International Intellectual Property Rights: Is China Serious About Enforcement?

Paul A. Aines


In discussions regarding international intellectual property rights (IPR), China is always at the forefront of controversy.  When one mentions international IPR violations, China is the first country to come to mind.  A walk through the streets of Beijing will validate China’s problems with protection of intellectual property rights.  Street vendors aggressively peddle “Rolex” watches, pirated DVD’s, and “Mont Blanc” pens.  There are shopping centers whose shops appear to be solely populated with vendors selling fake goods with logos from Polo, Oakley, Coach, Prada and many, many more expensive brand names.  All of this seemingly illegal commerce is done openly without fear of consequence.  The inaction of regulatory authorities sends a message that China is complacent, possibly even supportive, with regard to IPR violations.  And maybe this is the case.  Think of the revenues generated, the number of workers employed in manufacturing and dealing pirated goods.  Possibly the enforcement of intellectual property rights could be too detrimental to the Chinese Economy.

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