Chinese president calls for national IPR strategy

Chinese president Hu Jintao [cq] called for a national intellectual property rights (IPR) plan, state media reported Saturday.

Chinese president Hu Jintao called for a national intellectual property rights (IPR) plan, state media reported Saturday.

Speaking at a policy study meeting in Beijing on Thursday, Hu said, "Only by doing so can China improve its innovation capability, adapt to the socialist market economy and the international environment," the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

Good and bad news about IPR has dragged China into the headlines this month. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), an software industry piracy watchdog, said last Tuesday that the use of pirated software dropped four percentage points over the past year. It estimates the industry lost US$3.9 billion in 2005, with an 86 percent piracy rate.

However, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), a film industry group, said on its Web site that "China's piracy rate is among the highest in the world, at 95 percent, and has increased in each of the past three years," with losses to film studios estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Earlier this month, Shanghai Jiaotong University dismissed the dean of its School of Microelectronics after he passed off re-marked Freescale Semiconductor Inc. microchips as his own original research. The incident called into question standards of academic and research industry in China, prompting the China Association of Science and Technology (CAST) to suggest a code of ethics for its four million members.

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