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IPR protection key to Guangdong's innovation enhancement
Latest Updated by 2007-04-20 14:12:31
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This week, Guangdong released its intellectual property rights protection work in 2006, saying the province continued to take the lead in China in terms of patent and trademark applications and grants for 12 consecutive years.

Guangdong's IPR administrative departments, police, judicial authorities and customs worked together to strengthen protection of IPR including patents, trademarks, and copyright last year.

Meanwhile, they made progress in strengthening border, criminal and judicial protection of IPR. Their efforts propelled Guangdong's economic, social, cultural and technological advances, in that they effectively protected the legitimate rights of IPR holders from both China and abroad, rectified market order and supported Guangdong's campaign in developing innovation.

1  Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

In 2006, the courts at all levels across GD Province made new progress in handling IPR-related cases. The GD court system received altogether 2,640 IPR-related civil cases of first instance, a drop of 8 per cent over last year and accounting for 18.6 per cent of the national total. 2,778 cases were concluded, accounting for 19.8 per cent of national total. The numbers of both the received and concluded cases continued to rank first nationwide. The number of second instance cases received amounted to 502, up 22.4 per cent; among them, 432 were concluded, up 32.1 per cent. With significant improvement of efficiency, the number of unsettled cases decreased and the judicial protection of IPR advanced on the right track. The courts also intensified criminal protection of IPR.

In order to fortify judicial protection of IPR, the court system in GD explored ways to improve the trial mechanism. In June 2006, three courts were designated by GD Provincial Court as the pilot courts for reforming trial mechanism, namely, integrating trial of criminal, civil and administrative IPR cases in a single, unified tribunal. With the largest number of such pilot courts, GD's reform was affirmed by China Supreme Court. In June 2006, Zhongshan, Dongguan, and Foshan Municipal Courts were newly authorized to handle patent cases. In September, the Third Civil Tribunal of GD Provincial Court was renamed as The IPR Tribunal. Municipal and county-level courts across GD also applied for such renaming. Those actions helped improve judicial protection of IPR. >>Detail and more data

2  Criminal Protection of IPR

In 2006, the Public Security Departments (PSDs, i.e. the Police) at all levels in GD severely suppressed criminal infringement of IPR, achieving considerable success. They investigated 396 criminal cases of IPR infringement and product counterfeiting, cracked 288 cases and arrested 806 criminal suspects. All those cases involved RMB 360 million worth of goods.

First, special campaigns were carried out to strike against IPR infringement crimes. Second, the police cracked down on criminal gangs making and selling fake cigarettes. Third, GD police severely cracked down on crimes of pirating software and audio-visual products and other forms of piracy. Government departments in GD, including PSDs, Culture departments, Press and Publication authorities, Copyright bureaus, Customs, and Administrations for Industry and Commerce (AICs), cooperated in carrying out the "One-Hundred-Day Campaign Against Piracy". The campaign was aimed at uncovering illegal optical discs production lines, and punishing key criminals. In 2006, eleven such illegal production lines were seized, over 40 criminals arrested, and more than 15 million pirated optical discs and other pirated products confiscated.

In 2006, PSDs across GD took the offensive and succeeded in cracking a good number of major IPR infringement cases and destroying a batch of cross-region criminal gangs integrating production, supply and sale of IPR infringing goods. >>Detail and more data

3  Customs Protection of IPR

In 2006, GD customs improved law enforcement mechanism and intensified suppression of IPR infringement in import and export. In 2006, 636 cases of IPR infringement were seized, increasing 35.9 per cent. Through effective law enforcement, the foreign trade order and the legitimate rights of IPR holders were well protected.

In 2006, GD customs' IPR protection was upgraded and hence widely commended by IPR owners. Daniel Christman, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter expressing his appreciation of GD customs achievements in improving IPR protection environment in China and worldwide. >>Detail and more data

4  Patent Administration and Protection

In 2006, patent applications and grants in GD totaled to 90,886 and 43,516, accounting for 19.32 per cent and 19.44 per cent of the national total numbers respectively. Among them, the number of Invention Patent applications was 21,351, up 65.7 per cent and accounting for 17.5 per cent of the national total, and the number of Invention Patent grants was 2,441, up 30.1 per cent, accounting for 9.7 per cent of the national total. Such developments improved the structure of patent applications in GD.

The enterprise's status as the major force of innovation was further fortified. Corporate patent filings reached 33,737, accounting for 37.1 per cent of the provincial total and 20 per cent of the national total. Among those, corporate Invention Patent applications were 15,455, accounting for 72.4 per cent of the provincial total and 27.4 per cent of the national total.

