Intellectual Property in China?

Intellectual Property in China?

May 21, 2006

I was in Harbin yesterday visiting companies and giving a lecture at the Harbin Institute of Technology and developed a powerful hankering for an espresso. Fortunately, I did not have to go far.

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The same day I visited a technology company less than a mile away where the CEO told me they are working hard to patent their inventions and establish property rights. China is changing every day from a market where a business protects IP by trade secrets to one that does so through laws and courts. It won’t happen overnight, but it is happening. Last year China paid $50 in royalties for each dollar it collected, which helps explain why progress is slow. For now we should be glad we don’t have to pay royalties for all of China’s inventions that we use every day (printing, gun powder, the plow, the stirrup, …).

I would like to hear from subscribers about your view of IP issues. Seems to me that more discussing and less shrieking might help.

JR

John Rutledge

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