Actions against pirates backed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 January, 1995, 12:00am

AUTHORITIES In Guangzhou and Xiamen are encouraging the prosecution of violators of intellectual property rights (IPR), says a foreign lawyer.

Partner in Lovell, White and Durrant, Stephen Hayward, who assisted in raids on factories producing fake designer goods, said the authorities encouraged him to bring the case to court and seek damages.

'They encouraged us - to the point of almost forcing us - to pursue the case to the People's Court to seek compensation or damages.

'We were asked to pursue to the full extent of the law,' he said.

The raids were conducted on behalf of his clients, whom he declined to name, but described as major multinational companies.

'This is a marked difference to previous experiences, where the authorities' attitude was more akin to 'all right, guys, you've got the raid and seizure of goods so why don't you stop here?' ' he said.

The change in attitude could be attributed partly to the external pressure applied by the United States via its threats of sanctions under the Special 301, as well as pressure from other developed nations on China to improve enforcement.

'It would be reasonable to infer that the change in the authorities' attitude could be partly attributable to the outside pressure applied by the US and other Western countries,' he said.

The change in attitude took place even before the recent publication of the US threat of sanctions.

The US has just published a hit-list of Chinese goods targeted for sanctions following the completion on December 30 of the Special 301 investigation into alleged IPR violations.

The investigation made an initial conclusion that China had not done enough.