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September 23, 2017

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Taiwan and China sign intellectual property rights protection agreement

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan and China signed an agreement on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection yesterday, creating a mechanism for resolving IPR disputes arising from increasing cross Taiwan Strait business exchanges.

The IPR protection pact was inked in the Chinese city of Chongqing along with the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) in the fifth round of high level cross-strait negotiations.

Lai Wen-ping, head of the IPR division of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, said IPR violation has become the biggest cause of disputes in cross-strait business activities and that it is necessary for the Taiwanese and Chinese authorities to step in to the resolution process.

He said the IPR agreement is independent from the ECFA, so that even if the ECFA is terminated, cross-strait efforts in IPR protection will not stop accordingly.

Such an arrangement, Lai said, indicates that both sides place great emphasis on IPR protection.

Lai said the signing of the IPR agreement also shows the determination of the two sides to resolve disagreements and protect these intangible assets.

Under the agreement, IPR protection-related agencies on both sides will be in charge of the dispute-resolution process.

In Taiwan, the Intellectual Property Office will supervise cross-strait protection of trademarks, patents and copyrights, while the Council of Agriculture will take charge of protection of plant species.

In China, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the State Intellectual Property Office, and the State Copyright Bureau will take care of cross-strait protection of trademarks, patents and copyrights, with the State Forestry Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of plant species protection.

Lai said both sides have agreed to mutually recognize trademarks and patents that have been registered on each side, push for information exchanges, join forces in copyright certification and enhance efforts to prevent falsification of fruit origins.

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