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USTR Seeking Stronger Chinese Intellectual Property Laws and Enforcement

Posted January 09, 2014

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently submitted a report to Congress on the state of China’s compliance with WTO rules, including those on intellectual property (the TRIPS Agreement).  The report states that “China has established a framework of laws, regulations and departmental rules that largely satisfies its WTO commitment.” However, USTR wants China to strengthen laws that exceed the level required by TRIPS, and the report describes its efforts to strengthen the laws, and the enforcement of those laws, especially online.
The report specifically singles out China for not having certain TRIPS-plus intellectual property protections in place. USTR would like to see “further improvement of China’s measures for copyright protection on the Internet following China’s accession to the [World Intellectual Property Organization] Internet treaties.” It would like to see data exclusivity applied to more drugs.

The section on bilateral engagement describes efforts by the US to win further IP protections in China, including personal diplomacy by the Vice President:  “… in December 2013, Vice President Biden’s visit to Beijing also produced significant results. Among other things, China committed to take steps toward introducing a framework for registering manufacturers of bulk chemicals that can be used as active pharmaceutical ingredients, which would be a critical step in combatting dangerous counterfeit pharmaceuticals around the world. China also took an important step to strengthen the protection of pharmaceutical innovations.”