WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Encouraging innovation and protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) are key to the success of China's ongoing efforts for economic restructuring and industrial upgrading, a senior Chinese trade official said here on Wednesday.
Chong Quan, deputy international trade representative with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), made the remarks at the second China-U.S. International Cooperation Forum on Intellectual Property Rights.
China's 12th Five-Year Development Plan defines science and innovation as an important tool to support the country's shift of economic growth model, and stresses the need to "improve relevant legislation to help strengthen the creation, application, protection and management of intellectual property," Chong told the forum.
A remarkable achievement for China's IPR protection over the past years was the elimination of pirated computer software from all government institutions and offices, Chong noted.
"By May 2011, all agencies of the Chinese central government were using legitimate software only. By June 2012, all provincial governments were doing so," he said, adding that municipal and township governments across the country are expected to catch up by the end of 2013.
Chong also urged Chinese enterprises to better understand the importance of IPR protection and innovation.
"Chinese companies need to learn from their American counterparts in this regard," he told Xinhua. "Chinese business representatives in our delegation (to this forum) will exchange ideas with the U.S. side on how to better protect IPR in such areas as online music and e-commerce."
U.S. officials attending the forum echoed Chong's emphasis on the significance of IPR protection.
"IP (intellectual property) protection has never been more central to each of our countries individually and for our relationship with each other," said David Kappos, U.S. under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and also director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in an opening address.
"Both of our governments recognize innovation is critical in the 21st century. A strong IP protection is the key part of any society's innovative activity," Kappos said. "China and the U.S. together developed a robust cooperation on IP protection across all areas of creative pursuit."
Sponsored by MOFCOM, the forum was attended by government officials and business representatives from both countries.