Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Controversial grading of Chinese WTO compliance to IPR protection

According to the Chinese Daily foreign companies give China after fours years decent marks for WTO compliance. But there are still complaints about "rampant violations of intellectual property rights". The US Chamber of Commerce reported on this earlier.

"The report said 70% of pirated goods seized at US borders in the first half of the year originated from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. US and European companies lose billions of dollars a year from piracy of such goods as computer software, pharmaceuticals, electronics, movies, clothing and car parts, say foreign-trade groups."

In the Chinese Daily academic and governement adviser Zhang Hanlin of the University of International Business in Beijing gives China nontheless a grade of 95 percent for overall WTO compliance and 80 percent for its protection of intellectual property. This makes you think about the grades Zhang is giving his students when they fail a course.

"In joining the WTO, China pledged to significantly reduce the levels of counterfeiting and piracy before 2005, and Chinese officials regularly assure Washington they will step up antipiracy efforts. But foreign companies say China could do much more; of some 2,000 administrative enforcement cases dealt with by authorities in the eastern province of Jiangsu last year, only two were transferred to courts for criminal investigation, according to the US Chamber report."
Mr. Zhang thinks that one cause of the problem might be "that the responsibilities are divided among too many administrative departments."
Read more here.

Howard Winn of the International Herald Tribune wrote a piece about how China's accession to the WTO has brought about change for both China and WTO.
About Intellectual Property he wrote:

"In testimony for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S.-China Business Council called in August for faster progress by China on the enforcement of intellectual property and distribution rights;..."
Read more here.

More about China and the WTO on the Conglomerate blog.

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