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China, US Vow to Strengthen Cooperation on IPR Issues
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Senior officials from China and the United States have vowed to strengthen cooperation on intellectual property protection.


China attaches great importance to the United States' experiences in intellectual property protection and would like to learn from its advanced technological management measures on combating internet piracy, said Liu Binjie, deputy director of the State Press and Publication Administration.


Liu yesterday had a closed-door meeting with Jon Dudas, under secretary of the US Department of Commerce for Intellectual Property.


"We exchanged views on laws and policies on how to fight Internet piracy in China, the implementation of intellectual property regulations and closer cooperation between the two sides," Liu told reporters after the one-hour discussion.


According to Liu, the United States and China have designated special liaison officers to deal with intellectual property projects and called for them to hold their first meeting as soon as possible. In the long-term, they will hold visits annually.


Dudas, who is also the director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, said the US side is willing to share experiences with China on anti-piracy.


He said the United States would send experts to train Chinese intellectual property officials, and would invite them to visit the Cyber-Crime Division of the US Department of Homeland Security.


Dudas also congratulated China on its 100-day nationwide intensive anti-piracy campaign, calling the campaign "useful and encouraging."


Dudas also said Washington has not set a timetable for launching a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for China's intellectual property rights (IPR) violations. He told China Daily yesterday that bilateral negotiations are underway to address the problem.


Since September, the United States has complained loudly to Beijing about its commercial pirates and threatened to launch a complaint at the WTO.


But Dudas said yesterday that he is unable to predict whether the US will launch the complaint and if so when it will happen.


"It will probably depend on negotiations and discussions that are under way," said Dudas.


Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said a week ago that any move by the United States to take China to the WTO for IPR violations would have a negative impact on bilateral trade relations.


"We think it's senseless. It won't help solve any problems," he was quoted as saying.


To root out IPR infringement in China, Chinese experts yesterday also called for more attention to IPR violations initiated by foreign firms or consumers.


Of the top 10 IPR infringement cases revealed by the Ministry of Public Security last April, four involved foreigners.


Also, some foreigners buy fake products while they visit or live in China.


To address the situation, Zhang Wei'an, chairman of quality brands protection committee of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, suggested eliminating a regulation that allows travellers to take out a certain amount of fake products for personal use.


Zhang told China Daily that his association was seeking help from travel agencies and hotels to hand out handbooks to foreign visitors advising them not to buy fake products.


According to Zhang, during the first six months of this year reported cases of Chinese IPR infringement by American customs jumped 72 percent year-on-year.


"The increase signals a new trend in trans-national IPR violations. Many Chinese fake products producers now seek foreign buyers directly through email and mail delivery, because they want to cut out the middleman," said Zhang.


(China Daily November 14, 2006)


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