2003 was an important year for Chinese government to further strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and make new achievement.
In 2003, in China, the number of patents applications of three categories broke 300,000. Meanwhile, the number of trademark applications for registration broke 450,000. Significant achievement was gained in the area of the copyright protection. The Regulation on the Customs Protection of Intellectual Property was revised. The public security authorities enhanced to fight against the copyright infringement and piracy. The cultural administrations further intensified the management of audio-video market by cracking down illegal behaviors. Important advancement was made for the protection of new varieties of plants. China also strengthened the international exchange and cooperation in area of IPR.
I. Further Improvement for Intellectual Property Right System
For being adaptable to the new situation after entry into WTO, Chinese government further improved the legal framework of intellectual property by checking and clearing large-scale regulations related to IP. In 2003, the State Council published newly revised Regulation of People's Republic of China on the Customs Protection of Intellectual Property. The National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) drew Regulations on the Implementation of Copyright Administrative Punishment. The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) formulated the Measures on Compulsory Licensing of Patents and Measures on Patent Agency Administration. A total of 26 regulations and documents, which were not in accordance with the rules of WTO, were revised or cancelled. WTO passed the law review and the transition review of China Intellectual Property.
From August 2002 to April 2003, the SIPO together with other 21 departments including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) prepared for the WIPO Summit actively, which were proposed to be held in Beijing on 26 April 2003. Owing to the prevailing circumstances of SARS, the WIPO Summit was unable to be held as scheduled. However, the preparation activities, which had lasted for 8 months, proved that the Chinese government attached great importance to the protection of IPR. In the process of preparation, the friendly communications between China and other members of the WIPO were improved. Moreover, it drew attention of the public on the IP protection and enhanced their IP awareness, and further strengthened the coordination and cooperation among the domestic agencies related to IP.
The 39th Series of the WIPO Assembly was held in Geneva from 22 September to 1 October. At the meeting, Mr. Wang Jingchuan, Commissioner of the SIPO, was selected as the Vice Chairman of the Assembly, Mr. Li Dongsheng, Vice Minister of the SAIC, was selected as the Vice Chairman of the Madrid Assembly, and Mr. Shen Rengan, Vice Minister of the NCAC, was selected as the Vice Chairman of the Berne Assembly. Dr. Idris, Director General of the WIPO, met Commissioner Wang and the Chinese delegation and exchanged views on some international IPR issues, such as the international patent system, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore. Both sides affirmed the cooperation between China and the WIPO in the past and agreed to further maintain and improve the cooperation relationship.
In order to regulate and rationalize the market economy order, the SIPO issued the Notice on Further Improving Raiding IPR Counterfeiting. During the SARS outbreak, the SIPO issued the Notice on Strengthening IPR Protection during the Period of Fighting SARS. All local IP offices seriously implemented the above notices, and made a progress in fighting against IPR violations, such as manufacturing and selling infringement and counterfeit goods.
During the period of fighting SARS, the SIPO opened a green tunnel for receiving SARS-treatment-related patent applications, examined the applications at the maximum speed and facilitated the technologies' swift entry into market. The SIPO built a patent documentation database to serve the fight against SARS, which provided an important information support for the Chinese technology personnel to develop patent technology in fighting SARS based on fully understanding prior arts.
II. Make New Achievements in Patent Work
In 2003, the SIPO received a total of 308,487 patent applications, an increase of 22.1% over the previous year (252,631). The SIPO received 1,171 international applications, an increase of 220 over the previous year. Moreover, 700 requests were received for international preliminary examination, of which 656 reports were completed.
