Many people do not understand the seismic shift in IP that has been taking place in China. China is on the verge of becoming a major technology and IP generator, creating a tidal wave of patents likely to wash over the US and Europe’s shores in the next two decades, enabling China to dominate significant technology areas. This stems from the recognition inside China (largely missed by foreign observers) of the fundamental importance of IP to economic growth as well as the natural creativity and inventiveness of the Chinese. By contrast, particularly in Europe at some deep political levels, the value of intellectual property is often challenged, putting in jeopardy Europe’s competitive base in its global markets.
Most foreign observers look at the still imperfect state of patent enforcement in China and miss the profound changes that have taken place over the last twenty five years. To understand this, there are three components in an effective IP regime:
- the underpinning law,
- the cost and quality of the patent “right” acquired, and
- the effectiveness and cost of enforcing that right