Protecting Intellectual Property in China: Regulatory Change and Business Strategy
Massive capital reserves, a relatively robust financial sector, and effective stimulus programs helped China survive the global recession relatively unscathed and economic growth is projected to return to double-digit levels for 2010. Yet considerable challenges remain. Despite a range of new government policies and reports of progress, one of the most vexing issues remains the protection of intellectual property. In surveys this year, both the American and European Chambers of Commerce in China found that large majorities of their members continue to see IP protection as a serious challenge. The Information Technology sector, IP-intensive and targeted for rapid growth by the Chinese government, is especially vulnerable.
Not only foreign firms are concerned: the vast majority of IP violation claims filed in China are made by Chinese firms, and there is a growing domestic constituency for strong, transparent, and consistent IP protection. As China's own high-tech sectors grow, so too will calls for stronger IP law and enforcement.
This conference will both survey the rapidly evolving state of IP protection in China and address practical steps and strategies that firms can take to protect IP and to address cases of IP infringement. Achieving the right mix of legal, operational, and strategic considerations is difficult, but the conference's legal and business experts from both China and the US will show how it can be done.
Among the questions to be addressed:
- How is China's IP enforcement regime changing? Is it moving toward the US system, or is it on its own path?
- How are IP enforcement issues being addressed?
- How do IP concerns vary by sector? Why is IT especially vulnerable?
- Who in China'in government as well as the private sector'are most committed to strong IP protection? Can they serve as allies for foreign companies? Who are most opposed, and how is the balance of power shifting?
- What challenges and opportunities are emerging given China's stated commitment to remake its economy as a hub of innovation, through 'indigenous innovation' policy and other efforts?
- Do recent court cases like the recent Microsoft victory against Dazhong indicate a shift in government policy and courts' willingness to award substantial damages?
- What are best practices'in operations as well as strategy'for avoiding IP problems in the first place? How can firms best guard against knock-offs and piracy? How does one identify domestic suppliers, sales agents and other partners you can trust?
Berkeley Center for Law, Business & the Economy-UC Berkeley School of Law, California Chamber of Commerce, China SF, Bay Area Council, USF Center for the Pacific Rim