The patent application in 2003 had the following three features: (1) The three categories of patents each accounted for about one third of total in quantity. The amount of invention patent applications had caught up with that of utility model for the first time since 16 years ago. In 2003, the patents for invention made an increase of 31.3% over the previous year, far higher than the other two categories of patent. (2) The domestic invention patents exceeded the foreign ones for the first time in the past 8 years. Since China became the member of PCT in 1994, the invention patent applications from abroad went up sharply, and the domestic invention patent application were left behind. This situation was changed in 2003, the domestic invention applications added up to 57,000, while the foreign ones were 49,000. (3) The service inventions exceeded the non-service inventions since the enforcement of Patent Law because the domestic service patent applications rose up greatly (an increase of 26.1% over the previous year). The domestic service invention patent application went up to 34,371(an increase of 53.2% over the previous year), the increase was faster than utility model and industrial design (23.3% and 8.8% respectively), therefore, the domestic service patent applications accounted for over 40% of the total domestic patent applications.
By 31 December 2003, the SIPO received an accumulated number of 1,931,118 patent applications. Of these applications, 1,595,415 were domestic and 335,703 were foreign , accounting for 82.6% and 17.4% of the total respectively.
In 2003, 182,226 patents were granted by the SIPO, an increase of 37.6% over the previous year (132,399). Among the granted patents, 149,588 were domestic, a rise of 33.4% over the previous year (112,103). 32,638 were foreign, a rise of 60.8% over the previous year (20,296).
By 31 December 2003, the SIPO granted an accumulated number of 1,065,261 patent applications. Of these granted patents, 941,940 were domestic and 123,321 were foreign, accounting for 88.4% and 11.6% of the total respectively.
In 2003, the SIPO received 1,813 requests for re-examination, 852 more than the year 2002, an increase of 88.6%. Among the requests, 1,742 ones were put forward by those who were not satisfied with the essential examination department's decisions on rejection and revocation of invention patent applications, accounting for 96.1% of the total. In 2003, 1,235 re-examination cases were concluded, and 1,240 cases were still in examination by the end of the same year. In 2003, the SIPO received 1,813 requests for invalidation, 61 more than the previous year, showing a rise of 3.4%. In this year, totally 1,617 invalidation cases were handled and closed, and 1,580 cases were still in process by the end of the same year.
Taking advantage of simple enforcement procedure, large number of professionals and fast effect of administrative enforcement, the local intellectual property offices handled the patent disputes efficiently, and fought against counterfeiting patent and passing off patent. In 2003, these local intellectual property offices received 1,517 patent disputes cases, of which 1,237 were closed. 1,873 cases were settled as pass-off of patents and 164 cases were settled as counterfeiting patents.
In 2003, the SIPO received 193 applications for the registration of layout designs of integrated circuit. In the same year, 204 were registered, published and authorized with registration certificates. By 31 December 2003, a total of 438 applications for the registration of layout designs of integrated circuit were received, and 366 of those were registered, published and authorized with the registration certificates.
III.Strengthen Protection for Trademark
In 2003, the Trademark Office (TMO) received the most trademark applications, a total of 452,095, covering both goods and service, an increase of more than 80,000or 21.6% over that of 2002. Of this total number, 405,620 were domestic applications, an increase of more than 26.3% over the previous year, accounting for 89.7% of the total, 33,912 were from abroad, accounting for 7.5% of the total, 12,563 were related to the extension of the territorial extension of international trademark registrations in accordance with the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, accounting for 2.8% of the total.
In 2003, 22,403 applications were received by the TMO for renewal trademark, 8,734 were for trademark oppositions, 42,149 were for trademark changes, 46,995 were for trademark assignment, 4,410 were for trademark cancellation and revocation, and 19,795 were for records of the trademark licensing contracts. In 2003, the TMO received 127 certificate trademarks applications and 56 collective trademarks applications.
In 2003,the TMO totally reviewed 245,737 trademarks and approved 242,511 trademarks for registration. 34,378 were related to the changes of registered trademarks, 41,366 related to assignment, 23,184 related to renewal, 32,653 related to revocation and cancellation, 12,886 related to the records of the trademark licensing contracts.
In 2003, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) received a total of 9,967 applications of various kinds, among which, 8,241 requests were for review of rejection of applications for trademark registration and of cancellation of registered trademarks, accounting for 82.68% of the total; 1,726 were for review of trademark oppositions and adjudication on disputes over registered trademarks, accounting for 17.32% of the total. In the year, the TRAB totally heard 2,152 cases of trademark review and adjudication, among which, 1,895 were requests for review of rejection of applications for trademark registration and of cancellation of registered trademarks, accounting for 88.06% of the total, 257 were for review of trademark oppositions and adjudication on disputes over registered trademarks, accounting for 11.94% of the total. In the year, there were 81 lawsuits, 17 of that were appeal cases.
