Chinese firms dole out over $1 bn over IPR dispute

Beijing, April 28 | Updated: Apr 29 2006, 05:30am hrs
Chinese firms, accused of rampant piracy, have paid over $ 1 billion in compensation to their foreign counterparts due to disputes over Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) since 2001. Chinese companies paid over $1 billion as compensation to foreign companies since the country joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001, minister of science and technology Xu Guanhua said here. The IPR-related disputes mainly occurred industrial sectors as films, coloured TV, motorcycles, digital cameras, MP3 chips, autos and telecommunication equipment, Xu said.

The frequent occurrence of IPR disputes with foreign companies has had a serious impact on Chinas industrial development, he said, noting that the influence is sometimes destructive for certain sectors, China Daily reported.

Xu made the remarks while reporting the status of the countrys scientific and technological innovation work and IPR protection to members of the standing committee of the National Peoples Congress (NPC), the top Chinese legislature. He blamed Chinese enterprises lack of awareness of IPR protection and weak ability in managing IPR issues for their problems.

Foreign companies own the majority of patents in the technology used or produced by Chinese enterprises, he said.

For example, in the wireless transmission and mobile telecommunication sectors, foreign firms own 93% and 91% of invention patents respectively.