A top mainland intellectual property rights official yesterday appealed to business leaders attending the Fortune Global Forum to give the country more time to work on improving protection of brands and copyright. State Intellectual Property Office commissioner Wang Jingchuan said the central government had already introduced many concrete measures to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), but more time was needed to enhance public awareness. 'I believe in terms of IPR protection, the Chinese government has a firm attitude and we hold a firm stance about combating IPR infringements,' he said. 'However, we must admit that IPR only has a history of some 20 years. The problem cannot be solved solely through government actions - it also requires a major enhancement of public awareness.' IPR protection has been a top concern of foreign business leaders attending the forum. During a meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the forum yesterday, Peter Wolff, a senior vice-president of Time Warner, voiced concerns over the mainland's enforcement of IPR protection. Mr Wen pledged that the mainland would handle IPR issues seriously, along with other international concerns such as trade imbalances and the value of the yuan. At the forum, several participants expressed concern over piracy and the lack of legal protection. Jeffrey Kindler, vice-chairman of Viagra producer Pfizer, said he estimated that two-thirds of the fake medicine in the world could be found on the mainland. Mr Kindler also voiced concern over inconsistent mainland IPR laws and regulations. Pfizer has filed a lawsuit against the state IPR office after it invalidated a patent granted to the company for Viagra. David Frazee, a US lawyer, said many clients had put plans to transfer technology to mainland joint ventures on hold because they were awaiting the Viagra ruling.