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Vow on IPR Protection
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The chronic prominence of intellectual property rights (IPR) on the agenda of State guests from developed countries is no longer a one-sided headache.

The Supreme People's Court's promise to protect registered overseas trademarks is an overdue response to both foreign and domestic concerns.

IPR violations grew rampant in the Chinese market not because of a lack of laws regulating trademarks but because of inadequate enforcement.

The judiciary's new vow of iron-fisted justice against IPR infringement carries more substance than before because of the court's increased awareness.

The authorities' concern over IPR violations is increasingly driven by the consensus that the violations threaten both overseas and domestic firms.

As uncontrolled copycatting and counterfeiting greatly dampen foreign companies' confidence in the Chinese market, an increasing number of home brands are also feeling the bite.

Some domestic firms hesitate to invest in research and development not because of the cost but because they fear their hard-earned ideas may be stolen.

It is encouraging that the Supreme People's Court has pledged to protect both foreign and domestic trademarks equally in accordance with the country's IPR laws.

But the courts can only judge the cases brought before them. We will have to wait and see what response the Supreme People's Court resolution receives at local court levels and whether the court's concerns are shared by those who enforce the laws.

(China Daily January 31, 2007)

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