April 12, 2018 / 12:17 PM / 8 days ago

China to adopt system of punitive damages for intellectual property rights infringements

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will introduce a system of punitive damages for intellectual property (IP) infringements in its effort to strengthen protection of such rights, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, said China would hasten formation of an IP rights protection system for trademarks, patents and geographical indications and work with agencies overseas.

“We are introducing a punitive damages system for intellectual property rights infringement to ensure offenders pay a big price,” Xinhua quoted Shen as saying in an interview.

Some of China’s key trading partners have complained the world’s second-largest economy has not done enough to protect intellectual property rights of foreign companies.

The United States has threatened China with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, in a bid to force Beijing to tackle what Washington calls theft of U.S. intellectual property and forced technology transfers from U.S. companies.

Beijing has denied these accusations.

While China is strengthening IP rights protection for foreign companies it opposes trade protectionism in the guise of IP rights protection, Shen said.

He also urged foreign governments to boost protection of Chinese IP rights, Xinhua added.

Separately, state radio said Beijing would step up IP rights for pharmaceuticals.

Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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