On 19 October 2010, the State Council announced a new national
campaign to crack down on counterfeit products and IPR
infringements. This new campaign started at the end of October and
will continue for six months.
The campaign targets pirated publications, software and DVDs, as
well as other violations of registered trademarks, designs and
patents. The campaign will target distributors and manufacturers
fake goods, and will focus on online sales. Furthermore, customs
authorities are tasked with improving the inspection of imported
and exported products to reduce the number of fake and infringing
products that cross the border. The campaign features higher
penalties for infringers.
Interestingly, the State Council also directed all government
agencies to purchase only authorised software and upgrades.
According to a recent poll, up to 90% of the software used by
government agencies in China is unauthorised.
Along the same vein, the National Copyright Administration
announced that it will extend until February 2011 a campaign
targeting video and e-commerce websites that illegally disseminate
fi lms and videos online.
The Chinese government often initiates campaigns to crack down
on matters of immediate concern, but whether this one will have any
lasting effect remains doubtful. It appears that the campaign
merely targets the very visible fake goods available on the street
and in markets in China that specialise in counterfeits. But this
is only the tip of the iceberg. Equally problematic, and much more
dangerous for European high-tech companies, is the growth of IPR
theft that takes the form of industrial espionage. A crackdown and
legislative support in this area would be welcomed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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