Good post on IP Dragon, entitled, “When will rampant piracy in China stop? Mark Cohen: ‘Don’t know.’ Bill Gates: ‘2016,'” asking when China’s rampant piracy will end. The post extensively quotes Mark Cohen, a U.S. intellectual property (IP) lawyer sent to China by the United States government to work on improving China’s IP protection. Great quote from Mr. Cohen: “The question is not, is there law? It’s what law is being enforced and where?”
Our view is that the more the Chinese courts and officials come to realize IP enforcement is in China’s long term business interests, the greater the enforcement. We are already seeing greater IP enforcement in China’s biggest cities where the benefits of foreign investment are readily apparent, and we see this spreading. It is also true that many lower court decisions refusing to enforce IP rights are getting overturned by the higher courts. As we mentioned in a previous post, “Another Foreign IP Victory In China — Ferrero Rocher,”even the Voice of America [link no longer exists] recently noted that “[s]everal Western multinationals have won copyright piracy cases against Chinese companies in recent weeks.” We are also seeing Chinese lawyers increasingly recognize the need to protect their client’s IP rights.
The key for businesses involved in China is to register their IP so that if someone seeks to copy it, they will have a basis for court protection.