Crackdown on IPR infringement is set to continue

11:19, July 02, 2011      

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As part of China's nine-month campaign to combat the infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR), the nation has implemented legalization of the software in its 135 central authorities, said the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

Wang Zhengang, deputy director-general of the Department of Market Supervision at the ministry, also said China has "made remarkable progress" in the campaign and "IPR protection efforts will be long-lasting".

In October, the State Council announced the launch of a six-month campaign against counterfeit goods, signaling the government's most comprehensive effort to promote IPR protection during the past few years.

The campaign was due to end in March, but the State Council announced it would prolong the campaign for an extra three months, in a bid to deepen and widen the efforts against pirated goods nationwide.

The campaign was aimed at strengthening the protection of patents, trademarks and copyright for a wide range of domestic and foreign goods in key areas, including food, pharmaceuticals, seeds, auto parts, mobile phones, construction materials and software.

The nine-month campaign has "greatly improved the awareness of IPR protection and led to a sharp shrinkage in sales of counterfeit goods nationwide, but we cannot expect that everything will be solved overnight", said Wang.

"The IPR efforts will be a long-term, but difficult, task," he added.

By the end of June, China's relevant authorities had registered 146,000 cases, worth $4.76 billion.

The legalization of office software, an issue that developed economies, including the United States and those of the European Union, are greatly concerned about, is well under way, Wang said.

By the end of May, China's central governments had authorized software installed and updated in all of their office buildings, and the work will be finished by the end of October.

For the rest of the year, seven ministries, including the Ministry of Commerce and the State Intellectual Property Office, will work on drafting guidelines to make IPR protection a long-term mechanism. Meanwhile, an online display showing the achievements of the campaign will begin this month.

Insufficient IPR protection efforts have been a major complaint aired by foreign businesses in China, who argue that this is a major factor in a downturn in the country's foreign investment environment.

The campaign started before President Hu Jintao made an official visit to the US in January. Meanwhile, the US has been demanding the Chinese government must strengthen its efforts on IPR protection.

The Chinese government has reiterated that the campaign and the IPR protection efforts are partly aimed at encouraging domestic innovation and helping the country achieve its goal of becoming an innovation-driven nation as pledged in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

Source: China Daily

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