In 2003, the administrations for industry and commerce (AICs) at all levels across the nation continued intensifying enforcement in trademark cases, and severely cracked down upon trademark counterfeiting and infringement. The legitimate rights of trademark registrants and the interests of consumers were effectively protected. According to statistics, 37,489 trademark law-breaking cases of various kinds were investigated and handled across the country in 2003(of which 11,001 were ordinary law-breaking cases and 26,488 related to trademark-infringement and counterfeiting). 84,755,000 pieces/sets of illegal marks were seized and removed, 15,597 molds, printing plates and other tools directly used in the trademark infringement were confiscated. 5,754.92 tons of infringed products were destroyed. The fine imposed amounted to 242,000,000 RMB, 45 cases were transferred to judicial organs for criminal liabilities.
Since the Regulations on Protection of the Olympic Symbols were promulgated and implemented, protection of Olympic symbols was developed by the local AICs. In Beijing, the AICs organized a special action to protect Olympic symbols. In this action, the AICs dispatched over 2,000 executive personnel to over check 6,000 individual businesses, more than 500 malls and marketplaces, and 94 main streets. They rectified more than 600 large billboards, checked and detained over 130,000 infringing commodities and packaging, put 33 cases on record. In Hubei province, the AICs checked over 18,900 enterprises, 528 marketplaces, 1,168 little commodities markets, more than 11,600 business net, and more than 14,400 other kinds of site. Altogether more than 16,000 infringements was confiscated, 62 enterprises or marketplaces were ordered to neaten, 25 cases were put on record and dealt with, more than 110,000 RMB fines were imposed. After the emblem of the 29th Olympic Games was launched, the TMO issued the Notice on Protection of the Emblem of the 29th Olympic Games in time, and requested the AICs at various levels across the nation to be active in line of duty and protect the emblem of the 29th Olympic Games effectively. Meanwhile, the TMO guided the law department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 29th Olympic Games(BOCOG) to publish the list of the authorized enterprises, which can use Olympic symbols legally, and protect their legal business. The TMO also investigated and rectified the behavior of infringing the exclusive right of using Olympic symbol.
IV. Marked Achievements in Administrative Enforcement of Copyright
In 2003, under the direction of the State Council to reorganize and discipline the market order, the copyright administration of Chinese government at various levels fought against all kinds of pirate and infringement activities, which damaged the public benefits. They intensified supervision and management, strengthened the enforcement capability, and improved the services quality. As a result, they made marked achievement in encouraging innovation, accelerating industrial development, disciplining market order, and deepening the opening to foreign countries.
In 2003, the local copyright administrations across the country received 23,013 cases, nearly 2.6 times of 2002,and closed 22,429, with a closing rate 97.6%. Of all the cases, 21,032 were related to the fines, 1,173 were for the mediated and 224 cases were transferred to the judicial organs. The top 5 regions, which received, closed and fined the most cases, were Guangdong, Guangxi, Henan, Jiangsu, and Fujian.
In 2003, the NCAC arranged 3 special actions for fighting against pirate and infringement across the country. From March to April, for commemorating "4.26", the World Intellectual Property Day, the related organs of Chinese government arranged the Spring special actions against piracy and infringement. From August to September, the NCAC, the Ministry of Education and the Office of the National Working Group Against Pornographic and Illegal Acts jointly arranged 2003 Autumn special actions against the pirated textbooks and assistant-teaching materials. From September to November, the NCAC arranged special actions against the pirated software across the country. In these special actions, copyright administrations dispatched 150,000 executive personnel to check 20,000 markets, 67,000 booths, more than 500 enterprises, and 8,000 schools. As a result, 12,900,000 pieces/sets of infringement products were seized and removed, 2,542 pirated institutes were amerced for 2,810,000 RMB, and 1,981 illegal business were clamped down.
