Senior U.S. Official Calls for More Intellectual Property Protection From China

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez, called on China to devote greater resources and effort towards preventing the theft of U.S. intellectual property.

Fernandez presented to a business audience in the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong, detailing the deleterious effects of intellectual property theft: “One U.S. company was the victim of Chinese hackers who stole technology that cost $1 billion and 20 years to develop.” He went on: “After theft of its technology came to light, another company lost 40% of its value in a single day and 84% within five months.” U.S. firms specializing in nanotechnology, biotechnology and telecommunications have fallen prey to piracy, with billions of dollars worth of technology being stolen from servers and channeled to Chinese companies.

The topic of Chinese trade and investment is seemingly a vital issue in the current political debate, as a result of its “extremely high” stakes for the U.S. economy.  Fernandez noted the positive steps taken China in recent years to improve intellectual property protection and affirmed America’s commitment to working with China: “We are committed to expanding opportunities for U.S. companies to export to and do business in China… we are committed to protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, adherence to the full array of norms that govern international trade and finance, a level playing field… and expanding investment in the United States.”

Photo Credits: Danis Matisons


About: Tracy Ayodele

Tracy Ayodele is a Canadian lawyer, called to the Bar of Ontario, and a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. She has a keen interest in IP policy, social innovation and the intersection of technology, development and start-up culture in emerging economies. She is a spirited legal researcher and writer, and co-authored “Hot-tubbing in Canadian Patent Litigation: A Preliminary Assessment” published in the Intellectual Property Journal.

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