Careful What You Wish For: Greater IP Enforcement In China Being Used Against Foreign Companies...
from the you-asked-for-it... dept
First, a few years back, we wrote about a high profile counterfeit DVD bust in China, where the "culprit" was actually a rich American. Then, we noticed in 2008 that China was starting to talk about China cracking down on video game piracy, but only when it concerned others copying China's video games. Finally, late last year, we noted that a French company had lost a patent lawsuit in China.
It turns out that was just the beginning. Joe Mullin points us to a story about how there have been a series of recent patent and trademark rulings in Chinese courts all of which appear to be going against large multinational companies and in favor of Chinese companies.
Of course, this isn't a surprise at all. Various studies have shown that greater copyright, patent and trademark protections tend to follow a period of great innovation, when the companies that did that innovation look to protect their position from upstarts elsewhere. In other words, it acts in the exact opposite manner as it's supposed to. It's not an incentive to innovate, but a tool used to stop competition and innovation from others. The situation in China is playing out exactly according to that formula. The country is growing into a bigger believer in intellectual property laws -- but only for the sake of using it to protect against foreigners -- which, we assume, is not what US companies wanted, but which they should have expected if they ever bothered to look at the actual history of stronger intellectual property laws.