3,000 people arrested, trademark violations on rise in China

10:40, March 14, 2011      

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Fu Shuangjian, Vice Minister of State Administration of Industry and Commerce, attends a press conference during the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) focusing on strengthening intellectual property protection in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2011. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

China investigated 56,000 trademark rights infringement cases in 2010, an increase of 9.78 percent year on year, an official said on Sunday.

During the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), a total of 265,000 cases concerning trademark violations had been investigated, an annual average of 53,000 cases, said Fu Shuangjian, vice director of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce.

Protecting trademark rights is crucial to carrying out national strategy on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, and to promoting innovation, Fu told a press conference on the sidelines of the national parliamentary session in Beijing.

Fu said China would further clamp down on trademark violations and strengthen supervision over online shopping, targeting fake goods.

According to the Ministry of the Public Security, 3,001 people involved in IPR violation cases have been arrested since November for producing and selling counterfeit goods or spreading pirated videos and softwares online.

Chinese police launched a special campaign since November, targeting at fake goods ranging from food, medicine, cosmetics, to electronics, home appliance, and DVDs.

The police have busted 2,546 production dens of counterfeit goods and 1,132 criminal rings connected with the sale of fake goods, worth 4.5 billion yuan (680 million U.S. dollars), said the ministry's report distributed at the press conference.

In particular, the police targeted websites providing counterfeit and pirated goods, and had shut down 292 such websites in the crackdown, said the report.

Meanwhile, the police kept a stern line on faking famous brands, seizing copied goods worth 300 million yuan (45 million U.S. dollars), including fake Louis Vuitton bags and Rolex watches.

An online shop operated by a person surnamed Xu was closed after Hunan police found 26,000 mobile phones faked as popular Nokia and iPhone handsets were sold nationwide.

The inter-ministerial crackdown would last until the end of this month, but Li Chenggang, head of the Department of Treaty and Law under the Ministry of Commerce, said related departments were considering an extension of it.

He added that the government's eventual goal was to establish a long-term protection mechanism instead of resorting to frequent crackdowns.

Source: Xinhua
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