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Shanghai Improves IPR Protection

Shanghai, China's leading industrial and commercial hub, has been striving to improve protection of intellectual property rights by enhancing regional cooperation.
Information from the Shanghai Intellectual Property Rights Office said that a trans-regional enforcement network led by Shanghai has been launched for the coordination of administrative protection of patents. Sixteen provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Anhui, Fujian and Guangdong, are participating. Another IPR protection federation with the participation of 16 cities in the Yangtze River Delta has also taken shape.
"With these two organizations in place, regional protectionism toward IPR protection will be curbed, and trans-regional patent infringements will be brought under control, "said Xu Zhanglin, deputy head of the municipal IPR office.
In the meantime, Shanghai has also tried administrative and judicial means to improve IPR protection in the city.  The municipal People's Congress has adopted and put into effect regulations regarding the protection of patents, while the municipal government published 23-article opinions about improving IPR protection in July last year.
The city is the first in the nation to set up a guild for patent agents which provides patent applicants with relevant services and offers legal consultancy and aid to patent holders whose rights are being infringed upon.
The measures have begun to pay off.
Shanghai Intellectual Property Rights Office received 22,374 patent applications last year, but only approved 16,671 cases as patents, up 12.1 percent and 149.1 percent on a year-on-year basis, respectively.  Applications for invention patents made up 5,936 of the total, up 49.9 percent.
In the first eight months of the year, applications for invention patents totaled 4,431, up 12.9 percent over the same period last year. 

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2004)

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