Intellectual property concerns patents, trademarks and trade secrets, copyrights and copyrighted works. Because it is so valuable to companies, legislators design laws concerning intellectual property in order to protect inventors, authors, musicians and authors. Yet concerns of intellectual property theft in China continue.
There are claims of cyberattacks on American companies supported by Chinese officials. There are also claims that Chinese officials pressure foreign companies into sharing technology with local companies.
The result is that many companies outside of China no longer wish to do business there. And as a recent Washington Post article addresses, U.S. officials impose punishing tariffs upon Chinese imports due to halt this alleged theft.
Actions taken by U.S. officials
American officials are in the process of imposing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. U.S. officials base this figure upon the amount American companies purportedly lost due to intellectual property theft.
Chinese officials have passed legislation concerning infringement. There’s continuing talk about passing a new foreign-investment law to punish infringers. Unfortunately, current Chinese measures do not include criminal penalties.
It may be more than just the infringers who are at fault. Chinese laws often punish American companies rather than infringers. There are many regulations requiring American companies to hand over intellectual property to Chinese partners. Such laws only motivate Chinese companies to engage in intellectual property theft. And claims of theft will likely continue.
Finding ways to protect a company’s intellectual property
This issue is obviously complex. The opportunities for doing business in China are great. There is a market there of over one-billion people. There are also many obstacles to success.
It’s valuable for American companies to seek advice and counsel from knowledgeable attorneys. Such professionals can help establish exclusive license ideas in China, and also help to take all of the necessary steps to protect a company’s intellectual property.