Blog: Intellectual property in China
Dave Leggett | 12 August 2005
There are lots of anecdotes flying around about IP abuse in China, some true no doubt while others have more than a whiff of the urban myth about them. I recently heard one about an exec in a materials handling equipment company visiting a Chinese company with whom he wanted to set up a licensing venture to make the vehicles in China. His hosts made him feel very welcome and a significant degree of trust was quickly established. But he made the fatal mistake of not locking his briefcase - which was full of sensitive papers and blueprints.
After a tour of the plant he returned to his briefcase to notice that it had been accessed in his absence: the material was put back, but the papers were in the wrong order. A phone call to his hotel that evening confirmed that no further business would be transacted and that the Chinese company would now be going it alone.
I have been sent a link (see below) to a useful article in the McKinsey Quarterly about this subject which includes some advice for companies on how to protect their IP when conducting business in China. If you are not registered with them then you will have to register to see it, but registration is free and simple. The article itself is free to access.
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