The following is excerpted from a November 11, 2011 article by Jameson Berkow published by The Gazette:
Those who deride China for failing to take patent protection seriously might just be provoking a sleeping dragon.
For China, experts argue, has intentionally maintained a lax intellectual property enforcement regime for decades, waiting until its internal invention industry had become strong enough to warrant something more robust.
Soon more patents will be filed in Beijing each year than in Washington D.C. and Chinese entrepreneurs are stealing the attentions of Silicon Valley pundits and investors. Many believe the Chinese patent dragon is beginning to show signs of stirring. Once that happens, experts say, foreign firms looking to do business there will need to worry less about losing IP to China's infamous underground economy and more about losing an IP infringement case in a Chinese courtroom.
"So what they did was have a regime in place where they were free to copy, to steal ideas from other countries."
Nearly three decades later, the result is a Chinese version of every major western invention that exists everywhere else: Weibo is China's Twitter and Baidu is China's Google, both are protected under Chinese patent law.
"In Canada, you have maybe 60 patent infringement cases filed per year, maybe 80, and in the United States there are 3,000," said Mr. Elmer. "China now has more than 3,000 ... probably closer to 4,000 now."
Read the full article here.