Now for some good news for once.
WIPO reported that China’s patent filing grew by a staggering 56.3% last year, putting China at #4 in the world, behind #1 US, #2 Japan, and barely behind #3 Germany.
2 of the top 4 companies by filing are Chinese, ZTE at #2 and Huawei at #4. Japan’s Panasonic is #1 and Qualcomm in US is #3.
Considering the average growth for total WIPO filing was only about 4% last year, that means, China’s significant growth last year was largely responsible for offsetting the decline of filing by the rest of the world.
Of course, I have no doubt the West will find this as another reason to fear China.
As for us, I hope we all have the good fortune to benefit from China’s continual growth and development.
You may be surprised US was the intelligent property violator. US copied/stole ideas from the west without paying any royalty in the colonial days. Even at the end of WW2 US did not pay royalties to Germany in using the atomic bomb technology.
There are phases of a country moving from undeveloped to developing, and then developed country. Their major characteristics are listed. One’s theory.
Phase 1. Low labor cost. Copy/steal. Low-quality consumer products.
Phase 2. Moving up the value chain. Good infrastructure. Higher quality.
Phase 3. High-end products. High quality. Innovative. Protect intelligent property rights.
China is moving from Phase 2 to Phase 3 now. Around 16th century, about half of the inventions and their derivatives were from China and no one paid royalties to China. This is the time when China was in Phase 3 relative to the rest of the world. After the semi colonization about 250 years ago, China was bankrupt and moved back to Phase 1.
China has intelligent citizens to be innovative and could churn up intelligent products like Facebook, Google… However, as long as there is no law in protecting IPs, they will not be materialized. It may take about 10 years (hopefully less) for China to protect IP.
Should IP be portected in developing countries?
Most citizens in developing countries cannot afford to buy DVDs, software…, so there are no real heavy losses to Hollywood, software providers…
New drugs are copied by China and India illegally and also distributed to poor countries. Haitans and most Africans cannot afford to buy the drugs at the asking prices. Should we let them die? No, we can treat them as charities to developing countries.
r v says
IP laws are designed to incentivizing R&D.
But some R&D are essentially stealing and copying from other people, just look at drug companies combing through rain forests and tribes in the Amazons searching for “new cures” based on old traditional medicines.
Copyrighted materials are based upon mostly old stories. There is some old saying that all Romance stories are based on Romeo & Juliet (which is itself almost a copy of German folklore of Pyramus and Thisbe).
When Hollywood produces an animated movie “Mulan”, does it pay royalty to China? No. So, I certainly don’t feel very bad if there are some pirated version of “Mulan” being sold in China. Why should Hollywood make profit on a story that they copied from China?
*There is an overemphasis on protecting innovation, and not enough on recognizing the original country of contribution and those who kept and passed down the knowledge and actually making things.
But China can play the IP game just as well.
But poor India. I guess that 66% literacy rate really started to hurt.
“When Hollywood produces an animated movie “Mulan”, does it pay royalty to China?”
You don’t need to go to antiquity for examples of IP theft by the west. You don’t think the US multinationals and government agencies steal from the rest of the world right now? They are just better at covering it up and making it look politically correct.
Great point. Nike sends their designers into China to observe what sells well in major apparel stores. They are suppose to bring back “inspirations” for their designs at Nike. “Theft” and “inspiration” is totally dependent on how you narrate it.
Americans watching the “Antique Road Show” will see pieces of Chinese porcelain and other supposedly Chinese manufactured goods being appraised and the owners often disappointed to find out they were made by knock-off factories in Europe. Those pieces would get to the last details to match, including perfectly matching Chinese seal in the back imitating the seal of certain manufacturer in China.
r v says
In almost amazing correlation, China’s internet commerce data showed over 50% year to year growth in 2010.
That’s a lot of domestic growth.
A few years ago a local company (Singapore) tried to sue 3M or some company for stealing their invention of the thumbdrive. I don’t believe the story was reported by the international media.
Of course. Whites love to think that only whites are capable of creativity or invention and that “Asians” have no souls.
Which explains why they invented nothing from 40,000 BC up until the 1,500s.
In terms of patents per dollar of R&D spent, China actually beats America.