An agreement to co-operate in the fight against the theft of intellectual property was signed by pan-Pearl River Delta provinces in Guangzhou yesterday.
Under the deal, the nine provinces will step up joint efforts to protect intellectual property, the transfer of skills relevant to franchised businesses, as well as promotion and training.
The provinces also agreed to implement a new administrative mechanism to co-ordinate the enforcement of intellectual property rights next year, Xinhua reported.
It said Hong Kong and Macau, which were also represented at the meeting, had also agreed to implement the new administrative mechanism next year.
Intellectual property lawsuits filed in Guangdong account for one-sixth of the nation's entire caseload at present.
But the disparity in the region's economic development had led to regional protectionism and had affected enforcement efficiency, the report said.
Xinhua said the agreement was aimed at enhancing the protection of intellectual property rights throughout the region.
An internet database is also planned to strengthen communication on the cross-boundary protection of intellectual property.
Hong Kong's Intellectual Property Department yesterday said officials had only been observers in the meeting and had not signed the agreement.
But it said that this would not have a significant effect on the agreement.