Better IPR protection 'takes time'

By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-04-18 07:16

Top officials Thursday called on Western countries to be patient and allow China more time to develop a mature system for protecting intellectual property rights (IPR).

"In merely 20-odd years it is impossible for China to establish IPR protection awareness similar to that of Western countries," Yin Xintian, spokesman with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said at a press conference.

"As the country's economy expands, so does the production scale of each product," Yin said.

"Taking all the factors into consideration, it is natural that there will be some piracy."

Yin said IPR infringement, especially piracy and counterfeiting, was a global issue facing all countries, including the developed ones.

Last week, guidelines on a national IPR strategy were approved at an executive meeting of the State Council presided by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The strategy includes greater efforts to crack down on IPR infringement, safeguard market order and the legal rights of the public, strengthen international cooperation, adherence to international practice, and efforts to raise public awareness.

"China is a large, responsible, developing country. We are resolute on IPR protection issues and have taken concrete steps," Yin said.

The country has taken strict, comprehensive measures to protect Olympic intellectual property, he said.

"We are making special efforts to prevent unlicensed use of Olympic-related logos and other property ahead of the Beijing Games.

"The government has the resolve and capability to make sure that during the Olympic Games we have a favorable climate for intellectual property," Yin said.

Xu Chao, vice-director of the copyright department of the National Copyright Administration, also spoke at the conference.

"In recent years, we have come across some difficulties in copyright protection, and we have been adopting various measures," he said.

It is often difficult to shut down shops selling pirated products, he said.

"Many malls let out counters, and each counter is run independently.

"If they do something illegal, you would have to shut down the entire mall," he said.

The efforts of customs, public security and cultural departments in tackling infringement of intellectual property rights achieved remarkable results last year, he said.

Some 2,967 people were arrested for suspected IPR violations and public security departments investigated 2,283 cases of IPR infringement, involving 1.49 billion yuan ($213 million).

Courts around the country dealt with 2,684 cases involving 4,328 people, and 4,322 were found guilty.

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