In 2006, GD's PCT international patent filings reached 1722, up 74.12 per cent over the year 2005, accounting for 44.04  per cent of the national total. Patent administrative enforcement was also strengthened in 2006. >>detail and more data

5  Trademark Administration and Protection

In 2006, the volumes of trademark applications and registrations maintained a rapid and stable growth. Up to November, the number of trademark registration had exceeded 350,000. The AICs in GD guided enterprises in implementing the strategy of "Famous Brands Strategy". In 2006, GD newly got 29 Chinese Well-known Trademarks, and the total number of such trademarks in GD reached 84, ranking first in China. The GD Provincial AIC continued to cultivate and identify GD Famous Trademarks. Since August, 4323 applications for GD Famous Trademarks and 265 applications for renewal were received. The total number of applications reached 697, up 36.9 per cent over the previous year.

The AICs in GD also actively supported cultivation of agricultural product brands, and strengthened protection of agriculture-related trademarks. In 2006, the AICs in GD launched special campaigns for trademark protection in wholesale and retail markets; they listed as priority raid targets all the well-known wholesale markets, large-scale retail centers and star-rated hotels in GD major cities. Special efforts were given to tackle the problem of selling counterfeit products in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and Shenzhen Luohu Commerce Town in particular. >>Detail and more data

6  Copyright Administration and Protection

In 2006, Copyright Bureaus at all levels in GD made great achievements in strengthening copyright administration and safeguarding the market order of copyright products. Across the year, 333 registrations of copyright contracts, 2,337 voluntary registrations of copyright works, and 1851 registrations of software were received. In 2006, they received 1947 cases of copyright infringement, and settled 1907 cases, among which, 93 were mediated, 1778 were punished, and 36 transferred to other authorities. Nearly 26.98 million pieces of pirated goods were seized.

The Copyright Bureaus in GD continued to promote the use of authentic software. For governments at and above the municipal level, such work was started in October 2004, and had been completed by the end of March 2006. In 2006, they started to promote the use of authentic software in enterprises, focusing efforts on large-scale enterprises. The work was carried out first in state-owned, and foreign-invested, and large-scale private enterprises, and then in small and medium-sized enterprises.

Copyright bureaus launched special operations against copyright infringement, including illegal pre-installation of computer software and Internet piracy. >>Detail and more data

7  IPR Protection of Audio-Visual Products

In 2006, the Culture administrative authorities in GD conducted numerous special raids on markets of audio-visual (A/V) products to forcefully combat piracy and infringement. They dispatched a force of over 315,816 persons for law enforcement, inspecting 194,446 business units (54,844 of which were engaged in A/V products business); they received 5,941 complaints of piracy and infringement, among which 5,033 were investigated and 541 transferred to other authorities; nearly 49 million pieces of pirated goods like optical disks were seized. Those efforts effectively suppressed piracy in the A/V product markets, and the percentage of legal products in A/V shops witnessed a significant increase.

In 2006, the One-Hundred-Day Campaign Against Piracy was launched in GD. Culture departments, the police, press and publication authorities, copyright bureaus, customs and AICs across GD worked closely together to combat piracy. Under unified planning, the operation was rapidly activated across the province. To ensure the effectiveness of the campaign, the Provincial Department of Culture enhanced law enforcement supervision; During the period, it took part in 5 raids against pirated A/V products, and organized a number of supervisions and gave guidance in key areas. >>Detail and more data

8  Suppression of Counterfeit Products

In 2006, by implementing the Famous Brand Strategy and protecting geographical indications, the Quality Supervision Bureaus (QSB) in GD strived to crack down on IPR infringement. In the year, 2 GD products acquired the title of China's World Famous Brands, hence increasing the accumulated number to 3 and accounting for 3/7 of the national total. Up to the end of 2006, 29 GD brands were listed by China Ministry of Commerce as 2005-2006 Famous Export Brands for Priority Cultivation and Development, among which, 18 were mechanical and electronic product brands, accounting for 1/4 of the national total.

QSBs across GD actively promoted the filing of applications for geological identifications. In 2006, eight products, including Dongpo Bacon, Xinhui Orange Peels, Xinhui Orange, Meizhou Grapefruit, Huazhou Orange, Yinde Black Tea and others, were granted Geographical Indication (GI) protection; an accumulated total of 22 products had received GI protection, ranking among the top few nationwide.

In 2006, GD QSBs, by integrating enforcement resources, intensified crackdown on IPR infringement. They established the Inspection Offices, built on a quick reaction mechanism for investigating IPR infringement cases, and launched many special operations on key products and areas, severely suppressing production of domestic or international brand products with fake origins, names and addresses of other factories, and fake quality signs and excellence indications. They investigated 2,205 cases of IPR infringement, up 23 per cent over the previous year, destroying 498 illegal plants. All the cases involved RMB 93.99 million worth of goods. Among the cases, 41 were transferred to the police.

