In March, the top policy-making bodies in China met for the annual “Two Sessions” or liang hui in Beijing.
In his Annual Government Work Report to the National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang said the government will “…improve the system for creating, protecting, and applying intellectual property rights.” Premier Li placed a heavy emphasis on innovation and improved quality. The annual report signals the government’s policy priorities and strategic vision for the coming year.
At a press conference on the sidelines of the liang hui, State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) Minister Zhang Mao also called for stricter punishment of counterfeiting.
Weeks before, Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, made headlines when he stated that in cases against counterfeiters China’s government should enact criminal penalties as stringent as China’s drunk driving laws. Noting that China’s criminal code dates from the late 1990s, Mr. Ma recommended a sensible revision of the law.
Mr. Ma was not alone in his call for reform. Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi called for the Chinese government to “increase the cost of counterfeiting” through stricter laws.
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun also joined the chorus, calling fakes “a cancer” and saying that counterfeits seriously damage the image of the country.
Liu Yonghao, the chairman of New Hope, a major Chinese agribusiness firm, also called for resistance against counterfeits, mentioning that counterfeits negatively impact innovation.
Chinese Officials at INTA’s Annual Meeting
For several years, INTA has advocated for changes in China’s criminal code to improve anticounterfeiting efforts, including reducing criminal thresholds.
INTA is pleased to welcome representatives from China’s Supreme People’s Court, the SAIC, and National Leading Group on the Fight against IPR Infringement to this year’s Annual Meeting in Barcelona. We expect these policy makers to engage with our policy advocacy committees and deliver updates on the direction of these new efforts to confront counterfeiting.
We look forward to having these and other officials join INTA’s newly expanded anticounterfeiting programming, including the Anticounterfeiting Workshop for government and corporate attendees on Friday and Saturday, May 19–20, at the Annual Meeting.
The China-focused programming at this year’s Annual Meeting is expanding. A CTA-organized panel session will take place on Monday, May 22, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, and CTA will co-host a China Reception that same day from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Currently, the more than 549 registrations from China are at record levels for an Annual Meeting outside Asia.
Learn more about INTA’s upcoming Annual Meeting here.