The EU and China report positive results of their co-operation from 2007 to 2011 and sign joint conclusions to continue collaboration.
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13 September 2011, Brussels - Senior officials from the European Commission, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the European Union, met in Brussels this week to mark the end of the EU-China Project for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights.
Under the project, known as IPR2, European and Chinese officials, including judges and legislators, as well as industry experts and academics, implemented more than 200 technical assistance and training activities across China and Europe from 2007 to 2011.
Mr Jean-Luc Demarty, Director General for Trade in the European Commission, commented at the closing event: "Intellectual Property rights play a strategic role in driving growth, innovation and the creation of markets for enterprises, in particular SMEs, both in the EU and China and globally. Europe and China both recognise that a mutual understanding of IP protection issues and a further improved environment for IPR enforcement in China are key factors for economic growth and a decisive element in EU-China trade and investment relations. Creating expert links between both sides have been and continue to be a highly effective means of addressing specific areas of mutual interest."
Mr Dirk Meganck, Director of Asia, Central Asia and Pacific EuropeAid Development and Cooperation Directorate-General, concluded "I can safely say that the IPR2 project has successfully achieved what was intended; it was worth the investment. IPR2 is considered not only a very good example in the EU China Cooperation, more over it has been an effective use of EU tax payers. But there are more tasks ahead: There is a continuing need for the EU and China to cooperate in this very important domain and further cooperation in the IP field is a possibility".
"The successful completion of the IPR2 project is a milestone in a co-operation that is built on the involvement of a large number of Chinese authorities and European institutions, including member states," said Mr Raimund Lutz, Vice President for Legal and International Affairs of the EPO. "And for the first time, a significant project could build on input from the users of the IP system: Many of the activities under IPR2 were defined on the basis of feedback received from European and Chinese businesses and their associations" he added. Looking to the future, he said: "It is my firm conviction that relations between China and Europe will continue to play a decisive role in the successful development of the IP protection system at global level, and contribute to the definition of a global culture and policy of IPR protection."
The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the EC have signed a joint conclusion aspiring to continue co-operation, citing the IPR2 project as a very positive example of co-operation and stating that they would like to maintain and develop the level of co-operation achieved with IPR2.
In addition, the material generated under the IPR2 project, which totaled more than 1 200 documents and information tools and more than 50 publications by leading European and Chinese experts, were handed over to the European and Chinese authorities at the closing ceremony in Brussels. The documentation is also being made publicly available in the form of on-line search tools which will continue to offer access to all materials plus a compilation of EU and Chinese IP legislation in Chinese and English, as part of an Operational Agreement between the EU and China.
The IPR2 project was launched in 2007 with EUR 16.3 million, financed by the EU with contribution from China. Its aim was to improving the reliability, efficiency and accessibility of the IP protection system in China by way of establishing a sustainable environment for effective IPR enforcement in China. It has been running alongside the National IP Strategy of China initiated in June 2008. Common interests between the two initiatives, together with a sharing of resources, have maximised results of the IPR2 co-operation programme. Expert collaboration and training, support to the private sector, and best practice initiatives in IPR enforcement have involved thousands of government officials, companies and scholars from China and Europe.
The Ministry of Commerce is the Chinese implementing organisation for IPR2. The EPO is the European implementing organisation, and draws on expertise from its member states for specific activities, and the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market for trademark and design matters.
For more information, visit www.ipr2.org
Mr Rainer Osterwalder
Director Media Relations
European Patent Office
Tel: +49 89 23 99 18 20
Fax: +49 89 23 99 28 50