Intellectual Property in China

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Surge of intellectual property rights cases in China

Jinan (China), Feb 21 : China has seen a surge in foreign-related intellectual property rights (IPR) court cases since joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001.

Domestic courts nationwide tried and concluded 668 such cases in first instance last year, compared with only 43 in 2001, said officials attending a national court conference in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province Wednesday.

Local courts concluded 1,634 such cases in first instance during the period, an annual growth of 58 percent.

Cao Jianming, Supreme People’s Court vice president, attributed the surge to the country’s opening-up process and development of foreign trade.

The IPR protection has risen in importance on China’s judiciary agenda. Since 2001, the supreme court has ordered the establishment of special courts for IPR cases nationwide and lowered the threshold to prosecute people manufacturing or selling counterfeit products.

China has staged consistent fights against piracy, destroying pirated books and DVDs in public and raiding factories churning out fakes.

Chinese President Hu Jintao promised the implementation of a new “national strategy” on IPR protection at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last October.