PRC Official: IPR Reputation a Result of “Groundless Labeling”

May 4, 2013

Um, wow, not sure where to start with this one. Look, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has consistently written for as long as I have that China’s IP situation is improving, that it isn’t as bad as most folks think, and that the stereotypes are generally unfair.

But I also temper that with frequent acknowledgements of the many problems over here with the IP protection system. The situation downright sucks in some geographical areas and industry sectors, and depending on the product and type of IPR in question. When apologists fail to fess up to the problems, they come out sounding pretty lame.

Tian Lipu, director of the State Intellectual Property Office, claimed Thursday that foreign media accusations of China’s weak protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) were groundless “labeling.”

“If they had based their comments on the facts, they may have changed their views,” Tian said at a press conference, adding that it is a paradox that at a time when China is being blamed for its poor IPR protection efforts, it still remains attractive to many foreign enterprises and investors.

“China has been receiving a large number of patent and trademark registration applications from foreign enterprises, and to my knowledge, the growth rate of foreigners’ new patent applications in China is much higher than the international average,” Tian said.

“Moreover, China has been a considerable source of foreign companies’ profits in the forms of patent, trademark and copyright royalties, a fact that was largely neglected in media reports,” the official added. (Xinhua)

Odd, to say the least, particularly coming from someone like Tian, who has been at this for a very long time. IP protection must be OK because foreign investors are still coming to China? Yes, those things are related, but Tian seems to have forgotten that many firms have huge risk appetites and have thrown all caution out the window going apeshit in pursuit of growth.

This accounts, by the way, for the increasing trademark and patent registrations. Are registrations higher because folks trust the system more than they used to? Sure, but I’m betting growth is a much more important factor.

Meh. This discussion started off silly and continued into ridiculousness. I’m bailing.