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China to amend patent law, eyes stricter penalty for violators
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China unveiled draft amendments to the patent law on Monday, lifting application standards and promising heavier fines on piracy.

Tabled at the current session of China's top legislature for a second reading, the draft amendments raises the threshold for invention applications, accepting only inventions that have not been unknown to the public either in China or abroad.

Under the draft amendments, applicants could apply for foreign patents even before obtaining Chinese patents.

But the applicants are supposed to go through a check held by patent authorities of the State Council, China's Cabinet, for the sake of state security, said Tian Lipu, director of the State Intellectual Property Office, at the current session of the Standing committee of the National People's Congress.

The draft amendments also put forward harsher penalty for piracy acts. Violators would be fined four times their illegal gains or face a fine of up to 200,000 yuan (about 29,200 U.S. dollars) if the have no illegal gains. The current figure for the penalty is three times and 50,000 yuan respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency August 26, 2008)

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