual products, 2.01 million electronic publications and 3.79 million software discs last year.

In a recent move, China's Supreme People's Court said anyone who manufactures 500 or more counterfeit copies (discs) of computer software, music, movies, TV shows and other audio-video products can be prosecuted and face a prison term of up to three years. Previously the limit was 1,000 pirated discs.

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