China Convicts 4,300 Over Intellectual Property Cases

This is a 23% increase from last year.

Chinese courts last year convicted more than 4,300 people for infringement of intellectual property rights, state media said on April 15. A total of 4,322 people were fined or sentenced to up to seven years' jail in 2,684 cases, Xinhua news agency quoted Supreme People's Court vice president Xiong Xuanguo as saying.

This represented a rise of 23% and 18% respectively compared to the previous year, the news agency said.

"People's courts have tried more cases of IP rights infringement, and the Supreme Court has also made or modified over 20 legal explanations concerning IP rights protection," Xiong was quoted as saying. The Supreme Court was also considering setting agendas to draft laws and regulations on protection of commercial secrets and art and literature, Xiong said.

Flawed protection of intellectual property rights in China is a constant concern among foreign companies. The U.S. filed a case in April last year at the World Trade Organization over widespread copyright piracy in China, a practice which U.S. companies say deprives them of billions of dollars each year.

China in recent years has launched a series of campaigns against crimes related to the infringement of copyright, trademarks and patent rights, Xinhua said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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