Wednesday 23 May 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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