30 foreign brands including Disney and Gillette will get special treatment Beijing is making an extra effort to protect 30 renowned trademarks, according to a senior official, as the number of trademark infringement offences across the country soars. Li Dongsheng, deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said authorities had identified brand names that would receive special protection in trademark disputes and assessments. The brand names, including DuPont, Gillette, Lancome, Boss, Philips and Disney, had been singled out after the launch of a nationwide intellectual property rights protection campaign last July, he said. Mr Li, speaking at a press conference on the mainland's efforts to curb trademark infringements, said regulators had cracked down on 2,451 infringements on foreign trademarks in the first half of this year, up 55.8 per cent on the same period last year. In the past six months, the authority discovered 18,130 trademark infringement and counterfeiting cases, up 13.4 per cent from the same period last year, Mr Li said. Eighty-eight people were prosecuted for the offences, 2.3 times the figure from the same period last year. The authorities busted 40,171 trademark infringement and counterfeiting cases last year, representing a 51.66 per cent increase on the figure from 2003. Of last year's cases, 5,401 were foreign trademarks. Meanwhile, the number of trademark registrations has skyrocketed since the enactment of the Trademark Law in 1982. In 1983, less than 20,000 trademarks were registered on the mainland, with only 1,687 foreign applications. By last year, the number of annual applications had reached 588,000. China has been ranked as the world leader in registrations for the past three years. The total number of registered trademarks on the mainland had reached 2.37 million by the end of last month, Mr Li said, of which 422,000 had been registered by foreign companies hailing from 129 countries and regions. 'This shows that the trademark legal system in China is comprehensive and reliable, China's protection of the exclusive right to use a registered trademark is effective and foreign investors have strong confidence in China's market environment,' he said. Mr Li admitted that China lagged behind many developed economies in terms of intellectual property protection, but its experience of running a market economy was measured in decades, rather than centuries, as in the west. 'It is unrealistic to expect that China has reached the standards like those in the west,' he said. But he said the mainland's 'double-tracked' intellectual property protection system, which involves judicial and administrative forces, had been effective as more than 90 per cent of disputes were resolved through administrative channels rather than the courts as was often the case in the west.