In a January 26th Panel Report, a WTO Panel has concluded that certain aspects of Chinese Copyright Law and Customs Measures were inconsistent with Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Specifically, the Panel found that Article 4 of Chinese Copyright Law, which prevented the works of foreign authors whose publication and distribution has not been authorized by Chinese Authorities from enjoying the same rights as Chinese authors, was inconsistent with WTO regulations It also found that the Chinese Customs Measure provision allowing infringing goods to be released into the channels of commerce in some circumstances was inconsistent with Chinas obligations under Article 59. Lastly, the Panel ruled in favor of China on the charge that the criminal procedures and penalties for violation of Copyright and other Intellectual Property Laws were inconsistent with China’s obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.
The Panel recommended that China bring the provisions of Copyright Law and Customs Measures that were inconsistent with the TRIPS Agreement in compliance with its international obligations. In response to the ruling, China expressed regret over the ruling and promised to “to promote international exchanges and co-operation on IPR and promote the healthy development of global trade relations.”