China's Action Plan on IPR Protection 2006

Updated: 2007-04-24 08:38

II. Law Enforcement Plans

(I). Special Crackdown Efforts

1. Special Crackdown Operations for Trademark Protection

(1) Public security authorities across the country will carry on with Operation Mountain Eagle to combat IPR-infringing crimes and severely deal with infringers and pirates.

(2) Industry and commerce authorities will probe into issues and less-than-effective enforcement points identified during the special operations for trademark protection, take more precise actions, and deal severely with trademark-infringing cases that are particularly serious and vicious in nature with strong social repercussions.

2. Special Operations for Audiovisual Products
To follow through the Region-specific Action Plan for Severely Combating Illegal and Criminal Activities Involving Infringement and Piracy to deliver a deadly blow on infringers and pirates.

(1) Public security authorities will remain closely engaged in unearthing illegal CD production lines and cracking down on infringement and piracy by distributors, duplicators and publishers of audiovisual products.

(2) Culture authorities will closely monitor provincial and large-to-medium cities and join other relevant authorities in staging three large-scale and focused campaigns, besides exercising greater supervision on critical processes, regions, and pushing on the handling of key cases.

A. Operation Sunshine No.1 in the first quarter, aimed to create a more friendly market

B. Operation Sunshine No.2 during the summer vacation with a focus on clearing out pirated and infringing audiovisual products in legal wholesaling, retailing and rental stores, and on safeguarding the legitimate rights and interest of minors

C. Operation Sunshine No.3 between the National Day and the New Year, protecting primarily the distribution and screening of major domestically-produced films.

3. Operation Blue Sky at Trade Shows

To implement the Measures for IPR Protection at Trade Shows and with a view to effectively containing IPR-infringing activities during trade shows, standardizing market order at the shows, increasing the awareness for IPR protection at trade shows, creating a fair environment for competition, improving management of the exposition business and fostering well-known international trade shows, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the General Administration of Customs (GAC), the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the Copyright Office, State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Executive Office of the National Working Group on IPR Protection will stage a one-year campaign entitled Operation Blue Sky to protect IPR at trade shows. The campaign with a special focus on raising the awareness for trademark, copyright and patent protection will chase after cases brought to high attention by IPR holders for breakthroughs and full progress.

Meanwhile, public education efforts will continue. To produce and publish 100,000 pamphlets and CDs on IPR protection at trade shows, promote the Measures for IPR Protection at Trade Shows and unveil programs for special campaigns through the Internet, promote the campaigns through press and media, post and distribute publications on related laws and regulations (in both Chinese and English) at trade shows, post contact details of local IPR authorities, and organize the heads of 200 exhibition companies and of exhibition facilities to sign on a Statement of Commitments to "operating legally and honestly, and protecting IPR".

In addition, three group trainings will be organized with a special purpose of updating people on how to protect IPR at trade shows and how to effectively keep the products of suspected infringing companies off the shows.

4. To take focused enforcement actions for patent protection around March 15 and April 26. Around those two days, inter-agency and cross-region patent examinations and collective crackdown actions will be organized in key regions across the country.

(II). Enforcement on a Day-to-day Basis

1. Culture authorities will severely deal with private servers and external sites engaged in illegal music and game business over the Internet. Targets of larger scales and wider influence will first be selected. Illegal and unauthorized Internet culture undertakings will be seriously dealt with as well as illegal activities disruptive to the market order.

2. Industry and commerce authorities will closely monitor such control points as OEM, trademark labeling and commodity trading markets, to intensify regular trademark supervision and standardize trademark use.

3. Quality and technology supervision authorities at various localities will be particularly responsive to the following illegal activities.

(1) The production of fake labels, marks and packaging,

(2) The forgery of and false claims to factory names and addresses, especially those of well-known domestic and foreign brands; the forgery of and false claims to quality markings of other parties and standard-incompliant labeling and marks,

(3) Violation of other parties' IPR by way of OEM (joint crackdown efforts with industry and commerce, customs, and commerce authorities)

4. Copyright authorities will look for breakthroughs in key cases and intensify their administrative enforcement efforts.

