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Sino-French group hinted to protect IPR
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-12 06:36

China and France could set up a special committee to strengthen co-operation on intellectual property rights (IPR) following the suggestion of a French diplomat yesterday.

Outlining his ideas for the panel, French Minister Delegate of Foreign Trade Francios Loos said: "Priorities should not only include trademark and patent protection, but also copyright."

The committee would work as a platform for court officers, lawyers, police and enterprise representatives from both countries to exchange their ideas on IPR protection, he said.

"It's high time the two countries found an effective approach to IPR protection," added Loos, addressing a forum on IPR protection.

The Chinese side did not comment on the feasibility of the suggestion, State Intellectual Property Office Commissionier Wang Jingchuan said the Chinese Government is keen to offer more help to French investors with regard to IPR protection.

"We are also willing to enhance co-operation with the French Government, which has gathered much experience in offering IPR services for enterprises and improving the public's awareness of the issue," said Wang.

The close bilateral economic and trade relationship has generated the necessity to boost co-operation on IPR protection, he added.

Last year, trade between France and China totalled US$17.58 billion, up 31.3 per cent over 2003.

Marc-Antoine Jamet, president of the Union of French Manufacturers, yesterday urged the two countries to deepen co-operation to fight counterfeiting.

"This is a problem, not only in China and France, but also globally," said Jamet. "Only with closer co-operation, can the interests of both Chinese and French enterprises be well protected."

Official statistics indicated the sale of fake products worldwide accounted for 10 per cent of the world's total trade volume in 2004, but in 2000 the rate was only 5 per cent.

Unearthed cases showed fake products range from luxurious product to daily necessities such as food, auto parts and toys.

"As China has produced many, many products which have become household brands for French consumers, we will take measures to stop faking those," said Jamet.

Li Dongsheng, vice-minister of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, boasted of the rapid progress China has made in tackling counterfeiting.

In 2004, Li's administration found 40,171 trademark infringement and counterfeiting cases.A total of 5,638 tons of fake goods were confiscated and destroyed.

Eighty-two suspects have been transferred to the courts for faking name brands.

"To protect IPR is among the top priorities of the Chinese Government and international co-operation is badly needed," Li said.

(China Daily 04/12/2005 page2)

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