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WTO issues panel report on U.S.-China dispute over intellectual property rights

On January 26, 2009, the WTO issued a report by a panel that had examined the U.S. complaint regarding intellectual property rights in China. This report is entitled “China—Measures affecting the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights” (DISPUTE DS362).

The October 1, 2007 edition of the Bulletin noted that on April 10, 2007, the United States requested consultations with China on this matter. This request concerned certain measures pertaining to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in China. “The United States has requested consultations on four matters:

  • The thresholds that must be met in order for certain acts of trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy to be subject to criminal procedures and penalties
  • Goods that infringe on intellectual property rights that are confiscated by Chinese customs authorities, in particular the disposal of such goods following removal of their infringing features
  • The scope of coverage of criminal procedures and penalties for unauthorized reproduction or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works
  • The denial of copyright and related rights protection and enforcement for creative works of authorship, sound recordings, and performances that have not been authorized for publication or distribution within China.”


On August 13, 2007, the United States requested the establishment of a panel to review this complaint. On December 13, 2007, the Director-General formed a panel.

The full report, summary of the case, and statement of findings and conclusions are available on the WTO website.