(1) To conduct examinations and checks after special campaigns on, for example, combating cyber infringement and piracy, to prevent the resurgence of already dismantled illegal organizations.

(2) To crack down especially on illegal operations which profit by providing film, music and software downloads through the Internet and look for breakthroughs from here, with a view to settling a number of key cases, closing down a number of websites and punishing a number of offenders before the end of this year.

(3) To carry out efforts to "straighten out and crack down on production lines of pirated optical discs", actively coordinate with CD-duplicating parties to streamline optical disc production companies. In this process, priorities need to be identified, enforcement needs to be rigorous, and penalty needs to be made as harsh, heavy and quick as possible.

(4) Actively coordinate with authorities such as the Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Health of the National People's Congress to review progress in the implementation of the Copyright Law across the country.

5. Food and drug authorities will further consolidate enforcement and administration of the drug market.

(1) To continue to implement the Early Intervention Plan for Innovative Drugs of the State Food and Drug Administration (SDA) and encourage R&D of new drugs in China through better regulation.

(2) To further streamline the advertising of drugs, medical equipment and devices and nutritional products.

(3) To further strengthen supervision on traditional medicinal herbs and TCM potions and pills in circulation.

(4) To further strengthen regulation of vaccines in circulation.

(5) To further upgrade and improve the sampling check on drugs and medical equipment and devices.

6. To strengthen patent enforcement by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO)

To participate in inspections concerning the enforcement of the Patent Law led by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. To step up IPR protection and encouraged independent innovation through the patent regime, thereby serving the needs of economic restructuring and the transformation in the approach for economic growth.

7. In order to intensify efforts combating such crimes as that of undermining the order of the socialist market economy and that of disrupting the order of social administration, and with a special emphasis on crimes infringing intellectual property, thus reinforcing enforcement conduct and procedures, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) will, in the first half of this year, join the Office of the National Leading Group on Market Rectification and Standardization, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Ministry of Supervision in releasing the Interim Regulation on the Timely Transfer of Suspected Criminal Cases in Administrative Enforcement.

8. The Supreme People's Court (SPC) has aptly applied the laws and judicial interpretations, adjudicated IPR cases in a just manner, thus ensuring scientific and technological innovations.

(1) The SPC will aptly apply the Criminal Code, the Interpretation by the SPC and SPP on Several Issues concerning Specific Laws Applied in the Handling of IPR Criminal Cases and the Reply by the SPC and SPP on Issues concerning AV products involved in the Handling of Copyright Infringing Criminal Cases. By giving full play to the penalizing and deterrent role criminal prosecutions exert, the SPC will deliver earnest and prompt guidance to the handling of all cases, thus dealing an effective blow to and pre-empting IPR-infringing crimes as well as protecting intellectual properties.

(2) Courts at various levels will rigorously implement the Trademark Law, the Copyright Law, the Patent Law and the Law against Unfair Competition, adjudicating each and every civil case in a just manner, thus safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the IP right-holders.

(3) While performing their due responsibilities in accordance with the law, people's courts at various levels, public security agencies, prosecuting bodies and other entities of administrative enforcement will continue to cooperate closely, doing their utmost to ensure a law-based trial and timely verdict once the relevant procedures are initiated.

(4) In light of the ambiguity and confusion that might arise in the definition of civil infringement and criminal offences in IPR cases, the people's courts will pay particular attention to the distinction between crimes and non-crimes, crime of one kind and that of another, as well as communicating and coordinating with the relevant agencies of administrative enforcement, thus weaving an impermeable legal network. They are also in a position to present judicial recommendations in cases wherein the relevant agencies have replaced criminal sanctions with administrative penalties, therefore leading to case-handling.

9. The SPP will investigate into and prosecute those crimes involving the abuse of power by government officials behind the IPR infringing crimes in a stringent manner, resolutely rooting out such "umbrellas of protection".


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