China’s firms need robust response to IPR accusations

By Shen Guobing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/15

On the issue of intellectual property rights, the US has excessively demonized China’s image. On March 22, 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum accusing China of intellectual property infringement and taking the lead in provoking trade disputes between the two countries. In recent days, as trade frictions have increased, the debate on protecting intellectual property has become fiercer.

In reality, unlike continuous accusations made by the US, the world has seen China’s efforts and achievements in strengthening intellectual property protection over the years. Since China’s reform and opening-up in 1978, China has passed a Patent Law, a Trademark Law and a Copyright Law that meet most international standards. In 1980, China formally joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and became one of the member states of WIPO. By the end of 2007, China had joined almost all major international intellectual property conventions and agreements.

Nowadays, the protection of intellectual property in the US has been dissimilated as an international competition strategy with the priority being the protection of US interests. The process of strengthening the protection of intellectual property in the US was also not an overnight process, but a time-consuming project.

Whether it was the 19th century policy of discriminating against foreigners to protect the interests of domestic inventors, the lenient protection strategy after the Great Depression of the 1930s or the current efforts to strengthen intellectual property protection globally to enhance their competitiveness, the changes in tactics served US national interests first and foremost.

In fact, after years of economic growth and huge changes in the industrial structure, China’s demand for advanced technology, brand recognition, quality reputation and product innovation is increasing. Under this situation, Western and East Asian companies have transferred some mature industrial technologies to China to establish joint ventures and then took advantage of China’s lower production costs to export to the US, the EU and other markets, which forms the illusion that China is massively exporting technical products. Actually, the majority is just processed and assembled in China…

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