Wednesday, May 23, 2007

China and Intellectual Property Rights

One of the issues on the agenda at the Strategic Economic Dialogue between the US and China is action against copyright theft - see the CNN article from last week for a discussion of the problem.

But China is not only acquiring the custom and capital (even the factories) of the West: she is also very keen to catch up on know-how. The arguments at the moment may be about pirated music and videos, but I wonder whether industrial patents and designs may become a bone of contention in the future. I can't think it is safe for the West to watch its physical production processes migrate abroad, consoling itself with the thought of licensing the use of its inventions.

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