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Campaign targets violators of IPR
By Cui Ning (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-06 22:50

The State Council has launched a special campaign to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) throughout China.

The campaign, which will continue until August next year, aims to make further progress in IPR protection, Zhang Zhigang, director of the Office for the National IPR Protection Working Group, said Monday in Beijing at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office.

The special campaign includes trademarks, copyrights and patents. It also targets the import and export of commodities, various expositions, fairs and wholesale markets, the processing of named-brand products, and printing and copying sites, said Zhang.

Special efforts will be made in areas where large amounts of counterfeited products are sold, he stressed.

"We have identified Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin municipalities, and 12 provinces or autonomous regions as the key areas of this campaign," said Zhang.

He said the campaign will specially focus on cracking down on cases of pirated compact discs and infringed trademarks. Commercial districts, hotels, restaurants and transportation centres will be closely monitored.

Industrial and commercial administrations should harshly deal with cases of infringement involving products such as foodstuffs, drugs and agricultural materials that are closed related to public safety and health.

Copyright administrations should do more to regulate markets which are susceptible to infringement, such as publications, audiovisual and software products.

They must severely crack down on unauthorized booths and mobile vendors of pirated publications, audiovisual and software products. They should also harshly crack down on online copyright infringements, said Zhang.

Infringements of foodstuffs and drugs, as well as cases relating to fraud, deception, and illicit profiting by organizations that pose as official IPR authorities, international IPR organizations or other legitimate organizations will also be severely dealt with, Zhang said.

By the end of this year, judicial interpretations of relevant questions regarding laws applicable to IPR-related crimes and determining the penalties for IPR infringements will be issued.

In view of the types and geographical distribution of IPR infringement cases in import and export, the customs service will intensify its efforts to combat counterfeit and pirated imports and exports at major ports, said Liu Wenjie, an official of the General Administration of Customs.

The Chinese customs service will strengthen information exchange, personnel training and international co-operation to minimize the flow of pirated and counterfeit products across borders, said Liu.

Zhang Qin, an official with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), said SIPO's Re-examination Committee has declared the patent for Viagra, the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc's anti-impotence drug, as invalid in China because it does not conform with Article 26 of China's Patent Law.

Zhang said Pfizer can bring a lawsuit to Beijing Higher People's Court if it refuses to recognize this decision. SIPO's decision on the patent will not take effect until the court makes its final judgment.

Li Dongsheng, an official of State Administration of Industry and Commerce, said Beijing Industrial and Commercial Department has taken steps to ensure trademark protection at Xiushui Street, a shopping venue popular with foreigners, which will soon be moved to a new site.

The Beijing authorities have suspended 40 stands in the capital's Hongqiao Market which sold faked foreign famous trademarks. Any shops or stands that sell Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Fendi, Chanel, Burberry and another 20 foreign trademarks will be regarded as trademark violators and be seriously punished.

A hotline on 12315 has opened to the public to report trademark violations, said Li.

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