In order to assort with the modification for the copyright law and regulation and make the copyright administrative enforcement fit the need of development, the NACA modified the Measures on Administration Sanction of Copyright. On 24 July 2003, the NCAC promulgated revised Measures on Administration Sanction of Copyright£¬which was brought into effect on 1 Sept. 2003. The newly revised measures further improved the copyright administrative enforcement, ensured copyright administrative enforcement procedure and disciplined administrative enforcement actions.
In 2003, publishing houses throughout the country totally imported 12,516 copyrightable publications, some increase over the previous year. The number of exported copyrightable publications also increased sharply. In Beijing International Book Fair of 2003, more than 3,000 export wills of copyrightable publication were achieved. The five regions most active in import were Beijing, Shanghai, Guangxi, Liaoning and Hainan; while the most active regions in export were Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Liaoning and Guangdong.
In 2003, while disseminating protection for copyright, Chinese Government attached importance to all-pervading propaganda to the public and society. At the beginning of May, the NCAC made two public interest advertisements, "Piracy at Bay, Don't Go Ahead" and "Support the Legitimate Software". In the end of May and at the beginning of June, these two advertisements were played in CCTV and local television stations respectively, such as TV stations of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing, Shangdong, Jiangsu, Jilin, Fujian, Guangdong, Sichuan, Neimenggu, Hunan, etc. In September, in order to assort with the special action for fighting against pirated software, the NCAC made two public interest posters, and distributed them to copyright administration of at various levels to put on. Meanwhile, the NCAC continued to cooperate with the domestic and foreign media, and had published over 200 messages in China central media. Local copyright administrations conducted all-pervading propaganda to the public and society by kinds of means.
V. Continuously Strengthened Customs Protection for Intellectual Property Right
In 2003, the customs offices across China had been continued strengthening the border protection for IPR. They cooperated with judicial organs, the authorities in charge of IP work and other IP-related institutions closely, communicated with right holder effectively, and abated illegal act of IP infringements in the course of import and export successfully. Therefore, the climate of market was cleared, the import and export order was maintained, and the legitimate interest of right holder was safeguarded.
In 2003, on the basis of 8 year's practice and experience of IP customs border protection, the State Council issued newly revised Regulations of Customs protection for Intellectual Property Right after widely interviewing with right holder and patent attorney, and investigating into the custom spots. The revised regulations solved some problems that existed in the work of IP customs border protection, and strengthened the IP customs border protection, and made IP customs border protection more effectively and fluently.
In 2003, the General Customs Administration (CGA) received a total of 1,240 records applications for customs border protection form domestic or foreign applicants, and approved 1,353 applications. These two numbers respectively got an increase of 13.97% and 60.3% compared with those of 2002. A total of 756 IP infringement cases worth 67,970,000 RMB were investigated and solved by the customs offices across China, among which, 9 cases worth 270,000 RMB were related to imported goods and 747 cases worth 67,700,000 RMB were related to exported goods. Of all handled cases, there were 741 cases worth 66,930,000 RMB related to trademark, 14 cases worth 1.04 million RMB related to patent right, and 1 case related to copyright.
In 2003, local customs offices across China continued to take effective measures to strengthen the protection for domestic or oversea well-known or famous trademarks. They had seized infringement goods for many times, which were suspected to have infringed upon the international well-known trademarks of "NIKE","ADIDAS", "PHILIPS", etc. They also seized illegal goods suspected infringing the domestic famous trademarks such as "ZHUANSHI", "HUDIE", "YOUYI", etc. For their durable effort and what they had achieved, customs offices across China received thanks many times from IP right holder from overseas or domestic. Just in April of the year, Hefei customs office in Anhui province seized 45 tons of electric welding rods infringing "YUZHOU", which was valued 150,000 RMB and declared to export by an foreign-trade company of Jiangsu Province. In June, Shenzhen customs office seized some radios marked with "SONY", which were conducted by an import & export corporation, worth 110,000 RMB. In August, Ningbo customs office seized some sport shoes valued 260,000 RMB, which were deemed to infringe trademark "NIKE". In October, Nanjing customs office seized some headlights valued 120,000 RMB, which belonged to an Anhui import & export corporation but infringed "FEIHE".
