27 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

China to bolster IP rights protection mechanisms

China will ramp up its intellectual property rights protection mechanisms to promote economic development, according to the country’s premier Li Keqiang.

Xinhua, China’s state news agency, quoted a statement from Keqiang, which was delivered at a State Council executive meeting in Beijing on 22 November.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese government will look to establish a punitive fine mechanism for IP infringement and alter judicial protection to make infringement harder and reduce the cost of IP protection.

The country plans to revise laws that contradict the protection of IP rights and will ensure that private businesses enjoy the same protections as those in the public sector.

Law enforcement will also be enhanced for Chinese exports and imports, as well as on the internet, and in rural and urban areas where counterfeiting is a problem.

Keqiang explained: "Enhancing the protection of IP rights is a matter of overall strategic significance, and it is vital for the development of the socialist market economy."

He added: “There are still quite a few problems with the current property rights protection system. Deficiency in this area is a main cause for the slide in private investment.”

“The wider opening up of the country calls for enhancing IP rights protection. All related laws and measures must be fully implemented, the problem of violators getting away with IP rights infringements must be tackled to dispel the public concern,” Keqiang said.

Earlier this month at the Intellectual Property Awareness Summit in Chicago, David Teece, director of the Tusher Center for Intellectual Capital Management, UC Berkeley-Haas, said that China was embracing stronger IP and transforming itself into the innovation economy, while the US weakens itself.

Teece argued: “We have been sleeping while Rome burns. Today, one has a better chance of getting an injunction in China or Germany or Brazil then in the US.”

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