Supervision boosted to protect intellectual property

08:32, January 13, 2011      

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The central government is making greater efforts in fighting violations of intellectual property rights by establishing a weekly updating system with more timely reports from law enforcement authorities, an official said on Wednesday.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce urged local bureaus to report weekly progress in cracking down on copyright infringement, Chen Wentong, deputy director of the administration's trademark office, said at a national conference in Suzhou of East China's Jiangsu province.

Any local bureaus that fail to meet the requirement will receive warnings, he said.

According to the administration, the State Council, China's Cabinet, will send nine special teams to 18 regions across the country starting Wednesday to supervise and improve their protection of intellectual property rights.

In the last two months, more than 720,000 law enforcement officials with the local industry and commerce bureaus busted 1,372 counterfeit production sites, show figures released on Wednesday.

The officials had tracked down some 5,000 trademark violations and 16,000 counterfeit cases valued at 99 million yuan ($15 million). They also dealt with 17,000 consumer complaints and prevented economic losses of 74 million yuan for consumers, said Chen.

One of the major cases revealed by the administration occurred in Jiangyin city of Jiangsu province, in which authorities found more than 20,000 fake products of 78 famous overseas brands including Prada and Hugo Boss valued at 50 million yuan.

The Chongqing municipal bureau of industry and commerce also confiscated some 2,800 counterfeit products, including Louis Vuitton purses and Rolex watches worth 20 million yuan.

Fu Shuangjian, deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, also said at the Suzhou conference that the administration will pay particular attention to the protection of overseas companies' trademarks and eliminating "rampant" cybersquatting.

From October to December, the administration processed about 370,000 trademark applications and rejected 64,000 of them. Some of the rejected were cybersquatting on famous overseas brands, including Hermes and Gucci, according to the administration.

Fu also said the administration will strive to lessen the time for issuing a trademark license from the current 12 months to 10 months by 2012.

The time for authorizing a trademark was shortened to 12 months by 2010 from the 36 months needed between 2002 and 2007.

By Qiu Bo, China Daily

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