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Coalition lists the top 10 efforts in IP enforcement
By Zhang Zhao ( China Daily )

The Quality Brands Protection Committee, a coalition of international businesses, announced China's 2011 top 10 intellectual property protection cases on May 25 in Beijing during a ceremony to mark its 12th anniversary.

The year's top cases included Hangzhou customs' efforts in stopping a large operation pirating LG electrical appliances, a crackdown on fake medicine in Henan province, stopping patent infringement on mass-produced deep fryers in Guangdong province and cross-border trade in copycat cosmetics.

Plaques were given to enforcement departments involved including local police, administrations of industry and commerce, the courts and customs.

The QBPC has organized the top 10 selection for 10 years, but this year it also named the five best cases that "harmonize administrative and judicial IP enforcement".

"Combining administrative enforcement and judiciary could be one of the key models for long-term intellectual property rights protection," said Chen Xiaodong, vice-chairman of the QBPC.

The business coalition founded in Beijing in 2000 now has more than 200 overseas companies as members that together represent nearly $80 billion in investment in China and hundreds of thousands of jobs for Chinese locals.

The committee was founded to protect the interest of the member companies, said Jack Chang, QBPC chairman and senior IP consultant at General Electric China, but "we later realized that we also have social responsibilities, as the reform of Chinese economy requires effort from all sides".

"There are many excellent companies in China," he said. "The earlier they join international ideas of business and innovation, the bigger opportunities for success they will have when they join the global market."

Wang Zhiping, chairman of QBPC's customs committee, said the organization is cooperating with a number of Chinese government agencies including customs offices and administrations of industry and commerce to fight counterfeit products.

"Over the past few years, we have witnessed an improvement of Chinese legal system and enforcement," said Wang. "Also, we noticed that people's awareness of intellectual property rights protection is increasing."

Cooperation with the government has "not only provided benefits to QBPC members, but also promoted a social environment that encourages innovation and intellectual property rights protection", he added.

Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Chao said at the ceremony that the 21st century is "an age of economic globalization", so IP protection is also a global issue.

"So we have to strengthen communication among governments, non-governmental organizations and companies, to exchange experience and practices in IP protection and innovation," he said.

His remarks were echoed by Randall Rader, chief judge of the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, who called for global cooperation in the area of IP protection and legal enforcement.

"The businesses of the world operate across borders. Our legal institutions tend to operate inside borders," said Rader.

"The most important work we have to do together is learn from each other how best to make our world economy really function smoothly," he said. "Too often we think of our own country borders and our individual country needs, when in fact we can achieve those individual country needs by cooperating."

The chief judge also told China Daily that China's IP enforcement has "improved greatly" over the past decade, and he is "very impressed with the professionalism and understanding of the Chinese judges".



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