A different Supreme Court crusade

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As Washington focuses on newly—confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts, another Supreme Court Justice — in China — is tackling a complex issue that has major implications for many Western multinationals trying to business in the Middle Kingdom: the enforcement of intellectual property rights and limiting the harmful affects of rampant piracy.

Just when many American businesspeople had giving up hope on the Chinese legal system to fairly protect their patents and copyrights, we discover that Justice Jiang Zhipei is on a personal mission to create greater of awareness of issue that is hurting foreign and domestic firms alike.  

By giving lectures and running his own website, Justice Jiang is slowly having a positive influence, but even he recognizes the upward climb he faces in the years ahead.

China's intellectual property problems are much more than just fake DVDs and software sold by some poor migrant worker on the street corner for a dollar a copy.  

The International Herald—Tribune reports:

"To expect China to reach the same level of intellectual property rights as developed countries in one leap is just unrealistic," Jiang said, "and to ask the same of the public is also unrealistic."
 
Last year, Chinese courts dealt with 12,205 civil intellectual property cases, an increase of 32 percent from 2003 and a few dozen two decades ago.
 
In the first quarter of this year, the number of cases grew by 39 percent from a year earlier. All but 4 percent of those cases were between local litigants, not multinational corporations, Jiang said.
 
"Domestic companies are the real impetus for improving IPR," he said.
 
On Sept. 19, Shanghai Busheng Music Culture Media, a joint venture of EMI Group and a local company, successfully sued Baidu.com, one of the most popular Chinese search engines, for allowing Internet users to locate pirated—music Web sites.
 
A court in Beijing ordered Baidu to stop the service, which is widespread among nearly all of China's major search sites, and fined it the equivalent of $8,400.
 
Even some of its critics say the central government and higher courts are edging toward stronger protection of intellectual property rights.

When President Bush travels to Beijing for a summit later this month, he should make an effort to meet Justice Jiang and give him the recognition he deserves.

Brian J. Schwarz   10 05 05

As Washington focuses on newly—confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts, another Supreme Court Justice — in China — is tackling a complex issue that has major implications for many Western multinationals trying to business in the Middle Kingdom: the enforcement of intellectual property rights and limiting the harmful affects of rampant piracy.

Just when many American businesspeople had giving up hope on the Chinese legal system to fairly protect their patents and copyrights, we discover that Justice Jiang Zhipei is on a personal mission to create greater of awareness of issue that is hurting foreign and domestic firms alike.  

By giving lectures and running his own website, Justice Jiang is slowly having a positive influence, but even he recognizes the upward climb he faces in the years ahead.

China's intellectual property problems are much more than just fake DVDs and software sold by some poor migrant worker on the street corner for a dollar a copy.  

The International Herald—Tribune reports:

"To expect China to reach the same level of intellectual property rights as developed countries in one leap is just unrealistic," Jiang said, "and to ask the same of the public is also unrealistic."
 
Last year, Chinese courts dealt with 12,205 civil intellectual property cases, an increase of 32 percent from 2003 and a few dozen two decades ago.
 
In the first quarter of this year, the number of cases grew by 39 percent from a year earlier. All but 4 percent of those cases were between local litigants, not multinational corporations, Jiang said.
 
"Domestic companies are the real impetus for improving IPR," he said.
 
On Sept. 19, Shanghai Busheng Music Culture Media, a joint venture of EMI Group and a local company, successfully sued Baidu.com, one of the most popular Chinese search engines, for allowing Internet users to locate pirated—music Web sites.
 
A court in Beijing ordered Baidu to stop the service, which is widespread among nearly all of China's major search sites, and fined it the equivalent of $8,400.
 
Even some of its critics say the central government and higher courts are edging toward stronger protection of intellectual property rights.

When President Bush travels to Beijing for a summit later this month, he should make an effort to meet Justice Jiang and give him the recognition he deserves.

Brian J. Schwarz   10 05 05