China Taking Intellectual Property Issues More Seriously

Western companies are winning IP challenges in China as judges in the country become more knowledgeable and sophisticated on the matter.

August 6, 2015

2 Min Read
US Embassyrsquos Green Message getting through on IP value
U.S. Embassy’s Green: Message getting through on IP value.Full View Photography

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – It’s no secret the Chinese enjoy borrowing some of Western automakers’ greatest designs and technologies.

Who could forget the Range Rover Evoque-clone Landwind X7 that made the Chinese auto-show circuit this year and last?

But a U.S. government official on the ground in China says that despite copycat cars, intellectual-property issues are being taken more seriously in the country.

“American companies are winning IP cases. European companies (and) Japanese companies are winning IP challenges in China. The message is getting through that there is true value in intellectual property,” Daniel Green, director-Trade Facilitation Office for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, tells attendees at the 2015 CAR Management Briefing Seminars.

Green sees China making great strides in increasing the sophistication of its judiciary to handle IP cases and says significant, ongoing IP matters are being handled professionally. However, he notes IP issues are not being taken seriously throughout all Chinese courts.

IP enforcement is “a road that needs to be traveled further down, but it looks quite positive,” Green says.

While there is a U.S. Patent and Trademark office in China to educate American businesses on how best to protect their intellectual property in the country, Green says those companies are “probably a bit too late” if they have their first discussion on IP when they’re already in China.

“Think about that. That should be a part of all business planning as you go ahead,” he says.

The issue of IP protection is so pervasive in China that even the Chinese are asking for help from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Chinese entrepreneurs who don’t work for large companies but have innovative ideas they want to protect are allies, he says.

“These guys are coming up with intellectual property that is really innovative, cutting-edge stuff, and they’re ending up talking to us because their IP is being interfered with by state-owned enterprises and other large Chinese companies.”

Closely related to his IP discussion, Green advises audience members to be careful of technology transfers in China, something the government there is promoting as it looks to transition from a manufacturing-based to a knowledge-based economy.

“Technology transfers must be done on a contractual basis, because it’s a business decision,” he says, noting they might be good for small companies looking to raise revenue, but never should be mandated in order to participate in development programs or gain access to the Chinese market.

[email protected]


Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like