Monday, April 28, 2008

Intellectual Property Piracy in India, Pakistan

The US trade representative's office has placed nine countries, including India and Pakistan, on priority watch list for intellectual property piracy. In addition to the traditional categories of computer software and music, the USTR has added counterfeit pharmaceuticals to the list of concerns.

"Trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals continues to be a particularly grave concern in light of the risks to human health and safety, and the U.S. continues to be actively engaged in addressing this serious problem," the USTRO statement said. The USTR report also noted that the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is a “growing problem” that particularly threatens consumer health and safety.

It cited a “proliferation” of phony drug production in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Russia. The priority watch list also includes Argentina, Chile, Israel, Thailand and Venezuela.

Several countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Ukraine were shifted off the Priority Watch List in 2008.

The report said that while the U.S. continues to work with China to strengthen its intellectual-property regime, "high levels of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting remain serious concerns."

USTRO believes that US companies have lost billions of dollars due to copyright theft and piracy in China while Beijing insists it is doing its best to stamp out the problem. In a conference call with reporters Friday, the assistant US trade representative in charge of intellectual property, Stan McCoy, said: “If things proceed in line with current expectations, a decision from the (WTO) panel would be possible this fall.”

On Russia, the report summary said the U.S. will continue to monitor that the country meets the obligations it committed to as part of a bilateral agreement with the U.S. on Russia's ascension to the World Trade Organization.

"Implementation of these commitments remains essential to completing the final multilateral negotiations on the overall accession package," the report said.

The USTRO watch list also includes Algeria, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

As the biggest beneficiaries of globalization of the capital, labor and consumer markets, the US corporations are cheer-leading the opening of the emerging economies for their goods and services, while at the same time complaining about the IP piracy. They want to use the power of the US government to benefit their share-holders and ignore the lack of affordability of their products and services by the vast majority of the people in the emerging markets. This is no different from the efforts of the music recording industry in the US which prices, packages and distributes music without regard for the vast majority of their customers and then goes to court to sue the very customers they are trying to market their products to. These strategies are not likely to work either in the US or elsewhere in the world. Instead, such strategies will backfire, unless there's serious rethinking by the US corporations to address the real needs of their international customer base.

1 comment:

Riaz Haq said...

#China Set to Lead the World in Intellectual Property by Surpassing #US, #Japan #Patent Filings in 2017

http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/03/16/2017/china-set-lead-world-intellectual-property

ALEX FREW MCMILLAN

Who says nothing original comes out of China?

Within two years, my adopted home nation is set to surpass the United States in terms of the number of patents its citizens seek, according to newly released data. Already, two Chinese companies lead the world in seeking to protect their intellectual property.

Telecommunications- and networking-equipment maker ZTE (ZTCOY) , based in Shenzhen just across the mainland border from me here in Hong Kong, last year zoomed past its crosstown rival, the telecommunications- and networking-equipment maker Huawei Technologies, as the biggest filer of international patents in the world.

Yes, as a nation the United States took top spot for the 39th straight year running, making up 24.3% of the 233,000 patent applications filed in 2016 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2016.

Japan was next in line, accounting for 19.4% of the filings, and China came in third with 18.5% of the total. For corporate filers, Qualcomm (QCOM) ranked next after the Shenzhen telecom suppliers, with Mitsubishi Electric (MIELY) and LG Electronics (LPL) after that. As a result, Asia accounts for just under half, 47%, of all patent filings around the world.

Digital communications and computer technology are the leading fields for patent protection, with total patent requests for all industries up 7.3% over the previous year. All the figures are coming courtesy the World Intellectual Property Organization. The group just released 2016 stats on patents, trademarks and industrial designs.

On a nation-by-nation basis, it's China -- so often a source of counterfeiting and fakes -- that is driving the growth. The Middle Kingdom's filings rose 44% in 2016 and it has posted double-digit growth in patents every year since 2002. It's a dramatic shift for a nation that wasn't invited to trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as much because it couldn't abide by its intellectual-property protections as any political considerations.

"China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China'," the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, said in announcing the results.

No doubt about it, China has a long history of imitation that verges on forgery. Its artists were encouraged to copy the works of the masters for years before attempting anything so daring as a creation of their own. Confucian society prizes traditional values and deference to elders. And under the Communist Party, it's best to toe the party line rather than get too many upstart ideas about various freedoms.

But China is changing at a pace that is unheralded in modern society. After Deng Xiaoping creaked the door to its walled-off economy open in 1979, promising "Socialism with Chinese characteristics," the country hasn't missed a beat. It has leaped from an agricultural economy of peasants right through an industrial revolution that lasted decades, not centuries, and on into a post-industrial world, at least on the east coast.

Capitalism with Chinese characteristics is more like it. China is communist in party only, and its leaders would frankly prefer if everyone stuck to the business of making money rather than thinking too closely about who they would like to see in charge.