South China's Guangdong Province, a leader in patent and trademark development, is determined to further its efforts in cracking down on the infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR).
Statistics provided by the Guangdong provincial intellectual property protection authority show that the province received 90,886 patent applications last year, of which 43,516 were approved, the largest number anywhere in the country.
By the end of last year, Guangdong had registered 350,000 trademarks.
Li Zhongduo, director of the Guangdong provincial intellectual property office, said at a press conference yesterday: "Besides achievements in patent and trademark development, we will continue to carry out a series of moves to root out IPR violations."
Last year, the authorities of public security and customs investigated 1,032 cases of IPR infringement, and the copyright and culture offices investigated 7,888 cases, involving more than 75 million items of audio and video products.
An IPR education campaign and a high-level IPR forum were also launched yesterday in the provincial capital city of Guangdong, to increase the public's awareness of IPR protection.
"Guangdong is one of the nation's leading suppliers of audio and visual products, and IPR protection here has been particularly challenging," Li said.
According to Li, Guangdong will soon carry out a province-wide campaign to check all shops selling CDs, books and other products.
Further, the province will strengthen cooperative efforts with neighbors Hong Kong and Macao, to beef up the crackdown on cross-border IPR infringements, Li said.
Guangdong has an IPR cooperative agreement with Hong Kong, Macao and seven Pan-Pearl River Delta (PRD) provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The Pan-PRD Intellectual Property Cooperation Agreement has played a crucial role in the "creation, protection, administration and application of IPR," according to Li.
Meanwhile, Shenzhen customs yesterday destroyed more than five million items found to have infringed intellectual property rights. They had an estimated value of 50 million yuan (US$6.4 million).
The goods included cosmetics, watches, handbags, video game players and automobile parts bearing the names of leading world brands such as Nokia, LV, Philips, Sony and Epson.
Shenzhen customs has taken a series of measures - the creation of a more efficient information network, better risk management and the strengthening of staff training - from the start of this year to better monitor the import and export goods.
Up until last Wednesday, Shenzhen customs had successfully investigated 80 IPR cases, which had a combined value of almost 7 million yuan (US$897,436).
(China Daily April 24, 2007)