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IPR Protection 'to Encourage Innovation'
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China will step up protection of intellectual property to promote innovation as it is the key to improving competitiveness, a senior official promised yesterday.

In the 11th Five-Year Guidelines (2006-10), "we will continue to help enterprises to develop and implement innovative technologies," Tian Lipu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office, said during an online interview.

Tian said his office received 476,264 domestic and foreign patent applications last year, up 34.6 per cent from 2004. Most of the domestic applicants were enterprises, especially private businesses.

The country's intellectual property legal regime, a law enforcement framework and an effective protection mechanism reflect the government's unremitting efforts in IPR protection, Tian said.

However, he admitted Chinese businesses do not have enough core IPR technology.

Significant progress has been achieved in attracting overseas investment in the past decades contributing greatly to China's economic development, he said.

He, however, added that "this kind of development is based on cheap labour, consumption of resources and pollution of the environment; and will not last long."

"Therefore, sustainable development is the only choice for the country to shift from 'Made in China' to 'Invented in China,' so as to get rid of the tag, 'the world's factory'," Tian said.

(China Daily February 16, 2006)

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