In accord with Regulation of Protection for Olympic Symbol issued by the State Council in Apr.2004, customs office across China took measures to prevent any goods infringing Olympic symbol exclusive right from importing and exporting. In 2003, customs system in China had investigated and prosecuted many cases that involved in Olympic exclusive right infringement. A passel of sport shoes valued 170000 RMB, which was conducted by an import & export corporation of Fujian province, were seized by Fuzhou customs office because of infringing the Olympic exclusive right.
Customs IP enforcement is a very complex project. When customs offices across China executed IP border protection, they always paid attention to communication and cooperation with right holders, authorities in charge of IP business and customs of other countries. Through discussion on the issue that public concerned, all of them could clear up misapprehension, enhance cooperation level, share experience, and enhance IP border protection level each other. In 2003,Customs Office of China held several workshops with organizations standing for right holders such as Quality Brands Protection Committee and the Beijing Organizing Committee of 29th Olympic Games(BOCOG),etc. and also conducted communication with the customs of U.S. and the customs of E.U. In order to enhance enterprise's understanding level of IP protection, all the customs offices across China organized large-scale consultation and propaganda activity about the knowledge of customs IP protection on the Legal Propaganda Day and the World Intellectual Property Day. These activities brought up favorable social climate. In order to enhance the level of customs enforcement, the customs offices of Ningbo, Shanghai and Shenzhen city also invited right holder to help in staff training so as to strengthen the ability of infringement goods distinguishing.
VI. Strengthen the Protection for Intellectual Property, Clear the Audio-Video Market, Fight Against Illegal Action
In 2003, the cultural administrations at all level across China kept on reorganizing and disciplining audio-video market, beat massive illegal action heavily, such as smuggle, piracy, etc. According to the statistics, in the whole year, the cultural administrations had captured 120,000,000 boxes (piece) of illegal audio-video products, revoked 3,984 operative permits. In 2003, 1,583 cases were handed over to the public security authorities or judicial departments, and 134 cases involved the criminal.
In 2003, despite the disadvantageous infection brought by SARS, the local cultural administrations continued strengthening to investigate into audio-video market, as a result, they had dealt with a lot of large-scale and important cases. On 22 Feb., the cultural market management sectors of Sichuan province together with the public security authority took a joint shock action. After 8 hours' investigation, they found out 15 warehouses served as illegal business location around Chenghuang Temple. Through the action, more than 1,130,000 pieces (cassettes) of illegal audio-video products were seized on spot, several piracy operation-networks were smashed drastically, which was the top large-scale ones of Chengdu city as well as Sichuan province. On 15 Jul., according to the clue from the public, the Cultural Department of Liaoning province cooperated with the public security authority of Shenyang city, found out 4 illegal warehouses jointly, and seized 580,000 pieces(cassettes) of piracy audio-video products. According to the findings, the public security authority of Shenyang city put those cases on record to conduct criminal investigation, and they went well in the cases' investigation. On 30 Dec., according to the clue from the public, the Cultural Department of Henan province cooperated with related departments assigned more than 100 executive officers to investigate into a top grade illegal audio-video products spot around Commercial City Road of Zhengzhou city. After 11 hour's stiff work, the illegal audio-video products location was smashed drastically, and about 2,700 cases (bags) of illegal audio-video products, which packed 19 trucks, were captured. This action captured the most illegal audio-video products in Henan province in past years.
According to the new tendency of illegal business operation in audio-video market, new kinds of illegal audio-video products, such as burned disk,non-SID disk,SID-erased disk, import MP3&MP4, etc, came forth largely. On 22 Sep., the Notice on Fighting Against Illegal Audio-video Product, Such as burned disk,non-SID disk,SID-erased disk, Imported MP3&MP4, etc, by the Ministry of Culture was issued. This notice indicated the main characters of all kinds of illegal audio-video products, and listed the main catalog of illegal products deserved to be captured. This notice was also served to direct the local cultural administrations to pay attention to the tendency of the market closely, centralize their force to firmly fight against illegal product, and stop the trendency of these new kinds of illegal business operation.
