'West wrong to criticize IPR record'

By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-04-24 07:22

A senior official Monday fought back at Western countries that seek to condemn China for violations of intellectual property rights, while ignoring the huge strides the country has made in strengthening IPR protection. [Action Plan on IPR Protection]

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"It is not right for them to observe China while wearing blinkers," Tian Lipu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office said in an online interview with www.gov.cn in Beijing.

The government's attitude toward intellectual property rights protection has always been resolute, and its achievements are obvious to all, he said.

As a condition of its entry into the World Trade Organization, China has, since 2000, been carrying out a complete revision of its laws and regulations relating to IPR protection to ensure they comply with international conventions.

Last year, the country formally joined the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

On July 1, 2006, it also implemented regulations on the protection of the right of communication through information networks.

To date it has completed three revisions of its patent law.

From December 2004 to spring 2007, the country has organized numerous special crackdown campaigns on IPR infringements.

During the seven special crackdowns last year, security departments filed 863 cases and arrested 988 suspects, while the courts handled 6,441 IPR cases. Patent, customs and industry and commerce departments dealt with 17,243 such cases involving nearly 1 billion yuan ($129.5 million).

Liu Zhengang, head of the Beijing IPR bureau, said that in the capital, for example, pirate DVD vendors have now been forced underground, where they were once able to operate openly and in public.

In another development, Supreme People's Court Vice-President Cao Jianming called on Western countries to choose dialogue instead of confrontation when dealing with IPR-related trade disputes and differences.

In December and April, the apex court and Supreme People's Procuratorate jointly promulgated two judicial interpretations to impose heavier criminal punishments for IPR violations.

"China has enacted more extensive accusatory imputations toward IPR violations than many other countries," Cao said.

"The extent and scope of judicial punishments are severe, and proceedings are complete too."

Cao made the remarks on Thursday in Shanghai during a seminar on movie copyright protection, which was attended by more than 60 senior IPR judges from across China and Motion Picture Association of America.


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