China to establish center to resolve IP disputes

The center is to provide third-party mediation and dispute-resolution services to technology companies involved in intellectual property disputes, with the country seeing a surge in such cases due to online piracy.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will be establishing a digital dispute-resolution center to deal with disagreements over intellectual property (IP) and online copyright issues.

According to the Sina Tech news site on Tuesday, the plans had been unveiled at an annual meeting by the Internet Society of China and the Mediation Center Internet Legal Professionals held in Beijing last week.

The dispute-resolution center will be an arm of MIIT responsible for IP disputes, and will provide third-party mediation services and dispute-resolution services to technology companies involved in disputes.

If everything goes according to plan, the center is likely to be established sometime this year, Zhao Tianwu, director of the ministry of electronics intellectual property center, said at the meeting.

Tao Dongshu, deputy director of Electronic Science and Technology of the Ministry of Industry and Information Institute of Intellectual Property Forensics Center, explained that as networks become the main transmission medium of content, the Internet has been a main challenge when combating piracy.

The complex nature of online IP, coupled with the lack of clarity over some policies and regulations, have caused frequent disputes arising from online piracy, Tao explained.

Beijing's High Court vice president Zhang Xuesong said at the meeting that intellectual property cases increased by 17 percent from 2011 to 2012, of which 16 percent were online piracy related.

Delving into provincial statistics, he said the number of IP rights cases accepted by the Hainan province court increased six-fold in 2011 from the previous year, while the cases in Guangdong increased from 6,144 to 16,094 from 2009 to 2011.

This is the latest in a series of China's government efforts to combat online piracy. In December last year, commerce minister Chen Deming pledged that the country will "do more" to protect IP rights and combat software piracy by promoting the use of legal software. The government also launched a campaign against online piracy in June, to boost supervision over Internet services and content providers, as well as propose guidelines for e-commerce platforms to create copyright rules and penalties.

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