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Organisers Get Tough on IPR Protection
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The organisers of World Expo 2010 Shanghai will restrict the taking of photos and shooting of videos in the exhibition halls of the event to protect the intellectual property rights of Expo participants and to prevent their work being copied or counterfeited.

The proposed restrictions were released in a recently published protection guide based on IPR regulations in China which were especially formulated for World Expo participants.

Visitors will not be allowed to videotape, make recordings or take photos without the permission of the organisers and participants during any of the exhibitions, forums or public performances.

As well as setting up warning signs in front of the exhibition halls, the organisers have issued a guide of 10 further measures being taken to emphasize the importance of IPR protection and inform the public of their responsibility to respect the rights of the participants.

"We must respect the rights of the participants," said Zhang Keqin, director of Legal Affairs Department in the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

"We hope visitors take as many pictures as they like, but if any of the participants have any of these requirements, we will fully cooperate with them."

The guide also revealed certain measures to prevent preemptive registration during the Expo Shanghai.

The organisers will grant exhibition items and performances special certificates which can guarantee their patents in China during the six months' exhibiting period, preventing the same products, though coming out later, but being registered ahead of them.

Because of the possible inconvenience for people who want to communicate with the relevant departments, the Bureau intends to establish an institute which will gather together officials from the various departments to deal with IPR issues.

Also, the organisers will recommend qualified IPR agencies to assist participants who want to patent their products.

The guide, passed at the Fourth Meeting of the Organizing Committee on January 12 after a 12-month preparation, has been reviewed several times by the Bureau of International Exhibitions.

"IPR protection is very important to the Expo," Zhang said. "Cultivating a good legal environment will be good in the long run for China. We should start early and be fully prepared."

The guide is being passed along to all Expo participants and detailed regulations are expected to be published later this year.

The biggest problem that the Bureau has had to confront during the process of setting up IPR protection is the fear of massive counterfeiting of Expo products and performances, Zhang said.

"As the cost of fighting counterfeiting is very high, precautions are quite necessary." Zhang said. "And we will also take measures to enhance the public's awareness of IPR."

(Shanghai Daily March 21, 2007)

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