Since the Cultural Department of Shandong province took over the management of audio-video market of the Shandong province, it positively supported the construction of chain business network so as to optimize the structure of the audio-video market, according to the principle that beat and support coexisted, clearance and construction combined. As a result, 4 great chain networks, 57 large audio-video supermarkets, 2,290 audio-video chain stores were developed, and mainly based on which, the business system in Shandong province was fundamentally constructed.
The Ministry of Culture has been carrying out the propaganda for anti-piracy every year since 1999. Through diversiform manners, it strengthened the work of legal propaganda to enhance the awareness of anti-piracy in the public. In 2003, the Ministry of Culture's legal propaganda concentrated on related regulation such as the Criminal Law, the Regulation on Audio-video Product Management, the Copyright Law and on related juridical interprets of the Supreme Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, etc. It conducted this legal propaganda widely and deeply all over the whole social, to promote and induct merchants to conduct their business legally, and to enhance the public understanding of IP protection. The local cultural administrations across China strove for the support and cooperation from the public security authorities, procuratorate organs and courts, learned the successful experience from other provinces or cities for dealing with the case of illegally distributing audio-video product, and calibrated the criterion and procedure for putting the case on record, investigation and prosecution, case jurisdiction handing over, and strengthened the force to fight against illegal business. Lots of pirates in more than 100 cases were sentenced to crime of illegally conducting business, crime of infringing IPR, and crime for selling pornographics, etc, in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Hunan province, etc. The criminal were brought to justice and thrown into prison, moreover, these actions brought about great shaking, response and overawe to our society.
From 15 to 17 Oct. 2003, the Ministry of Culture held a spot meeting on the harvest of national audio-video market construction in Jinan city of Shandong province. Based on reorganizing and disciplining audio-video market order, the Ministry of Culture decided to promote the development of chain network of audio-video product distribution, build main distribution channels for audio-video product, so as to promote the prosperity of audio-video market, and create favorable market climate for audio-video industry's development healthily and rapidly.
VII.The Public Security Authorities Strengthen Protection for Intellectual Property
In 2003, the public security authorities across the country investigated and solved over 34,700 cases related to infringement, piracy and pornography, 41,000 suspects were captured, more than 114,000,000 pieces of piracy or obscene disc, more than 37,200,000 other illegal publication, and 34 assembly lines for illegal disc manufacture were seized.
On 13 May 2003, based on the clue, chief peace team of the Public Security Department of Guangdong province organized the public security authority of Jiangmen city to carried out an action, and found out an assembly lines location for illegal disc manufacture in the basement of an abandoned oil storehouse in Sanhe town of Taishan city. In the action, 6 illegal assembly lines for disc (4 for DVD, and 2 for VCD) and some accessorial equipment, more than 107,000 pieces of discs, 11.5 tons of PC plastic grain were seized. The general value of the illegal matter mentioned above was up to more than 13,000,000 RMB. 19 persons including Yuliang Rong who was in charge of the location were captured. From 2 to 13 Nov., the public security authorities of Guangdong province took continuous measures and seized 7 illegal assembly lines respectively in Shantou city, Jieyang city, Shenzhen city, Shaoguan city. More than 400,000 piracy discs, 280 motherboard discs and a lot of raw material were seized, and 21 suspects were captured. By the end of 2003, the total number of illegal disc assembly lines seized by the public security authorities of China had gone up to 117.
