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Top House Judiciary Democrat: China Bashing Not Going To Work

in Broadband TV/Copyright/Intellectual Property/International by

China and Intellectual Property with China Embassy IP Attache is available for free at a top Chinese official said that more than 4,000 people had been arrested since August for infringing upon intellectual property rights.

Conyers echoed the sentiments of both Presidents Hu and Obama when they said in January that the members of the two nations needed to engage in more dialogue — both through more frequent meetings between the members of their two governments, but also through cultural exchanges.

The Democratic congressman also said that he’s asked Lamar Smith, the Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee (and a Texan,) to put together a delegation of congressional and administration officials to visit China later this year.

He acknowledged the creation of the United States’  intellectual property enforcement co-ordinator to formulate a national strategic plan, but he said: “that needs to be made to work a little bit more effectively.”

And, he said: “We’ve got to meet more with our friends from the Chinese Embassy. I understand Mr. Chen [China’s intellectual property attache in Washington, D.C.] is here, and I am grateful for that.”

Conyers delivered a keynote speech that opened up a panel discussion about China and the latest developments its government is taking to build an innovation-fueled society powered by intellectual property.


  1. One area of outright inequity in the trade between America and China is IP THEFT.

    IT IS AN UNEQUAL TREATY IMPOSED ON HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CHINESE EXPORTERS YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. American behemoths, with Washington at least trying not to look, TALK protection of IP, yet PRACTICE predatory “what’s mine remains mine, but what’s yours is also mine.”

    Just look at the typical TOC (Terms and Conditions) that almost all of the major American importers demanded of their vendors, and you will find similar provisions everywhere:


    Supplier shall not at any time, during or after the Term of this Agreement, disclose to others, take or use for its own purposes or the purpose of others, any of Company’s confidential information, knowledge, designs, data, know-how, trade secrets, or any other information considered “confidential” or “proprietary” by Company. Supplier understands, agrees and recognizes that this obligation applies, but is not limited to, technical information, designs, marketing and financial information, and any business information that Company treats as confidential. Any confidential information, knowledge, designs, data, know-how, trade secrets, or any other information considered “confidential” or “proprietary” by Supplier which the Supplier shall have disclosed or may hereafter disclose to the Company and which in any way relates to the goods or services covered by this order, agreement or contract, shall, unless otherwise specifically agreed to in writing by the Company be deemed to be confidential or proprietary information and further shall be acquired by the Company free from any restrictions (other than a claim for patent infringement) as part of the consideration for this order, agreement or contract. No cause of action will arise on Supplier’s behalf for Company’s use of any confidential information disclosed to Company, and no damages whatsoever shall accrue to Supplier for Company’s use thereof. Supplier shall keep confidential any and all technical processes and information, economic and financial information, designs, data, marketing information, and any other business information that Company treats as confidential furnished to Supplier in connection with this order, agreement or contract and Supplier shall not divulge, export or use directly or indirectly, such information for the benefit of any other party without obtaining Company’s written permission. Supplier shall return all items belonging to Company and all copies of documents containing such confidential information in Supplier’s possession or under Supplier’s control upon request by the Company or termination of this Agreement.”

    [Note how that “what’s yours ends up mine” language is craftily hidden in the middle of the passage. Typical American style drafting.]

    You think that is bad? Try this zinger:


    Absent a separate express agreement between Supplier and Company and after one year from date of importation of Merchandise into the United States which in any way relates to the goods or services covered by an Order, , Supplier will irrevocably grant to Company a full paid up, royalty free license to make, use, sell and offer for sale any such Merchandise free of any claim of infringement or misappropriation of any intellectual property of Supplier. The aforementioned paid up license will remain in effect until the expiration of any intellectual property relating in any way to the Merchandise.”

    Can you imagine clauses like that imposed on Microsoft, or Intel, etc., by any Chinese entity without causing a fire and brimstone response?? Yet this sort of chicanery is imposed by major American companies in contracts of adhesion on hundreds of thousands of Chinese exporters year in and year out.  The typical Chinese company simply is not in a position to bargain.   As a result, China had been ROBBED of hundreds of billions of dollars of valuable IP over the decades.

    What is good must be universal. If IP is to be protected, everyone’s IP should be protected.

  2. Rep. Conyers is exactly right. Given the issue of pride (which is amply present on both sides), a confrontational approach is never going to work.

    And since CHINA is the growing market, more confrontation merely means that American companies WILL (guaranteed) LOSE profitable opportunities. Perceptions are very important. If it is rightfully perceived that: (a) Americans have much more IP; (b) Americans have sneakier (OK, more experienced) lawyers; and (c) Americans are robbing the Chinese blind (especially on IP) in a system built and ran by Americans, you can be sure that there would be reaction.

    At the end of the day, only a win win arrangement can be long lasting.

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