China’s rise as an industrial powerhouse is sweeping aside tired stereotypes. It has long been considered the home of cheap, mass-assembled goods. But now the country no longer wants to be seen as the workshop of the world. It wants to become the world leader in invention, patents and ideas. Unfortunately, China’s failure to keep its intellectual property law up to speed threatens to undermine its genuine progress, at home and abroad.
China can and will be an invaluable trading partner to both the U.S. and the U.K. But it cannot afford to fail to protect the ideas that we’ve spent years developing.
It’s time to stop tiptoeing around the issue. Regardless of the offender, patent infringement is theft, pure and simple. And without punitive or regulatory action it undermines invention globally. China has promised reform. But that reform needs to be delivered.
Theft of intellectual property isn’t just confined to Rolex watches and Louis Vuitton bags. It includes everything from iPads to entire IKEA stores. Technology and ideas that are stripped apart, mimicked and mass produced. Many people know what they’re buying into when they purchase cheap knock-offs. But with a cocktail of fake branding and photo-shopped packaging, an increasing number won’t — not until a motor cuts out, a dial falls off or something worse.
It’s a growing problem. According to the Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement, as much as 8% of Chinese GDP comes from the sale of counterfeit goods. And up to 10% of all high-tech products sold worldwide are counterfeit. Those are staggering numbers.
Continue reading ‘Sir James Dyson: China Procrastinates On IP Reform To Its Own Peril‘ …