Be Careful What You Wish For: Taiwan Using US Pressured Patent Laws Against US Companies

from the funny-how-that-works dept

We already pointed out how, after years of pressure from the US, China was beginning to "respect" intellectual property laws, but was conveniently doing so in ways that harmed US companies, ruling in favor of Chinese company patents, and claiming US (and European) firms infringed. It appears that Taiwan is doing something similar. Jack Thompson points us to the news that, after being pressured heavily by the USTR to change its patent laws to get off the infamous "Special 301 Priority Watch List," Taiwan now appears to be using those new laws to hit back at American companies. In fact, Taiwan was pressured heavily by (there they are again!) the US Chamber of Commerce to set up a special "IP Court," with experts focused on intellectual property law. The Chamber of Commerce claimed this would "speed" trials along and promise "more consistent and professional" rulings. What it probably didn't count on was that most of those consistent and professional rulings would go against US companies. It's really stunning how the Chamber of Commerce can be so short-sighted. Its lobbying pressure hands foreign governments perfectly "legal" protectionist tools that they can use against the US companies the CoC is supposedly paid to represent. If I were a Chamber of Commerce member, I'd want my money back.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Hiiragi Kagami (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:13am

    Just wait for the silver lining to appear.

    Now that foreign interests are attacking US companies, perhaps this will help speed up the idea regarding how patents are harmful, not based on innovation, so that the USCC will finally ditch support of them and begin to lobby our Congress for the removal of Article 1, Section 8.

    *crosses fingers

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:26am

    Fact 1: China implemented patent systems.
    Fact 2: First thing they did was attack foreign companies with patent disputes.
    Fact 3: Taiwan implemented patent systems.
    Fact 4: First thing they did was attack foreign companies with patent disputes.


    Conclusion 1: We need more protectionism!
    Conclusion 2: Let's force patents on another country so they can shoot us in the face with our own system!!
    Conclusion 3: Patents promote technological progress!!!

     

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  3.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:27am

    Huh?

    Taiwan was pressured heavily by (there they are again!) the US Chamber of Commerce to set up a special "IP Court," with experts focused on intellectual property law.
    Hang on a mo. Isn't that a really rather blatant "Do as we say not as we do" moment? I don't recall the US having a "special IP court". On the other hand I do seem to recall US courts having a massive backlog of cases in general and a penchant for seemingly random decisions that contradict each other when it comes to IP. Wouldn't it make more sense to sort out your own back yard before you start trying to dictate to others?

    [troll] Or are we assuming the "special IP court" in the US is the industry "experts" who just get to decide what's "best" without recourse to regular courts?[/troll]

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:28am

    you made your bed, now lie on it...

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:36am

    Re:

    I'm sorry that bed is protected by our patent, and by you having an American made copy of our patented bed you have caused us 22 Gajillion dollars worth of losses!

    Now we could take you to court and clean you out or you can pay us this small fee of 1 Billion and we promise to not prosecute you, unless we find out you copied someone elses intellectual property, then your on the hook for the full 22 Gajillion again.

    Patent trolling combined with speculative invoicing.
    Its win win!

     

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  6.  
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    Spaceboy (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:50am

    Jack Thompson?

    The Jack Thompson? As in video games are murder simulators Jack Thompson?

    On another note, how do we get ourselves into messes like this? Why do we assume that getting stronger patent laws in other countries will benefit us? Where is the logic here?

     

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  7.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:57am

    Re: Jack Thompson?

    For the lulz. I swear, sometimes the USTR appears to be run by Anonymous, for the sole purpose of harming US interests abroad.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:02am

    It is simple math really.

    U.S. = 350 million people
    Rest of the world = 6.75 Billion people.

    350 million people will not be able to file as many patents as the rest of the world, is just that simple, you think exports are bad in the U.S. just wait a couple of decades to see what it will happen, Asians are more competent, have more drive and willingness and will file 10 times more patents than their U.S. counterparts and they will start asking to be paid for it.

    American innovation was trashed by Japanese innovation, that is being trashed by Chinese and Korean innovation.

    Also the idiots are moving to a system that you don't really need to prove that crap works or is obvious, so people will file everything they can.

    The hard part is implementing ideas not having them.

     

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  9.  
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    Spaceboy (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Jack Thompson?

    I think you just hit the nail on the head.

     

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  10.  
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    Paul Benjamin, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:14am

    Is it still the US Chamber

    There was all those reports that Chinese companies gave the US Chamber of Commerce millions of dollars to buy TV time to influence the last US election. So the question is would the US Chamber mind if the US companies are hurt? Has their loyalty been replaced with their new funding source?

     

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  11.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:52am

    Re: Is it still the US Chamber

    I, for one, welcome our new Oriental overlords.

    The CoC is looking more and more like a villain out of an RPG campaign. And not even a quality one, to boot.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re: Jack Thompson?

    Where is the logic here?

    They do not think at that level. To them, patents = good thus more patents = more good. If they really thought it through, they would end up being against patents - so the only ones left being for patents are the ones which do not think it through.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Jack Thompson?

    ...the ones who do not think it through.

    I need a grammar checker.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    CoC doesn't represent US companies. They are an advocacy group for multinational corporations, with few actually based in United States. Basically, this was probably their goal from the beginning.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    American duplication was trashed by Japanese duplication, that is being trashed by Chinese and Korean duplication.

