The IHT has reported on a scheme by Chinese businesses to not only avoid but profit from intellectual property rights laws by copying international products and then patenting them under local laws: “Businesses in the United States, Europe and Japan lose $50 billion a year to counterfeiting in China, the U.S. Commerce Department estimates. But the business of infringing on patents protected outside China has moved away from the simple counterfeiting operations of the past, which the police could root out or at least disrupt by forcing perpetrators to run from village to village. A new method is to file trademarks before foreign competitors file them in China, where being ‘first to file’ for both patents and trademarks is legally more significant than being ‘first to invent’ or ‘first to use,’ Xiang said. ” To deal with the problem, the US has just assigned an “intellectual property attache” to the embassy in Beijing, the first time such an official has been assigned to a specific country. The full article is here.
Thanks to Ellen Sander of Crackpot Chronicles for sending us this news.