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Big Progress Made in IPR Protection
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China has made progress in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and expects understanding and cooperation from its trading partners, a senior commerce official said yesterday.

"The resources China has devoted to IPR protection are unprecedented," Vice-Commerce Minister Ma Xiuhong said yesterday at an international forum on IPR and innovation in Beijing. "It shows China's resolve in IPR protection."

The conference is co-sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

China has not only established a complete legal system on IPR protection, but also strengthened exchanges and cooperation with the United States and the European Union, she said. 

Ma said China acknowledges that the IPR issue is a significant challenge for both developing and developed countries and the Chinese government is ready to further cooperation with other countries.

"But an IPR protection system cannot be completed overnight," Ma noted. "In China, a developing country of 1.3 billion people, it requires joint efforts from the governments, businesses and consumers."

Jon W. Dudas, the US Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, said China's national strategy on IPR protection is "impressive and future-sighted" and added he is "eager to continue the discussion with China and better understand the strategy".

He said the two countries should work together to deal with trademark applications.

On a separate occasion, Dudas said while China was moving in the right direction with better law enforcement and the political will to act, it still needed to deliver on its promises.

"Even two years ago I don't think we had the full partnership that we have today between the United States and China. Nothing but reasons for optimism," he said.

"But the real result is when we see the level of piracy and counterfeiting come down," said Dudas.

Frank Lavin, another US Under Secretary of Commerce, said "the IPR issue is one of the most important issues in Sino-US trade".

He said the Chinese government must improve in a number of sectors, such as transparency in forming the 3G (third generation) standard, IPR protection in the pharmaceutical sector as well as the fight against counterfeiting in software and entertainment.

(China Daily March 29, 2007))

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