China launches legal effort to curb piracy

The Supreme People's Court sets up a new Judicial Court of Intellectual Property specifically to deal with cases involving product piracy.

China, one of the top global producers of pirated goods, has taken another step forward in safeguarding intellectual property.

According to the Associated Press, the country's supreme court has established a Judicial Court of Intellectual Property to specially engage in hearing intellectual property cases.

In a possible bid to discourage pirates using public shaming, the court has also launched a Web site to publicize product piracy cases.

China was ranked third with a 90 percent software piracy rate in 2004, according to a global piracy report released by the Business Software Alliance last year.

The study also established that the Asia Pacific region has the fourth highest average piracy rate, with Vietnam, China and Indonesia ranked among the world’s top five countries. Software piracy rates in the region ranged from 23 percent in New Zealand to 92 percent in Vietnam.

Chinese courts saw 524 intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement cases last year, up 35.4 percent from 2004, according to Xinhua Online which quoted a spokesperson from the China's Supreme People's Court.

The number of people punished last year also increased by 30.7 percent over 2004, where 5,336 people were penalized in 2005 in piracy-related cases. Of this, about 55.5 percent--or 2,963--were imprisoned for their offences.

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