WASHINGTON, February 11, 2011 — The Chinese government has undertaken unprecedented measures to boost intellectual property enforcement in recent months, according to the government’s attache in Washington, D.C.
Fuli Chen, China’s intellectual property attache to the United States, said that a recently-broadcast speech by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the importance of enforcing intellectual property rights on national television and radio was a first, as was the attention that the matter has received from the country’s State Council.
These developments indicate the importance that the central government has attached to the subject, he said.
“This is the first time that Premier Wen has delivered an address to the whole country through television, through the radio, and through white papers,” he said.
Without getting into details, Chen said that the State Council had “divided the workload” of an intellectual property enforcement campaign among all of the country’s agencies, as well as through 32 provinces and municipalities, which are setting up their own working plans regarding enforcement.
He promised more results from the current enforcement campaign, and added that “the Chinese government is thinking about how to make these campaigns systematic and regular.”
And the Chinese government will publish a “full report” on the results of its current campaign on what was accomplished, and what changes and conclusions might be made from it, he said.
Chen spoke at a Tuesday meeting on China and intellectual property organized and presented by the Intellectual Property Breakfast Club.
During a brief speech during a breakfast panel meeting, Chen said that intellectual property is crucial to China because it is invested in moving up the manufacturing value chain to become more innovative. (Chen said that the views expressed on Tuesday are his own and not the Chinese government’s.)
“In 2006, we really set up a goal of becoming an innovative country,” because it’s related to the country’s ongoing economic development.
And he said that he believes the most effective enforcement measure that authorities can undertake in China is promoting “public awareness.”
He said that the concept of intellectual property was imported to China only three decades ago, which is a nanosecond in China’s long history — not much time for a culture steeped in centuries-old traditions to change.
Video of the event can be found here.