SIPO Pats Gov’t on Back for Protecting Olympic IPR

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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.

One response on “SIPO Pats Gov’t on Back for Protecting Olympic IPR

  1. Tony

    In fact, during the Olympics it was more difficult to find copyright-infringement DVDs, purses, etc. They of course could still be found, but they weren’t as open and flagrant. This was the case in Shanghai at least.

    Actually, I wasn’t a big fan. For some reason, they closed just about every business in the subways. Not sure why they had to do that, since not all of them were pirating stuff (or allow them to keep the legitimate business, such as selling water, soft drinks, food, etc).

    Everyone knows their are counterfeit goods and unauthorized DVDs in China. Not sure what they were trying to do during the Olympics; it made it pretty transparent that they usually just don’t care. Which is fine. China is powerful now and doesn’t need to kowtow to the West all the time. I don’t see the big deal about the DVDs. You can’t even buy them legally in China often (because of censorship and much because pirated ones have destroyed the market I’m guessing). The U.S. at least gets the side benefit of promoting our culture and perhaps setting the stage for better relations when the younger generations come to power.