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4,300 people convicted of IPR infringement in 2007
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More than 4,300 people were tried and convicted of intellectual property right (IPR) infringement last year, an official of China's supreme court said on Tuesday.

A total of 4,322 criminals involved in 2,684 cases concerning IPR infringement, rising 23 percent and 18 percent year-on-year respectively, have been fined or sentenced to imprisonment of up to seven years, according to Xiong Xuanguo, vice president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

Xiong revealed the numbers at an international workshop on IPR protection here.

He said that China attaches increasing importance to IPR.

"People's courts have tried more cases of IPR infringement, and the supreme court has also made or modified over 20 legal explanations concerning IPR protection," he said.

He added that the SPC is now considering amending the Patent Law and the Trademark Law, and is setting agendas to draft laws and regulations on protection of commercial secrets and folk art and literature.

China in recent years has launched a series of campaigns against crimes related to the infringement of copyrights, trademarks and patent rights.

In its latest campaign, an executive meeting of the country's State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao approved last Wednesday a set of new guidelines on the national strategy of IPR.

The meeting agreed to step up IPR protection, safeguard market order and the legal rights of the public, strengthen international cooperation and adherence to international practice, and make concerted efforts to raise awareness of intellectual property issues among the public.

Earlier reports also said the government would set up about 40 service centers for IPR protection. The centers would provide consultation and financial support for those could not afford to pursue cases.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2008)

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