China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has issued a White Paper on protection of Olympic IPR last year. It is self-congratulatory, giving kudos to other government agencies, such as AIC, Customs and the PSB.
As I wrote last year, my big “take away” from the whole Olympics period with respect to IPR protection is the standard it will set. If Olympic symbols were protected well, and I agree with the SIPO report that indeed they were, what does this say about the potential of IPR enforcement in China in protecting non-Olympic IPRs?
In other words, the Olympic period may have set the bar higher for what folks consider to be an acceptable level of IPR protection. If we see any sort of backtracking on enforcement policies, I think a lot of fingers will point at the Olympic period, in essence saying “If you could do it then, why not now?”
Here’s more on the White Paper from Xinhua:
China has made outstanding achievements in protecting Olympic intellectual property rights (IPRs), according to a white paper released Friday by the State Intellectual Property Office.
“IPR protection for the Olympics made obvious achievements and was fully recognized by the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge and the international community at large,” the paper said.
According to the paper, administrations for industry and commerce (AICs) launched nationwide campaigns to protect Olympic symbols.
AICs handled 1,721 cases of illegal use of Olympic symbols valued at 16.59 million yuan (about 2.43 million U.S. dollars) and imposed 7.27 million yuan in fines. They also handled more than 5,800 cases of Olympic symbol infringement cases with a value of nearly 35 million yuan.
Customs seized 450,000 items of cargo infringing Olympic IPRs and had “effectively curbed export and import of goods infringing Olympic IPRs,” according to the paper.
The Ministry of Public Security had also carried out campaigns against pirated and counterfeit Olympic symbols.
The police had found counterfeit Olympics gold medals in Beijing, counterfeit Olympic torches in eastern Zhejiang Province and counterfeit Olympic memorabilia coins in northeast Heilongjiang Province.
In summarizing China’s IPR protection work last year, Tian Lipu, director of the State Intellectual Property Office, said the country had strengthened the role of the judiciary in protecting IPRs and the interests of the rights holder and the public were effectively protected.
“China launched harsh strikes on all kinds of illegalities and crimes of IPR infringement last year with a focus on fighting piracy and maintaining market order,” he said.