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Challenges facing China in IPR protection: expert
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Since China began to implement its National Intellectual Property Strategy on June 5 last year, the nation has achieved remarkable progress in this field.

"But despite all achievements, we should be fully aware of the challenges facing us in the arena of IPR protection," Tian Lipu, the commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, wrote in Monday's China Daily.

"First, without the IPRs to many core technologies, China's manufacturing industry is focusing on the low-end of the value chain. The nation's rapid economic growth has to depend too much on labor-intensive sectors and industries with heavy resource and energy consumption. These sectors are typically vulnerable when global competition intensifies and a worldwide economic crisis takes place".

"Secondly, relying on their strong innovative capacities, the developed countries and the multinational companies from these countries are always the winners when it comes to global competition. These companies tend to use their exclusive IPRs and technologies to maintain their monopoly positions in their respective markets".

"In these circumstances, China should change its economic growth model and promote its own independent innovations. As part of this process, the role of IPR protection should be enhanced".

This year is a crucial period for the implementation of the strategy. The government has now released the 2009 Plan for Promoting the Implementation of the National Intellectual Property Strategy.

The plan includes measures to create a better legal environment for IPR protection, improve government services and enhance the popularization of the strategy.

The plan has also proposed measures to deal with the current global economic downturn. To encourage enterprises to strengthen their global competitiveness through their independent innovations, the plan proposes that the government, at various levels, should offer more policy and financial supports to help enterprises strengthen investment in innovation.

Special organizations have been established in many provinces,autonomous regions and municipalities to oversee the drafting and implementation of their own IPR strategies. To date, more than 10 provinces and municipalities have released their own implementation plans.

With the help of their corresponding industrial associations, the railway, traditional Chinese medicine and steel making industries are the first sectors to benefit from the strategy. They are already seeing enhanced investment in research, development and brand building.

(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2009)

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