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Porcelain Capital Intensifies IPR Protection

Known as China's porcelain capital for its fine porcelain and marvelous craftsmanship, Jingdezhen city of eastern Jiangxi Province is taking more companies to court in a reputation-safeguarding campaign to protect its patents.

"Laws are the best weapons to protect Jingdezhen's intellectual property rights," said Hong Kemin, presiding judge on intellectual property rights of the Jingdezhen City Intermediate People's Court.

"It is undoubtedly a life-or-death war for Jingdezhen to reviveits glory against patent infringement," Hong said. "Trademark violation and patent encroachment are the major cause for the decline of Jingdezhen porcelain during the past years besides competition."

Since its establishment in October 1999, the intellectual property rights court in Jingdezhen has handled 130 cases involving intellectual property rights violations, helping trademark holders and craftsmen retrieve direct economic losses of some 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million).

Meanwhile, the applications for patents on ceramic products in Jingdezhen have increased currently to more than 2,000 every year from just 60 before 1999, according to the city government's statistics.

The increasing awareness of the patent and trademark strategy has even led to the registration of "Jingdezhen", the porcelain capital's name, as one trademark by the Jingdezhen City Ceramic Association in 1999.

The association sued Shanghai Guorong Investment Company recently for intellectual property rights infringement, saying the company's organization of a ceramic products commodities fair in name of Jingdezhen porcelain early this year in Singapore and Cambodia had damaged its trademark rights.

"This row over the trademark of 'Jingdezhen' is just tip of the iceberg as the concept of intellectual property rights has been aroused in the city," said Hong Kemin.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2003)

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