Intellectual property in China

Not surprisingly, the principal philosophical theory applied to the protection of utilitarian works – that is, technological inventions – has been utilitarianism (Merges, et al., 1997, pp. 135-136 hereinafter cited as MMLJ; Machlup, 1958).

Intellectual property is the ownership of intangible and non-physical goods. This includes ideas, names, designs, symbols, artwork, writings, and other creations. It also refers to digital media, such as audio and video clips that can be downloaded online. Since intellectual property is intangible, it is more difficult to protect than other types of property.

Intellectual property is often used as a legal term to safeguard the rights of creators and inventors. It has also become increasingly important to media production companies who need to protect the distribution of their digital media. By defining and establishing intellectual property rights, innovators and creators can have legal protection of their ideas and creations. This may be done by copyrighting written works, applying for patents for inventions, and trademarking brands, names, and logos. Of course, the sooner these legal steps are taken, the better. After all, it is much easier to protect an idea before it is stolen than after someone else takes it.

In China, intellectual property is deemed to be an extremely important asset owned by natural persons, legal persons, and other organizations. Therefore, it is an important job for the People’s Court to protect intellectual property in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

There are cases of intellectual property theft. They are increasingly grown in American companies operating in China. “China’s new antimonopoly laws would allow compulsory licensing of foreign technologies in some cases and require foreign companies that wanted to merge with or buy a Chinese company to transfer technology to China. Several foreign companies have found themselves competing against Chinese firms using a slight variation of the foreign technology” (http://www.nytimes.com).

The example is the building of the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed railway in 2005. During this project the China National Railway Signal and Communication Corporation invited Germany’s Siemens with the aim of providing the unique building trains. Most of the technology came from Siemens, with 1,000 C.N.R. technicians trained in Germany. But most of the trains were built in China. For the next project the Ministry of Transportation decided that it would be better to use the domestic technology, and C.N.R. bumped Siemens out.

Many multinational companies in China are losing the battle to protect their intellectual property, largely because they rely too heavily on legal tactics and fail to factor intellectual property properly into their strategic and operational decisions.

The problem is that many executives think about the legal side of the protecting of intellectual property. Besides they took measures after the property have been stolen. At present time more companies take strategic and operational action to protect their intellectual property before the theft happens. This is the best way to save the costs for the further investigation. Companies should of course register their trademarks and patents with local authorities and prosecute violators. The recent passage in China of a …
Posted by: Gregorio Sugg

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