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China cautions U.S. piracy complaint will damage trade ties

Posted: 26 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intellectual property rights? China copyright protection? China IP infringement?

China vice premier Wu Yi warned that the U.S. complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over commercial piracy in China will "badly damage" trade ties, noted a Reuters report.

The U.S. government filed two cases early this month at WTO, claiming that China was not doing enough to punish illegal copiers of films and music and that its restrictions on entertainment imports violated trade rules.

Wu argued in an intellectual property (IP) forum in Beijing that the U.S. Trade Representative ignored the progress that China has made in terms of protecting copyrights. She added that action taken by the U.S. was contrary to the agreement the two countries' leaders had to propose dialogues to settle disputes. Wu also noted that a WTO member had never simultaneously mounted two cases against another country.

Besides damaging the bilateral IP cooperation, Wu also warned that the cases would "harm" the two countries' cooperation over market access. She said the Chinese government is disappointed with the turn of events but assured that they will respond proactively according to the related WTO rules.

Wu pointed out that 988 people have already been arrested for IP infringement last year and that courts heard 6,441 IP cases. She admitted that a lot of work lay ahead into cleaning-up the piracy but remained positive, saying that results of their efforts get better every year.

Early this week (April 23), China released an IP action plan to combat commercial piracy. The plan will draft and implement 14 laws on IP rights and usage, as well as issue explanations and guidelines for handling IP violation cases.

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