BEIJING - A Chinese official said progress was made in China's intellectual property rights (IPR) protection fight last year and promised to create a favorable climate for the upcoming Olympics.
Yin Xintian, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) spokesman, said here on Thursday that China had stipulated laws and regulations to protect signs, emblems, songs and flags of the Olympics.
From 2004 to September 2007, the administrations for industry and commerce at various levels investigated 1,357 IPR infringement cases related to the Olympics, involving 16.93 million yuan (US$ 2.42 million).
"We will encourage our people to strengthen awareness of IPR protection and to avoid violating IPR protection laws and regulation on the Olympics," Yin said.
"Our government also has the determination and capability to create a favorable IPR protection climate during the upcoming Olympics."
He added 2,967 people were arrested for suspected violations of IPR in China and that public security departments investigated 2,283 cases of IPR infringement and solved 2,008 cases, involving 1.49 billion yuan.
Local courts tried 2,684 criminal cases that involved 4,328 persons, some of whom had been arrested in previous years, and 4,322 were found guilty, according to a report jointly released by some government departments including the National Copyright Administration.
Customs units across the country also intercepted 7,467 import and export shipments of counterfeit items in 2007 valued at 438 million yuan.
The report also said cultural administrative enforcement authorities nationwide had stepped up their daily efforts against criminal IPR violations.
According to the report, 4.91 million staff from cultural agencies inspected 850,000 audio and video outlets in 2007.
Authorities confiscated 110 million counterfeit CDs, DVDs and the likes during nationwide IPR campaigns in 2007, it said.
"China is a responsible developing country and the Chinese government takes a firm stance in protecting IPR. The achievements scored in China in IPR protection is obvious," Yin said.
"China is still a developing country and only has a mere 20 years history of IPR system," he said, adding "Chinese citizens' awareness of IPR protection is not as strong as those in Western countries".
"IPR infringement is a problem faced by many countries in the world, not only China," he stressed.