China’s patent application numbers have reached the 2 million benchmark in 2004. This is the result of an increasing awareness towards the importance of IP rights to sharpen their competitive edge. In particular, efforts to increase IP rights protection were reflected in the following: – A special working group was established for IP rights protection, concentrated on law enforcement and propaganda – The State Council launched a campaign, the outcome of which was the confiscation of 10 million infringing trademarks labels and 8000 cases of trademark infringement – Lowering of the threshold for criminal punishment of IP rights infringement. In a new interpretation of the IP law, a jail sentence of up to 7 years is now applicable for the worst offenders.
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