The Food and Drug Administrations (FDAs) in GD strengthened IPR protection of drug, intensifying crackdown on production and sale of counterfeit medicine, medical instruments, medicinal foodstuffs, and cosmetics.  >>Detail and more data

9  IPR Protection in Trade Fairs and Trade Associations

In recent years, trade fairs and expositions have been a priority area in IPR protection in GD. In 2006, IPR enforcement authorities such as IPOs, AICs and Copyright Bureaus dispatched law enforcement teams to such major fairs and expos as The 99th China Export Commodities Fair (Canton Fair), the 100th Canton Fair, the 24th and 25th Guangdong International Beauty, Hairdressing & Cosmetics Expo, and the Third China Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Fair.

The trade associations in GD, e.g. the GD Intellectual Property Protection Association (GDIPPA) and the GD Audio-Visual Distributors Association (GDAVDA), also actively took part in IPR protection, and provided infringement information for enforcement authorities. >>Detail and more data

10  Regional Cooperation in IPR Protection

In 2006, in IPR fields, GD deepened cooperation with HK and with other provinces of the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PRD). GD strived to improve the Mechanism of GD-HK IPR Protection Cooperation, and the Mechanism of IPR Cooperation of the Pan-PRD Region (9 China Mainland Provinces plus HK and Macao), hence intensifying the cross-border protection of IPR.

At present, GD-HK IP cooperation works smoothly on an effective mechanism of regular meetings combined with diverse projects. Now the IPR authorities of both GD and HK have convened five meetings and conducted over 20 cooperation projects. Among the projects, the "No Fakes Pledge Movement" and the "Seminars on IPR and Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises Development" have become famous brand activities of GD-HK IPR cooperation. The "GD-HK-Macau IPR Information Database"( project has made it much easier and more convenient for the general public to get knowledge about the IPR systems in GD, HK and Macao.

2006, GD customs and HK and Macau customs shared over 200 pieces of intelligence concerning IPR protection. They conducted 6 joint enforcement operations in such ports as Luohu, Huanggang, Shatoujiao, Wenjindu, Gongbei and Hengqin, seizing nearly 30 cases of IPR infringement; they also jointly investigated over 30 cases of IPR infringement. Meanwhile, the trademark administration authorities of GD and HK established more convenient channels of communication, preliminarily building a coordinated mechanism of cooperation and improving the efficiency of handling affairs concerning trademarks of both sides.

Since its initiation by GD in 2004, the Pan-PRD IPR cooperation has been progressing steadily. By the end of 2006, 17 cooperation projects were conducted including the "Mechanism of Pan-PRD Cross-Boundary Cooperation in Administrative Enforcement of Patents", the "Research of Effective Assessment of Pan-PRD IPR Protection", the "Research of Pan-PRD Industry Transfer", and the "Research of the Status Quo of Pan-PRD IPR Talents and Service Agencies".

In 2006, GD Provincial AIC established the Pan-PRD information exchange channel, sharing the name lists of well-known trademarks of all mainland Pan-PRD provinces, and hence establishing a mechanism of regional cooperation in investigating trademark cases. In the same year, the Pan-PRD Cooperation Mechanism for Combating Counterfeiting also made new advances, in that the Drug Administration and Inspection Cooperation Committee was established. >>Detail and more data

11  IPR Protection as a Growing Resultant Force

In 2006, GD Government established the Office of GD Working Group for IPR Protection, and issued the Implementing Papers for GD Action Plans of IPR Protection 2006-2007. Ratified by GD Government, GD Office of Rectification and Standardization of Market Economic Order set up the GD IPR Protection Complaints Service Center, providing a convenient channel of filing complaints of IPR infringement.

In 2006, GD Provincial Development and Reform Commission attached strategic importance to IPR in formulating the Eleventh Five-Year Plan of the Social and Economic Development of GD and the Eleventh Five-Year Plan of the Development of GD High-Technology Industry, explicitly requiring that GD should implement the IPR strategy and build a social atmosphere favorable to IPR protection.

In 2006, GD Provincial IPO and GD Provincial PSD jointly set up an IPR Enforcement Liaison Office. The liaison office is responsible for improving the mechanism of case transfer, establishing intelligence and information networks, researching and solving significant issues arising from enforcement cooperation. GD Provincial AIC strived to build a mechanism for cross-department protection of trademarks; in the year, it strengthened administrative enforcement cooperation with GD Customs, providing better protection for trademarks. >>detail and more data 

12  IPR Publicity and Education

In 2006, the IPR authorities of GD made full use of such mass media as TV, radio broadcasting, Internet websites, newspapers and magazines to publicize IPR knowledge and advance awareness, and held diverse seminars and colloquia for IPR capacity building. >>detail and more data

Editor: Wing

By: Li Wei Source:
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