China's protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) is improving, but we would like to see "faster and better" improvements, said visiting US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez when addressing a roundtable on IPR protection on Tuesday.
He said IPR protection is a "huge problem", but the Chinese side is "showing an increasing ability" to deal with this very complex matter.
Gutierrez listed several achievements China has made in this regard that he "applauds".
Increased cooperation between Chinese and US law enforcement agencies led to a major pharmaceutical raid. Another case involving counterfeit Tamiflu had worldwide implications.
Chinese courts have protected trademarks or patents in major cases involving companies such as GM and Starbucks. Actions to counter textbook piracy on college campuses have been carried out. China has revoked over 360 business licenses for audiovisual products since July because of piracy.
The Chinese government now insists that legal operating system software be pre-loaded on all computers produced in China or imported from overseas, which has led to a noticeable drop in software piracy.
A mutually beneficial trading relationship depends on a number of factors, and IPR protection is critical, Gutierrez said.
He also proposed three specific IPR challenges that he hoped the Chinese side would address in the near term.
He said China should lower criminal thresholds for prosecuting those involved in commercial piracy and counterfeiting, allow greater market access for audiovisual products, and -- like other countries -- provide international laboratories with factory exemplars of optical discs so that pirated discs can be traced to their source.
(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2006)