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Chinese experts urge legislation on trade secret protection

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BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese experts are urging legislation to protect trade secrets to deal with an increase in infringements and violations in recent years.

"Chinese enterprises, private ones in particular, pay insufficient attention to trade secret protection," said Wang Cheng'an, vice president of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies at a seminar aimed at advancing trade secret protection in China on Sunday.

Trade secrets are information about a business's technology and operations that, if stolen, may lead to losses for proprietors.

China has special laws on trademarks, copyright and patents, but no trade secret law among its intellectual property rights (IPR) laws. However, there are trade secret provisions in the country's law against unfair competition and its labor and contract laws.

China will accelerate research on trade secret protection legislation this year, said Li Zhenzhong, deputy head of the country's top office for nationwide operations against IPR infringement and counterfeiting.

"Current legal provisions on trade secret protection are too general and we face various problems ranging from compensation standards to difficulties for plaintiffs in providing evidence," said Huang Congzhen, an IPR judge with the Higher People's Court of east China's Fujian Province.

Legislation on trade secret protection was once part of the work plan of the country's top legislature in the 1990s, but no progress has been made over the past 20 years for reasons that are unclear, said Liu Chuntian, professor of IPR protection at Renmin University of China.

A trade secret law is necessary for building a mature market economy and improving the overall legal system, said Liu.

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