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Shenzhen Gets Tough on IPR
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Local police detained 94 suspects in the first 11 months of this year for violating intellectual property rights in cases representing economic losses of 100.3 million yuan (US$12.8 million).

"We will spare no effort to protect intellectual property rights, whether the intellectual property belongs to domestic or foreign companies," Li Honglang, deputy director of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, said at a press briefing yesterday.

The bureau has set up a special team to pursue cases involving intellectual property infringement.

The team is composed of 14 policemen selected for their experience in the field.

The team is expected to grow by 22 new officers in the coming year, said Li.

In the latest case, a man surnamed Huang was arrested on November 2 for making vehicle-use DVD players bearing the trademarks of Pioneer and JVC.

The case represented about 110,000 yuan (US$14,048) worth of economic losses for those companies.

On the same day, police raided an illegal factory where workers were making bottle tops for shampoo bearing the logos of several trademarked brands, including Proctor and Gamble (P&G), Slek and Clairol.

They found about 100,000 bottle tops and a variety of manufacturing equipment. The raid represented economic losses of 1.36 million yuan (US$173,691) for P&G China, said Li.

In July and September, the police broke up two illegal counterfeiting rings producing fake bluetooth earphones and computer processors bearing the trademarks of AMD and Intel, respectively. The raid netted goods representing economic losses of 8 million yuan (US$1.02 million) for the two companies.

The police were having greater success in arresting counterfeiters, said Li, adding that the situation is improving.

"We accepted 109 intellectual property-related cases in 2004, with about 670 million yuan (US$85.6 million) involved. But the number of cases dropped to 74 last year," Li said.

(China Daily December 20, 2006)

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