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Businesses split on the U.S. intellectual property probe on China

The relationship between the U.S. and China is currently a very complex one. One area in which this is especially true is in trade and intellectual property.

One recent development on this front is that the U.S. is undertaking a probe of China’s intellectual property practices. It is a type of probe referred to as a Section 301 investigation. The investigation is looking into allegations that China has been misappropriating the intellectual property of U.S. businesses. Among the allegations are that Chinese businesses have forced U.S. companies to transfer intellectual property to them and stolen innovations from U.S. businesses.

There is currently a fair amount of debate around this probe, with businesses and trade groups falling on both sides of the debate.

Some argue that the alleged intellectual property misappropriation is causing U.S. companies harm to the tune of billions of dollars and that the U.S. should take a hard stance against it.

Meanwhile, others argue that China has been making progress on its intellectual property enforcement and that the situation should not be handled with punishment, but rather with negotiation.

The split in the business community over this probe and what should come from it underscores the complexity of trade and intellectual property matters between the U.S. and China. These matters can be very interconnected, and what happens in them can have implications on how both countries end up acting towards each other in their policies. This can have major impacts on businesses with operations that span both countries, such as U.S. companies that do business in China.

One wonders what the results of the probe will be, and what impacts the results will have for U.S. businesses that operate in China.

There are a variety of concerns related to intellectual property U.S. businesses may have when it comes to operations in China. This includes concerns over how the intellectual property laws, policies and enforcement levels in China will impact their ability to protect their ideas and innovations. It also includes concerns over how to handle disputes that come up in connection to such property in China. Such companies can go to U.S.-China business lawyers for guidance regarding such concerns.

Source: Reuters, “Some U.S. businesses urge caution in China intellectual property trade push,” Oct. 10, 2017

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