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Guangdong Takes Measures Against IPR Infringement
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Guangzhou Customs Office destroyed more than 25,000 counterfeit brand-name products including Thumbs up, Nokia, Coach, LV, Prada and Gucci on Wednesday.

The action is one of the latest attempts of south China's Guangdong Province to fight against intellectual property right (IPR) infringements.

"The province has always taken action against any venture related to IPR violations and the province will gear up efforts this year," said Tang Yi, deputy director of the provincial IPR office, at a press conference yesterday.

He said that several provincial departments including those related to the public security, industry and commerce administration, copyright and patent administration, quality supervision, customs, cultural administration, food and drug administration and foreign trade had joined hands for the crackdown on IPR infringement and protection of IPR development.

Citing statistics, he said the province put on record 426 cases related to the production and sales of fake products or IPR violations in 2005.

The cases involved a value of 590 million yuan (US$72.70 million) and 1,207 suspects were arrested.

"Guangdong is one of the nation's leading suppliers of audio and visual products, and the IPR protection there has been particularly challenging," he said.

The province dispatched a law enforcement force of more than 39,000 people in the year, checking more than 22,000 CD shops and closed down 1,029.

About 40 million pirated CDs were seized in 2005.

While striking IPR violations, the province has attached equal importance to the encouragement and development of patents and trademarks, Tang said.

The province submitted 72,220 patent applications in 2005, up 38.4 percent from 2004 and representing 18.8 percent of the nation's total.

A total of 36,894 patents were granted to the province in the year, up 17.3 percent and making up 21.5 percent of the nation's total.

Guangdong has topped other provinces and regions in both figures for 11 consecutive years.

And trademark applications and registrations in the province numbered 102,998 and 39,719 respectively in 2005.

He said that the province would make even greater efforts to protect IPR to avoid violations from running unbridled.

And the province will join hands with Hong Kong for IPR protection by launching joint campaigns, sharing information and related policies.

Xiao Wen, an executive with Adidas's Guangzhou office, said that many foreign-funded enterprises including Adidas appreciated the intense efforts the provincial authorities had made to protect IPR and to fight against trademark violations.

(China Daily April 21, 2006)

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