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Archived updates for Wednesday, June 29, 2005

METI Publishes China I/P Enforcement Survey

On June 23, 2005, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) published the results of its "Field Survey for Infringement of Intellectual Property Right in China." Their survey covers two years from 2003 through 2004. Among the conclusions, "Of the 67 companies that used the remedial procedures of Chinese governmental authorities when there was an infringement of intellectual property rights in China, 40 answered that they sensed difficulty when seeking a response from the authorities, or a lack of smooth progress."

Several other systemic inadequecies were also noted in the survey responses from 134 companies, primarily Japanese corporations that have gained ground or are doing business in China:
  • The party holding the rights must be liable for such expenditures as warehouse storage cost for confiscated items and disposition expenses.
  • Unfairly low prices were used to calculate the amount of fines for administrative measures, or the amount of illegal business being conducted, which is the benchmark for determining whether to initiate criminal prosecution. Therefore, we cannot expect the infringements to be curbed because the fines are extremely low and criminal prosecution cannot be initiated.
  • There are delays in trademark registration applications and the deliberation for protests filed, and the period for responding to rejections in the deliberation process is too short at 15 days.
  • There was a repeat offender, but criminal charges were not filed because the monetary amount was insufficient. Repeat offenders should be regarded as malicious and we want criminal charges filed against them.
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