In Feb.2003, based on investigation in advance, the Public Security Department of Sichuan province organized Chengdu public security authority abruptly investigated 6 locations which was suspected to be the place for storing, distributing piracy discs. Through the action, more than 1,130,000 piracy discs were seized, 10 suspects including Tingcai Su were captured. In May and Jul., the border detachment of Fuzhou Public Security Authority investigated and seized the ships including "Min Lian Fishing 1236" and vehicles for transporting illegal discs respectively in Huangqi town port of Lianjiang county and on the road around Songwu village of Pukou town. In these cases, more than 160,000 smuggled discs were seized. In Nov., the public security authority of Jinchang city of Gansu province, took a concentrated measure to manage the order of publication market in the city. In the action, more than 20 peddleries were handled, 105 publication markets were investigated into, more than 26,000 pirated publication were seized.
In 2003, the public security authorities across China further strengthen to deal with the case involved in producing and selling obscenity products, infringement and piracy. The Public Security Department of Hunan province cooperated with the public security authorities of Hubei, Shanxi, Henan province, successfully solved the "9.30"case of producing and selling assistant-teaching materials which was monitored by the Ministry of Public Security. In this case, the staff found out that suspect Huiyuan Tan had produced and sold 28 kinds of up to hundreds of thousand volume of pirated assistant-teaching materials. In the case, more than 100,000 pirated assistant-teaching materials were seized, 6 printeries involved in the case were investigated and punished, more than 10 suspect including Huiyuan Tan, Xingfei Mao were exposed to criminal detention. After two months' careful investigation, the Public Security Department of Guangdong province successfully solved the "6.11 Chuhai Fang group producing and selling pirated disc case ", which was monitored by the Ministry of Public Security. In this case, 2,453 motherboard discs, more than 960,000 pirated discs, 51 computers for disc recording, 11 code-abrading machine were seized.
VIII Strengthen Protection for New Varieties of Plants
In 2003, the Ministry of Agriculture(MOA) and the State Forestry Administration(SFA) strengthened protection of new varieties of plants in some important parts, such as, propaganda, training, enforcement and investigation, promoting varieties right to be put in practice etc. These actions enhanced the awareness and confidence of S&T personnel in agriculture field to protect the new varieties of plants. Moreover, an important achievement was made in implementing the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.
In 2003,the MOA received a total of 567 applications for protection of the new varieties, an increase of more than 96% over 2002, and approved 261 new varieties. Form 1999 to 2003, the MOA received a total of 1,304 applications, and approved 428 new varieties. In 2003, the SFA received 48 applications for protection of the new varieties, an increase of 31 applications over that of 2002, and approved 7 new varieties. In 2003, the SFA received 35 foreign applications represented by agents, accounting for 76.1% of 46, the total foreign applications in the past 5years.
From 2002 to 2003, the MOA developed pilot work of protection for new varieties in 6 provinces of Heilongjiang, Shandong, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Shanxi. Applications from the pilot provinces increased greatly, and the pilot provinces also strengthened their administrative enforcement. The seeds market environment was improved, and the staff of agriculture system improved their awareness to protect new varieties, so that the favorable environment, where people protect rights according to the law and manufacture and do business complying with the law, was coming into being.
According to the regulations of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, China confirms the protection scale by publishing the list of new varieties of plants. On 5 August 2003, Order. 32 by the Ministry of Agriculture published the 5th list of new plant varieties, which included 11 plants such as Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, Hordeum L., Boehmeria L, Malus Mill., Citrus L., Musa acuminata Colla, Actinidia Lindl., Vitis L., Prunus salicina Lindl. & P. domestica L. & P. cerasifera Ehrh., Solanum melongena L., and Gerbera jamesonii Bolus. By then, the Ministry of Agriculture had published 41 varieties and species.
The SFA had published the 3rd lists on protection of new varieties plants, covering 45 varieties and species. The 4th list of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants was collected in 2003, and the protection scale continued to be enlarged.
In 2003, the MOA organized 14 agriculture scientific research institutions to develop testing guidelines for 20 new plant varieties. These researches built the foundation for further enhancing the list of protection and making a criterion for the testing technology of new varieties.
In order to meet the demand of breeders for the services of varieties agent, On 27 March 2003, the MOA organized the agents examination for agriculture varieties in 11 provinces. 52 selected persons were approved for qualified agents, and the numbers of the agents for agricultural varieties had reached 157.