    Fixed that for you.

     

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  16.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    As predicted

    Obvious. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Re: As predicted

    Just make sure the design of that sword does not belong to someone else first.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous American, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Is it still the US Chamber

    The CoC is looking more and more like a villain out of an RPG campaign.

    I first parsed CoC as Call of Cthulhu... fitting it seems.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: As predicted

    Sorry, all covered:

    Patent xxx-5731-wtf:

    Methods for production of large metallic blades for use in warfare, sports and witty metaphors.

     

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  20.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Is it still the US Chamber

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Commerce R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn...

    Hmm.......

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Huh?

    The reason we don't have one [yet] is because CofC will come back to our Congress critters and point out to them all the wonderful things other countries are doing to protect IP, and we wouldn't want our own US creators to get any *less* protection, would we?

     

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  22.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re: As predicted

    Methods for production of large metallic blades for use in warfare, sports and witty metaphors.
    I'm sorry I'm going to have to sue you for that one. You're infringing on:
    Patent xxx-5713-wth:
    Dagger: A metallic weapon pointed with 1 or 2 cutting edges used in warfare and sharp metaphors.
    Also the derivative:
    Patent xxx-5714-wth:
    Dirk: A long dagger with a straight blade designed specifically to be used in warfare with a scottish accent.

     

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  23.  
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    velox (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    And don't forget that licensing fees for both for Patents xxx-5713-wth and xxx-5714-wth must remitted with funds denominated in Renmimbi

     

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  24.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Huh?

    The reason we don't have one [yet] is because CofC will come back to our Congress critters and point out to them all the wonderful things other countries are doing to protect IP, and we wouldn't want our own US creators to get any *less* protection, would we?
    So you're saying the technique is bully those you can to do what you want then use their compliance to guilt and/or blackmail the others? I guess that sounds fairly likely.....

     

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  25.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    Well at least it keeps all the lawyers in a job. Where would we be without lawyers? Oh... wait....!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    It is a bit surprising that the general tenor of the post suggests that the national law of foreign countries may be used against US businesses in those countries in matters pertaining to laws such as patent law, and that such US businesses might be surprised at the application of such laws to their in-country activities.

    This is hardly "news" to US businesses, which have been dealing with just these issues for decades, and are none the worse for the wear.

     

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  27.  
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    velox (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    "... the general tenor of the post suggests that the national law of foreign countries may be used against US businesses in those countries in matters pertaining to laws such as patent law, and that such US businesses might be surprised at the application of such laws to their in-country activities. This is hardly "news" to US businesses, which have been dealing with just these issues for decades, and are none the worse for the wear."
    Yes, but it is likely that those companies who have been dealing with this issues for decades were not the same companies which had been the driving force behind the CoC's efforts. This latter group, if I am not mistaken, is from the entertainment sector, whereas the companies who have experienced this problem (and likely will continue to deal with its consequences) are companies who either import or manufacture durable goods, in particular, the high-tech industry.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re:

    Patent laws, domestic and international, are for all intents and purposes invisible to the "entertainment industry" (whose bread and butter is copyright based).

     

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  29.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re: Jack Thompson?

    it doesnt benifit us... it benifits corporate interests and CoC who gets its funding from.....
    DUNN DUNN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN......corporate interests.....

     

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  30.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re: Jack Thompson?

    it doesnt benifit us... it benifits corporate interests and CoC who gets its funding from.....
    DUNN DUNN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN......corporate interests.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Jack Thompson?

    stupid IE >:(

     

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  32.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    It is a bit surprising that the general tenor of the post suggests that the national law of foreign countries may be used against US businesses in those countries in matters pertaining to laws such as patent law, and that such US businesses might be surprised at the application of such laws to their in-country activities.

    You didn't even read the post, did you?

     

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  33.  
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    william (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    I pointed this out like, 2 years ago and it's all slowly coming true. I just have a few opinions with the whole thing

    1. The IEEE article seems quite fixated on win rate. Apparently the win rate is a concern. But it shouldn't be. Are we assuming that all claims are valid? Such that if you lose your case, win rate is down and that signifies a problem? The article also suggest that the new IP court is putting out more professional and consistent ruling. This tells me that the number of false claims are increasing and that's why the win rate is dropping.

    2. Why are the Americans crying because they are not winning? This just tells everyone that US are not interested in fairness or IP protection. They are just interested in winning their own cases. What they really want, is a puppet IP court that rules all their cases as valid. Now that an actual court is set up which the US has no power over and (i am assuming) ruling more professional and fairly, they cry foul. Geez, the world is not as perfect as you would like to believe eh?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Of course I read it. What makes you think I did not?

     

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  35.  
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    Jack Thompson (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Jack Thompson?

    Nope haha - the Jack Thompson as in a tertiary student from New Zealand whose favourite computer game happens to be Grand Theft Auto.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: Jack Thompson?

     

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  37.  
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    DSecrist, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Be Careful What You Wish For: Taiwan Using US Pressured Patent Laws Against US Companies

    It might be important to remember, that the US Chamber of Commerce is dominated by member Inc.'s which are para-national in nature.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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