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Washington Outlook Archive

US Trade Representative Seeks Crackdown On Chinese Intellectual Properties Violations

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

US Trade Representative Rob Portman has initiated a procedure at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to obtain information about Chinese intellectual property violations in the hope of seeking remedies for a number of products. Piracy of textile designs has been a major concern of textile manufacturers, and particularly of makers of home furnishings.

Portman said he will utilize all tools at our disposal to ensure that US intellectual property rights are protected. Based on all available information, piracy and counterfeiting remain rampant in China despite years of engagement on this issue, he added. If China believes that it is doing enough to protect intellectual property, then it should view this process as a chance to prove its case. Our goal is to get detailed information that help pinpoint exactly where the enforcement system is breaking down so we can decide appropriate next steps.The United States is acting under a WTO procedure that permits member companies to seek information if they believe their rights are being abused. The request calls on the Chinese government to make available detailed information concerning the application of criminal, administrative and civil remedies for infringement cases that affect US rights holders. A decision on the US request is expected in about three months.

October 2005