The SFA expedited to set up varieties agent institutions, and built forestry varieties agent network. 16 institutes had been approved as the 2nd list of forestry varieties agent institutes in 13 provinces or cities such as Beijing, Anhui, etc.
According to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants and the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, it is necessary to construct information network for protection for new plant varieties, and it is a base work for protection for new plant varieties. In 2003, The SFA strengthened to maintain the web of protection for new varieties, renew information in time, publish the result of examination of new plant varieties and other notices, increase the quantity and the quality of information, so that the click rates of the web increased continually, the achievement in protection for new plant varieties were propagandized, and the work's transparency were increased.
In order to promote the development of protection for new plant varieties in Asian areas, in March and November of 2003, the UPOV twice invited Chinese officials from the MOA to attend the Seminar on the Protection for New Plant Varieties in Cambodia, Burma, Singapore, Laos. In these Seminars, Chinese representatives introduced the new development in implementing the system of the protection for the new plant varieties, the research of testing guideline for new plant varieties and the testing of new varieties.
In October 2003, the MOA, the SFA and the Holland Embassy in China jointly held the China-Holland Seminar on Protection for New Plant Varieties and Exchange of Testing Technology in Shanghai. Total 50 participants, including the manager and technology personnel from China engaging in examination and testing of varieties and some experts from Holland, attended the seminar. Both sides exchanged the experience on protection for new varieties, especially the DUS testing technology for new varieties. Through the seminar, both sides could learn from each, improve the management level and promote the development of protection for new varieties plants both in Holland and China.
IX. Further Expansion on International Exchange and Cooperation
From 23 to 24 October 2003, under the framework of the EU-China IP Cooperation Program, the SIPO and the EPO co-organized the Symposium on Partnership in the protection of Intellectual Property between China and Europe- Past, Present and Future in Beijing. Leaders from the SIPO, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), the NCAC, the TMO of the SAIC, famous foreign and domestic IP experts, more than 300 representatives from all walks of life attended the symposium. During the symposium, the SIPO and the EPO also organized a press conference regarding the IP cooperation and protection.
On 14 November, the Third Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting among the Commissioners of the SIPO, the JPO and the KIPO was held in Beijing. At the meeting, the three Commissioners exchanged respective recent developments, new measures adopted to shorten the examination period, improve examination efficiency and quality, and views on the cooperation with the ASEAN and some common concerned international IP issues. After the meeting, the three Commissioners signed the Agreed Minutes, which paved the way for the further cooperation among the three offices.
From 9 to 17 December, Commissioner Wang Jingchuan led a delegation of the SIPO to visit Mexico and Brazil. During his visit, Commissioner Wang joined some state visiting activities of Premier Wen Jiabao to Mexico and signed the Bilateral Cooperative Agreement between the SIPO and the IMPI. The visit realized the high-level political dialogues between IP agencies of large developing countries, promoted mutual understanding and recognition, enhanced the cooperation in the IP field including the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, and paved the way for the future cooperation with the Mexican IP Institute and the Brazilian IP Institute.
From 22 September to 1 October, Mr. Li Dongsheng, Vice Minister of the SAIC, attended the 39th Series of the WIPO Assembly held in Geneva.
On 14 November, Mr. An Qinghu, Minister of the SAIC, met Mr. Yasuo IMAI, the commissioner of the JPO. Both sides introduced the new development of trademark administration respectively, and exchanged the views on some issues including the trademark examination, professional training and trademark rights protection.
From 3 to 5 November, the China delegation attended the 10th session of Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of WIPO, Mr. Shen Rengan, Vice Minister of the NCAC, was selected as the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights In the session, Mr. Shen, as the representative of China delegation, delivered a speech on internet broadcast and the encode and decode of broadcast program
From 20 to 28 November, the NCAC and the WIPO jointly held the Symposium on the "Right of Disseminating to Public" mentioned in WCT and WPPT of WIPO. During the symposium, the conception of the right of disseminating information through internet under the new technological circumstance which was drawn in WCT and WPPT were discussed, as well as other related issues.