China sees new types of copyright crimes, business secret offenses surge
China has seen new types of copyright-related crimes in the first half of this year, with rapid growth of offenses related to business secrets, an official from the country's top procuratorate said.
From January to June, prosecutors nationwide charged 11,600 people with intellectual property crimes, an increase of 36.1 percent year-on-year, according to Liu Taizong, director of the IP procuratorial office with the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
He released the figures on Tuesday while attending a forum of the 12th China Intellectual Property Annual Conference, which was held in Jinan, capital of Shandong province.
In the first six months of this year, more than 1,100 people were prosecuted on suspicion of infringing upon copyrights, a rise of 1.9 times year-on-year, he said.
"While dealing with cases of pirated books, toys, films and television dramas, we've also found piracy in a few new areas, such as jubensha, a popular scripted group murder mystery role-playing game, and online test bank," he said.
Those who used the internet or information technology to illegally extract and spread others' works have also been emerging.
In short, "literature, audio, music and software works in the digital era are easier to be broadcasted, meaning that piracy in the fields are frequently seen," he said.
In addition, he revealed that prosecutors across the country also witnessed 167 people suspected of violating business secrets between January and June, up 89.8 percent year-on-year.
Many suspects were staff members of enterprises, especially technicians and managers in key departments, he said, adding that they either took trade secrets away when they changed jobs, or colluded with external people to steal the business privacy.
He said that prosecutors will continue to strengthen IP protection by making every effort to fight IP-related crimes, so as to help build a sound business environment by rule of law.
The 12th China Intellectual Property Annual Conference attracted multiple guests from IP government agencies, judicial authorities, enterprises and universities to exchange opinions and shared ideas.
Zhang Zhicheng, director general of the IP Department with the China National Intellectual Property Administration, introduced IP protection achievement over the years, including increasing punishments to violators, establishing centers for protecting IP rights and educating mediators for IP disputes.
Data provided by him showed that the country has owned 100 such centers nationwide, with more than 1,700 meditation institutes that could help efficiently solve IP disputes.