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Efforts on IPR Security Intensify
China has made sound legal preparations to upgrade its protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) ahead of its imminent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

A leading IPR expert said a key regulation relating to integrated circuits has already come into effect while another on computer software is set to be overhauled.

"Protection of all aspects of IPR has been enhanced in this nation, particularly computer software, databases and the lay-out design of integrated circuits," said Li Shunde, an IPR professor at the Law Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a major think tank for Chinese leaders.

The State Council - China's top administrative power - passed a regulation on the protection of the layout design of integrated circuits in March.

China consumes nearly one seventh of global integrated circuits products every year, according to Li, who is also a director of the WTO Section of the China Law Society.

The regulation which came into force on October 1 cautions all enterprises against using pirated products, Li said.

The State Council is also busy revising its decade-old regulation on the protection of computer software to curb IPR encroachment by users of terminals, Li said.

"It constitutes an IPR infringement when one set of software with copyrights is installed on some 10 computers," he said.

The Legislative Procedure Law stipulates the State Council is eligible to devise administrative regulations in accordance with the Constitution and laws.

Administrative regulations, only inferior to laws in legal efficacy in this nation, are widely used to support the implementation of laws.

The Copyright Law, which was revised last month by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress - China's top legislative body - has extended its protection of databases to those composed of ordinary data as long as they contain compilation ideas, Li said.

"The profound impacts of China's entry into the WTO has not only been reflected in its legislative sector but also in its judicial and administrative organizations," Li said.

Tougher measures have been taken to prevent further infringement of IPR before a case is heard by the court and transparency in the treatment of individual cases has been increased, he said.

(China Daily November 5, 2001)

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