Industry commentators call for even deeper collaboration given the scale of challenges faced by enforcement bodies worldwide
Officials from embassies and international organizations have praised China's efforts against counterfeiting in recent years and have called for deeper international cooperation.
They made the remarks on June 17 at a conference of the Quality Brands Protection Committee of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment. The event unveiled the 2016-17 top cases of intellectual property protection, along with model cases of harmonized administrative and judicial IP enforcement.
Grace Jiang, criminal intelligence officer at the Illicit Goods and Global Healthcare Program of the International Criminal Police Organization, took the opportunity to thank China for its contribution.
Law enforcement agencies involved in model cases accept plaques of gratitude from the Quality Brands Protection Committee. Provided to China Daily
She said the Chinese police have participated in all of their activities, focusing on threats such as illicit medicines sold online, as well as counterfeit and substandard food and beverages.
"Trafficking knows no boundary," she said. The fast evolution of technology and the growth of internet-based trade have enabled illegal groups to base themselves in one country, manufacture in a second and distribute via a third, with websites posted elsewhere and finances moving to additional jurisdictions, according to Jiang.
She added that Interpol has been negotiating and facilitating local and regional cooperation.
Joel Blank, intellectual property attache at the United States embassy in China, said at the conference that they have had long-standing cooperation with the QBPC, as well as "a full range of Chinese government agencies, think tanks and academics".
"What we should be most proud of is the consistent commitment on all sides to create a mechanism for broad exchange, cooperation and dialogue," he said.
Blank added that the Chinese government has implemented policies and reforms on many sectors, including IP. This not only meets its trade partners' expectations, but also meets the needed changes in the country's economic and business structure.
Gunther Marten, minister-counselor and IP attache at the European Union delegation in China, said that the Chinese economy is growing fast and its IP protection work should grow at the same pace.
The EU and China organized a judicial IP cooperation program called IP Key, lasting from 2013 to this month. It will restart in September and last until 2021. Under the program, Chinese and European judges who specialize in IP will have the opportunity to compare each other's laws and approaches, and to exchange ideas.
Blank from the US embassy said: "Now it is more important than ever to celebrate our great improvement in combating IP rights infringement and increasing opportunities for innovation and creativity here in China and globally. It is equally important to recognize the aspects and actions that serve as examples of what has been done right and what to do right."
Since 2002, the QBPC's annual top cases campaign has recognized individuals and collective leadership so that others can learn from their strategies, said Blank. "This is increasingly important, as we deal with complicated issues today, like online infringement, bad-faith trademark registration and cross-border activities."
The top criminal cases selected this year mostly involved businesses related to people's daily life, such as food, medicine and maternal and infant supplies, with a greater focus on e-commerce platforms. Some of the cases were investigated under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Security, the nation's top police authority.
The top non-criminal cases mostly concerned trademark infringement, unfair competition and administrative enforcement in cross-border trade.
By Zhang Zhao
Source: China Daily