Olympics Shows China's IPR Protection
Updated: 2 16,2022 Source:China Daily


The 2022 Winter Olympic Games has provided China with an opportunity to demonstrate to the world its commitment to protect intellectual property. To begin with, China has promoted the licensed sale of Olympic souvenirs. Additionally, Olympics broadcast rights have been protected to ensure that the rights of those paying for them are respected.

All of these manifest the success of China's efforts to erect a robust intellectual property rights (IPR) protection system, efforts that have only intensified in recent years.

Further, public consciousness of intellectual property and its value has strengthened as more and more people have become aware of the importance of this dynamic realm. China's National Intellectual Property Administration and its senior official, Zhang Zhicheng, have spearheaded the Olympic initiative to ensure all relevant symbols and designs are fully protected in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

The Olympics provides a great opportunity to further foster public awareness of intellectual property rights, as it is a major event that has aroused the interest of people around the country.

China implemented the Regulations on the Protection of Olympic Symbols to specifically address this issue. The regulations cover symbols, designs, and trademarks. The efforts to bolster the intellectual property protection system are targeted at every step of the process, from initial producers and distributors of products all the way up to e-commerce platforms and the relevant authorities.

Violators will be punished in accordance with legal provisions, securing the robustness of the system and helping to incentivize compliance throughout society. The aforementioned measures have ensured that the vast majority of sellers of Olympic products do not infringe on any intellectual property rights.

This comes against the backdrop of China exporting more and more intellectual property on a yearly basis. The CNIPA's 2021 statistics show that the numerical value of intellectual property imports and exports stood at 280 billion yuan ($44.02 billion) in the first three quarters of 2021, with the monetary value of China's intellectual property exports growing 27 percent year-on-year.

China's continued rapid economic growth will further contribute to the global growth in intellectual property output in the years to come.

In terms of broadcast rights, Tencent was chosen by the China Media Group to be the official strategic video partner for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, a role the company had played during the 2020 Summer Olympic Games that was held in Tokyo in 2021. As part of its commitment, Tencent vowed to help the China Media Group to combat infringements and take action against those believed to have violated the regulations. And all these broadcast rights stem from an initial grant by the International Olympic Committee.

Because of the ubiquity of short sports video clips on the internet, enforcing broadcast rights for events such as the Olympics can be particularly challenging. More advanced technology such as blockchain is another component of the regulation toolkit in dealing with unauthorized dissemination of Olympic content. Yet challenges will remain due to the sheer volume of online media posts and other materials.

The Olympic endeavors shed light on the progress China has made in shoring up its IPR protection apparatus over the years. Just last month, the CNIPA released the "Outline for Building a Powerful Intellectual Property Country for 2021-22" and the "Annual Promotion Plan for the Implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25)".

Together, the two reports dealt with 115 points across seven major categories. As part of these plans, China intends to more actively participate in global intellectual property governance, including in the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization. Additionally, China plans to pursue regional cooperation with other economies and become party to multilateral agreements. Also, the Supreme People's Court as well as several regulatory agencies will continue to take measures to better protect intellectual property.

China continues its move toward building a world-class IPR protection system. It has already set up courts specifically to deal with IPR cases, starting with the IP court in Hangzhou and establishing more such courts in other parts of the country.

China's advance in this field could also provide a model for developing countries that hope to follow a similar trajectory in strengthening their IPR regime. In short, China's commitment to protect intellectual property across all facets of the economy is stronger than ever before.

The Olympics is showcasing these milestones not only to people in China, but also to those in the rest of the world. The progress made at the Olympics will only continue to translate into China becoming one of the foremost IPR protectors. The great degree of attention given to the Olympics will help further mold a collective IP consciousness that will lead to more effective IPR protection enforced by the full power of the law.