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Customs cooperation to take aim at IPR violations

Customs cooperation to take aim at IPR violations

China will expand international cooperation in enforcing intellectual property rights to facilitate trade and create a favorable business environment for enterprises from China and overseas, a customs official said on Wednesday.

Cooperative customs mechanisms have been established in more than 130 countries and regions, with more than 190 agreements signed, including with major trade partners such as the United States, the European Union, Russia, Japan and South Korea, said Jin Hai, deputy director for general affairs at the General Administration of Customs.

To more effectively fight crossborder violations of intellectual property rights, Chinese customs will improve information sharing and exchanges of data with other countries and regions.

They will also increase the number of personnel exchanges to improve the experience and effectiveness of customs officers, Jin said.

China will continue to conduct joint law enforcement operations with other countries targeting IPR violations, including Russia and the US. Customs officials of the EU, Japan and South Korea have responded positively to China’s proposal for law enforcement operations, he said.

“We have been encouraging domestic and overseas enterprises to conduct exchanges on technology and protecting the lawful intellectual property rights of overseas enterprises in China,” Jin said. “We also want other countries to intensify IPR protections for Chinese enterprises on their soil.”

Jin made the comments at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office in Beijing for the release of an IPR protection report by the Chinese government.

IPR protections made noticeable progress in China last year because of multiple measures, including improved legislation, intensified law enforcement and more international cooperation, according to the Report on the Latest Development in IPR Protection and Business Environment in China.

Law enforcement authorities in China handled 215,000 cases involving counterfeit products last year, including 77,000 cases involving patent infringement, said Gan Lin, vice-minister of the State Administration for Market Regulation.

Courts across China concluded nearly 320,000 IPR cases of various types last year, an increase of 41.6 percent over the previous year. More than 5,600 criminal suspects involved in IPR infringement were arrested last year, Jin said.

Intensified law enforcement also benefits overseas enterprises in China. Last year, intellectual property authorities punished violators in more than 6,000 cases of infringing on rights of trademark registrants from overseas, with a total value of 151 million yuan ($22 million), an increase of 50.1 percent over the previous year, the report said.