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Sino-US Round-table Meeting on Intellectual Property
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China's National Intellectual Property Strategy Formulation Leading Group Office and the US Department of Commerce held a round-table meeting on Wednesday on intellectual property.

Visiting US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez delivered a brief presentation on innovation and business competitiveness.

Tian Lipu, commissioner of China's State Intellectual Property Office, briefed the US delegation on China's efforts to formulating the national intellectual property strategy.

Both sides exchanged views on global intellectual property strategy and how to improve competitiveness, and agreed to strengthen exchange and cooperation in intellectual property.

Previously, Chinese senior officials including Vice Premier Wu Yi and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai have told visiting US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez that China is enhancing intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and such effort will continue.

"China is urging all government departments and state-owned enterprises to use authentic software and PC manufacturers to install authorized operation systems," Bo said when holding talks with his US counterpart.

In addition to the fight against software piracy, China has also cracked down on pirated discs and enhanced IPR protection in other areas, Bo said.

Figures from the Chinese government show that 223 underground production lines have been seized since 1996. Informants are usually rewarded with 150,000 yuan to 300,000 yuan when an illegal production line is seized by the Chinese government.

On March 1, 2006, a new regulation on IPR protection at exhibitions came into effect.

According to the regulation, an office should be set up by exhibition organizers to handle complaints about IPR infringement if an exhibition is longer than three days. Those exhibition organizers and participants infringing on IPR may be prohibited from holding or joining exhibitions again.

Bo expressed his wish that the United States would fully realize China's effort and achievement in this regard, saying IPR infringement is a global problem that exists in both China and the United States, and that the two countries should step up exchanges and cooperation in fighting against such infringement.

Figures show China's police arrested 2,119 suspects for IPR violations in 2005, an increase of 56 percent from a year before.

The money involved in last year's IPR cases topped 1,28 billion yuan, surging 366 percent from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Public Security. Lenovo, one of China's largest computer makers, plans to spend 10 billion yuan this year to purchase operating systems from Microsoft in the US.

"Independent innovation is the soul of the development of science and technology and the inexhaustible power for the development of a nation. No IPR protection, no independent innovation," said Wu Yi, also head of the State IPR Protection Working Group.

To arouse the society to protect IPR, China is to set up reporting centers in 50 major cities across the country.

(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2006)

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