Sunday, December 7, 2008

Intellectual Property Rights and Clean Technology in China

In a previous post, China Greenspace (CGS) made the case that weak protections for intellectual property rights (IPR) would imperil the transfer of clean technology to China. If a series of articles by Ian Harvey of the UK Intellectual Property Institute is correct, CGS may have been way off the mark, and that such perceptions are incorrect.

Harvey argues that, contrary to popular belief, IPR protection is impressively strong in China. He cites the statistic that 90% of suits by foreign patent holders against Chinese entities for IPR violations are successful, versus 35% in the United States.

It's unclear to CGS whether the rigor Harvey identifies in China's IPR protection scheme applies equally to more pedestrian technologies as well as to cutting-edge technology that will be necessary to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nonetheless, Harvey's articles provides much food for thought, and an impetus for CGS to humbly re-think its earlier assertions.

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