China has improved protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) since it joined the World Trade Organization three years ago, European Union officials said yesterday in Beijing.
"China's legal framework (for IPR) is basically in place," Franz Jessen, deputy head of the EU delegation in Beijing, told a news briefing. "The Chinese Government has put a lot of effort into legislation."
He also said the government has a high level of understanding of IPR protection and is revving up work to combat piracy and counterfeiting.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Culture launched a nationwide campaign to combat the sale of pirate HDVDs (highly compacted video discs that can hold several films or entire TV series). The crackdown will run through the end of next February, state officials said. Shanghai’s authorities also kicked off a citywide crackdown on the illegal sale of pirate DVDs.
Sergio Balibrea, head of the trade section of the delegation, said the EU has noted China’s yearlong, national campaign since September to protect IPR. He had also welcomed the news that a legal interpretation on criminal prosecution standards of IPR violations will be released by the end of the year.
Beijing-based experts believe China has stood by its WTO commitments in terms of IPR protection.
"China has exerted great efforts in the fight against IPR violation," said Teng Fei, a senior researcher with the State Council’s Development Research Center. "Given the size and the development level of the country, IPR protection work is complicated and arduous."
At the same briefing, Jessen called for further efforts from government and industry to implement IPR laws and regulations to curb the flow of fake goods into the EU’s market. He also asked that local governments give greater priority to protecting IPR holders.
According to the EU, almost 85 million counterfeit or pirated articles were seized by customs at its external borders in 2002. The figure was 50 million in the first half of 2003.
(China Daily November 16, 2004)