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IPR given high priority
( 2004-01-13 23:36)

Domestic enterprises should work harder to make technological innovations under the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), as China's IPR laws and regulations have reached international standards, Vice-Premier Wu Yi said Tuesday in Beijing.

She was speaking at a national patent conference, which was held by State Intellectual Property Office which was being held in Beijing.

Research institutions and enterprises should also upgrade technology standards in the process of research development, Wu said.

She said more efforts are needed to further tighten IPR enforcement by combining people's courts with intellectual property administrative departments. She added these sectors should deal with a number of IPR infringement activities with a heavy hand.

Ministries or commissions under the State Council and regional governmental departments must give higher regard to IPR systems and increase relevant funds to create a more favourable climate for enterprises, Wu said.

Starting this year, the State Intellectual Property Office will team up with other governmental departments to build an Internet-based patent searching and information service network which covers information from major national economic sectors, according to Office Commissioner Wang Jingchuan.

The network will be open to the public upon completion, said Wang, who did not specify when the network was scheduled to be completed.

He said preferential policies will be given to enterprises and industrial parks in major cities to encourage the development of patented technologies and products.

China will enlarge the scale of IPR co-operation and exchanges with foreign countries, and actively take part in work for re-adjusting and improving international IPR rules over the next few years, said Wang.

In the past three years, China has taken part in IPR discussions with the TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) Council of the World Trade Organization, according to Wang.

Discussions involved studies of genetic resources, traditional folk culture, IPR protection for small and medium-sized firms, and reform of the Patent Co-operation Treaty with the World Intellectual Property Organization, he added.

"This indicates that China has played an important role in the improvement of international IPR systems,'' Wang said.

At the China-Europe Intellectual Property Protection Conference which took place late last October, German patent and trademark expert Heinz Goddar said that in the process of preparing to join the WTO and accepting TRIPS requirements, China had adopted patent standards and used those standards in patents administrations.

China's patent examination procedures are quite similar with those in Europe, as China's Patent Law and practices are based on European practices in this regard, he said.

Goddar said over the past few years that Chinese enterprises had gained remarkable progress in the enforcement of protection in the information and biotechnology fields.

Goddar said he believed China's courts will build up a tight IPR network to help prevent violations of relevant laws.

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